What is child maintenance
Child maintenance is money given to the parent who has the most care of their children from the other parent. Child maintenance does not affect any benefits you may be receiving such as housing benefit or universal credit.
How much you get
How much you get depends on the income of the parent paying child maintenance, and how much overnight care they provide. Every night the children stay with their other parent reduces the amount of child maintenance they have to pay you by 1/7. The amount is also affected if the parent paying child maintenance has children in another family.
How to arrange child maintenance payments
Where possible the best way to arrange child maintenance is for both parents to talk to each other and agree an amount. This can be any amount that you are both happy with, although there is likely to be a certain amount of compromise required from both sides.
If you cannot agree you can contact Child Maintenance Options for guidance on what to do next. They can also use a formula to give you a rough idea of the maintenance you can expect to receive based on the information you give them. This is free of charge.
If after talking to Child Maintenance Options you still cannot agree about child maintenance they can refer you to the Child Maintenance Service.
The Child Maintenance Service can do a formal calculation and arrange for the collection and payment of child maintenance however there are charges to use this service.
For more information:
See the Child Maintenance Arrangements advice guide
Call the Lone Parent Helpline on 0808 801 0323
Contact Child Maintenance Options on 0800 988 0988 or see www.cmoptions.org