Home > Legal > Can I Leave the CSA and Come to a Private Arrangement?

Can I Leave the CSA and Come to a Private Arrangement?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 8 Aug 2023 |
Csa Child Support Maintenance

Due to recent changes in child support laws and since the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has replaced the Child Support Agency (CSA), it is possible to come to a private/family-based arrangement about financial provision for your child. Before the change in the law, if a parent with care was on benefit, they were required to use the CSA. Now it is possible to make a private arrangement if you are on benefits, and the parent with care who is on benefits is also entitled to keep more of the maintenance before it has any effect on the benefits they receive.

Of course, resident parents may want to take some time to think this through. If they do not have another definite arrangement in force, and the non-resident parent is simply promising to pay maintenance, they should consider coming to a family-based arrangement. There is no requirement to have an agreement in place before leaving the CSA. It is necessary to keep the CSA informed as to what you decide, however, as otherwise they will continue to try to collect money from the non-resident parent.

Coming to a Private Arrangement

If you are thinking of coming to a family-based arrangement, there are several things you should know. A private arrangement is just that – there are no authorities involved and it is purely an agreement between you and the resident parent. Please also be aware that under an informal family-based arrangement CMS cannot collect arrears on the receiving parent's behalf if and where the paying parent refuses to pay. It is vital, therefore, that you and your ex-partner are able to communicate honestly, openly and calmly with one another for a private agreement to have any chance of working. If you’re able to do this, you’re more likely to co-operate with one another.

Statistically speaking, parents who were not able to come to an arrangement prior to CSA involvement are less likely to be able to agree matters informally. Don’t let that put you off if you both genuinely want to try to make a private arrangement.

Making a Private Arrangement Enforceable

It is possible to create a binding agreement from a private arrangement for Child Maintenance Payments. You’re likely to have to pay a solicitor to do this for you. The terms of your private agreement will be recorded on a document which becomes a consent order in the family courts.

Private arrangements involve a certain level of trust between the parents. Negotiations should therefore focus on the best interests of your child or children, and you should ensure that you have had discussions before coming to a suitable figure. This may mean discussing all the elements of your child’s upbringing that involves cost.

Not only is it important to decide how much money is paid, but you need to decide when and how payments are made. If you have this in writing, you and the other parent are more likely to stick to it. You may also want to make provision in the event that your circumstances change, for example, if you lose your job.

Changes to the CSA

In November 2013 the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) replaced the CSA. If you have an existing case with the CSA they will remain in charge of your case and will continue to manage it. Any new cases will be managed by the Child Maintenance Service. The CMS prefers parents to agree family-based arrangement. You can access a family-based arrangement form/template via the Child Maintenance Service website.

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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Please cancel my claim, the dad has chose to have no involvement so I don’t want his help Thanks
Zoey - 8-Aug-23 @ 10:19 PM
They are a disgrace, how they get away with what the do is beyond me,
BIGGGYYY - 9-Jul-21 @ 3:50 PM
I need help, I’ve never been married or in a relationship with this person, she got pregnant and kept a child and told me she was pregnant at 7 months, she applied for csa years ago and cancelled it back in 2014-15, I got Told she wouldn’t be eligible to apply again, please can someone help? As this ain’t nice what she is doing, what has she been doing for the last 10 years providing? Why want me to pay all of a sudden when I’m not even around! I was never married, just got trapped!
Mud - 27-Apr-21 @ 8:18 AM
I’ve payed child maintenance but got made redundant. I found new job straight away and didn’t stop paying. But now my new is substantially less than before so can I now change my payment to what I think I should be paying?
Woodheadchris - 1-Apr-21 @ 3:04 PM
Hi can I restart csa if your child goes back to college
Tris - 7-Dec-20 @ 11:02 AM
Can anyone help ? I was paying my ex for my children every week what we agreed on. But then had a letter from CMS saying she had opened a case ? I was confused as I was paying every week. CMS did help me out and after my ex stopping me seeing my children for some time ,she said “I will close the case as long as you pay me ex amount “.I agreed to this and started paying the agreed amount,I’m just concerned , can she keep opening up a CMS case again and again or not ??
Paddy - 29-Nov-20 @ 6:06 PM
@sarah.the only (private arrangement) I would only do is pay for the solicitor bill to have (my surname removed legally )and for her (mother and her daughter) to never come near me even in (my death )they are not (welcome at my funeral In my eyes I never had a child this is gods truth).this is the only deal I will do .if she wants to hit me child support now we’ll like I said before it’s (war )and they will (lose) .because I will bet her mother at (any game) because in (reality )I am a bad bad men with a long memory and short fuse .this is the only deal on the table it’s up to her if she wants to take it ?.
C w laurie - 3-Jun-20 @ 10:45 PM
Please cancel my application for child payments myself and my ex partner have come to an agreement.
Sarah - 3-Jun-20 @ 6:35 PM
I would like to cancel my application myself and my ex partner have come to a private arrangement.
Sarah - 3-Jun-20 @ 6:33 PM
@neillo.in my situation her mother didn’t want child support which is (good) .(i wouldn’t have payed her anyway ).all I want is my (surname removed legally) she can go under her( mothers or fathers name I don’t care gods truth) .if she goes to cmsafter all these years just to (spite me )well it’s (war) then I never wanted this child why should I have to pay for something I never wanted that’s just not fair .but i am a fair men and I am willing to pay for solicitors bill and cover all costs to have surname removed legally??.do we have a deal ??
C.laurie - 25-May-20 @ 4:02 AM
My sons mother signed an agreement (Not via a solicitor) that I would pay her 100.00 a month, and I’ve even recently offered to raise it to 180.00 a month. I don’t want to tell her what I earn as I feel its an invasion of my privacy, but if she goes through the CMS, i’ll be paying substantially more. Is there anything I can do?
Neillo - 24-May-20 @ 11:39 PM
Hi. My partners ex wife had a contact to pay on from csa put on him over a year ago. They are taking so much money from us to use this system but his ex wont have it removed and come to a mutual arrangement because she knows there taking so much and she is enjoying that fact. Is there anything he can do to have to contact to pay removed? Surely he deserves the chance to prove himself that he can pay without it
Em - 27-Feb-20 @ 1:42 PM
My ex set up a written agreement to pay £150.00 a month into my bank my son is 13 and my ex hasn't paid me anything since 1st july 2019 where or what can I do?
Karen - 30-Jan-20 @ 7:07 AM
Hi Where do I stand regarding the following I’m involved in an open case, have been for several years, I’ve had no contact with the mother apart from the odd text message or phone call and have never seen my daughter, she is now 22 Several months ago our case worker contacted me and made me an offer on behalf of the mother to pay £10k and the case would be closed, I refrained this offer as I did not have sufficient funds available then, 2 weeks ago I did, so I contacted the mother, asked if the offer was still available, she said yes, but wanted £11k now, which she would pay any arrears etc and close the case, she sent her bank details and I paid, she’s now claiming to not wanting to close the case, I have been in contact with the CSM and they have not been very helpful however they have tried contacting the mother but she is ignoring all calls I’m not sure where I stand with this matter
Tony - 23-Dec-19 @ 8:09 PM
I received a SMS message this morning from the good child maintenance people advising me I need to £1013.26p per week starting from the 25th November 2019. It would that they inept at recording information correctly which has been given to them by myself in the form of a wage slip, and also information provided by HMRC. 2 weeks before this I had a letter advising that my payments would be only £76.72 per week which is the correct amount based on my salary. They must be on drugs.
EdgarDavidsGeps - 19-Nov-19 @ 6:47 PM
Can the respondent close the CMS case ? I have been told that only the applicant can do this .
Shell - 27-Oct-19 @ 8:50 PM
My boyfriend’s ex wife had a letter from the csa sent to my boyfriend’s house declaring he needed to pay £600/month in case. Neither of us have any idea where they’ve got these figures from. He earns nowhere near enough to justify this. After a day from Hell yesterday, my boyfriend and his ex wife finally reached an arrangement they are both happy with. My only concern is that once she’s started the csa procedure, can it be stopped?
Sian - 22-Sep-19 @ 3:14 PM
Hello, We had a private agreement to pay maintenance which we reviewed after a couple of years and I was paying £500 per month into ex's mums bank account. Now we reviewed and we used the payment calculator so my payments have gone up - not a problem so far at all .. But now she is demanding that I pay over 36k in arrears as she has used some form of calculation when not knowing my salary at all .. This is really putting a strain on me as I do not know how this figure was got and as we had a family agreement in place where is this figure come from ? Do i have to pay arrears if we agreed on a monthly sum ? I am at my wits end and feel very stressed .. Anyone help me ??
ConfusedForSure - 17-Sep-19 @ 11:46 AM
Hi I pay Csa for my son when I go on the calculator it’s works out £22.27 a week or £96.45 a month but I got a letter for £220 a month which is what happened before the ex had me down for paying for her other child which isn’t mine what do I do I got a court order and enforcement order of the judgeto have my son over the weekends I provide clothing and everything as the money through Csa does not go on mys sons welfare
Shane - 15-Sep-19 @ 7:52 PM
Why do the CMS go after Dads that pay? Why do they go after Dads that work for the forces, NHS, police, low earners etc? Why do they illegally use the wrong tax year? No wonder Dads that don’t pay will do anything to not pay a FAIR amount! The CMS is worse than the CSA it is a private money making business under the guise of the government Why haven’t the CSA and CMS been taking to the high court for murdering parents that pay. Taking driving license, passport, imprisonment that’s against human rights, draconian law. It is perfectly set up for the bitter angry ex. It is not a system set up for the child’s interests.
Desperate Dad - 6-Aug-19 @ 11:02 AM
Hi My ex opened a case with the cms saying I’m earning a certain amount and they have used this figure from 2017 tax year. I have now changed jobs which means I earn less but they still use my tax year from 2017. We are now in July 2019. I am giving more than they advise and also paying for food etc towards my ex and my child all of this I can prove as it’s direct pay. My ex then agreed to cancel the cms via the online portal to come to a family based/private arrangement. I have tried calling the cms and they have put the phone down on me three times, Now several months down the line a letter from the cms turns up still saying they are using the tax year 2017! Clearly stating that if I don’t pay every week/month that it’ll switch to collect and pay. My question is, what do I do?.....
Desperate dad - 20-Jul-19 @ 9:08 AM
Hi There, I came across your webisite though a friend of mine at work. I am about to separate from my wife and I need some help as legal advice , etc. I don’t know what to do. There’s possibility that someone adviser contact me please on 07871063010. I look forward to speaking with somwone . Regards, Fábio Jordao
Fabio - 3-May-19 @ 4:56 PM
My ex partner is self employed. He never put through the books all what he been earning.Now when we separated, refused to help me provide for our son. I put into place CSA and they calculated £17 per week. I know he earns much more than he declares. Anyone knows how to deal with my case? Thanks
Angelina Ollie - 29-Apr-19 @ 9:35 PM
My ex partner is trying to blackmail me to close the case. He says hes phoned and CSA told him I hadn't closed the case. Can he really find this out?
Cutie - 6-Mar-19 @ 6:39 PM
Hi. My ex partner and I have a 6yr old boy. She left abruptly 3yrs ago without warning whilst I was at work taking our child with her. I had no idea where they were for 3yrs. I have recently found them and things seemed to be going great. We getting on better than previously in the relationship. I have recently started work but only for an agency so my job is not guaranteed.Also my hours fluctuate from day to day.Now I receive a letter from csa stating they are going to take 49% of my earning to give to my son. Whilst I agree I should contribute, I,however disagree with the amount. Paying 4o% would leave me short on other bills...rent and living expenses. Question...Now that car are involved, can I still ask for a 'family based arrangements where we sort it out ourselves? Thanks for listening.Desperate
Ronnie - 2-Dec-18 @ 10:21 AM
So yesterday I received a letter from Child maintenance service saying they are doing a deduction of earnings at 95 a week from what I have been paying witch is 20 a week straight into her bank I really don't know what I'm going to do as if I stay at my job and pay this I'm not going to be able to live I did call them and all I got from them was will we ant CSA and you'll pay more
Outcast - 24-Oct-18 @ 11:04 AM
I have 2 kids to my ex I pay £189 each month. It is due to go up to £279 next tax year as I will be earning more. I am also saving £2000 for each child's 16th to help them with their next steps in life. I am saving because I know my ex only throws the money I pay on herself. Is there anything. Anything I can do to stop making payments. I need control of most of what money I pay so I can help our children. Nails hair holidays (without the kids) (her partners car MOT) I'm not thick I know that's my money. I believe my kids get fed but it doesn't cost over £100 each month to feed them and her.
Jon - 29-Sep-18 @ 8:20 AM
I have two children from a previous relationship , my daughter who is 17 left full time education an started to work after her GCSE , she has now decided 18 mths later that she wishes to attend college , am i eligible to restart my CSA payments ? I am curious as if this is the case and she drops out and starts again i am in a position of stop start with payments. secondly have the laws changed where by if a parentis with holding contactto a child then CSA payments are non- eligible ? I have been told this but am unsure of the truth in it. KR
Mr Men - 27-Aug-18 @ 7:29 PM
My ex overpaid £5 per week then demanding it all back at christmas (even though I asked him not to over pay) and now he has switched to monthly without telling CMS... He has also lied about how many nights per year he has her
Stargirl - 27-Aug-18 @ 12:38 PM
My ex who financially abused me for years has been continuing this through CMS.. I asked for direct pay he refused.. He overpaid £5 per week (I asked time and time again for him not to do this) and then demanded that overpayment back at Xmas.. Now he has withheld payments saying he is going to pay monthly with no warning. Also lied about having child 52 nights per year
Stargirl - 27-Aug-18 @ 12:35 PM
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