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Georgina's Blog

January 2021

Child Maintenance

Both parents are expected to pay for the costs of their children, even after they separate, up until the child is 16 at the earliest, or up to 20 if the child is in full time education. I cannot stress this enough. Child maintenance is not a weapon to be used to punish your ex. Even if for some reason the paying parent is not able to see the children, this is not a legal or good reason to stop paying. Equally, just because payment has not been forthcoming, withholding access to the children is not justified. Contact with children and paying for them should remain entirely separate issues.

If a parent is not living with, or is spending less time with his/her children, he/she is legally required to contribute towards the upkeep of their children. How much he/she must pay is determined by whether they are living with more - their own or a new partner's - children, their income and how many nights a year the children spend with them. The easiest way to work this out is to use the gov.uk child maintenance calculator, see the table below.

(Mobile users should use the scroll bar below the Menu to read all columns).

Child maintenance amounts based on weekly pay
Gross weekly income
Weekly amount
£38 for one child, £51 for two children, £61 for three or more children
Below £7
You don't pay any child maintenance
Between £7 and £100 or if you're on benefits
£7 a week
Between £100.01 and £199.99
Between £200 and £3,000