Child Benefit

Did you know, if you have children you are eligible to claim for Child Benefit for each of them. Find out more with Dad.Info about this important benefit and how to get it.





It's paid for every child until the age of 16 (or up to 20, if they’re still in education). Only one person can claim Child Benefit for a child, so if you are separated, it is the resident parent for each child who will get the payment.

Everyone is entitled to claim Child Benefit, but you may need to pay a tax charge if you, or your partners’, individual income is above £50,000.

If you do not wish to claim Child Benefit (most often this is due to being taxed on it if you do) you can decline the payments, but it is recommended that you fill in the claim form as this ensures that your child is registered to get a National Insurance Number when they turn 16.

If your circumstances or preferences change and you wish to restart payments later on, you can still do this. 


 In the current financial year (2017-2018) the weekly rate for Child Benefit is: 

  • £20.70 for your first child
  • £13.70 for each subsequent child 

It is normally paid four weekly, but can be paid weekly if you're a single parent or receiving certain benefits like income support.  


You should apply as soon as your baby is born, or a child becomes your responsibility. It can take up to 12 weeks to process a new Child Benefit claim, and payment can only be backdated for three months.

 You can do this by filling in a Child Benefit Claim Form CH2, which you will need to send to the Child Benefit Office, along with their birth or adoption certificate. If you don’t have the birth/adoption certificate, send in the paperwork anyway, and send on the certificate just as soon as you can.   


 If you're separated from the mother of your child, the Government will not pay Child Benefit to both of you - it will only pay it to the resident parent. 

Note that Child Benefit is what is known as a gateway benefit. This means that many of the other benefits that are offered to parents (e.g. housing assistance) are paid to the parent in receipt of child benefit. 

Of course, if you've got more than one child between you, you could always think about each of you receiving Child Benefit for one of the children. This way, you may both be eligible for other benefits, such as housing benefits.  



Updated: September 2017

Hide comments (42)


  • Guest
    Lewis Thursday, 25 January 2018

    Am I missing something

    My ex is feeling insecure about me looking after my daughters, albeit I’m a young dad but unconditional love literally means I’d do anything for them. We have recently split and so she’s allowing me one of them, but one can’t be without the other but she’s only interested in her own security. She has stated that mums always win the child benefit when at court now my family hasn’t been the best towards my ex so that’s why she’s so offensive but from my perspective thats a personal problem and not mine, both of my daughters are in my name for child benefit and she seems to think she can take my name off their claim and onto hers. Surely it’s not that clear cut, we both can give my daughters different things which adds a positive dynamic to their lives but I’m trying to move out and in doing so trying to give my daughters more. Does anyone know where i possibly stand in this situation TIA x

  • Guest
    Dave Thursday, 22 February 2018

    Tax status when separated

    Hi there,

    My wife and I are separated on good terms. I earn over £50k a year and my wife began claiming child benefit for our daughter two years ago when I was living overseas, which meant that there was no tax liability for the benefit.

    I have recently moved back to the UK (still living 3 hours drive from my family sadly) and I was wondering if I now have to pay back the child benefit? I don't mind if I do, I just need to plan for the eventuality. Also do I now have to pay back the child benefit my wife receives ?

    I'd rather just increase my maintenance payments (although I know she likes to receive it from the Gov't as it gives her more independence).

  • Guest
    callum struat Friday, 16 March 2018


    I am 16 and have not been living with my parents for just over 2 months and they are still getting my child benefits, clearly I should get them, but they just spend it on my brother. for all those parents out there, you should give your child their benefits if they're not living with you. now that I realised my parents are getting them, I am now taking my parents to court. even though, the law states that they should only get them for up to 8 weeks but they are still getting them. this is low for my parents.

  • Guest
    Gareth Wednesday, 28 March 2018


    Hi, don't know where to start with this. On Jan 27 I received a knock at the door from out of hours social services regarding my partner (now ex), she had been to a and e and wanted to section herself as she has a bad drinking and drug problem, ex tested positive for cocaine. Cut along story short I was advised to excersive my parental responsibilties which I did. I moved out with the two children and they still reside with me now. Mum as not given me a single penny since the 26th Jan to help contribute towards the upkeep of the kids, meanwhile I have bought new uniforms, food , nappies etc. I am now currently receiving universal credit and this does however include the child element side of things. The problem I have got is with child benefit which is currently with the rivals team, we have just been offered a property from social housing but from what i am reading I will need to prove I am in receipt of child benefit, which as it stands at the moment is still in there mother's name, and she has said she will not be signing anything. Is there anyone with similar experience and any ideas of what to do next if I am not granted the child benefit. Tia. Gaz

  • Guest
    Patrick Thursday, 04 October 2018


    Interesting little read. I’m a DAD, and I do have a court order, a child arrangements order that sees the kids with her from Mon to Weds night and with me from Thurs to Mon morn. 4 nights with me, 3 nights with her. This happens each week. My kids are 13 and 8. My youngest is autistic and she began claiming DLA over a year ago. Did so without telling me. I recently started a tutor for my son. I asked my ex to contribute to this as she was in receipt of DLA at the middle rate. She also claims child benefit. I’ve necer contested this as I earn over £60k and would have to pay all the CB back in tax. However, the DLA isn’t means tested and I wrote to the DWP. Sent the court order. For a week, I was made the appointee. I got a letter after a week stating I was no longer the appointee. Weird. I’m surmising she has overturned it as she’s in receipt of CB, the gateway benefit. I’m now considering a counter claim fir CB so I can direct the DLA money towards the cost of tutoring my son. But even with a clear skew towards nights with me, I’m very bothered that HMRC will knock me back because I’m a man. The DWP did with no explanation other than a letter stating someone else was now the appointee. Anyone advise on the likely hood of a successful claim? I do not pay her any maintenance, by the way and she pays me none. I’ve also read as a recipient of CB she could make a claim for maintenance despite care being more skewed my way. I’ve never challenged the address that the schools see the kids as living. And of course that’s with her, too. Despite only having 3 nights each week. Anyone care to comment?

  • Guest
    Aaron Lenton Friday, 12 October 2018

    Dad great son

    Quick question I divorced my wife but I'm confused about the child benefit cos for 7 weeks of the year he is with me so shouldn't that mean that her child benefit go down during this time and every other Friday sleepover can u help please

  • Guest
    Jack Monday, 22 October 2018

    Child maintenance

    Hi was looking for bit of help.
    I have my child 3 nights a week to my ex 4 nights a week.
    I have a court order granted a joint residence order.
    I pay half child care and provide fully for my child eg clothes birthdays Christmas school uniform.

    So before I went to court I rang child maintenance service and they told me if I pay half childcare it would come out if the money I owed for child maintenance. After I was granted this I later found out that I was given the wrong information and found myself in a situation were I have to pay child care and child maintenance. My ex is also on a higher income and also recieves the child benifit. I have changed my work hours and take off every Tuesday to keep cost down for child care. I also use the childcare less that my ex.
    Was jus wondering was any one else in this situation . I think it is unfair paying maintenance money to my ex due to this information. Any help would be much appreciated

  • Guest
    J s farndell Thursday, 29 November 2018


    I'm a hard working father of 3. I have 2 children with my ex wife and one with my ex girlfriend. I have to pay 500 pounds maintinace a month this leaves me enough money to rent a bedroom in someone's else house. I see my children as much as possible but obviously I'm unable to have then stay with me due to my living arrangements every spare penny I have goes on feeding and taking my children out. I'm unable to just sit at home watch TV and cook a pizza for them. And do normal everyday things im in a situation where I have to take them out. It's cripperling me financially and I'm offered no support at all. If I was entitled any form of benifit I could afford to rent or flat and my children could stay. It's a vichous circle we're us as dad's have no rights and the mums get everythin. How is it fair that both mums get a council house. Housing benifit child tax credits reduced council tax are able to work full time and on top of that get a lump sum of child maintance payments from me. And I get nothing. They seem to be laughing all the way to the bank. Its no wonder that the suicide rate for separated fathers is so high we just can't win offered no support. Something has to change

  • Guest
    Paul Dalton Friday, 14 December 2018


    Me and my ex have a 60-40 custody of our 2 children. She get all benefits and tax credits. I also pay her child maintenance every week. She has now said I need to pay for the days my youngest child is in nursery when he is in my care. Surely the benefits paid to her and the child maintenance paid should cover child care costs or is this another expense I need to pay? Any advice would be much appreciated

  • Guest
    T Gledhill Sunday, 13 January 2019

    Mr T J Gledhill

    Having been divorced for 4 years now and struggling to survive,rent, bills, maintenance etc I find the situation crazy... I have a son to a previous marriage whom I pay CSA maintenance to monthly who I do not see by some weird choice of his mother.. I have my 4 young children to my last partner 40% of the time and work all hours available to cover my outgoings. Presently with me for the last 2 weeks while my ex, her new husband and their 2yr old baby are on holiday far away. After school club payments and loss of 2hrs a day work time means a very stressful time. Her new husband earns more than myself and she claims all benefits , living a charmed life.. I could quite easily drive away and make a new life myself as any debate falls on deaf ears and therefore it is better to leave the pond calm !. My kids support me and the love they have given through the years has kept me going but borrowing money to support them causes me great indecision...My ex says life is for living and get as many stamps in her passport as possible !. Why therefore should this not apply to me !. Fathers loose basically and I'm a damn good one.....

Leave your comment

Guest Thursday, 13 August 2020

PLEASE NOTE: If you have a specific question for or for other dads, please post it on our Forum.

We may use your email address to respond to you about your comment. View our Privacy Policy for more details.