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Child Maintenance

Child Maintenance is financial support between separated parents to help towards your child’s everyday living costs.

Parents can make a Child Maintenance arrangement privately between themselves or through a mediator.

Coming to an agreement yourselves

You and your ex-partner can arrange child maintenance yourself if you can agree. This is called a ‘family-based arrangement’. This is a private way to sort out child maintenance.

Parents arrange everything themselves and you could both agree that the paying parent pays:

  • a proportion of their income
  • for things like school clothes instead of giving money
  • a regular set amount directly to the parent with care

If you agree to make regular payments, you can use the child maintenance calculator to help you decide how much payments should be.

Get help to make an arrangement

You can get advice from the Child Maintenance Service Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm by:

For a fee, you can apply the Child Maintenance Service to:

  • work out child maintenance payment amounts
  • arrange for the other parent to pay child maintenance and take action if payments are not made
  • help find the other parent
  • sort out disagreements about parentage
  • look at the payments if changes in parents’ circumstances are reported

Citizens Advice have lots of information and advice to help you get started.