Child maintenance is financial support between separated parents to help with the everyday costs of looking after children. If they agree, separated parents can privately arrange child maintenance themselves. This is called a ‘family based arrangement’. Child maintenance can also be arranged through the court system.
Effective family-based arrangements are set up by parents themselves and can be:
Regular payments where at least some of the agreed amount is always/usually received on time and the surveyed parent thinks the arrangement is working very well or fairly well.
Occasional financial payments or transactions in kind (e.g. school uniform) where the surveyed parent thinks the arrangement is working very well or fairly well.
The Child Maintenance Service (CMS), which replaces the Child Support Agency (CSA), is for when the parents can’t agree to a family-based arrangement. Parents wishing to use the Child Maintenance Service must first speak to Child Maintenance Options. This is a free service that provides impartial information and support to help separated parents make decisions about their child maintenance arrangements.
The report provides data up to December 2016 on numbers and percentages of effective family-based arrangements made by separated parents after contact with the Child Maintenance Options service.
It shows that 16,900 children (representing 16% of clients) are benefiting from effective family-based arrangements made after contact with Child Maintenance Options between August to October 2016.