Child Maintenance or Child Support are terms used by the state to describe an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent, for the financial benefit
of a child, following the end of a marriage or other relationship. We prefer to use the term Financial Parenting Arrangements except where we are talking about
Statutory Child Maintenance or statutory child maintenance services.
The financial security of a family can be destabilised by family separation and this can impact on a child's well being. Working together to agree new financial parenting arrangements can, therefore, be very important. A successful arrangement is one where your child does not suffer financially and the cost of bringing your child up is likely to be shared fairly between both parents.
In the majority of cases, this is likely to mean that the parent without the main day-to-day care of a child will make a financial contribution into the household of the parent who does. However, where care is shared more equally or the parent with the main day-to-day care earns significantly more than the other parent, it may be better for your child, and more equitable, not to transfer money or for the parent with the main day-to-day care of a child to make a financial contribution into the household of the parent who does not.
In the past, many parents were forced to use the old Child Support Agency. However, since October 2008, all parents have had the choice to agree their own family-based arrangements together. Many families feel that this offers them the opportunity to make arrangements that specifically meet the needs of their family and choose to make an arrangement this way.