Maintenance when you share the care of your children with their other parent

Last updated: 05/04/2022

Shared care is where your child stays overnight with their other parent. This may affect the amount of child maintenance you receive.

You and your child’s other parent can decide on the amount of maintenance to be paid if you have a private child maintenance agreement. You can still do this if you share their care.

If child maintenance has been arranged by the Child Maintenance Service they will use a formula to calculate how much maintenance you receive. Child maintenance is reduced depending on the number of nights your child stays with their other parent. This only happens if child maintenance is paid at the basic, basic rate plus or reduced rate. Child maintenance paid at the flat rate is affected differently.

If care of you child is shared equally, neither parent has to pay child maintenance.



How child maintenance is reduced


52 to 103 nights with other parent

Reduction = 1/7th


104 to 155 nights with other parent

Reduction = 2/7ths


156 to 174 nights with other parent

Reduction = 3/7ths


175 nights or more with other parent

Reduction = Half

If there is a dispute about the number of nights the children stay with their other parent, and no agreement is in place, the Child Maintenance Service will assume one night per week, resulting in a reduction of one-seventh in the maintenance payment.