How Child Maintenance Choices help families
If you’re a separated parent, you’ll need to pay the other parent child maintenance or receive it from them. Child Maintenance Choices can help you decide the best child maintenance arrangement for your family. They can give advice and explain how to set up an informal child maintenance arrangement.
What Child Maintenance Choices do
Child Maintenance Choices can:
- explain ways to put in place a child maintenance arrangement, if you don’t already have one
- help you check if the child maintenance arrangement you have is suitable for you and your child
- use the online calculator to advise you how much child maintenance should be paid to you
- put you in contact with the Child Maintenance Service
Separated parents agree child maintenance payments
Some separated parents are able to agree how much child maintenance is needed and how often child maintenance is paid. They have a family-based agreement for child maintenance. It’s an informal agreement.
The parent who doesn’t have the day-to-day care (the ‘paying parent’) pays child maintenance to the parent or person who does (the ‘receiving parent’).
If you’re the paying or receiving parent, you can ask Child Maintenance Choices about your child maintenance agreement. They can check if it’s a suitable arrangement for you and your children.
Separated parents don’t agree child maintenance payments
Sometimes separated parents cannot agree how much child maintenance should be paid.
If you’re the parent looking after the children most of the time, you’ll need to apply for a formal payment arrangement through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). You can only do this through Child Maintenance Choices.
Child Maintenance Service
When you apply for child maintenance from the other parent, Child Maintenance Service will ask for information about your children and the other parent.
They’ll set up formal arrangements to make sure the other parent pays you regular child maintenance. They can also enforce payments from the other parent if they stop paying.
Getting advice about other child maintenance problems
Parents who live apart often deal with other family or personal problems such as:
Contact Child Maintenance Choices
Child Maintenance Choices can give you information about advice and support organisations.