|Do we have to use the Child Maintenance Service? |
When parents separate, the parent who does not live with the children has a continuing duty to provide financial support for the children.
The Child Support Agency was set up to sort out these payments but is being phased out. The CSA will continue to deal with existing claims but will not accept new applications. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has been set up to take on this role.
This does not mean that the CMS always has to become involved and the aim is to promote arrangements which parents have agreed between themselves. You can get an idea of reasonable payments by using the child maintenance options calculator at http://www.cmoptions.org/en/calculator.
This type of arrangement can be great where parents are able to agree things, stick to the terms and do not need help. Where things are not agree or there are problems with payments, you can get additional help. The CSM can be used to calculate and arrange financial support for children living in separated families where agreement cannot be reached. However, if your family need to use the service there will be charges which will affect both parents.
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