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At What Age Do Child Maintenance Payments Stop?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 Oct 2019 | 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 my partner pays Maintenence for his daughter but she has recently had a baby, she 17 and still in education. When would his payments stop? Many thanks
Hl - 21-Oct-19 @ 10:35 PM
Hi my son is 18 next month n doing another year at college til sept 2020, do I still get maintence from his dad,??
Donnydrublu - 13-Oct-19 @ 10:07 PM
Hi guy can someonepleaseanswer. My fatheruse to pay child support for me untill i was 16 yrs, then went to court with me and we cancelthe child support .no he dead wil iinherites anything from that and how to know the he left a will or anythingfor me. Becauseam not closewith my step mum.
Smash - 8-Oct-19 @ 8:17 PM
My son is 20, lives with his mum, Finished College & been working 2 years, I am still paying Child Maintenance, Why???
Stitch - 7-Oct-19 @ 2:40 PM
Hi my daughter just turned 20. And thinking at carrying on to university and was wondering what .age do I have to continue paying . Not trying to get out of payments . Would be nice to no. Thanks
Jeffers - 5-Oct-19 @ 8:12 PM
My son is at college but has also started a job. Does this effect the amount of maintenance I pay?
. - 30-Sep-19 @ 7:11 PM
Hey ladies and gentlemen. First of all,I understand the anger, frustration,mental destruction, discrimination,racism,predujice etc etc etc.... Guys,keep ya chin up don't do anything silly. Best advice I can give any non-resident parent is keep paying..I didn't,and I got threatend by the cmt(child maintenance team) on a regular basis. My bank was instructed to pay obscene amounts of money out even though I didn't use it, causing absolute stress on another level which includes Bank fees and charges which are also on another level. Bank account closed ;) Be patient,set up standing order and pay regular payments. Ask for flexibility,pay over longer periods. They can't refuse. Payments sorted. Now,your like me perhaps,never see your kids,never have any say in anything to do with their Life. Time is a healer.(took me around 5years) Take good advice,your not the only ones with this discrimination against the non resident parent. If your like me,your kids minds have been poisoned and that's how it's going to be.Dont fight it,you will lose! Fact! Been there done it. Don't waste your money on solicitors,it won't get you anything but debt... If you want to see a solicitor,then see them about stress,debt,mental state,caused by the CMT. RECORD all calls to and from the CMT,tell them that it is recorded. Keep records of every single person you have spoken to,dates times etc... Keep calling,to let them know you still can't access your child maintenance account. (You will be shut off). If you want to see your kids,then unfortunately it will cost you the earth and you will be treated like? Well,I can't say criminal as they are better off so you decide.. If you can live without your kids in your life then you have made it and hopefully have moved on from all the gabage. I love mine to bits but they have mental problems now that can't really be undone. That's not my fault,it's the systems fault so they can deal with it.Now they don't need to work as the state keeps giving them money,(I dont blame them for not working either,your better off) ;) Hope this answer most your Q's ;)
Dogturd - 29-Sep-19 @ 1:54 PM
Hi can anyone help iv 3 girl's witch I pay for My oldest one as left college back in June and now working full time.. But I'm still paying for her this can't be right Iv rang csa twice now about it and still nothing is been done. The ex as been done for benefits frourd befor... Any idea
Andy - 28-Sep-19 @ 2:07 PM
Hi - Hope someone can answer this for me as I cant find anything on Google. I've not seen my daughter since she was 12, she's now 19. I've been paying CSA every month in an agreed arrangement. I understand through someone else that my daughter has left college and is pregnant, dont know if she's still living at home with her mum and partner. My question is - do I still continue to pay or can I stop the payments by cancelling the direct debit without informing CSA?
Nesta - 26-Sep-19 @ 4:48 PM
Hi Matt, having gone through the courts with my ex who took my children on holiday for 5 days in Margate and on her 5th holiday in Italy now with her new husband I completely get where you are coming from. She currently has me being financially investigated but hey ive got nothing to hide. I think the issue here is you say it was part of a court order. If that is the case you will need to go back to court and present that you can no longer support this level of outgoings. My ex played it right to the letter of the order so I had to play the game. Just looking up now on CMS as my daughter is 17 it states that if they are studying up to A level only its 20 years of age. If she completes her A levels at 18 and then moves on to a degree payment stops at 18. My son is sick of it at home and cant cope with bullying by his step dad nor the victorian punishments handed out yet I can do nothing at this stage. Im hoping once he turns 14 he gives up the ghost and moves in with me. That will put a smile on her face.
My Man - 21-Sep-19 @ 9:48 AM
Help wanted,i know i am not alone and there are so many other Dads in my situation, i got divorced 5 years ago through no fault of my own (my ex just didn't like me anymore we drifted apart) she has taken me to the cleaners and still continues to do so. that's not the worst part she also limits me to the time i can see my two great kids 13 and 16 now. she got the house during the divorce now worth around £750000 that i had paid the mortgage on for 15 out of the 25 year mortgage, i also have to pay her CM every month that i have never defaulted on,She is on her 15 holiday this year however still trys to get money off of me every month for addition school trips, Lockers, Books, you name it she comes to me,i am flexiable and will always swap if she cannot have the children one night or weekend however this is never the case if i ask. i have just checked and my court order states i have to pay CM until tertiary education to first level degree. can someone please tel me what age this is. i have meet someone else and we have 2 small children, now both in nursery and money is so tight. why does the law always side with the female. no wonder so many of us take our own life
Matt - 17-Sep-19 @ 11:10 AM
Help wanted,i know i am not alone and there are so many other Dads in my situation, i got divorced 5 years ago through no fault of my own (my ex just didn't like me anymore we drifted apart) she has taken me to the cleaners and still continues to do so. that's not the worst part she also limits me to the time i can see my two great kids 13 and 16 now. she got the house during the divorce now worth around £750000 that i had paid the mortgage on for 15 out of the 25 year mortgage, i also have to pay her CM every month that i have never defaulted on,She is on her 15 holiday this year however still trys to get money off of me every month for addition school trips, Lockers, Books, you name it she comes to me,i am flexiable and will always swap if she cannot have the children one night or weekend however this is never the case if i ask. i have just checked and my court order states i have to pay CM until tertiary education to first level degree. can someone please tel me what age this is. i have meet someone else and we have 2 small children, now both in nursery and money is so tight. why does the law always side with the female. no wonder so many of us take our own life
Matt - 17-Sep-19 @ 10:42 AM
My daughter doesn't receive any support or money for up bringing by her father , he isn't on the birth certificate, what do i do ? Im low income amd it is hard i wamt her to have more than i can give her amd rightly so cos she has a dad that can pay his oart to her too , he is self employed and says i will never get a penny,I don't want his money bit I think his daughter should , she's 11
KT.H - 13-Sep-19 @ 8:41 PM
My daughter turned 16 in March, regrettably she moved out of her mothers home in May to live with her boyfriend, and has enrolled for college. Should I continue to pay child maintenance to her mother or contact CSA ?
A concerned farther - 4-Sep-19 @ 3:51 PM
My partner and ex split due to her meeting strangers for the obvious in hotel rooms while he was working 60hr week -over 7yrs ago -she never worked- she had a 40k payout from the house she never put a penny into - My partner has paid £400 monthly maintenance for 2 kids since they split 7yrs ago one of his kids has been turned against him her mom (his ex) hasn’t sent her to school since age 12 (she only did year 7 she should be year 11 now) she tried to say the son was autistic (to get more benefits) - he went through all the tests and the education psychologist outcomed he definitely wasn’t autistic- she continued saying this to the point the son thought he was ill - she stopped him seeing his son by taking the boy to the doctor saying he’s autistic and his dad shouted at him (gp never checked the records) told her not to send him to dads if upsets the boy - - my partner spent 18 months going through the court process which outcomed social care involved as she was emotionally abusing them (also they were living in unhygienic conditions) he started seeing his son again after the court order - and never misses a beat picking him up - even with the change of pick up venue she still tries to call the shots - she has now thrown £300 worth of receipts saying he needs to pay her parents for uniform they paid for his son - her demands are relentless for money - but she’s not happy for him to buy the kid trendy trainers / hoody’s as it upsets the daughter that hasn’t seen him for 5yrs !! His ex claims all the benefits going- keeps the daughter at home for company (she incidentally has apparently got poor mental health now too - and even PTSD from when her dad didn’t let her buy what she wanted from the supermarket - he tried to give her some boundaries that she clearly never had living with her mom) - her mom his ex started seeing a transvestite - my partner requested she didn’t dress up in front of his kids but had no authority over this - His ex clearly isn’t captof parenting properly- I believe she should be peanalised - not paid for her ruining the kids lives / future. Every one is entitled to their opinion on the above situation- but believe me these type of women are not fit to be mothers let alone receive benefits to feed their laziness!
MaryJ - 2-Sep-19 @ 9:21 PM
Unfortunately and very sadly due to the nature of my divorce I was pushed away by my ex and no longer have contact with my son, despite many attempts trying to contact him. He is at college but I have since found out he is also working. Please could advise if my payments to my ex should be reduced?
Tiger - 29-Aug-19 @ 9:32 PM
Jude shut the hell up . You know nothing you , I recieved not a penny from my dad all my life and i have paid for 16 years for my child.When i barley make enough to get by myself . So get off your high horse.One day all kids have to grow up and stand on there own two feet!!!
Briggs - 29-Aug-19 @ 10:44 AM
My stepdaughter is 18 and is due to do a third year at college as a foundation course to uni.Can payments stop or do we continue to pay.Also is a YMCA course Level 3 advanced or non advanced education.Bit of a minefield all this to be honest.
Pippa - 28-Aug-19 @ 1:23 PM
So Jude, many of the Dads on here are not shirking any responsibilities but are probably just like me and been bleed dry for years.. my daughter has signed up for a third year at a college..not progressing just taking more courses at the sameA level so her delightful mother can continue on the gravy train. At some point the mothers need to do best for the children not spite the fathers.. CSA are a joke and yes crime does pay when they dont even validate the courses so take it on their word... anyone found a way around this before i don my batman costume and climb the shard...
Frustrated by fraud - 27-Aug-19 @ 5:21 PM
My daughter was home schooled upto the age of 14, she's 18 next. she hasn't sat any g c s e as she isn't upto the grade standard, she now is due for an op. But because her mum has somehow managed to get family allowance for her I still have to pay, I don't mind paying my daughter, her mum hasn't worked for 16 years and claims everything going. Ps I have never faltered on any payment for the last 16 years
Joke - 11-Aug-19 @ 11:43 AM
My Child starts a foundation course at University I spoke to the Child support agency and asked if I have to continue paying maintenance as my child is now in advanced education. One person said no, the other said yes. i can find no information on Foundation Courses at all She will be doing a Level 3 foundation course Any Ideas?
Andre - 10-Aug-19 @ 9:34 AM
Trev, what I have learned over the last ten years of paying CSA is dont expect any help, any literature or anything. All you will definitely get is the CSA talking to you like you are the scum of the Earth... ....Although, having said that, it's probably fair because we are only Dads, and not Mums.
Rich - 9-Aug-19 @ 7:58 AM
My daughter finished full time education A levels and left school on 17th May 2019. I made what I thought according to government legislation was my last payment in May but now I'm being hounded by CMS for payment until September.They say they have set dates for when payments should end and that is September, because she isn't in full time employment! Is anybody going through the same issue and is there any official literature to support the CMS payment end dates?
Trev - 7-Aug-19 @ 3:26 PM
C.Laurie, yes that is great that you did that. But why should children have to? When we decide to have children that should be for life. There is no magic age when kids don't need parents. I know they need to be independent but the current housing situation makes it almost impossible for young single people to get on the housing ladder and there are many, many men out there not taking their responsibilities seriously. I know there are many, many responsible decent fathers but one man who walks away is too many.
Jude - 7-Aug-19 @ 9:06 AM
@jude.i was 18 once and I had my own house I could afford it because i let other people move in pay rent to me .back then I was covering rent plus making 50 profit for myself .and I grow up with a single mum who never got child support me .so it can be done I am living proof.
C.laurie - 7-Aug-19 @ 2:53 AM
I cannot believe some of the comments from so called dads on this site. Just because your child is 18 that does not mean they are able to support themselves financially. Which 18 is able to afford to have their own home? Get real, you should all pay until your offspring are financially independent because if you don't then their mothers have to and why should the responsibility always end up with the mothers!
Jude - 7-Aug-19 @ 12:59 AM
My son who has autism & adhd is awaiting his Alevel result. He has already enrolled for college in September. He is 18 yes of age. At what point does his dad stop paying me child maintenance
Bratch - 1-Aug-19 @ 1:03 AM
My son was 18 in May and has finished college.He is looking for an apprenticeship-does this count as full time education?
. - 11-Jul-19 @ 7:54 PM
my boy has finished school. Hes 16 and not going back to school for furture education. He will be looking for a job. When do i stop paying CSA payments
chubb - 11-Jul-19 @ 3:17 PM
My daughter turned 18 in June she has passed all her A levels and is now going onto university, at what point do I stop paying child maintenance surely 18 years is enough.
Brabus - 11-Jul-19 @ 11:56 AM
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