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At What Age Do Child Maintenance Payments Stop?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 May 2022 | 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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My child reaches 20 on the 9th July this year but the csa are billing me for the full year can I contest this or do I have to pay ?
Londoner - 21-May-22 @ 7:42 PM
If my eldest daughter starts work at 16 like she has Have i the right to cancel my DD of maintenance money
Regbro - 7-May-22 @ 12:31 PM
Hi All, i am inclined to agree with silverfox. However my court order did not have the same effect. Turned out there was at the time no consequence for a mother disobeying a court order. In fact I was instructed to give chance after chance to obey which never happened and no detrimental consequences levied. I find myself in a similar situation to most here it seems. My Son is 17 years old, i have not seen him since he was 6 and not a day passes that i dont think or wonder about the young man he is turning into and hope he can manage to be something he can be proud and happy with. I am however in the tough position I do not and probably will not know when he leaves full time education. I dont know where he lives as his mum would often move and not provide a forward address. I would by far prefer to pay my son direct, its bot that i dont want to pay. However I am hopeful the end of payment means he may try find me on facebook or other social platforms. I dont understand how we have a system that does not trigger a check when a child reaches key stages in their education and may even leave school to join the military, and the mother can still claim on her word. We are 20 years on and have made no progress in the understanding of fathers rights and the woman is not always necessarily the victim… If anyone has experienced the end of the CSA payment plans and success stories i would be very interested to hear. For now all i can see is a bleak outlook with no end in sight. Like i said, i figured the end of payments would trigger some contact and that is my aim, please do not take me wrong here and think i want to stop paying and forget, on the contrary I wish to pay and help direct rather than being a secret donor and not through choice.
Livedit - 4-May-22 @ 6:35 PM
Hi All, i am inclined to agree with silverfox. However my court order did not have the same effect. Turned out there was at the time no consequence for a mother disobeying a court order. In fact I was instructed to give chance after chance to obey which never happened and no detrimental consequences levied. I find myself in a similar situation to most here it seems. My Son is 17 years old, i have not seen him since he was 6 and not a day passes that i dont think or wonder about the young man he is turning into and hope he can manage to be something he can be proud and happy with. I am however in the tough position I do not and probably will not know when he leaves full time education. I dont know where he lives as his mum would often move and not provide a forward address. I would by far prefer to pay my son direct, its bot that i dont want to pay. However I am hopeful the end of payment means he may try find me on facebook or other social platforms. I dont understand how we have a system that does not trigger a check when a child reaches key stages in their education and may even leave school to join the military, and the mother can still claim on her word. We are 20 years on and have made no progress in the understanding of fathers rights and the woman is not always necessarily the victim… If anyone has experienced the end of the CSA payment plans and success stories i would be very interested to hear. For now all i can see is a bleak outlook with no end in sight. Like i said, i figured the end of payments would trigger some contact and that is my aim, please do not take me wrong here and think i want to stop paying and forget, on the contrary I wish to pay and help direct rather than being a secret donor and not through choice.
Livedit - 3-May-22 @ 10:54 PM
Hi All, i am inclined to agree with silverfox. However my court order did not have the same effect. Turned out there was at the time no consequence for a mother disobeying a court order. In fact I was instructed to give chance after chance to obey which never happened and no detrimental consequences levied. I find myself in a similar situation to most here it seems. My Son is 17 years old, i have not seen him since he was 6 and not a day passes that i dont think or wonder about the young man he is turning into and hope he can manage to be something he can be proud and happy with. I am however in the tough position I do not and probably will not know when he leaves full time education. I dont know where he lives as his mum would often move and not provide a forward address. I would by far prefer to pay my son direct, its bot that i dont want to pay. However I am hopeful the end of payment means he may try find me on facebook or other social platforms. I dont understand how we have a system that does not trigger a check when a child reaches key stages in their education and may even leave school to join the military, and the mother can still claim on her word. We are 20 years on and have made no progress in the understanding of fathers rights and the woman is not always necessarily the victim… If anyone has experienced the end of the CSA payment plans and success stories i would be very interested to hear. For now all i can see is a bleak outlook with no end in sight. Like i said, i figured the end of payments would trigger some contact and that is my aim, please do not take me wrong here and think i want to stop paying and forget, on the contrary I wish to pay and help direct rather than being a secret donor and not through choice.
Livedit - 3-May-22 @ 10:54 PM
Hi All, i am inclined to agree with silverfox. However my court order did not have the same effect. Turned out there was at the time no consequence for a mother disobeying a court order. In fact I was instructed to give chance after chance to obey which never happened and no detrimental consequences levied. I find myself in a similar situation to most here it seems. My Son is 17 years old, i have not seen him since he was 6 and not a day passes that i dont think or wonder about the young man he is turning into and hope he can manage to be something he can be proud and happy with. I am however in the tough position I do not and probably will not know when he leaves full time education. I dont know where he lives as his mum would often move and not provide a forward address. I would by far prefer to pay my son direct, its bot that i dont want to pay. However I am hopeful the end of payment means he may try find me on facebook or other social platforms. I dont understand how we have a system that does not trigger a check when a child reaches key stages in their education and may even leave school to join the military, and the mother can still claim on her word. We are 20 years on and have made no progress in the understanding of fathers rights and the woman is not always necessarily the victim… If anyone has experienced the end of the CSA payment plans and success stories i would be very interested to hear. For now all i can see is a bleak outlook with no end in sight. Like i said, i figured the end of payments would trigger some contact and that is my aim, please do not take me wrong here and think i want to stop paying and forget, on the contrary I wish to pay and help direct rather than being a secret donor and not through choice.
Livedit - 3-May-22 @ 7:22 PM
Hi..can anyone clarify if I have to carry on making payments to the CSA after my child has turned 18 in the United KingdomP I haven't had any contact with my daughter since the mother moved them to another town 10 year ago The CSA people refuse to tell me what the status is in regards to whether she is "working" or in "full time education"as its nothing to do with me I asked for some proof and they just said ..refusal to pay will result in them taking control of my bank account and or charging me extra for collection I have read that many different things on how much longer I must pay I am at my "wits" end Thanks for any help...gary
gaz - 25-Apr-22 @ 12:51 PM
My daughter has just turned 18 and now is in full time education. I have to still pay my money to my ex though. I offered to pay directly to my daughter but she opened a case with the CMS and now they are on my back making sure I carry on paying the money to the mother. It's this that needs to be looked at. My daughter is now an adult and while I still want to support her financially - I don't want to be lining the mother's purse anymore. Is there a legal way that I can pay my daughter directly without the CMS or her mother being able to stake a claim anymore?
Gav - 25-Apr-22 @ 12:07 PM
Samantha Jane bournes ,im going to (kill you gods truth) im going to blow your head off your shoulders then hand (myself In) you pushed me to far there's no return now(I will track you down I swear on the bible) .(the fight has just begun). I would off spared your life if just let me see bree .so I hopeyou have will girly .
C w laurie - 7-Apr-22 @ 3:39 AM
I am still paying child support for my son who is now 18 and has been making an income from his YouTube channel in which he has literally thousands of subscribers. He is also sponsored by various companies. He was taken out of school some years ago and allegedly home schooled. If his mother claims he is in further non advanced education or apprenticeship how can I evidence that? I believe he also lives abroad in his mothers property but his mother claims CB and has him registered to a UK address.
Trab6 - 6-Apr-22 @ 8:39 AM
My son is German and lives in Berlin he is now 23 years old and goes to university after taking a year out to travel ,how long do I have to keep paying or is it time to stop
Keith - 29-Mar-22 @ 5:16 PM
Hi. My Husbands daughter (my step-daughter) was signed off by her school due to her mental health and was asked to conduct 1 hour per day 'home schooling' but she does not do this. My question is do we still need to continue paying for her maintenance? She is 16 years old and looking for a full time job instead of continuing any further education.
Chloe - 15-Mar-22 @ 10:53 AM
I have read all comments from dad's, I think what they trying to say is not that they want get out of their responsibility as quickly, I am sure they will be happy to carry on paying as long as its not through the mum (we all do one way or another), its the feeling of control that is the key here. I am also a dad, who struggled to see my kids, I have fought with everything I have to see them, I took the mum to court when they were little as I felt they just didn't know how the mum manipulated them to get what she wanted, paying for a court order to have the right to see them even though that right its yours by just being a dad, was the best money I have ever paid. it allowed me to have 2 years with them, where I could planned without the mum changing dates or allowing me access only when she wanted (its ridiculous to even write that, denied access to your kids as if they have any control over that) . My kids were lied to all the time, beginning with her saying that she was the one taking me to court because I refused to see them (!!!!!), I do not blame her at all, is what she has been taught, we are in the end a recollection of our parents behaviours until we consciously decide to break the pattern. I for one planned my kids, I wanted to have them and be in their lives, teach them and guide them the way I was not, although I am not in the lives for more than a year, my arms and my heart will always be open for when they need me and they ready (if they ever, if they not, it will be fine too). Its all a lesson. the hardest decision I ever had to make was to surrender, say you win, have them to yourself. I did it for them as well as me. the feeling of abandonment killed me for months, I started drinking falling, drowning. I understood the reason I did it was to allow things to fall into place. Was the only way. The financial side, I struggled with and it was mainly understanding the logic when there is no logic, its simply, no one asked anybody to have children with the people we chose to, this are the consequences of not know who we are and what we are here for, we give in to society thinking that if we don't have children or have a mortgage or have a good job by a certain age, we just simply a failure. One thing is for sure and I think we all know that, money comes and goes, what is important is the lesson we learn. In life have paid money for lessons that changed the way I see things and consequently changed my reality. to the worrying dad's thinking about when they can get out of their 'Debt' I would say start seeing it the right way.
Silverfox - 9-Mar-22 @ 12:36 PM
I have read all comments from dad's, I think what they trying to say is not that they want get out of their responsibility as quickly, I am sure they will be happy to carry on paying as long as its not through the mum (we all do one way or another), its the feeling of control that is the key here. I am also a dad, who struggled to see my kids, I have fought with everything I have to see them, I took the mum to court when they were little as I felt they just didn't know how the mum manipulated them to get what she wanted, paying for a court order to have the right to see them even though that right its yours by just being a dad, was the best money I have ever paid. it allowed me to have 2 years with them, where I could planned without the mum changing dates or allowing me access only when she wanted (its ridiculous to even write that, denied access to your kids as if they have any control over that) . My kids were lied to all the time, beginning with her saying that she was the one taking me to court because I refused to see them (!!!!!), I do not blame her at all, is what she has been taught, we are in the end a recollection of our parents behaviours until we consciously decide to break the pattern. I for one planned my kids, I wanted to have them and be in their lives, teach them and guide them the way I was not, although I am not in the lives for more than a year, my arms and my heart will always be open for when they need me and they ready (if they ever, if they not, it will be fine too). Its all a lesson. the hardest decision I ever had to make was to surrender, say you win, have them to yourself. I did it for them as well as me. the feeling of abandonment killed me for months, I started drinking falling, drowning. I understood the reason I did it was to allow things to fall into place. Was the only way. The financial side, I struggled with and it was mainly understanding the logic when there is no logic, its simply, no one asked anybody to have children with the people we chose to, this are the consequences of not know who we are and what we are here for, we give in to society thinking that if we don't have children or have a mortgage or have a good job by a certain age, we just simply a failure. One thing is for sure and I think we all know that, money comes and goes, what is important is the lesson we learn. In life have paid money for lessons that changed the way I see things and consequently changed my reality. to the worrying dad's thinking about when they can get out of their 'Debt' I would say start seeing it the right way.
Silverfox - 9-Mar-22 @ 12:24 PM
I have read all comments from dad's, I think what they trying to say is not that they want get out of their responsibility as quickly, I am sure they will be happy to carry on paying as long as its not through the mum (we all do one way or another), its the feeling of control that is the key here. I am also a dad, who struggled to see my kids, I have fought with everything I have to see them, I took the mum to court when they were little as I felt they just didn't know how the mum manipulated them to get what she wanted, paying for a court order to have the right to see them even though that right its yours by just being a dad, was the best money I have ever paid. it allowed me to have 2 years with them, where I could planned without the mum changing dates or allowing me access only when she wanted (its ridiculous to even write that, denied access to your kids as if they have any control over that) . My kids were lied to all the time, beginning with her saying that she was the one taking me to court because I refused to see them (!!!!!), I do not blame her at all, is what she has been taught, we are in the end a recollection of our parents behaviours until we consciously decide to break the pattern. I for one planned my kids, I wanted to have them and be in their lives, teach them and guide them the way I was not, although I am not in the lives for more than a year, my arms and my heart will always be open for when they need me and they ready (if they ever, if they not, it will be fine too). Its all a lesson. the hardest decision I ever had to make was to surrender, say you win, have them to yourself. I did it for them as well as me. the feeling of abandonment killed me for months, I started drinking falling, drowning. I understood the reason I did it was to allow things to fall into place. Was the only way. The financial side, I struggled with and it was mainly understanding the logic when there is no logic, its simply, no one asked anybody to have children with the people we chose to, this are the consequences of not know who we are and what we are here for, we give in to society thinking that if we don't have children or have a mortgage or have a good job by a certain age, we just simply a failure. One thing is for sure and I think we all know that, money comes and goes, what is important is the lesson we learn. In life have paid money for lessons that changed the way I see things and consequently changed my reality. to the worrying dad's thinking about when they can get out of their 'Debt' I would say start seeing it the right way.
Silverfox - 9-Mar-22 @ 11:58 AM
Hi my step son who is 18 is in college 2 and a half days a week which is classed as full time education but also has a job so earns his own money. Do we still have to pay maintenance?
Kel - 2-Mar-22 @ 9:22 PM
My 19yo daughter starts university next September but finishes college in the May. Do I stop paying the child support in May when she finishes college or do I keep paying all Summer till September when she starts uni? I will then be paying the child support direct to my daughter in September.
Lennon - 6-Oct-21 @ 12:49 PM
When my son turns 20 do I immediately stop paying maintenance for him.
Wullie - 2-Oct-21 @ 10:49 AM
My son is doing an apprenticeship 3 days a week, and works in a supermarket the other 2days, he is 20 on the 19th of Nov 2021, I'm paying £303, should I still be paying this maintenance money.
Wullie - 2-Oct-21 @ 10:44 AM
My son has now finished school. He doin 4days paid apprenticeship & 1 day at college 9 till 4. Do i still hav 2 pay maintenance???
Seabass - 24-Sep-21 @ 6:27 PM
My stepson in doin 3fays in college and goin be working 24 hrs ina proper job does my partner still have pay csa
Foxy - 20-Sep-21 @ 12:10 PM
My step daughter turned 18 this month and goes to college. She also has a part time job.Do we still have to pay maintenance for her after her 18th birthday? She’s living with her mother.
Boop - 19-Sep-21 @ 8:50 PM
So my daughter is 18 and is enrolled in a college course hairdresser for 2 days a week this is less that 12 hours , 10 hours and some times less than that . She’s 18 now and has a little job and stays with her boyfriend 30 miles away 2/3 times a week and is never at her mums . Do I still pay ?
Leebay - 16-Sep-21 @ 7:27 PM
I have just had the standard annual review through for my son. I have two children with my ex wife and I have never failed to pay for my children. My son is 19 and daughter is 17. My son is 20 in December and has decided to stay on at college for another year.Does the child maintenance not stop for him in December now that he is 20 ? According to Child maintenance I will continue paying till October 2022. This is clearly wrong isn't it
RED - 11-Sep-21 @ 5:57 PM
My daughter is 17 and moved in with her bf family in Feb when I last paid child maintenanceshe has since moved back with her mother in July so started the payment again now she has made a claim wanting the payment I didn't pay also she will be going to college in Sept but only doing a part time course under 20 hours (a ) she right and am I going to have to pay the ones I didn't make (b) as she not in full time education now do I still have to pay
Toffeelions - 24-Aug-21 @ 5:12 PM
Hi my son is 19 and left full time education this year, I was expecting to stop payments last payment being end of August. CMS are now saying I have to continue paying which doesn’t seem right
Pete - 20-Aug-21 @ 10:45 AM
Hi my daughter is 19 and lives with grandparents has since 11. I have paid money direct to them ever since a private arrangement.However my daughter has a part time job but is supposedly going back to college.Do i still have to pay as grandmother threatening with a solicitor even though therrs no legal arrangements never has been
Gaz - 1-Aug-21 @ 7:25 PM
My son turns 18 sept 5th not seen him since he was 10 pay maintainance through a attachment of earnings can’t find out if he’s going into further education was wondering how I find out and if he’s not when will my attachment of of earnings stop have no contact with mother of my child don’t even know where they live or schools my son has been to since he was 10
Nelly - 30-Jul-21 @ 7:25 PM
Hi do I still have to pay for my older child if the receiving parant has moved out as hes split with his wife, and is not aloud back to property? The Wife doesn't have parental responsibility over my Son, my Son knows he can come back at any given chance?
Gem - 25-Jul-21 @ 9:32 PM
Hi my daughter left College at 19 years old and now she is 21 years old and my ex still continues to take maintenance out of my Bank account by direct debit can she still do this and what rights have I got..many thank's. Mr Paul.taylor.
Tink - 15-Jul-21 @ 10:03 AM
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