Guide To Lowering UK Child Maintenance Payments

It is challenging to lower your child maintenance payments, however, it is possible through planning.

If you’re having problems meeting your own needs on a monthly basis or simply believe that you’re spending too much on child maintenance, we will cover a couple of tips that should help you to lower your child maintenance if you live in the United Kingdom.

Child maintenance defined

This is basically financial support that is given to cater for the living costs of a child. This is necessary whenever the parents of the child become separated or divorced. The parent who isn’t living with the child or has custody of the child has to pay it.

Typically, the amount of child maintenance that is paid is usually determined by the parents. However, if an agreement on this can’t be formed, then the case is sent to the CMS or Child Maintenance Services.

This organization basically helps the parents to compromise on child maintenance. Once the parents aren’t able to come to an agreement, then CMS will take into consideration the income of the parents as well as other factors to determine the maintenance that needs to be paid. Keep in mind that they also need to consider the other children of the non-custodial parent.

Calculating child maintenance

In the United Kingdom, child maintenance is determined by a formula that takes into consideration a couple factors such as how many children there are, income of each parent, the time that each parent actually spends with their child etc.

This formula was created to make sure that the child is fairly treated and gets fair financial support from both of their parents, no matter if the parent is living with them or not. Read more: how does the CMS calculate your payments?

The first thing that the CMS looks at is the income of the parent that has to pay the child support in addition to state pension and benefits. Then, they will look at if the parent is providing financial support to any other children. They will also look at other expenses before they calculate child maintenance.

Ways of lowering UK child maintenance payments

There are actually a couple of external situations and circumstances that can lead to the reduction of child maintenance payments. Do note that this can also potentially lead to the increase of this payment. When this happens, the CMS will have variations.

The main factors that can lead to variations for non-residential parents include:

– Other children that the parent is responsible for

– Gross income is lower than £7 per week

– The parent is still paying off debt that occurred before the separation from their partner and their ex-partner is still using the asset or still holds it. For example, this can be a car that was bought via hire purchase. It can also be other things such as insurance policies, mortgages, loans etc.

– Cost of boarding for the child

– Costs for remaining in contact with the child where the parent has to also provide child maintenance.

The only reason why a parent may not have to pay child support is if they don’t have a job or if they are currently imprisoned.

After the child maintenance payment is determined, it is still possible to apply for variation.

If this happens, you need to call CMS and inform them of your desire to change the payment amount and explain what changes have occurred that have lead to this.

Keep in mind that if you provide false or incorrect information, you can be fined by CMS.

Child maintenance end

In the United Kingdom, child maintenance can come to an end once the child turns 16 years old and decides to not pursue further education. However, if they do want to pursue further education, then they can still get child maintenance until they are 20 years old.

An educational institution only qualifies for this if they are approved and they need to provide full time education over 12 hours per week. They should also have supervised study or work experience that is related to the course. So, this means the following:

– A levels or similar

– NVQs, vocational courses

– Traineeships

Home education if started before the child turned 16 years old.


It is mandatory that parents who don’t live with their kids, provide child maintenance payments. They can only be exempt from this responsibility in particular circumstances. There are lots of ways for you to lower your child support, especially if you’re having problems surviving.



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