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Child Maintenance

Child Maintenance can be complex. Click on the statement that describes your situation to get the right advice.


I want to start claiming child maintenance

and I think my child’s other parent and I can reach an agreement together

This is called a family based arrangement. See our factsheet and interactive advice for information on making family based arrangements.

but I think I will have problems getting my child’s other parent to pay

See our interactive advice for details on how to claim child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service, including how to apply safely if you have experienced domestic violence. See our factsheet on using the child maintenance service too.

and I have experienced domestic abuse

If you have experienced domestic abuse the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) should make sure you can make a claim for child maintenance safely. See our page on domestic abuse and claiming child maintenance.


I have received a letter

from the CSA telling me that my CSA case is being closed

The CSA is closing. Its being replaced with a new child maintenance service - see our guidance on what is happening and your options when your CSA case closes.


My child's other parent

was paying voluntarily but has now stopped paying

If your child’s other parent has stopped paying voluntarily you can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). The CMS will help you with your child maintenance collections and will ultimately collect payments for you if necessary.  See our factsheet on using the CMS and our interactive advice on what you need to do next.

was paying through the CSA or the CMS but has stopped paying

See our child maintenance enforcement information and our CSA enforcement factsheet.


I have arrears on my case

with the CSA

If you want to chase arrears through the Child Support Agency, see our factsheet on Enforcing payment of child maintenance through the CSA.

with the CMS (including transferred CSA arrears)

If you want to chase arrears through the Child Maintenance Service, see our factsheet Enforcing payment of child maintenance through the CMS

I want to challenge my calculation


I want to complain

about the way the CSA has handled my case

See our factsheet on how to complain to the CSA.

about the way the CMS has handled my case

See our factsheet on using the CMS – it has a section called “making a complaint about the Child Maintenance Service”.



Browse all our child maintenance information and tools:

Quick advice tools:

In depth guides:

Can’t find the answer online?

Call our free helpline for expert advice on arranging child maintenance

Please join our campaign for a fairer child maintenance service.