Child support—procedure
Child support—procedure

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Child support—procedure
  • Principles
  • Child Support Agency
  • Child Maintenance Service
  • Information to be provided
  • Methods of enforcement
  • Applying to the court


Changes to statutory child support came into force in very limited circumstances with effect from 10 December 2012. Access to the revised scheme (the new scheme) was initially restricted to applicants claiming child support for four children who have the same two parents and who are not currently receiving child support. With effect from 29 July 2013 the revised statutory scheme was extended to cover applications for two children with the same parents where there is no existing case with the same person with care and the same non-resident parent (see the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No 11 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2013, SI 2013/1860, art 3(3)–(4) for exceptions). For the purposes of considering whether there is an existing case, any case voluntarily closed in the thirteen weeks preceding the new application will still be considered an existing case and prevent the new calculation rules applying. The revised scheme was extended to all parents making a new application on 25 November 2013. Key aspects include:

  1. the application must be made via the Child Maintenance Options service (see

  2. the introduction (with effect from 30 June 2014) of a charge of £20 for an application under the revised statutory scheme unless the applicant is under the age of 18 or is a victim of domestic