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Child Support Issues: Letter Templates

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 11 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Letter Template Child Support

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is the governing organisation for all matter relating to child support (known until recently as the CSA). The rules are set to change slightly but child support itself is around to stay and there will always be a need for an organisation to regulate and administer payment collections. With that in mind we have produced a series of letter templates to accompany our guide to child support. The letters are self explanatory, just fill in your own details. The letter templates are as follows:

  1. Denying or questioning paternity of a child
  2. Disputing calculations made by the child support agency or your ex
  3. Requesting an end date for payments
  4. Asking for a breakdown of calculations
  5. Explaining about extenuating circumstances (rendering you unable to pay as much)
  6. Explaining a change in your circumstances

1. Letter denying or questioning paternity

18 Jun 2018

Dear Sirs,

RE: Case reference number [enter case number on top of letters]

I am writing in relation to the letter you sent me stating that I owe child maintenance in relation to [child's name and date of birth].

I deny / am unsure that I am the father of this child and so do not owe any child support.

The courts have not adjudicated on this matter and I was not married to the child's mother at any point between the child's conception and birth. I am willing to take a DNA test to settle the issue.

Please contact me within 7 working days to acknowledge receipt of this letter and detailing how the matter will proceed.

Yours faithfully,

[your signature]

[your name]

2. Letter disputing calculations

18 Jun 2018

Dear Sirs,

RE: Case reference number [enter case number on top of letters]

I am writing to dispute the amount of child maintenance you stated I owe in your letter dated [enter date of letter stating amount you owe which you dispute]. In this letter you calculated my child maintenance at [amount].

I dispute this amount and calculate that my child maintenance amount should be [amount].

My calculation is based upon my net income at [amount] and paying for [number] children:

[child A name and date of birth]
[child B name and date of birth]

I am entitled to the following exemptions / discounts:

  • I am a student at [name of college / university].
  • I am a serving prisoner at [name of prison].
  • I am aged 16 or under
  • I have shared care of the above named children for [number] days / month.
  • I have [number] other children living with me - [name and date of birth of other children].

Please contact me within 7 working days if you dispute my calculated amount of child support.

Yours faithfully,

[your signature]

[your name]

3. Letter about payment end date

18 Jun 2018

Dear Sirs,

RE: Case reference number [enter case number on top of letters]

I am writing to enquire when my child maintenance payments will stop.

I currently pay for [child A and date of birth]
and
[child B and date of birth].

I calculate that they will turn 16 years old on [date] and [date].

I am not aware that they will continue to study full-time after this date / I anticipate that they will continue to study full-time until [date] and [date].

Please contact me within 7 working days to let me know when my payments in relation to each child will stop.

Yours faithfully,

[your signature]

[your name]

4. Letter asking for calculation details

18 Jun 2018

Dear Sirs,

RE: Case reference number [enter case number on top of letters]

I am writing to request a breakdown of your calculation which results in me owing [amount] in child maintenance in relation to [child A and date of birth] and [child B and date of birth].

Please outline what you consider to be my net income, any exemptions or discounts I have been awarded, the number of days you consider me to have joint care of my children and any other children living with me included in the calculation.

Please provide the above information within 7 working days so that I can review your calculations to see why you consider that I owe [amount] in child maintenance.

Yours faithfully,

[your signature]

[your name]

5. Letter indicating extenuating circumstances

18 Jun 2018

Dear Sirs,

RE: Case reference number [enter case number on top of letters]

I am writing to tell you about a change in my circumstances. I now have extenuating circumstances which will affect my child maintenance payments.

My new circumstances are [enter brief details of extenuating circumstances - e.g. illness]. This means that I have less / no income available to pay child maintenance and my current net income is [amount].

I anticipate that my extenuating circumstances will last [amount of time / for the foreseeable future]. I will be able to continue payment of child maintenance on [date] / I am unsure when I will be able to continue paying child maintenance.

Please contact me within 7 working to discuss my new circumstances and how they will affect my child maintenance payments.

Yours faithfully,

[your signature]

[your name]

6. Letter about a change of circumstances

18 Jun 2018

Dear Sirs,

RE: Case reference number [enter case number on top of letters]

I am writing to tell you about a change in my circumstances which will affect the amount of child maintenance I pay.

My net income is now [amount] as I have changed job / my pay has changed. I am now entitled to the following exemptions / discounts:

  • I am a student at [name of college / university].
  • I am a serving prisoner at [name of prison].
  • I am aged 16 / 17 and receive income support / job seekers allowance.
  • I have shared care of the above named children for [number] days / month.
  • I have [number] other children living with me - [name and date of birth of other children].

Please contact me within 7 working days if you dispute / require any further information on my new circumstances.

Yours faithfully,

[your signature]

[your name]

If there you'd like to know more about child support take a look at: Child Support Payments: A Downloadable Detailed Guide.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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[Add a Comment]
Ddon - Your Question:
I'm married with 2 kids and I've been served recently by cms for a previous relationship and I'm told I have to pay £3880 annually The said child will be 13 this year and I've never been given access to him at all.i used to pay for his upkeep but then his mom took him overseas for 7 years and he was living here intermittently I'll only here from him when he wants gifts for xmas and birthdays and then the next I'll hear is that he has got back overseasFor a married with 4 other kids (2-babies) I think the said amount is too much cause I have a mortgage of £935 to pay and my monthly travel pass to work alone is £366.80What should I do and how can I resolve this?any help will be appreciated as I intended to write to the child maintenance service Thanks for your time

Our Response:
Firstly, all biological parents are deemed responsible by law for financially supporting their children, regardless of whether they see their children or not. Child maintenance and child access have no bearing on each other and are considered completely separate issues. If you wish to have access to your child, please see link here. Child maintenance payments are based on a formulaic calculation on the non-resident parent's earnings, 'not' expenditure. Therefore, on the basic rate for one child, the non-resident parent will pay 12% of their gross weekly income. You can see more regarding what CMS takes into consideration via the link here . This should tell you all you need to know about how child maintenance is worked out.
SeparatedDads - 12-Jun-18 @ 10:32 AM
I'm married with 2 kids and I've been served recently by cms for a previous relationship and I'm told I have to pay £3880 annually The said child will be 13 this year and I've never been given access to him at all.i used to pay for his upkeep but then his mom took him overseas for 7 years and he was living here intermittently I'll only here from him when he wants gifts for xmas and birthdays and then the next I'll hear is that he has got back overseas For a married with 4 other kids (2-babies) I think the said amount is too much cause I have a mortgage of £935 to pay and my monthly travel pass to work alone is £366.80 What should I do and how can I resolve this?any help will be appreciated as I intended to write to the child maintenance service Thanks for your time
Ddon - 11-Jun-18 @ 4:52 PM
Chaz - Your Question:
Hi I have a complicated question and I would like some advice.Situation - my ex and I separated in Jan this year and we have 2 girls (4&2), to start with everything went fine. We draw up a parenting plan that covered all aspects of our girls needs. We set a routine that works on a 2 week rotation, during the rotation I have the girls for 8 days and 6 nights. My ex has the girls for 6 days and 8 nights, I believe this arrangement is equal and fair. During the times I have the girls I have complete parental responsibility, taking them to appointments, nursery and all the other things that they need. Plus I pay all childcare costs £500+ monthly. Recently things have started to turn sour and I received a text today from my ex saying I will receive a letter from the CMS soon requesting child maintenance. This is a subject we've talked about on serval occasions, unsuccessfully! It prompted me to do some research and in my interpretation we provide 50/50% parental day to day care. This negates either of us paying maintenance according to the CMS leaflet. BUT!!! the CMS calculator's formula is based on the number of nights and not actual time spent with either parent. This is why my ex is taking this route, as the routine is in her favour. she is not only expecting me to continue with the routine and pay childcare costs, but now wants me to pay child maintenance too. I am dreading the letter, as I don't know what to expect and I've heard so many horror stories. So, my questions are:1. Will the CMS take into consideration actual time spent providing day to day care or just be hard and fast and stick to thier formula?2. What evidence would they require to support my interpretation?3. Can anyone provide the CMS's definition of day to day care?Any other advice or guidance will be greatly received :-)

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether your ex is earning too. If you are both working and earning a similar amount, then there may be a case for you to take the matter to court to apply for an official shared-care status, in which case child maintenance would be waived. If your ex is a stay-at-home mum or only working part-time then you would eligible to pay. With regards to the child maintenance assessment, it only applies to overnight stays. However, if you pay child maintenance, you would not have to also pay childcare (unless the childcare fell on your days). CMS sticks to the formula. Day-to-day care generally falls to the primary carer who is seen as the parent who receives child benefit. CMS does prefer parents to organise child maintenance between themselves and it gives parents the tools to do so. Mediation may also be an option to consider suggesting to your ex.
SeparatedDads - 11-Jun-18 @ 3:23 PM
Hi I have a complicated question and I would like some advice. Situation - my ex and I separated in Jan this year and we have 2 girls (4&2), to start with everything went fine. We draw up a parenting plan that covered all aspects of our girls needs. We set a routine that works on a 2 week rotation, during the rotation I have the girls for 8 days and 6 nights. My ex has the girls for 6 days and 8 nights, I believe this arrangement is equal and fair. During the times I have the girls I have complete parental responsibility, taking them to appointments, nursery and all the other things that they need. Plus I pay all childcare costs £500+ monthly. Recently things have started to turn sour and I received a text today from my ex saying I will receive a letter from the CMS soon requesting child maintenance. This is a subject we've talked about on serval occasions, unsuccessfully! It prompted me to do some research and in my interpretation we provide 50/50% parental day to day care. This negates either of us paying maintenance according to the CMS leaflet. BUT!!! the CMS calculator's formula is based on the number of nights and not actual time spent with either parent. This is why my ex is taking this route, as the routine is in her favour. she is not only expecting me to continue with the routine and pay childcare costs, but now wants me to pay child maintenance too. I am dreading the letter, as I don't know what to expect and I've heard so many horror stories. So, my questions are: 1. Will the CMS take into consideration actual time spent providing day to day care or just be hard and fast and stick to thier formula? 2. What evidence would they require to support my interpretation? 3. Can anyone provide the CMS's definition of day to day care? Any other advice or guidance will be greatly received :-)
Chaz - 11-Jun-18 @ 2:59 AM
My son is 18 he has learning disability. He can claim esa in in own right. My x is claiming Enhanced child tax credit and high pip she claims a care package for him also carer allowance. Do I still have to pay my 20% until he is twenty. I see him once every two week which I spend £ 30 / 40 on that day
Mike - 22-May-18 @ 5:51 AM
Leon- Your Question:
I have never had any contact with my daughter or her mother even though I have always paid for her - she will be 18 this month and I assume she is doing A -levels as I know she goes to a very expensive private school - Am I correct in assuming I will no longer be liable for payments after her A level course is completed? Who informs the CMS of this? does her mother have to tell them she has finished?

Our Response:
Child maintenance payments fall in line with when child benefit payment eligibility stops. The child benefit agency will inform CMS when your daughter leaves full-time further education, please see link here , which will explain further.
SeparatedDads - 1-May-18 @ 12:41 PM
I have never had any contact with my daughter or her mother even though I have always paid for her- she will be 18 this month and I assume she is doing A -levels as I know she goes to a very expensive private school - Am I correct in assuming I will no longer be liable for payments after her A level course is completed? Who informs the CMS of this? does her mother have to tell them she has finished?
Leon - 30-Apr-18 @ 11:21 AM
Belles - Your Question:
I had sex with 2 men and I suspect one is the actual father, told about the child and requested for a dna, he denies the child and declined the dna, instead decided to send me money (tho not much) but I'm just not pleased as I wouldn't want to be attached to anything fraud in future, what should I do?

Our Response:
If you think he is the biological father, then once the child is born you can name him as the father (to Child Maintenance Services). He will then be required to pay child maintenance until he himself proves he is not the father, please see link here . It is in his best interests also not to hide his head in the sand. Paying you off with a minimal amount of money will legally not serve any purpose, he will still be deemed partly financially responsible.
SeparatedDads - 9-Apr-18 @ 12:08 PM
I had sex with 2 men and I suspect one is the actual father, told about the child and requested for a dna, he denies the child and declined the dna, instead decided to send me money (tho not much) but I'm just not pleased as I wouldn't want to beattached to anything fraud in future, what should I do?
Belles - 7-Apr-18 @ 7:02 PM
Davey - Your Question:
How can I obtain proof of continuous education after 16. I have no contact with ex wife.

Our Response:
If your ex is still in receipt of child benefit, then it points to your child being in full-time education. When your child leaves full-time education or approved training child benefit will stop as will child maintenance payments automatically. Please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 5-Apr-18 @ 3:31 PM
How can I obtain proof of continuous education after 16. I have no contact with ex wife.
Davey - 4-Apr-18 @ 8:45 PM
Gemma - Your Question:
My partner has been sent a liability order stating he owes over 3000 in child support over a two year period. My partner has hardly worked in these two years due to circumstances. He’s worked around 5 months out of the 24. There’s no dispute he owes some money but the amount they are asking for is very steep. I am looking into mandatory reconsideration but I was wondering what I would need to provide and looking for a template to follow. Also if you have any knowledge on how much if he should be paying for all the months he was unemployed. Many thanks, Gemma.

Our Response:
When any change in circumstances occurs, your partner must inform CMS, so that CMS can keep a clear record, please see link here . If your partner kept CMS/CSA abreast of changes, then these changes should be on your partner's back record. However, we are not CMS, so we have no knowledge of its administration procedures and what evidence CMS requires when carrying out an assessment or investigation. You would have to speak directly with CMS to find out this information.
SeparatedDads - 15-Mar-18 @ 10:11 AM
My partner has been sent a liability order stating he owes over 3000 in child support over a two year period. My partner has hardly worked in these two years due to circumstances. He’s worked around 5 months out of the 24. There’s no dispute he owes some money but the amount they are asking for is very steep. I am looking into mandatory reconsideration but I was wondering what I would need to provide and looking for a template to follow. Also if you have any knowledge on how much if he should be paying for all the months he was unemployed. Many thanks, Gemma.
Gemma - 14-Mar-18 @ 12:48 PM
?? - Your Question:
My other have to 2 kids to his he Is on the bc but is ex won’t let him see them and since ask him for full custody of the 2 kids so he has no right over them at all so will he still have to pay Cas for the two of them since she the one that want him to give up his right over them. This is in Scotland. Can someone let me know pls

Our Response:
Regardless of whether your partner sees his children or not, by law he is still responsible for paying child maintenance to help towards the day-to-day care of his children. Child access is a different issues and if his ex won't let him see his kids, then he would have to try to resolve this either; with his ex, through mediation, or if his ex refuses to attend mediation, he would have to apply to court.
SeparatedDads - 6-Mar-18 @ 2:14 PM
??? - Your Question:
Dose the father have to be on the child bc to pay child maintenance

Our Response:
No. If you name the biological father to CMS, even though he is not registered on the birth certificate by law he is still deemed responsible for paying child maintenance for his child.
SeparatedDads - 6-Mar-18 @ 1:46 PM
My other have to 2 kids to his he Is on the bc but is ex won’t let him see them and since ask him for full custody of the 2 kids so he has no right over them at all so will he still have to pay Cas for the two of them since she the one that want him to give up his right over them. This is in Scotland. Can someone let me know pls
?? - 6-Mar-18 @ 8:02 AM
Dose the father haveto be on the child bc to paychild maintenance
??? - 6-Mar-18 @ 7:56 AM
Bill - Your Question:
I had a visit from bailiffs today looking for nearly £4,000 they claim I owe the CSA. The CSA have never contacted me and I do not have a reference number of any sort or any idea of why they are chasing me this way. The bailiff was helpful enough to leave their address for me but that was it - he intends to come back to remove what little goods I have if I do not pay in 48 hours. I have written to them just now and emailed on their website to try to find out what this is about. I have had no contact at all with them other than this. How do they feel they can simply send a bailiff out of the blue and ask for £4,000 without even talking to me, asking what I earn, if I am the father of whatever child they are claiming for - or if there is any agreement already in place. I am astounded they can do this and I believe it is illegal - can anyone recommend a good solicitor for this in Sussex please?

Our Response:
Both parents are legally responsible for financially supporting any children. If you had children, or a child and you are not living with the child, then you might have been aware of this, as it affects every non-resident parent in the UK. If you were unaware you have fathered a child and have never received any correspondence, you may be able to have the order set aside, please see link here. You really need to speak directly to CMS/CSA, please see link here . Unfortunately, we cannot recommend a solicitor as we cannot be seen to be biased.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-18 @ 9:31 AM
I had a visit from bailiffs today looking for nearly £4,000 they claim I owe the CSA. The CSA have never contacted me and I do not have a reference number of any sort or any idea of why they are chasing me this way. The bailiff was helpful enough to leave their address for me but that was it - he intends to come back to remove what little goods I have if I do not pay in 48 hours. I have written to them just now and emailed on their website to try to find out what this is about. I have had no contact at all with them other than this. How do they feel they can simply send a bailiff out of the blue and ask for £4,000 without even talking to me, asking what I earn, if I am the father of whatever child they are claiming for - or if there is any agreement already in place. I am astounded they can do this and I believe it is illegal - can anyone recommend a good solicitor for this in Sussex please?
Bill - 25-Jan-18 @ 4:53 PM
I have gotten a letter in the mail that it was it was acceptable at this point to reevaluate my child support order.I feel like the first order was based off of false claims of income.So I want to have it reevaluated but am not sure how to proceed.Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Meagan - 16-Jan-18 @ 1:51 PM
LindaB - Your Question:
Hi,My husband is paying Child Maintenance for a child that was the product of a one night stand many years ago of whom he has no contact with. We are planning on moving abroad to a non EU country. Does he need to let Child Maintenance know and will he have to continue to pay through the Child Maintenance service if we live in a non UK country, he will not work for any UK based companies or her majesty's services or be on secondment.He will also be unemployed with no income ahead of the move so will Child Maintenance still expect him to pay if he has nil income? We have no contact details for the mother so cannot arrange 'family based' arrangement.Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
Yes, your husband would have to let CMS know otherwise he could be subject to arrears, please see link here . Regardless of where your husband lives, he is still deemed responsible for paying child maintenance for a child that is biologically his. The child's mother can apply to the The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit, which helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally (where non-resident parents leave the country without maintaining responsibility for their child). There are REMO and non-REMO countries where child maintenance can and cannot be enforced.
SeparatedDads - 9-Jan-18 @ 9:32 AM
Hi, My husband is paying Child Maintenance for a child that was the product of a one night stand many years ago of whom he has no contact with. We are planning on moving abroad to a non EU country. Does he need to let Child Maintenance know and will he have to continue to pay through the Child Maintenance service if we live in a non UK country, he will not work for any UK based companies or her majesty's services or be on secondment. He will also be unemployed with no income ahead of the move so will Child Maintenance still expect him to pay if he has nil income? We have no contact details for the mother so cannot arrange 'family based' arrangement. Thanks in advance.
LindaB - 8-Jan-18 @ 3:12 PM
Kitkat - Your Question:
My ex just got out of prison and kidnap my son and filed child support on me due to me being homeless. I havent seen my kids i. 3 months I do work but being homeless in shelter isnt child abuse I knkw. How do I go about fighting?

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You would need to seek legal advice. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help, as can Coram Children's Legal Centre, please see link here . If you cannot afford legal representation about taking the matter to court, you can represent yourself, please see link here . However, before you take any advice, please see the link What Happens If My Ex Keeps the Children Without My Consent? here , which will tell you more. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 30-Nov-17 @ 11:08 AM
My ex just got out of prison and kidnap my son and filed child support on me due to me being homeless.. I havent seen my kids i. 3 months i do work but being homeless in shelter isnt child abuse i knkw.. How do i go about fighting?
Kitkat - 29-Nov-17 @ 5:11 AM
Hello I need help with writing an agreement letter to stop child support payments. I am the custodial parent. I was living in the same state as my daughter's father and has since moved but my daughter stayed to finish school and both the father and I have come to an agreement to have the payments stopped. Would be able to assist me in writing a letter to have his payments stopped to submit to the courts since we both no longer live in the state that order was originally issued in?
Crys - 25-Oct-17 @ 8:06 PM
Unhappy Parent - Your Question:
I write this as a parent rather than being a mother or father that feels hard done by.As parents regardless of how you feel about the other person the child should always be a priorty. I find it sad that our dislike for one another far overides the love for the child.I am faced with a partner that keeps pay below the threshold and only contributes £1 a day whilst this person and new partner enjoy a great life. Not sure what I am suppose to do with £1 a day when as someone that earns over £100 a day I find it funny that parents think that children grow up on thin air.Even if you look at the basic cost of a child, uniform, dinner money, trips this would amount to more than £7 per week.Put your hate aside stop being greedy and for those who have to pay do the right thing and let your child have the upbringing that they surely deserve.

Our Response:
You don't say why your ex is not paying. If he is not working, then CMS cannot take any more money than a basic rate as it would leave your ex very little to live on, whereas a primary carer can at least claim child benefit and/or child tax credits. Child maintenance is taken from taxable earnings logged through HMRC. If your ex is working illegally and not registering his earnings, then yes, this says more about your child's father than it does about the system. The system is not fullproof, it can only do the best with the tools it has. This means while some benefit, unfortunately others fall through the net.
SeparatedDads - 10-Oct-17 @ 9:54 AM
I write this as a parent rather than being a mother or father that feels hard done by. As parents regardless of how you feel about the other person the child should always be a priorty.I find it sad that our dislike for one another far overides the love for the child. I am faced with a partner that keeps pay below the threshold and only contributes £1 a day whilst this person and new partner enjoy a great life.Not sure what i am suppose to do with £1 a day when as someone that earns over £100 a day i find it funny that parents think that children grow up on thin air. Even if you look at the basic cost of a child, uniform, dinner money, trips this would amount to more than £7 per week. Put your hate aside stop being greedy and for those who have to pay do the right thing and let your child have the upbringing that they surely deserve.
Unhappy Parent - 9-Oct-17 @ 1:07 PM
Hi, my name is Richard an I'm having issues with reduction in my child support. I was paying roughly 800 a month for my son. I had gotten laid off due to reduction in force, after witch I faxed my CLEAN lay off slip to my case worker explaining I could not pay that any longer. Well they continued to charge me 200 a week 800 a month. I'm currently having to write a letter to a judge for reduction in my case. My question was simply how do I go about writing this letter an how should I go about writing my introduction paragraph. Can any one give me an tips?
Richey - 14-Sep-17 @ 2:01 PM
Loulou - Your Question:
My husband has been paying child support for 12 years, initially for 2 children but now just 1. This child turns 20 next month so we are aware that csa should finish but our payment schedule still goes up to the end of the year? We have no idea if the child is in full time education as there is no contact between the ex or any of the children. Can we just cancel our direct debit or is there a letter we have to write?

Our Response:
If your husband's child continues in full-time non-advanced education not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then maintenance payments will continue until the child finishes the course or until they turn 20, please see link here. Your husband should not pay child maintenance beyond the child's 20th birthday.
SeparatedDads - 11-Sep-17 @ 4:20 PM
My husband has been paying child support for 12 years, initially for 2 children but now just 1. This child turns 20 next month so we are aware that csa should finish but our payment schedule still goes up to the end of the year? We have no idea if the child is in full time education as there is no contact between the ex or any of the children. Can we just cancel our direct debit or is there a letter we have to write?
Loulou - 9-Sep-17 @ 6:58 PM
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