Contact Child Maintenance Service
Call Child Maintenance for help with Payments, New Claims & Existing Claims. Helpline is open Mon-Fri–8:00am-8:00pm & Sat 9:00am-4:00pm.
Customer Service Hours
Pro Tips for contacting Child Maintenence Service:
Use the Child Maintenance Service if you are a single parent or guardian.
If you’re able to come to an agreement with the other parent of the child, you can make an arrangement without the help of the British government. This is known as a family-based arrangement.
Call the helpful advisors to get advice and impartial information on what the best option is for you to take.
Let the this service help you find the child’s other parent if you can’t.
CMS may be able to sort out disagreements about parentage.
CMS can take legal action if payments aren’t made after they were agreed upon.
CMS are able to work out how much should be paid
With this service, you are able to create an online account and manage the fees and other details from there.
Frequently asked questions:
How much are your fees?
There are application fees and enforcement charges as well as fees for collecting and paying out child maintenance. Call or go online to see how much these fees would be for you.
You won’t have to pay any fees, if you and the child’s other parent make their own arrangement.
You also won’t need to pay if your case is being dealt with by CSA (Child Support Agency).
However – the CSA only deals with existing cases, all new cases are handles by Child Maintenance Service.
Is my child eligible for Child Maintenance?
Your child is eligible if he/she is:
- Under 16 or under 20 but studying full time
Who else can use the service?
- A child living in Scotland that is over the age of 12
- The parent the child lives with
- The parent the child doesn’t live with
- Another guardian of the children
You can’t apply if the child and the parent who looks after the child, live abroad.
How do I make an application?
If you feel that you are eligible and you’ve qualified for this service, contact the Child Maintenance Options office and speak to an advisor.
What information will I need to give?
Details of the child that you are making the claim for – including the date of birth, full name and names of both parents.
Your bank account details so you are able to receive payments and your National Insurance number.
How long will it take to start receiving payments?
Although the application is usually completed within four weeks, it can take up to six weeks to receive your first payment. This is conditional on Child Maintenance Service finding the other parent.
What will happen if the absent parent doesn’t make a payment?
If a payment is missed, the absent parent will be notified and asked why the payment wasn’t made. CMS will then ask for the payment and warn them of further legal action if they don’t pay.
What is the Child Maintenance Service?
Child maintenance is a payment that you may receive which is intended to support you in raising your child, including paying for regular costs like food and drink, larger costs like education or clothing, and more. This is arranged when one parent has separated from the other.
You may wish to arrange Child Maintenance on your own if you can settle the terms and conditions with the other parent or your ex-husband or ex-wife or ex-civil partner. The government have a special term for this, calling it a family arrangement.
This has some benefits as it is private and less formal, and there is no need for legal intervention. If you wish to find out more about what this kind of child maintenance is and what options are available to you you may wish to speak to the agency themselves by calling the Child Maintenance Service number.
I can’t come to an agreement with my ex-partner, what do I do?
If you’re not able to come to a family arrangement where both parties agree to the terms, then you may wish to get in touch with the Child Maintenance Service, who can intervene and arrange a fair situation.
What can the Child Maintenance Service do?
The Child Maintenance Service may be able to offer you services including but not limited to some of the following:
The Service may be able to help you locate the place that the other parent of the child lives if you are out of contact with them. The CMS might be able to help find them and then help you arrange a child maintenance agreement.
The Service may also be able to help intermediate with disagreements about parental responsibilities, how much the parent should pay in child maintenance, and give payments to the parent who needs them. They may also be able to review and change the amount of payment if the circumstances of one or both parents change.
Finally, if payment of Child Maintenance is not paid on time, then the CMS can help you pursue this and help you take some form of action to recover Child Maintenance payments owed.
Call the Child Maintenance Service contact number if you need help with any of the above mentioned items.
What age does Child Maintenance apply to?
Child Maintenance is available for children who are aged sixteen years and below. That said, if your child is up to twenty years old and in full-time education that is of a lower level than A levels, then you may still be able to receive it.
There are several other circumstances under which payments may continue or stop altogether, so if you have questions along these lines you may wish to contact the responsible government agency.
Can I apply if I’m living outside of the UK?
Unfortunately you may not be eligible to apply for Child Maintenance even if you’re a British Citizen if you are living outside of the United Kingdom.
Does it cost money to apply for Child Maintenance?
To apply for Child Maintenance you will have to pay an application fee of twenty pounds. However, there are circumstances where this fee is waived. If you have been affected by domestic violence or are a victim of such a case, you will not be required to pay this application fee.
In addition, if you are under nineteen years old or you are a citizen of Northern Ireland then you also will not be required to pay the Child Maintenance application fee.
What details do I need to apply for Child Maintenance?
There are some details and some information that you’ll need to provide. This includes the name of both parents, the name of the child or children, and your National Insurance number.
You may also need your bank account number and sort code or payment card so that the Child Maintenance Service can send your Child Maintenance to your account.
Make sure to have these details to hand before calling the Child Maintenance contact number to save time on your call.
How long is it before I receive my Child Maintenance?
Often the application can become processed and you may be able to receive the payment within a month. It’s worth noting that this depends on the other parent as if they do not pay on time or the service can’t contact them, it could be delayed. Normally within six weeks of arranging payment you will be able to receive Child Maintenance.
If you would like to check the status of your payment call the Child Maintenance number on this page.
What happens if I don’t know where the other parent is?
In this case, the Child Maintenance Service will do their best to help you find the location of the other parent to help you arrange payment. In the event that they cannot locate the other parent, the receiving parent might not be able to register a claim for Child Maintenance.
What happens if I miss a payment?
If you miss a Child Maintenance payment then the CSA will take steps to ensure that it is paid in future. The CSA will talk to the parent who is supposed to pay and find out why they haven’t, arrange for them to pay and also tell them about the consequences that could occur if they do not pay.
There are enforcement charges ranging between fifty pounds and three hundred pounds. These can occur. It can also be the case that the non-paying parent is eventually sent to court, and force them to sell property or belongings to make sure that Child Maintenance is paid. If you made a mistake you can call the Child Maintenance phone number to discuss making the payment.