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

Last updated: 15/09/2020

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

Direct Pay

With a direct pay arrangement it is up to the parents to agree on how and when the money is paid. For example, this could be by standing order into your bank account, or in cash. You should keep a record of payments in case things go wrong.

Collect and Pay

If you are using a collect and pay arrangement the Child Maintenance Service will collect the payments from your child’s other parent and pay it to you. Both parents will have to pay collection fees. The paying parent will have to pay 20% on top of the regular maintenance payment. The receiving parent will also have to pay a fee of 4%, which will be deducted from the maintenance figure they receive.

If the paying parent doesn’t keep up with regular payments the Child Maintenance Service can take action to recover them. The paying parent will have to pay enforcement charges if this happens.