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[Sticky] When does child maintenance (CMS) stop after a child leaves education?

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(@anders53)
Active Member Registered

@infodesk Thanks for your insight & advice. As you indicate, it doesn't sound like the CSA are on top of things and are providing unsubstantiated information to the paying parent. I have been paying my ex-wife directly (i.e. not via the CSA ). I am therefore minded to cease my payments after the next payment (i.e. in September). I'm afraid the whole system needs a total upheaval, in my opinion.

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Posted : 23/08/2023 8:47 am
InfoDesk reacted
(@yawneerg)
New Member Registered

@bill337 my 18 yr old child did 3 A levels over the last two years which finished in June (21st).  I am aware I have to pay CM till September but my child now wants to return to school and take 2 more A levels this academic year.  Surely I don't need to fund another year of A levels.  She is resitting the first set as she got 3 x AAAs but wants to study medicine and took the wrong choices (advised by the mother).  Do I have to continue to pay for this coming year?

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Posted : 23/08/2023 3:01 pm
(@janeer)
New Member Registered

Child maintenance after a child leaves education can be confusing. Thanks, Bill, for the helpful video link on child benefit cut-off dates and maintenance payments.

Regards, Edward

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Posted : 23/08/2023 4:35 pm
(@hawkstone)
New Member Registered

@infodesk Hi, I read your info and I have a similar situation. 

All my info I have is based on what Im told by the RP (recieving parent).....

"Child" in question, left college End of june having completed their full course (meaning no intention of any further courses). 

Ive read about the child benefit cut off dates which I understand to be linked with cms cut off dates? 

Basically, Im trying to find out or understand if my payments are no longer eligible from the August 31st date? 

Because either, the 'child' will be no longer in approved education whilst looking for employment OR will enter into an apprenteship which I gather makes payments no longer applicable. 

Of course, any info from the RP is taken with a pinch of salt (why would they honestly say that payments are no longer needed?)

I have thought about calling the CMS for some "official guidance", but after learning about how incapable they can be at actually helping people with questions, Im a little reluctant to approach them. 

 

Any other additional info you may be able to give will be highly appreciated. 

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Posted : 23/08/2023 10:18 pm
(@suda58)
New Member Registered

@yawneerg I have a very similar situation to this and It's crazy that in 2023 there is no clear guidance.  After completing her A-levels, my daughter has decided to go back to college to get more A-level equivalent qualifications....not clear if I should still be paying or not.

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Posted : 07/09/2023 4:49 pm
 actd
(@actd)
Illustrious Member

@suda58 As she is not in advanced education (ie university or equivalent), and assuming she's under 20, then yes, you will still be liable for chaild maintenance

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Posted : 14/09/2023 2:44 pm
(@infodesk)
Trusted Member Registered

If you're unsure whether your child is still in full-time, approved education, your best bet is to go to the 'report a change' option using the Child Maintenance Services parent portal and submit a change request on or after the academic year (so from 31 August) that you believe they have left approved education. The CMS then has the obligation to look into / validate the request.

The CMS qualifies 'a child leaving school' not when they actually leave school (normally late June / late July), but at the end of the academic year (31 August), unless of course the student was to leave approved education (16+) and start working before completing their education.

If you report a change before 31 August, the CMS will send you an unsubstantiated (standard) letter, which advises the claimant doesn't agree with your request and child maintenance remains unchanged, even though the CMS hasn't, certainly in the cases I'm aware of, even contacted the claimant. To say it's unethical (and even bias) administrative practices is an understatement. The CMS knows it's happening; it has been brought to the complaints team's attention (and the Independent Case Examiner) plenty of times, but nothing changes as it suits their modus operandi.

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Posted : 17/10/2023 2:37 am
(@davierich)
New Member Registered

Obviously CMS gets a bad rap at times, but this one kind of isn't on them specfically. It may seem a bit vague in the legislation etc but it does ring true that if a child "leaves" education in June, that maintenance liabilities continue till the terminal date of child benefit. This is always the first Monday in September. Therefore the case closure "effective date" this year was 4/9/23. That means liability for the child continued right up to that date.

In terms of payments from September onwards - yes there is still payment due. CMS works a month in arrears. For example:

Let's say when you case opened way back when it opened with an initial date of 15th May. Therefore 15th May - 14th June is a full "month". So on the 14th day of each month your case will charge i.e. what you owe based upon the usual CMS calculations. If for example then the day you pay is the 1st of the month - on the 1st of July you pay CMS for the period 15th May - 14th June.

Fast forward to now with the case coming to an end. On the 1st September you will be paying for what is owed between 15th July - 14th August. 

Subsequently on the 1st October you will be paying what is owed between 15th August - 4th September (case closure date).

Hope this helps

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Posted : 25/10/2023 2:39 pm
actd reacted
(@addz77)
New Member Registered
  1. Good evening all, I need some advise please. If somebody can help I’d appreciate it. My daughter turned 16 in October and is due to officially leave school after her exams in May / June 2024. The problem is she hasn’t been to school for over 14 months. I also believe she maybe be working now she’s 16. Can I stop my agreed child maintenance with her mom ? Can she work at 16 even though she’s supposed to be in school still. I have searched the internet and been on hold for two hours today and no clearer on where I stand. Thanks In advance. 
  2. can I stop paying her mom 
  3. can she work at 16 ( unofficially left education)
This post was modified 5 months ago by Addz77
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Posted : 28/11/2023 9:28 pm
(@bill337)
Illustrious Member

@addz77 child maintenance should be paid as long as child is in full-time education and obove 12 hours a week). Are you in contact with mother?

If its private arrangement, is easier to stop payments. You could contact child benefit office and report this.

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Topic starter Posted : 29/11/2023 4:09 pm
(@addz77)
New Member Registered

@bill337 we don’t really talk. I only go through my daughter which isn’t great, I know. 

yes it’s a private agreement and it’s been that way since the beginning. Just unsure where I stand legally, do I just stop the payments and give my daughter an allowance until I confirm whether or not she’s been working. Or continue to pay? Just don’t know what to do

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Posted : 29/11/2023 5:11 pm
(@bill337)
Illustrious Member

@addz77 you can stop payment. if ex contacts you, you can explain why. if she not happy she might open CMS case. if that happens, if child benefit is still active, CMS would tell you to continue paying

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Topic starter Posted : 30/11/2023 12:50 pm
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