Child maintenance arrangements

Child maintenance is money towards your child’s everyday living costs from the parent they do not live with. This information is to help you decide what arrangement for child maintenance payments is best for you.


What is child maintenance?

The parent who does not have the main day-to-day care of their children may have to make payments to the parent looking after the children. This is known as child maintenance.


How can I arrange child maintenance?

You have three different options on how to arrange child maintenance.


How is child maintenance, arranged through the Child Maintenance Service, paid?

There are two ways maintenance calculated by the Child Maintenance Service can be made – “Direct Pay” or “Collect and Pay”.


How does the Child Maintenance Service calculate child maintenance?

After you apply for child maintenance the Child Maintenance Service will contact HM Revenue & Customs to find out the other parent’s income.


How to complain about the Child Maintenance Service

You can make a complaint about the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) if you’re unhappy with the service you’ve had from them.


Maintenance when you and your children’s other parent share their care

Shared care is where a child stays overnight with the parent who pays maintenance. This affects the amount of child maintenance the Child Maintenance Service calculates is payable to you.


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