Home > Ask Our Experts > At What Age Do Child Maintenance Payments Stop?

At What Age Do Child Maintenance Payments Stop?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 23 Feb 2018 | 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi I’m looking for advice my daughter turns 18 in July and is at college but stays with myself at least 3 times a week I have had a mutual agreement with the other parent wth no problems until now but my daughter is not receiveing anything from the other parent for bus fares and food etc and I have to now give her money as well as my agreed maintience will I be able to stop paying the other parent when she is 18 and give her the money directly instead of the other parent she will be finished college by the time she is 19 many thanks
Big h - 23-Feb-18 @ 7:14 AM
BK - Your Question:
Hi, my Daughter is away at university, so not living with her mother. As there is no financial costs to my Ex for up keep of my Daughter, am I still responsible for CMS/CSA.?? My Daughter turns 19 this year.

Our Response:
You are not responsible for paying child maintenance for your daughter, if your daughter is away at university, unless a court order stipulates that you must.
SeparatedDads - 22-Feb-18 @ 12:59 PM
Hi, my Daughter is away at university, so not living with her mother. As there is no financial costs to my Ex for up keep of my Daughter, am I still responsible for CMS/CSA..?? My Daughter turns 19 this year.
BK - 20-Feb-18 @ 5:30 PM
Keevil - Your Question:
I am being told by my ex wife that when my daughter goes to University in September that she can still apply for an adult maintainable grant from me. Is this correct?

Our Response:
It is correct. In certain circumstances the court can rule to extend child maintenance to the end of your child’s university degree or vocational training course, if your child has a genuine need for financial assistance.
SeparatedDads - 20-Feb-18 @ 3:49 PM
Him - Your Question:
Hi everyone, I am in a situation and I need advice. My son has suddenly stopped contacting me. On the 5th June 2015, it was the last time I spoke to him on the phone and also shockingly he has refused to come and meet me. Since that day he blocked me from every possible way to contact him. Now I understand that in order to pay his mother the Child Maintenance, she has to submit to CMS how many nights a week he stayed with me. Also, I am away from the UK since June 2016 in Cairo, Egypt. I have informed CMS of this. On my return to the UK on July 2018 hopefully, he will be 20 years old, do I have still to pay for Child Maintenance?

Our Response:
As outlined in the article, if your son is in full-time education up to 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.
SeparatedDads - 19-Feb-18 @ 10:05 AM
Hi everyone, I am in a situation and I need advice. My son has suddenly stopped contacting me. On the 5th June 2015, it was the last time I spoke to him on the phone and also shockingly he has refused to come and meet me. Since that day he blocked me from every possible way to contact him. Now I understand that in order to pay his mother the Child Maintenance, she has to submit to CMS how many nights a week he stayed with me. Also, I am away from the UK since June 2016 in Cairo, Egypt. I have informed CMS of this. On my return to the UK on July 2018 hopefully, he will be 20 years old, do I have still to pay for Child Maintenance?
Him - 18-Feb-18 @ 2:46 AM
I am being told by my ex wife that when my daughter goes to University in September that she can still apply for an adult maintainable grant from me. Is this correct?
Keevil - 16-Feb-18 @ 3:37 PM
@JustaDad - yes, like the parents with care who continue to claim child benefit when the child has obviously left full-time education but they choose not to declare it. The colleges and schools should also be made to inform the child benefit office if a child hasn't been into school for a period of time and has obviously left, but they don't. As the parent without care trying to get any information on whether you should still be paying child maintenance is impossible - the school or college won't give you information, child benefit won't either. I know my son doesn't go into college but I'm still paying for him not to attend and my ex is still claiming child benefit and child maintenance for him not to attend.
JonT - 16-Feb-18 @ 10:12 AM
My husband pays child support for a son he was never allowed to see due to the childs disability, we are wondering when the child support will stop as he is already in a special school?
Ro - 15-Feb-18 @ 6:52 PM
Rob - Your Question:
I have continually paid child maintenance to my ex wife for our child. She finshes her exams in June this year and becomes 18 on July 4th. I was going to pay maintenance until july 4th but she is saying that I should continue to pay until she is completly finished. ie if she needs to do any retakes, I should pay until they are over as well? this could be the end of August?is this correct?

Our Response:
It is correct. The official ending of the school year is August 31. Please see the link here , as child maintenance falls in line with when child benefit stops.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-18 @ 3:25 PM
Retro Dan- Your Question:
Hi my daughter is 18 she’s in her last yr of 6 form due to finish in September 2018 and go to university do I stop paying maintaince when she finishes ?

Our Response:
When your child leaves approved education or training payments will stop at the end of February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November (whichever comes first). They fall in line with when child benefit stops, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-18 @ 2:54 PM
Dunc - Your Question:
Hi my ex wife is getting married do I still pay maintainece for my children if she changes her name ?

Our Response:
Yes, you would still pay child maintenance. A name change or marriage does not mean you would stop paying child maintenance for your children. Every biological non-resident parent is expected to help contribute to their children's day-to-day needs.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-18 @ 2:35 PM
Bart - Your Question:
Hi, my son turned 18 in January, I have not seen him since he was 5, but have always paid maintenance. As I have no contact with the mother or him, how do I know when my payments end.do child maintenance inform me or do I have to contact them. Your advice would be appreciated.

Our Response:
If you are paying child maintenance via CMS/CSA then your payments would naturally stop being collected when your son finishes full-time education and when his child benefit ceases, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-18 @ 2:30 PM
Topdad1 - Your Question:
My daughter turns 20 on July 30th 2018 and finishes education that same month. I pay my maintenance through mutual agreement on the last day of the month every month. What date would be my final payment be on? 31/07/18 or 31/08/18?

Our Response:
Child maintenance ends officially when child benefit does. You can see more via the link here.
SeparatedDads - 15-Feb-18 @ 11:20 AM
Hi, I’m currently going through a legal battle over maintenance that was paid by me but shouldn’t have been, it’s quite complex but I wanted to share details of where key information can be found. Firstly I will say that everyone that should pay maintenance needs to pay it, I did for 16 years on a local agreement and firmly believe it’s a responsibility that should be kept by the parent without care. The following are the Regulations and/or Acts that are relevant to Child Maintenance and Child Benefit, important thug to remember is if Child Benefit is eligible then so is Child Maintenance. 1. Child Support Maintenance Payment Regulations 2012. 2. Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. 3. Child Benefit (General) Regulations 2006 This is where you will find the prescribed conditions for Child Benefit, if the Child doesn’t meet the prescribed conditions then Child Benefit is not eligible and therefore Child Maintenance isn’t either (moral compass required) The above can be quite complex so the treasury provides the guidance to the HMRC Child Benefit Office in how use these Regulations and Acts in the form of Technical and Compliance Manuals. As an example I have seen people asking about when Maintenance stops, so if your child is over the age of 16 and has left “full time non advanced education” these will explain the requirements and definitions that are used. I’m simple terms if they’ve left then the next terminal date applies and there are 4 throughout the year (31/08, 30/11, 28/02 & 31/05) if your child left education in October then Maintenance can stop from 01/12 but make sure your ex is made aware as they need to update the Child Benefit Office of change of circumstances (it is their duty to do so and they signed a declaration on the CH297 form relating to it) The Child Benefit Office and Department for Work and Pensions are completely separate entities but Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Child Maintenance are linked and follow the same guidance from the treasury. I can provide links to where the information is should anyone require it, remember that where Maintenance is due pay it and always get legal advice even if you think you’re right. In my case I found dishonesty and deceit by my ex and only ever wanting to be a good parent to my daughter (and Dad) feel disappointed that the information in the public eye is one that ridicules parents that don’t pay but doesn’t look at the dishonesty of those who continue to take what isn’t due from the parent without care and also the tax payer. Have always and will always support my daughter but in a way that doesn’t line someone else’s pocket. JustaDad
JustaDad - 15-Feb-18 @ 7:53 AM
My daughter turns 20 on July 30th 2018 and finishes education that same month. I pay my maintenance through mutual agreement on the last day of the month every month. What date would be my final payment be on? 31/07/18 or 31/08/18?
Topdad1 - 14-Feb-18 @ 12:32 PM
Hi, my son turned 18 in January, I have not seen him since he was 5, but have always paid maintenance. As I have no contact with the mother or him, how do I know when my payments end....do child maintenance inform me or do I have to contact them. Your advice would be appreciated.
Bart - 13-Feb-18 @ 5:42 PM
Hi my ex wife is getting married do I still pay maintainece for my childrenif she changes her name ?
Dunc - 13-Feb-18 @ 5:05 PM
Hi my daughter is 18 she’s in her last yr of 6 form due to finish in September 2018 and go to university do I stop paying maintaince when she finishes ?
Retro Dan - 13-Feb-18 @ 5:01 PM
I have continually paid child maintenance to my ex wife for our child. She finshes her exams in June this year and becomes 18 on July 4th.. I was going to pay maintenance until july 4th but she is saying that i should continue to pay until she is completly finished . ie if she needs to do any retakes, i should pay until they are over as well? this could be the end of August? is this correct?
Rob - 13-Feb-18 @ 3:05 PM
Dave - Your Question:
Hi I am looking for some advice. I married my wife in Indonesia 17 years ago when she became pregnant. I was working in Indonesia at that time. We moved to England in 2003 when our first son was 2. We have another son aged 14. My mum helped me with a large deposit on the house and has paid for all the renovations. I have paid the mortgage in my sole name and all the bills for the last 15 years. My wife has never contributed a penny to the running of the home. I work full time. I cook all the meals. My wife does some ironing but no washing of clothes or washing up. My mother has paid for all school uniform and school trips as I cannot afford everything.My wife works 4 hours a day but is not needed for child care as the boys are independent.She has asked me for a divorce - no idea the reason. She expects me to move out and continue to pay for her and all her bills. She has refused full time work and all her money is spent on herself.I have advised her that we need to live separate lives and explained what this means. She does not understand. She is sleeping on the couch in the one communal room in our house. There is a spare room that I have asked to move into. She left the marital bed, is out all hours and I amLoathed to leave the only room in the house I can go into. I think it is totally unacceptable for our sons to see her sleeping on a couch. They can’t go in their to watch tv, ear etc. I have tried everything and have put it all in writing. She thinks we should sell the house that she has not contributed to and that I should get her a flat. This will never happen unless we want to live in Mossside.She want talk, she shouts , she in debt.What do I do know. I want to to re her out

Our Response:
If you have been married for 17 years and you have had children together (who presumably your wife has raised - meaning she has equally contributed to the home), then your wife has equal rights over the home you both jointly own (regardless of whether you have solely paid the mortgage). When you marry, assets and finances are considered jointly owned. Unless you decide to split/divide your joint assets and finances equally/ fairly, you may end up in court, in which case it will cost you both considerably more. The deposit your mother paid, my be considered a non-marital amount, so you may be able to justify retaining this. I suggest you perhaps consider mediation as a way of trying to come to a fair financial arrangement between you both. The stance you have currently, could be considered as financially abusive/controlling.
SeparatedDads - 13-Feb-18 @ 12:55 PM
Freddy - Your Question:
My son is 18 and in the last year of college. My payment end when he leaves full time education. So will this be in the June when they break up for study leave, the July after they take their last exam or end of august to correspond with child benefit payments?

Our Response:
It is generally the end of August, in line with child benefit payments ceasing.
SeparatedDads - 13-Feb-18 @ 11:33 AM
Hi I am looking for some advice.I married my wife in Indonesia 17 years ago when she became pregnant.I was working in Indonesia at that time.We moved to England in 2003 when our first son was 2. We have another son aged 14.My mum helped me with a large deposit on the house and has paid for all the renovations.I have paid the mortgage in my sole name and all the bills for the last 15 years.My wife has never contributed a penny to the running of the home.I work full time.I cook all the meals.My wife does some ironing but no washing of clothes or washing up. My mother has paid for all school uniform and school trips as I cannot afford everything. My wife works 4 hours a day but is not needed for child care as the boys are independent. She has asked me for a divorce - no idea the reason.She expects me to move out and continue to pay for her and all her bills.She has refused full time work and all her money is spent on herself. I have advised her that we need to live separate lives and explained what this means.She does not understand.She is sleeping on the couch in the one communal room in our house.There is a spare room that I have asked to move into.She left the marital bed, is out all hours and I am Loathed to leave the only room in the house I can go into.I think it is totally unacceptable for our sons to see her sleeping on a couch.They can’t go in their to watch tv, ear etc.I have tried everything and have put it all in writing.She thinks we should sell the house that she has not contributed to and that I should get her a flat.This will never happen unless we want to live in Mossside. She want talk, she shouts , she in debt. What do I do know.I want to to re her out
Dave - 12-Feb-18 @ 11:51 PM
My son is 18 and in the last year of college. My payment end when he leaves full time education. So will this be in the June when they break up for study leave, the July after they take their last exam or end of august to correspond with child benefit payments?
Freddy - 12-Feb-18 @ 9:35 PM
Wayne - Your Question:
Hi my daughter turned 18 in January and is still in school. She is also working part time. Can you tell me when I have got to stop paying child maintenance to my ex and also do they normally stay in education until July or have got to leave earlier. My ex stopped me seeing my daughter 10 years ago so I can't find out from her. I have paid maintenance for 17 years now and just want it to end

Our Response:
When your child leaves approved education or training payments will stop at the end of February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November (whichever comes first). If you are paying via CMS, your payments will stop in line with when your ex's eligibility to claim child benefit ceases. If your daughter is working part-time as well as being in college, this will not affect you having to pay child maintenance.
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-18 @ 11:30 AM
Smiler - Your Question:
Hi my daughter turns 20yr in April and currently at college 2 days a week.I pay the CSA rates through the calculator they use. Do I stop my payments on her 20th birthday or when her college course finishes in June Thankyou.

Our Response:
When your child leaves approved education or training, payments will stop at the end of February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November (whichever comes first).
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-18 @ 9:12 AM
Hi my daughter turned 18 in January and is still in school. She is also working part time. Can you tell me when I have got to stop paying child maintenance to my ex and also do they normally stay in education until July or have got to leave earlier. My ex stopped me seeing my daughter 10 years ago so I can't find out from her. I have paid maintenance for 17 years now and just want it to end
Wayne - 8-Feb-18 @ 6:10 PM
Lucky- Your Question:
My sons mother has not let me see my son in 11 years and 6 years ago got married and changed my sons name to there's and has since turned 18 do I have to pay them from when they married

Our Response:
Much depends upon when your ex put a claim in to CSA/CMS. If your ex has never put a claim in, then you would not have to pay back pay. If your ex has put a claim in, then you would have to pay back pay from the time the claim was registered (if eligible). Re-marrying and/or changing your son's name makes no difference to the amount you as the biological non-resident parent would be eligible to pay. Every non-resident parent is responsible for helping to financially support their child regardless of whether your ex re-marries. The link here , may help you further.
SeparatedDads - 8-Feb-18 @ 3:27 PM
Hi my daughterturns 20yr in Apriland currentlyat college2 days a week.I pay the CSA rates throughthe calculator they use. Do I stop my paymentson her 20th birthdayor when her collegecoursefinishes in June Thankyou .
Smiler - 8-Feb-18 @ 9:02 AM
My sons mother has not let me see my son in 11 years and 6 years ago got married and changed my sons name to there's and has since turned 18 do I have to pay them from when they married
Lucky - 8-Feb-18 @ 2:34 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.