What is child maintenance?

Last updated: 03/08/2022

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.

Both parents are legally responsible for the financial costs of bringing up their children. The parents do not need to have been married or in a civil partnership and the father’s name does not need to be on the child’s birth certificate.

Child maintenance is normally paid while the parent who looks after the child get Child Benefit for them. This can be up to the age of 20.

The amount of child maintenance paid can be decided by the parents, through a solicitor or the Child Maintenance Service.