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At What Age Do Child Maintenance Payments Stop?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 1 Jun 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Maintenance Payments Education

Q.

Can you please tell me at what age do payments actually stop for child maintenance? My daughter has turned 16 but is looking to go to 6th form.

(R.B, 20 April 2009)

A.

If you would like to read about Child Support Payments in more detail then take a look at our Child Support Guide, where the subject is covered in more detail along with a free downloadable guide and letter templates. So maybe take a look at our Child Support Guide.

Your Basic Responsibility

Every parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what your child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education (see below for information about the new school/education leaving age rules), not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then your maintenance payments will continue until your child finishes or until they turn 20.

Law Change in 2013 - Leaving School/Education Age is Raised to 18!

In 2013 the law changed, making it compulsory for all UK children to continue in some kind of further education until the age of 18 (that is the end of the school year in which they turn 18). This is not necessarily a full time college course - it can be an apprenticeship or full time employment (over 20 hours a week) that includes some education or training.

There are certain higher education courses, such as apprenticeships, that do not count as full-time education, so it is important that you check with the CSA/CMS.

If your daughter changes her mind and decides that she wants to get a job and not continue in full-time education - which includes studying for 12 hours or more a week - then your payments would end in the September after her final school term. If they have officially come to an end, you may still want to continue supporting your child.

What if You Want to Continue Support?

At this stage it will be your choice about how much you pay and also in what way. You will no longer have to pay the money to your ex and may consider helping your child in other ways. Even after they have left school it is important to be supportive, both financially and emotionally, as they find their feet in the adult world.

Higher Education

If your child is planning on attending university then they can apply to the courts for maintenance from the non resident parent. The courts do have the power to extend child maintenance to cover the duration of higher education if the non resident parent has the ability to cover the costs.

The courts will consider the genuine needs of the child for support and even if student loans are available the court may still rule that the non resident parent must pay. For more information about this you should contact a family law solicitor, most offer free 20 minute consultations.

More About Child Maintenance Payments

Child maintenance payments are put in place to make sure that both parents are paying to support the upbringing of their child. This may be agreed privately between the parents, but more often is calculated by the Child Maintenance Service (formerly CSA). If you apply for any benefits, you may find that a claim is automatically made with CMS to obtain payment from the other parent.

The non-resident parent will have to pay an agreed percentage of their monthly income to the resident parent who is responsible for the everyday care of the child.

Joint Residency

If there is Joint Residency or the non-resident parent looks after the child for a number of days each week, then this will reduce the payments.

If the child stays over night with the non resident parent on average at least one night a week, this is classed as shared care. In this case maintenance can be reduced as long as the basic rate or reduced rate is being used. For each night the child stays with the non resident parent overnight the weekly maintenance amount is reduce by 1/7th.

Further Reading

For more information on child maintenance payments have a read through our articles on:

Child Support Payments
and
Working With the CSA/CMS on Support Payments.

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]
Hi All My daughter turned 18 in Feb 2020 and is about to finish her A levels. She has no plans to go to university and is researching colleague courses/apprenticeships for September. Can I stop paying her mum after 18 years of doing so
CROLL - 1-Jun-20 @ 4:38 PM
Anyone know if a daughter leaves her mothers home to live with her sister she has one year left at school but maintenance is still being paid to the mother. Can anyone give any advice please.do I keep paying??
Wright - 28-May-20 @ 3:34 PM
My son who was 18 in February has decided to go back to college to continue his A-levels after having over a year off. I have recently separated from my ex and he is now asking for child support even though my son has been earning his own money for the last year. I already pay £340 a month for my youngest son who is 13. Do I have to start paying for my 18 year old? My ex also gets child benefit and claims tax credits.
Hayleyj - 19-May-20 @ 11:46 AM
Hi, Im paying maintenance for my son who is in higher education, but now also working, do I still have to pay maintenance?
Ian - 17-May-20 @ 12:47 PM
My son is 17 in full time education and his mum earns over 50k so not entitled to child benefit. Do I still need to pay maintenance?
Razor76 - 13-May-20 @ 6:57 AM
@jack.after reading your post .i myself don’t no if my daughter is in school and if she has her own baby now .(i have never been apart of her life) .but if she has her own baby now (good luck them) .as you want advice on whether you should be paying child support I can’t give you any (I have never paid support) .(but on the off chance her mother reads this )my advice to her is don’t ever come me even if I am (70 years old) .i have seen her around my place in the past that is very foolish her behalf .(truth is I am not like the others guys or women that she dates )in my world she wronged me and I want vengeance and always will she only got a pass because off( my daughter) so she better not take my (kindness for weakness ).because (gods truth I planned on killing this women for my honour)it was only the thought of my daughter been without parents for the rest off her life and her been in foster care that stop me (I swear the on the bible ).but truth is now my daughter (grown up )and if I seen her mother now I wouldn’t kill her gods truth .(so if see does read this take what I say a serous this is no laughable matter ).
Chris - 3-May-20 @ 11:03 PM
@jack.after reading your post .i myself don’t no if my daughter is in school and if she has her own baby now .(i have never been apart of her life) .but if she has her own baby now (good luck them) .as you want advice on whether you should be paying child support I can’t give you any (I have never paid support) .(but on the off chance her mother reads this )my advice to her is don’t ever come me even if I am (70 years old) .i have seen her around my place in the past that is very foolish her behalf .(truth is I am not like the others guys or women that she dates )in my world she wronged me and I want vengeance and always will she only got a pass because off( my daughter) so she better not take my (kindness for weakness ).because (gods truth I planned on killing this women for my honour)it was only the thought of my daughter been without parents for the rest off her life and her been in foster care that stop me (I swear the on the bible ).but truth is now my daughter (grown up )and if I seen her mother now I wouldn’t kill her gods truth .(so if see does read this take what I say a serous this is no laughable matter ).
Chris - 3-May-20 @ 10:35 PM
Hi guys could anyone shed some light on my complicated situation, My daughter is 15 I’ve always payed Child support ,but last year she stopped going to school so sheS not had any education the last 1.1/2 years plus she has a baby girl now herself . So she’s living with my ex Partner not going to school bringing up her own little baby daughter her mother is claiming child tax credit for the little baby & child benefit because my daughter is only 15 she’s to young to claim for her own child. Should I still be paying child support for her even through all this.Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks
Jack - 1-May-20 @ 6:51 PM
My daughter turned 18 in March, I have paid her mother maintenance for 10yrs. I know she started college and has got some kind of placement apprenticeship? In a drama school in London when do I stop my payments??
Wonder 65 - 1-May-20 @ 9:52 AM
I’ve always paid maintenance for my 3 beautiful children, it’s never been a problem for me. I have a good relationship with my sons, they are both working now and are over 19. My daughter is 16 and is now on a 3 year college course. I pay 15% of my salary, like I said not an issue for me. But unfortunately I never see my daughter it breaks my heart sometimes. She lives about 30 miles away (they all moved 12 years ago) I’ve probably seen her 4 times in the last 3 years. She doesn’t answer text or phone (I try a lot to contact her. She has a boyfriend now which is fine, I’ve met him he’s a nice lad, Because of the distance our relationship never blossomed like a normal one would have. Since they moved away it’s been difficult I drive there every weekend to see my boys, but she never wants to join us. The x wife just says she can make her own decisions about who and when she sees me. It’s very hard to be ignored every time I try to invite her along. We have done some shopping trips, birthdays and Xmas. It always involves spending money, where my sons will see me in the normal sense and stay over. Does anybody else have this experience and does anyone have any ideas of who I could improve my relationship with my daughter??
Blue - 30-Apr-20 @ 6:20 AM
I’ve always paid maintenance for my 3 beautiful children, it’s never been a problem for me. I have a good relationship with my sons, they are both working now and are over 19. My daughter is 16 and is now on a 3 year college course. I pay 15% of my salary, like I said not an issue for me. But unfortunately I never see my daughter it breaks my heart sometimes. She lives about 30 miles away (they all moved 12 years ago) I’ve probably seen her 4 times in the last 3 years. She doesn’t answer text or phone (I try a lot to contact her. She has a boyfriend now which is fine, I’ve met him he’s a nice lad, Because of the distance our relationship never blossomed like a normal one would have. Since they moved away it’s been difficult I drive there every weekend to see my boys, but she never wants to join us. The x wife just says she can make her own decisions about who and when she sees me. It’s very hard to be ignored every time I try to invite her along. We have done some shopping trips, birthdays and Xmas. It always involves spending money, where my sons will see me in the normal sense and stay over. Does anybody else have this experience and does anyone have any ideas of who I could improve my relationship with my daughter??
Blue - 30-Apr-20 @ 6:06 AM
My daughter is just finishing her level 2. At collage. Hoping to go onto level 3. She dose 3 day's aweek. Do i have to still pay maintenance for her. She will be 18 this year.
Leigh - 26-Apr-20 @ 7:52 PM
My son is 16doing a level 2, 3 days a week.Do I still pay maintenance???
Nic - 25-Apr-20 @ 7:18 AM
My daughter is just finishing her level 2. At collage. Hoping to get on to level 3. She dose 3 day's aweek. Do i have to still pay maintenance for her. She will be 18 this year.
Badger - 21-Apr-20 @ 5:20 PM
When or if my child decides to leave the mother's home to further education am. I right in saying I pay my child the maintenance and not the mother?
Hazza123 - 15-Apr-20 @ 9:05 AM
Hi. My oldest son is 18 and was meant to be until June however due to the corunavirus he wont be going back to college. Does this meen I dont have to pay csa for my son anymore
Jimmymel - 10-Apr-20 @ 12:01 PM
Hi, so my partner has his children through the covid 19 pandemic and we usually have them 2 nights a weeks and we pay 309.00 per month. However since c19 we have been having them 3 ti 4 nights a week. My question is, should we still be paying her 309.00 per month if it's now nearly 50 / 50? because I dont think we should. Also she is extremely controlling and difficult and has lied to the CSA last year when the new arrangements started. She said they started kn july the 2 nights a week and they didnt, they only started in September when the kids went back to school. We had them FULL TIME OVER SUMMER and CSA did nothing! and made us back pay it all because we didnt have PROOF. since then I have logged all dates down but if my partner contacts CSA and explains we are having them more now, will they listen and take him on as she lies.
deb - 10-Apr-20 @ 8:38 AM
Hi, I've been struggling to find information about whether I can still claim child maintenance fees from my "dad" who went abroad before an agreement was made and hasn't sent fees since. I'm currently 19 but I did further education till 18 and a few months later my mum passed and the only money I have is her will money. However my dad finally came back in contact with me and I have not forgiven him cause he used to beat my mum whilst she still had me and threw my money out before I was born. I think he still had to pay for my brother and sisters as there were 6 of us. Anyway I want to know if I can still claim or get money out from him
HarryR - 10-Apr-20 @ 7:16 AM
@colzer.well you are a better men then me .i guess in your eyes I’m the lowest off society you have a right to your opinion.you sound like the mother off my daughter and we will get nowhere just go around in circles back and forth.so it’s better to walk away and move on .for the record I don’t care what they do as a family just as long as her new husband is (paying) for the fish and chips because he was the one who took on the responsibility off the child when he took the mother on poor bastard.so it’s he’s responsibility.i just hang out with the other lowlifes off society and a party lowlife style .peace and god bless .
Chris - 5-Apr-20 @ 8:14 PM
It's actually disgraceful reading some of these comments. I pay for my kids and will continue to do so for as long as they need my support (full time education or not). For someone to chose not to see their kid and in return they don't need to pay child maintenance or a feeble excuse like they haven't seen their child in so long, can't afford it are the lowest of our society. Who cares if they go out and buy fish and chips as a family!! Your child is being fed. Respect to the dads who are payingfor their kids.
Colzer - 5-Apr-20 @ 10:28 AM
@princess.i don’t know about your situation but there is no (jobs in my circle everything is closed )and everyone is on (welfare) stay home are the (orders from the government) .so there will be no child support paid maybe 7 pounds a fortnight out off welfare check .its a (new challenging time for everyone with this virus ).(in my 38 years on this planet I have never seen anything like this ).We have no pubs we can’t go fishing or water skiing we can’t have bbq with work mates at our own house .all we are allowed to do is go to the shopping centre to get the basic supplies if there is anything left on the shelf.and now the government is restricting how much alcohol we buy. it’s like I’m living in a (dictatorship )we use to live in a privileged country god damn you China you have f the world congratulations.
Chris - 31-Mar-20 @ 10:02 PM
My stepson is coming 19yrs old here,does my child maintenance stop now hes on universal credit?
Princess - 31-Mar-20 @ 4:51 PM
My daughter is 17. Was at school (A level) and I was paying her mother weekly agreed together amount (daughter stays with me 3 nights). Due to coronavirus school is now closed. Do I still have to pay each week (my daughter still staying 3 nights each week with me).
Amcl - 30-Mar-20 @ 6:28 PM
My daughters (17) and in FT education father has stopped payments for three months now again without telling me. When I asked him why he said because he doesn’t want to pay unless I’m going to be nice and friendly to him. He has recently sold his flat and is currently training to be a pilot with those funds. He also says that legally he doesn’t have to pay because he’s made himself unemployed as he wanted to train to be a pilot. Can he get away with repeatedly not paying by making himself unemployed?
Shh - 27-Mar-20 @ 11:11 AM
Hi, My Son is due to finish college in June with no wishes to go back for another term however with the Corona Virus the college is now shut for the term. Do my payments stop, carry on till june or are they suspended till September to see if they will complete the course ? Thanks Mr H
Mr H - 23-Mar-20 @ 5:46 PM
Please can you advise My son has been kicked out of college and is not working or studying , he has turned 18 year a month a go, do I still have to pay maintenance to September?
Tommymotto - 17-Mar-20 @ 3:49 PM
@susiD.i have (no legal) right to the (child) so there is no (moral obligation). I gave my rightsup (11 years ago) .so that’s why I don’t need to (pay child support).it was done (legally) too the child was( adopted bye the mothers husband) .so get off my back .
Laurie - 7-Mar-20 @ 3:03 AM
@suslD.and if the mothers circumstances have changed it’s not( my problem).and she was the one that didn’t want( child support) she even told me (face to face) she wants (no money for no contact) .and I think it would be a bit funny going to court now for a child that lives with her boyfriend?.what do you people think ?.
Laurie - 7-Mar-20 @ 12:58 AM
@susiD.why would I go to (family court) after 11 years the (child lives with her boyfriend )I personally think that( ship us sailed) .and you say I have no sense off responsibility or obligation towards the child and don’t deserve children hey maybe I don’t no these things no one gave be a (rule book) on been father .i don’t class myself as her( father) I haven’t seen her in 11 years .and who going to look after me when I am old a (age care facility) and I won’t be sad lonely I will have friends be the head off the lawn bowls community or mini golf president.
Laurie - 7-Mar-20 @ 12:28 AM
My daughter has not been to school since she was age 14 at least She is now 16 and I stopped maintenance as no longer lives with her mum Lives with her boyfriend Her mum still wants maintenance till September I believe Where do I stand please
Poolboylee - 6-Mar-20 @ 12:28 AM
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