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What is child maintenance

Child maintenance is about providing help with a child’s everyday living costs.  This includes things like food and clothes, and helping provide a home for your children.

Child maintenance is usually money that the parent without the main day-to-day care of a child pays to the other parent.  However, sharing the care of your children and buying things directly for them can also be included in a family-based child maintenance arrangement, if both parents agree to it.

It’s essential that both parents work together to agree what’s right for them and their children.

Why child maintenance is important

At the moment you may feel unable to discuss child maintenance with the other parent or, you just might not want to.

However child maintenance can make a real difference to children as it can help pay for things like clothing, food and other essentials.  It can  help keep both parents involved in their children’s lives.

Whatever type of maintenance arrangement you put in place, it’s important to remember that it can help give a child the best start in life and continues until your child reaches adulthood.

It’s also important to remember that paying child maintenance for your child is a legal responsibility.

How to arrange child maintenance

Almost 4 in 10 families choose to make an arrangement between themselves, by agreeing the amount and type of child maintenance.  This is known as a family based arrangement.

If you can’t agree, or if an arrangement between parents isn’t working, there are other ways to arrange child maintenance.

You could apply to the statutory child maintenance service, which can set up and arrangement for you.  You’ll need to contact us before you can apply.

In some cases you can also use the courts.

Child Maintenance Choices

  • Child Maintenance Choices
Child Maintenance Choices