How is child maintenance paid?
Last updated: 16/03/2022
You can choose how your child maintenance is paid.
How child maintenance from a private arrangement is paid
If you and your child’s other parent have agreed on a private arrangement for child maintenance you can decide between you how it should be paid.
It can be paid into your bank account or in cash. A bank account would give you both proof of how much and how often child maintenance is paid.
If child maintenance payments are not made as expected you can contact the Child Maintenance Service for help.
How child maintenance calculated by the Child Maintenance Service is paid
After the Child Maintenance Service has calculated how much you should be paid you can decide to have payments made by direct pay or collect and pay
With a direct pay arrangement it is up to you and your child’s other parent how and when child maintenace is paid. This could be into your bank account or in cash. If child maintenance is paid into your bank account you will have a record of payments.
If child maintenance payments are not made as expected you can change to the collect and pay service.
Collect and pay
You can use the collect and pay service if you want the Child Maintenance Service to collect maintenance from your child’s other parent and pay it into your bank account. You may prefer to use this service if you do not want any contact with your child’s other parent or if they have been abusive.
Both you and your child’s other parent will have to pay collection fees. The parent paying will have to pay a collection fee equal to 20% of the calculated child maintenance. The receiving parent will have 4% of their child maintenance deducted before they receive it.
If the parent paying child maintenance does not make regular payments, the Child Maintenance Service can take action to recover them. The parent paying child maintenance will have to pay enforcement charges if this happens.