Child maintenance

The following information which Child Maintenance Options has provided is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.


Child maintenance – an introduction

What is child maintenance?

Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support that helps towards the child’s everyday living costs. Normally the parent who does not have main day-to-day care of the child (the non-resident parent) pays child maintenance to the parent who does have main day-to-day care (the parent with care). In some cases, this person can be a grandparent or guardian. But it doesn’t only have to be about money, if parents reach an agreement between themselves it can be about much more.

Why is child maintenance important?

When parents separate there are many things to think about, such as legal issues, worries about where they will live or financial problems. One of every parent’s biggest concerns is to make sure there's enough money for everything their child needs.

An effective child maintenance arrangement can make a significant difference to a child’s well-being, because it can help create a more stable environment for them and help them get the best start in life. Even small contributions can make a big difference. For example, parents may be able to afford better food, school trips or new shoes for their children.

If parents are able to work together to make a child maintenance arrangement it can also help them both stay involved in their children’s lives. Research shows that the more both parents are interested and involved in their life, the more children are likely to do well at school, stay out of trouble and develop self-esteem and healthier relationships as an adult.

Find out more:

The Child Maintenance Options service


York Family Information Service and Information Service for Young People

01904 554444 / 01904 555400

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