PO Box 30,
Child Support Agency CSA National Helpline,
PO Box 55,
Reasons to call the Child Support contact number
You may call the Child Support contact number if:
There are disagreements about a child’s parentage
You wish to apply for child maintenance
You need to report a change in circumstances for an existing claim, such as parents’ names; bank account details; a change of address or a change of income
You want to report a non-payment of Child Maintenance
You want to change your payment collection service (if you are a paying parent)
You wish to close your case.
Child Support Calculator
The Child Maintenance calculator helps you to see how much child support you are eligible for because it varies from person to person and family and family depending on a number of factors. The Child Maintenance calculator is quick and easy to use and can be found on the Government website. If you are unsure of where to find it you can call the Child Support contact number and an adviser will inform you of how much you are entitled to. Your Child Maintenance allowance is calculated using a number of factors including, your income, your partner’s income and how many children you have. If you are parents that are divorced and are currently co-parenting, the Child Maintenance calculator can also help you to decide how much child maintenance one parent should pay the other and this is based on factors such as how much time the children spend with the paying parent and whether the paying parent has other children in a different relationship/circumstance that they are also required to pay for. Sometimes, the calculation of Child Support/Maintenance can be difficult when parents cannot agree, so if you are having any problems coming to an agreement, then you can call the Child Support contact number for advice with what action to take next.
Child Support Payments
There is not necessarily a set amount of child support that any parent is expected to pay when providing for their child, and if you have come to a mutual agreement within the family then you can simply decide how much one parent pays the other in child support. it is a good idea to check what you agree and compare to what the law says the official child maintenance should be. However, if you can’t agree and need it to be settled outside of the family unit then a payment can be based on how much you are earning. If you are not earning and have an income of less than £7 per week then you are not required to pay any child maintenance. Similarly, you will pay a flat rate of £5 if you earn between £7-100 a week, the same if you are claiming benefits. The rates then increase going from a reduced rate, a basic rate, and a basic plus, where the person making the payment will pay a flat rate on the lower half of their income and a percentage on the higher. For example, if you earn between £800-3000 weekly then you will pay a basic rate based on the £800 then a percentage of whatever you earn after that. If you are having difficulty understanding who should be paying what and how much when it comes to Child Support please call the contact number where it can be explained in further depth. There can be other elements that affect the amount of payment received such as how many children you and your partner have, such as a 12% deduction in your weekly income for one child, 14% for two and 16% for 3. As well as this, there is the amount of time the person making the payment spends with each child as previously mentioned, which is based on the amount of nights in the year. For example, 52 – 103 nights will mean that child maintenance is reduced by 1/7 for each child. If you would like to know the full scale of this, please call the contact number.
International Child Support
If you come to a family-based agreement there is no reason why you cannot arrange for child support if one parent lives abroad in the same way you would if both were living in the same country. However, if an agreement cannot be made and you choose to take the legal route then the payments will depend on whether or not the parent paying lives abroad permanently, lives their temporarily/is working there for British organisations. If you would like help in enforcing the payment of child maintenance then you can call the contact number.
Who can apply for Child Maintenance?
You can apply to receive Child Maintenance if you have a child or a grandchild who is under 16, or under 20 and in full-time education (up until A-level or equivalent). You do not need to be living with the child – just its registered parent.
Child Maintenance is financial support towards the everyday costs of raising your child(ren) when you have separated from the other parent.
It is preferable that you and your ex-partner can reach a family-based arrangement over how your child will be supported. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement privately, the Child Maintenance Service can work out how much Child Maintenance should be paid by each parent and/or help with collecting payment if necessary.
Why has the Child Support Agency stopped accepting new cases?
The Child Support Agency now only handles existing cases. New cases are dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service.
The Child Maintenance Service will charge a fee for parents who are unable to come to a mutual arrangement privately. To apply for Child Maintenance you will need to pay a £20 application fee, plus any enforcement charges made against you if you refuse to pay Child Maintenance. There are some circumstances which may excuse you from paying to use the Child Maintenance Service.
The Child Maintenance Service can take action against parents who refuse to pay by finding out why they haven’t paid and collecting any backdated payments they owe if necessary. If a parent’s failure to pay is found to be deliberate, they can be charged up to £300.
How is Child Maintenance paid?
Child Maintenance can be paid directly to the receiving parent, or taken automatically from the paying parent’s earnings every month. The Child Maintenance Service (or Child Support Agency) can also set up a direct debit on the paying parent’s behalf.
If you wish to come to a private arrangement with your ex-partner, Child Maintenance Options can provide help and advice on how much maintenance should be paid and how often. This advice is objective and confidential and there are no fees to pay.
If you are using the Child Maintenance Service or the Child Support Agency to sort out payments, you will not need to talk to your ex-partner and payments will be sent to the receiving parent’s bank account.
If you opt for the Direct Pay route (direct debit or standing order) no extra fees will be applied. However, if you use the Collect and Pay service, paying parents will have to pay a 20% fee on top of each Child Maintenance payment. Receiving parents will have a 4% fee deducted from their payment.
About Child Support
Child Support is a payment that is made by one parent when a separation occurs and children are involved. It is the law that child support is paid by the person who is not the child’s full- time carer. Child Support can be paid either directly or indirectly to the payee. Typically, a non-custodial parent may pay child support to a custodial parent.
More information on Child Support, Child Maintenance and using these services can be found on the government’s Child Maintenance website pages.
You can also call the Child Support telephone number for guidance on using the Child Maintenance Service and your own personal circumstances.