A family arrangement isn’t for everyone. If you don’t know where the other parent is, you don’t have a good relationship, or domestic abuse or violence is involved, you might need to look at the other options.
Either parent can apply to the Child Support Agency (CSA) who can:
- Work out how much payments should be and when they should be made.
- Trace the other parent (if you don’t know where they are).
- Collect and enforce payments.
- Allow both parents to avoid contact.
However, aCSAarrangement can sometimes be inflexible. For example, if your circumstances change, it can take a while to change your payments.
The CSA also offers a service called Maintenance Direct, where the CSA will work out how much and how often your payments should be, but you set up and manage your own payments (with the other parent).
With Maintenance Direct, parents can agree between themselves how and when money is paid, and can vary child maintenance amounts if circumstances change.
TheCSAis still available to give advice and guidance if any changes mean a new calculation needs to be made, or step in if the non resident parent doesn’t make the payments that are due. It’s a good idea to keep a record of the payments you make or receive, as theCSAwon’t have access to that information unless you give it to them.
You can get an idea of how much child maintenance you might pay or receive through the CSAwith the Child Maintenance Calculator
You can find more information about statutory arrangements at http://www.cmoptions.org/en/options/child-support-agency.asp.