Child Maintenance is a mandatory payment paid by the parent who does not have day-to-day care of the child, payable weekly or monthly until the child is at least 16 years old. The money comes out of your wages or benefits before you receive them.

If the child goes on to Further Education, payments continue until they are 19 years old. You can also make family-arrangements, where both parents agree on the amount and frequency of the payments.

How does paying Child Maintenance affect me?

  • if you are on benefits, the current payment is £5 per week, deducted from your benefits before you receive them
  • if you earn money from employment, 15% of your wages will go to the first child, 20% for two children and 25% for three children
  • failure to pay results in Child Support Agency enforcement: this can mean court summons, liability orders, and visits from the bailiffs

Source: Child Support Agency helpline


Read more

  • What is child maintenance? @ Child Maintenance Options

    Excerpt: Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support that helps towards a child’s everyday living costs. The parent without the main day-to-day care of the child pays child maintenance to the other parent. Child maintenance can make a real difference to children and give them the best start in life as it can help pay for things like clothing, food or other essentials. It could also help keep both parents involved with their children’s lives.