Child maintenance is basically providing support for your child’s everyday cost of living when parents decide to separate from each other. The partners can agree to arrange child maintenance. This method is normally known as a family-based arrangement. This is the most private way to Amicably arrange child maintenance. This method allows the parent to arrange everything by themselves without the intervention of the Child Maintenance Service.
If the two of you cannot agree on a family-based arrangement, then the child maintenance service is your next option. You can contact the child maintenance for help. However, you will have to pay some fee to get this Service. There are also some additional fees that may apply, and this may involve a collection fee, so if you choose to go for this service, then you should be prepared.
What Child Maintenance Service can do for you
- The service can help you locate the other parent if you are not aware of where they live to help you sort out your child maintenance.
- They can help you settle any disagreements about the child parentage.
- They can help you estimate your maintenance cost.
- Pass payments to the parent who has the day to day care of the child.
- They can help in reviewing the payment amount each year.
- And if the payments are not made as agreed, then they can take action.
- Children under 16 years.
- Under 20 and are studying.
- Children under 20 staying with a parent who has registered for child benefits are the only ones eligible for child maintenance.
- Those eligible for child maintenance.
- The parent who lives with the child.
- The child’s guardian.
Who are not eligible?
You cannot apply for those services if the child and the receiving parent live outside the UK.
It can be paid by:
- Direct debit and the service managing this case can help you set it up.
- Directly from the earnings of the paying parent, the service sorting this out will help in arranging this with their employer.
- It can also be paid directly between the two parents.
The payments are always made directly to the bank account of the receiving parent.
Directly paying for the child maintenance. Once the amount has been worked out by the child maintenance service, you can then make your payment arrangements when the two of you agree. And if the two of you agree then it is called:
- Maintenance direct if you are using the CSA.
- Direct pay if you are using the child maintenance service.
How to pay maintenance
The easiest way to make the payment is by standing order payment going directly to the receiving parent’s bank account. Building society. Or into the receiving parent’s post office account
If there are any missed payments, then child maintenance service can help to enforcing it. It is advisable that you keep records of these payments, in case of missed payments and you have to pursuit the debt.
Either of the parents can choose to make the payment directly, well, unless there is evidence that the paying parent may fail to pay.
If the receiving parent is using the child maintenance service, then the child maintenance service will arrange the payment based on the time when the paying parent will be paid his or her wage, benefits or pension. And this is referred to as:
- Collect and pay, and this is if you are using the child maintenance service
- And if you are using the CSA, then it is known as the full collection service
If you get a direct payment from the other parent when you are signed up for the collect and pay service, then you have to inform the child maintenance service.
If you are using the collect and pay service, then you will have to pay for collection fees.
Child Maintenance Service Fees
These are fees you will have to pay while receiving the payment.
- The paying parents will have to pay a fee of 20% in addition to their child maintenance payment.
- And a fee of 4% will have to be deducted from the maintenance payment.
However, if you choose to go for a family-based arrangement, these fees will not apply. If the child support agency is handling your case, then you will also not need to pay for these fees.
Paying parents are normally provided with a letter indicating how much they have to pay and when the payment should be made while receiving parents receive a letter indicating what the payment is for and when it will be payed. If paying parents fail to pay there maintenance, then they will be required to fully pay for it immediately.
- Old Child Support Agency Claims 0843 455 0071
- Child Maintenance Service 0843 455 0070
- Child Maintenance Options 0843 455 0030