Statutory child support scheme
Statutory child support scheme

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

  • Statutory child support scheme
  • Introduction
  • Jurisdiction
  • Criteria
  • Obtaining a maintenance calculation
  • Formula
  • Current scheme
  • Child Support Agency formula


The revised statutory child maintenance scheme under the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (CMOPA 2008) was extended on 25 November 2013 to all parents making a new application. Changes made include:

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

  2. the introduction (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 abuse, plus (with effect from 11 August 2014):

    1. a 20% collection fee on top of the usual child maintenance amount for paying parents using the Collect and Pay service

    2. a 4% collection fee deducted from the usual child maintenance amount for receiving parents using the Collect and Pay service; and

    3. a range of enforcement charges for paying parents who don’t pay child maintenance in full and on time

      note that collection charges do not apply to cases still dealt with by the Child Support Agency, nor where the Direct Pay method is used (ie where the parties make their own payment arrangements)

  3. under the previous schemes calculations were based on net income and financial information obtained directly from parents—under the CMOPA 2008 scheme, calculations are based on gross income and financial information obtained from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

  4. a maintenance calculation may only

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