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Parents have two options to deal with child maintenance; either to reach an agreement between themselves or to approach the Child Support Agency (CSA). If a couple are divorcing or going through a dissolution, they can incorporate agreement into their court order as part of the overall settlement.

Child Maintenance refers to regular financial support – weekly, monthly or yearly – paid by a parent to the other to help with the day-to-day living costs of a child. It is for children who are under 16 or under 20 and still in full-time school or college education (this stops if a child goes to university).

Child Maintenance can be arranged between the two parents, but if it cannot be achieved this way, an organisation such as the CSA or Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will work out how much should be paid. These statutory child maintenance services can also collect payments and pass them on.

Private Agreements

If parents can agree on the amount and frequency of maintenance, it can be recorded in a written document. This option is useful when both parents trust each other and are honest about their financial situations. However, it is important to note that this agreement is not legally binding and therefore one parent cannot be held to the terms of the agreement should they decide to change their mind.

Using the CSA or CMS

These organisations help a lot of parents to resolve questions of Child Maintenance. There are four different types of rates that one parent (the paying parent) pays to the other (the receiving parent). The receiving parent looks after the everyday care of a child and the paying parent doesn’t.

The four different rates of pay are depend on the circumstance of the paying parent. They are called:

  • Nil rate
  • Flat rate
  • Reduced rate
  • Basic rate

Court Agreements

A Court Agreement can only be used as part of a dissolution or divorce proceedings. This type of agreement is largely the same as a private agreement, however, the major difference is that it is recorded and approved by the court as an Order, which is legally binding.

How can Gorvins help?

If you are having difficulty reaching an agreement concerning children or would like more information about applying for a Child Arrangement Order please contact one of our family law solicitors on 0161 930 5151, e-mail or fill in our online form at the top of this page.

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Meet the Family Law team

  • Kerry Lees-Russell

    Senior Associate
    Family Law

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  • Nicola Fraser

    Partner & Head of Family
    Family Law

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  • Rachel Edwards Barrott

    Associate Solicitor
    Family Law

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What Family Law services do we offer

  • Child Arrangement Orders

    Gorvins Family Law solicitors are specialists in children matters and will guide you through the process...

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  • Children Matters

    When a relationship breaks down, the continued happiness and well-being of your children is of utmost importance.

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  • Civil Partnership Dissolution

    Gorvins team of Family Law Solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with the breakdown of same sex relationships...

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  • Cohabitation Disputes and Unmarried Couples

    Cohabitation is a popular arrangement for many and it is therefore important to understand your rights

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  • Divorce and Relationship Breakdown

    Divorce is the legal process that brings an end to a marriage that has broken down.

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  • Financial and Property Matters

    A Financial Settlement ensure any property or assets you own jointly together are sorted out to avoid future issues...

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