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Everything you need to know about the Child Maintenance Service

The financial responsibility for children alongside family arrangements can be complex.

Are you concerned about the sustainability of your finances while also balancing emotional distress?

What is the Child Maintenance Service?

The Child Maintenance Service is set up for all parents across the UK in order to provide for child living costs. This includes parents who are divorced, separated or who were never in a relationship.

Usually, only one parent will pay these costs and the amount can be calculated by the Child Maintenance Service.

How to arrange child maintenance

If both parents can agree, child maintenance can be agreed privately between parents.

If not, the Child Maintenance Service can work out an amount to pay.

Alternatively, child maintenance can also arrange payments and act if a parent does not pay or sort out disagreements about parentage.

There are also services to try to find the other parent if you do not know where they are.

What is taken into consideration?

There are several factors which are taken into consideration when child maintenance payments are decided.

These include financial status of both parents, the earnings of the provider, the amount of time that the child(ren) spend overnight with the paying parent, and the presence of any other relevant children.

Who are you responsible to pay for?

There are requirements for children who must receive child maintenance support.

This includes children who are:

  • Under the age of 16
  • Under 20 and in full-time education up to and including A-Level or equivalent

These payments are legally required regardless of whether you are in contact with your child or not.

Child maintenance is required even if you are not listed as a parent on the child’s birth certificate, but the child is yours. Unless you can prove the child is not yours.

How much are child maintenance payments?

Payments are typically around 12 per cent of the gross weekly income for one child. This figure increases depending on the number of children.

Any income over £100 a week is taken into account for child maintenance.

The payments are often made on a monthly basis and must be made for a limited time or until one parent remarries or dies.

You can calculate your child maintenance here.

For advice on related matters, please get in touch with our family law team today

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