The Child Maintenance Service usually follows a 6 step approach to calculate out the weekly amount of child maintenance. It is then reviewed each year or sooner if there is a change to a parent’s circumstances.
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6 Step Approach
Step 1 – What Is The Paying Parent’s Income?
The Child Maintenance Service will find out the paying parent’s yearly gross income using information from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). They will also check if they’re receiving any benefits (tax credits, student grants and loans don’t count as income).
Step 2 – What Other Things Affect Income?
The Child Maintenance Service will check to see if there are any pension payments or other children being supported or any other things that could change the gross income amount. Then they’ll convert the yearly gross income into a weekly figure.
Step 3 – What Child Maintenance Rate Applies?
One of 5 rates will be applied, based on the gross weekly income of the paying parent, to see how this is calculated see the brochure on the government website that explains the rates and how the maintenance is calculated
Step 4 – Are There Any Other Children?
The Child Maintenance Service will take into account the number of children the paying parent has to pay child maintenance for, including other children living with them and any arrangements that have been made directly with an ex-partner.
Step 5 – What Is The Weekly Amount Of Child Maintenance?
Using information from the first 4 steps, the Child Maintenance Service decides the weekly child maintenance amount.
Step 6 – Is Care Shared?
Finally they will look at how many nights the child spends with each parent and make a deduction based on the average number of ‘shared care’ nights a week.
Child Maintenance Online Calculator
The online calculator will give you an idea of how much child maintenance would be payable through the Child Maintenance Service and if you would rather, they can also give you a basic calculation over the phone.
For more information please also take a look at the following government guides: