If you’re trying to find out how much child maintenance you or your ex-partner can expect to pay, then look no further. Cordell & Cordell’s child maintenance calculator will help to give you an estimated cost.

Child Maintenance Calculator - Cordell & Cordell

Age 1 of 4

How old are you?

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Income 2 of 4

What is your weekly gross income?

This figure should be before Tax and National Insurance is taken but after pension contributions have been deducted.
Please note there is an income cap of £3,000 per week. Any income above this amount will not be taken into account.
£ Input cannot be empty

Do you get any of the below benefits?

In Scotland, this also includes: Skillseekers training, War Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension.
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • State Pension
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Training Allowance
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Payments
  • War Disablement Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Widowed Parent's Allowance
  • Widow's Pension
  • Universal Credit With No Earned Income
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Children 3 of 4

How many children are you paying child maintenance for?

If children are from different partners, make a separate calculation for each.

How many other children live in your household?

Excluding the child you are paying maintenance for.
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Shared Care 4 of 4

On average, how many nights a week do your children stay overnight with you?

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Not eligible

Based on your answers no child maintenance is due.

This is because you are not eligible to pay child maintenance.

Contact a legal professional for further information on child maintenance.

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No amount to pay

Based on your answers no child maintenance is due.

This is because you are receiving benefits, have a gross weekly income less than £7 or have shared care of your child(ren).

This calculator provides an estimate. The exact amount the Child Maintenance Service would calculate might be different. Contact a legal professional for further information on child maintenance.

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Amount to pay:

Based on your answers the child maintenance payment is £0.00 per week.

This is the total weekly amount that needs to be paid, not the amount per child. You don't have to pay an application fee if you're in Northern Ireland.

Depending on how you arrange your child maintenance, fees may be added to this amount.

This calculator provides an estimate. The exact amount the Child Maintenance Service would calculate might be different. Contact a legal professional for further information on child maintenance.

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The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has recently replaced the Child Support Agency (CSA). Around 90% of CSA cases have been transferred over to the CMS while the remaining 10% have been closed down as they were old cases.

However, 70% of the closed cases still have unpaid arrears attached to them. In fact, there’s almost £4bn of outstanding arrears.

This isn’t solely due to CMS’s failure to collect payments, though. Some parents just aren’t making their child maintenance payments. It would be easy to blame this on fathers, as is often the case in the press, but the lack of payment is happening on both sides.

See our page on child custody for more information. To find out more about what rights fathers have during child custody then read our article here on fathers rights.

About Child Maintenance

Child maintenance is the amount of money that is needed to contribute to your child’s upbringing. It’s paid to the person that takes care of your child on a day-to-day basis. The amount due depends on whether the child lives with you and how often they stay with you overnight. It is the responsibility of the Non-Resident Parent (NRP) to pay child maintenance for their child. If you still have a good relationship with your ex-partner, you may be able to arrange child maintenance outside court. This is called a ‘family-based arrangement’. If you go down this route, ensure that you keep copies of your paperwork in case a dispute ever arises. If you can’t come to an agreement privately, you can go down the formal route and use the CMS.

Applying For Child Maintenance

Child Maintenance Options (CMO) can help you determine the best option for you and your ex-partner before you submit your application to the CMS. For example, you might want to go for Direct Pay, which is when the child maintenance is paid directly to the Parent With Care (PWC) on a daily basis. As the Non-Resident Parent (NRP) you can also elect to pay the child maintenance to the CMS, which will pass it on to the PWC. This is a paid-for service.

Unpaid Child Maintenance

Your child maintenance payments need to be maintained to ensure that your child’s welfare isn’t affected. If you fail to make payments, the CMS has the authority to collect the unpaid funds from you using the following methods:
  • Deduct the money owed from your salary, benefits or bank account
  • Instruct bailiffs to take your possessions to the value of the money owed
  • Revoke your driver’s license
  • Enforce imprisonment

Need Payment Advice?

If you need advice on child maintenance, Cordell & Cordell is the partner that you can trust. Get in touch today.

Child maintenance consists of financial aid that one parent – the non-resident parent (NRP) – pays to the parent with care (PWC) of the child or children after divorce. Child maintenance aims to divide the child(ren)’s everyday living costs when they live with just one parent.

Child maintenance covers the cost of the everyday care of the child, such as food, clothes, and housing. Expenses such as school fees do not fall under child maintenance – parents who are getting a divorce can make a “Family Based Arrangement” to deal with costs like this.

In contrast to child maintenance, family-based arrangements are not a legal responsibility. Parents can come to a family-based arrangement between the two of them or with the help of mediation. The advantages of family-based arrangements are that they are very flexible, meaning that they can easily adapt to changing needs if both parties are willing to collaborate. The disadvantage is that they aren’t legally enforceable, which means they require the relationship between both parties to be amicable and collaborative.

The costs of school fees, day trips, toys, hobbies and holidays are usually allocated by family-based arrangements.

There are several factors that need to be considered by the Child Maintenance Service when calculating child maintenance payments. The calculation for a non-resident parent is based on:

  • Your age
  • Your weekly gross income
  • Any benefits that you might receive
  • How many children you are paying child maintenance for
  • How many children live in your household
  • How many times a year the children stay overnight with you

If you’re arranging child maintenance privately with your ex-partner you can work out the amount directly between you; however, this kind of agreement isn’t legally binding. If you can’t come to an agreement regarding how much child maintenance you should pay, you can ask the Child Maintenance Service to calculate the amount for you. The payments will be based on the factors listed above.

Parents have a legal responsibility to financially support their children after separation. For example, a father will be required to pay child maintenance to the primary care giver even if the relationship has broken down. Regardless of whether a parent has contact with the child, they will still be legally responsible for child support.

Some of our clients want to know how to reduce child maintenance payments when their and/or their partner’s financial situation changes. Indeed, when there is a substantial change in income or wealth available to either parent, it may be possible to make changes to the amount of child maintenance with the help of a divorce solicitor.

In principle, new partnerships do not affect child maintenance arrangements, regardless of whether one of the parents enters into a marriage or a civil partnership. However, the level of payments can be adjusted if, for example, either of your income levels change.

Child Maintenance Service is unable to recover past payments agreed to via either voluntary or involuntary arrangements. However, it may be possible to recover missed payments through the courts via civil legal action.

Child maintenance payments usually stop when the child in question is 16 years old. If the child is in full-time education up to A-level or equivalent, payments stop once they reach 20.

There are other exceptional circumstances that define when you can stop paying child maintenance, for example:

  • When the parent being paid stops being the child’s main carer
  • When the receiving parent doesn’t want to receive the payments anymore
  • When either parent dies
  • When the parent who makes the payments is eligible for the “nil rate” – for example, if they are below 16, receive certain benefits or allowances, are a student, are a prisoner or live in a care home or independent hospital
  • When the child stops being eligible for Child Benefit

Visit cordellcordell.co.uk for more information on child maintenance.