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Child Maintenance

When parents separate, child maintenance is a payment made by the "non resident" parent (ie the parent who the child spends the least time living with) to provide financial support towards a child's living costs. The non resident parent pays a regular sum of money towards support of their child to the parent/person with majority care.

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) is responsible for administrating and enforcing payments. Before 2012, this was done by the Child Support Agency.

Getting child maintenance arrangements right is very important, whether you're paying or receiving. Over the years it can add up to a lot of money and make a lot of difference to the lives of you and your child.

  • Child Support / Child Maintenance - what's the difference?

    Child Support / Child Maintenance - what's the difference?

    In 2012, Child Support became Child Maintenance and many of the rules changed. To avoid disruption, payments agreed before 2012 (under CSA) remained the same, so people with more than one child might be… Read more

  • CMS - 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme

    CMS - 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme

    The Child Support Agency (CSA) has now been replaced by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) for new applications. In order for the CMS to have jurisdiction, you, your child and your child’s other parent… Read more

  • Shared Care - all CMS Schemes

    Shared Care - all CMS Schemes

    How shared care affects an assessment for child support Shared care is the term used to describe a situation where one or more people who live in different households look after a particular qualifying… Read more

  • Parents to pay for CMS

    Parents to pay for CMS

    In June 2014, the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) introduced charges for people using their services. The intention is that it will encourage the people involved to make family based arrangements rather than use the… Read more

  • No Image

    My Ex is lying to the CMS

    My ex earns more than he declares!... "If someone is in receipt of benefits and doing work illegally, this is benefit fraud and a completely different set of rules apply" -  Child Maintenance Expert Jean… Read more

  • No Image

    My ex isn't paying child maintenance!

    How do I get my ex to pay after the CMS has assessed? Our Child Maintenance expert's response... Assuming that there is a maintenance assessment in force; they have an obligation to make payments.… Read more

  • CMS - Unique Reference Identifier (URI)

    CMS - Unique Reference Identifier (URI)

    Before you can enter the Gateway to using the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) you have to have a Unique Reference Identifier (URI). There are several ways to obtain the URI 1. By calling the… Read more

  • CSA Case Closure Programme

    CSA Case Closure Programme

    The Child Support Agency (CSA) was replaced by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) in 2012 and for people who have cases assessed under the 1993 and 2003 Schemes there is a programme of closure… Read more