What is child maintenance?
Child maintenance helps with providing for your child and their everyday living costs.
Child maintenance is ordinarily paid from the non resident parent to the parent the child lives with. However, if both parents share the day to day responsibilities with your child, then you may be able to come to an agreement between yourselves about how best to provide for your child financially.
Why child maintenance is important?
Right now you might not feel comfortable enough to discuss child maintenance with your former partner, but when you are able to do so it is a good idea to have a conversation about how you are both going to move forward.
Child maintenance is important as it allows your child to receive the same level of financial support as they may have enjoyed before their parents separated which can assist in funding the purchase of food, clothing, school supplies, hobbies etc.
Paying child maintenance for a child is a legal responsibility, so it is important to be aware of what can be expected whether you are required to make payment for one of your children or where you are eligible to receive payment for a child living with you.
How to arrange child maintenance
If you and your former partner are able to come to an arrangement between you then it is likely to be the quickest and best option. The terms of that agreement can be incorporated into a family-based arrangement which may also set out arrangements for the care of the child.This arrangement is a private way to organise matters without any other organisation being involved.
If it is not possible to agree matters then it may be necessary to contact the Child Maintenance Service. There is likely to be an application fee which will be payable and there may be ongoing costs associated dependent upon how the payments are to be paid. The Child Maintenance Service can calculate how much maintenance you will be required to pay or to receive depending on your individual circumstances.
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