The old Child Support Agency (CSA) is being phased out and replaced by a new body, called the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).  The CMS has been responsible for all new cases since November 2013.  Old cases under the CSA will gradually be transferred to the CMS over the next few years.

New Formula

Child maintenance will be calculated by using a new formula, based on gross income, rather than net income, as was the case under the CSA.  The CMS will obtain information about the paying parent’s income direct from HMRC.  The basic payment will be 12% of gross income for one child, 16% for two children and 19% for three or more children.  Where the paying parent earns over £800 per week, child support will be payable on any excess income over £800 per week, at the rate of 9%/12%/15% for one/two/three or more children.

There will continue to be reductions in cases where the paying parent has other children living with them in their household and where they have any qualifying children (i.e. children who they are paying maintenance for) staying overnight with them.  Also, pension contributions will continue to be deducted from the calculation of the paying parent’s income.

Maximum Age for Qualifying Children

The maximum age for qualifying children is increased to 20, where the child is still in education.


Parents will be encouraged to reach an agreement outside of the CMS.  In those cases where agreement is not reached, the CMS will make charges.  There will be an application fee of £20 and a charge of 20% for the paying parent and 4% for the receiving parent.

There has been very broad agreement that changes to the system were badly needed.  However, the introduction of charges has received criticism from many quarters.  It is said that charging parents for using the CMS will take money away from where it is needed to provide for children.  Also, it is feared that the charges will act as a deterrent to parents using the CMS and may result in many entering into unstable agreements.

For further information or advice on any family related matters please contact one of our specialist solicitors below:

John Shurvinton (Hereford office) 

Manminder Chhoker (Hereford office) 

Anne Vincent (Leominster office) 

Carolyn Theobald (Hay on Wye office)


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