How much is child maintenance? Child maintenance is money that is used to help pay for your child’s living costs and it’s paid for by the parent who doesn’t ordinarily live with the child to the parent who has the majority of the day-to-day care of the child.
Finding a solution that works for both parents and the child is the most important thing but it’s also important to know what child maintenance you will be required to pay.
How Does Child Maintenance Work?
Child maintenance is often referred to as child support, and you can get it if:
- You’re the main carer for the child
- The other parent doesn’t live with you as part of your family
A child is defined as either someone who’s under 16 or under 20 if they’re in approved education or training.
You’ll need to pay child maintenance if all of the below conditions are met:
- You are the child’s biological or adoptive parent
- You don’t live with the child as part of their family
- You are the child’s legal parent
Child maintenance is usually a regular payment, often monthly, towards your child’s everyday living costs, and could also be payment towards bills or rent for the home in which your child lives.
You don’t need to pay tax on any child maintenance you receive, and if you’re a taxpayer then you won’t be eligible for any tax relief on the child maintenance payments you make.
How Much Child Maintenance Will I Need To Pay?
Many factors contribute to how much you’ll be required to pay, but it’s always best to arrange child maintenance directly with the other parent.
This might not be possible if the relationship has deteriorated or there’s reluctance from one parent, and in this case, it might be wise to seek legal advice.
If you’re getting divorced or ending a civil partnership, then a child arrangement might be a part of your discussions and arrangements.
You can ask the Child Maintenance Service for a ruling on the amount of child maintenance to be paid, and it’s worth noting that in any calculation you’ll need to provide information on:
- How much the paying parent earns
- How many children the paying parent is or will be paying maintenance for
- How many nights a week the child spends with the paying parent
- If any other children live with the paying parent
The default child maintenance payment is £38 per week for 1 child, £51 for 2 children, and £61 for 3 or more children.
However, it’ll depend on your individual circumstances, the other parent’s situation, and whether your child has any additional needs.
It’s also worth noting that if the parent who has is on certain benefits, then the other parent will receive a maximum of £7 per week.
Eligible benefits include:
- Carer’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
- State Pension
- Universal Credit is calculated on the basis that they have no income
How Should Child Maintenance Be Paid?
There are two options for how child maintenance can be paid:
- Direct pay – payments go directly from the paying parent to the parent caring for the child
- Via the CMS – this is known as collect and pay, and means money is transferred via the CMS
If you’re intending to set up a direct payment, then you can make your own arrangements. This could be money paid directly into your bank account.
You might be required to go to court to arrange child maintenance – this will be necessary if the parent paying maintenance either:
- Lives outside the UK
- Earns more than £3,000 per week and you want to top up the maintenance you receive
If your child has a disability and there are extra costs involved OR if the other parent is seeking additional child maintenance payments to help cover costs associated with their education, then they’ll need to go to court to ask for more maintenance.
Child Maintenance Solicitors Near Me
Your children always come first.
Finding an amicable and workable agreement on Child Maintenance is crucial to your relationship with your child.
At Solicitors Near Me, we are here to help you with your Child Maintenance situation and we know just how important it is to find the right solicitor for you.
We connect you with specialist solicitors FREE of charge without any obligation.
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to work with the solicitor we connect you with or not and up until that point, there’s no cost involved.
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