Child Maintenance is an arrangement between you and the other parent of your child. It covers how your child’s living costs will be paid for when one of the parents no longer lives with them. It’s made when you’ve separated from the other parent (or if you’ve never been in a relationship).
Both parents are responsible for the costs of raising their children, even if they do not see them. Making agreements about access to your children happens separately.
Child maintenance can be either:
- a private arrangement between you and the other parent
- made through the Child Maintenance Service - a government scheme
You need to have child maintenance arrangements for children under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in approved education or training). If you make a private arrangement you can continue paying after then.
Child Maintenance Arrangements
Find out more about the Child Maintenance Service and making arrangements, including:
- Making and getting payments
- what to do if a parent does not pay
- changes you need to report
- disagreements about parentage
- complaints and appeals