How to Calculate Child Maintenance Payment?
Child maintenance is usually paid by the parent (legally known as ‘paying parent’) who does not have the day-to-day care of their children to their ex-partner (legally known as ‘receiving partner’) when the couple has separated/divorced. The amount which the paying parent pays depends on gross weekly income, number of child for which the maintenance has to be paid, factors affecting the gross weekly income, other children the partner has in their current household and if any social benefit they receive. This calculator will help you understand the minimum amount the paying partner has to pay for child maintenance. Any of the partners can contact The Child Maintenance Service to arrange where the children will live, how much time they will spend with each partner and the amount that is to be paid by the paying partner.
Factors affecting child maintenance payment –
There are certain prominent factors on which the payment depends. These factors are related to the paying parent
How to use child maintenance calculator?
How income of paying parent determines the amount to be paid ?
The Child Maintenance Service has given a rate band depending on which the amount is decided. The band for 2018-19 is given below –
|Band||Paying parent's gross weekly income (£)||Number of children for whom maintenance is required||Amount/Percentage of income to be paid|
|Nil Rate||Less than £7||1||£0|
|3 or more|
|Flat Rate||£7 to £100||1||£7|
|3 or more|
|Reduced Rate||£100.01 to £199.99||1||£7 + (17% of amount above the flat rate)|
|2||£7 + (25% of amount above the flat rate)|
|3 or more||£7 + (31% of amount above the flat rate)|
|Basic Rate||£200 to £800||1||12% of weekly income|
|2||16% of weekly income|
|3 or more||19% of weekly income|
|Basic Plus Rate||£800.01 to £3000||1||£96 + (9% of amount above basic rate)|
|2||£128 + (12% of amount above basic rate)|
|3 or more||£152 + (15% of amount above basic rate)|
|Unknown Rate||Weekly income is unknown||1||£38|
|3 or more||£64|
The rates are divided into 6 distinct bands
How ‘shared care’ affects child maintenance payment?
If both the parents have agreed on to shared care, then the paying parent has to pay less amount. The amount that has to be deducted depends upon the number of nights the child spend with the paying parent.
For the reduction to take place, the paying parent should inform the agency in advance on how many days they would like to share the care of the children. If the band changes in terms of number of days the children stays with the paying parent, then the agency should be informed who will revise the value of amount to be paid.
How having other children of paying parent reduces child maintenance payment?
If the paying parent has other children in their household or is paying for children from another partner, then a certain percentage is deducted from the gross weekly income. The percentage of deduction depends on the number of other children. The rate table is given below-
|Other Children||Reduction percentage|
|3 or more||16%|
Note that this will only decrease the gross weekly payment which will subsequently lead to slightly lower child maintenance payment. Also this is only applicable when the paying parents income is in the range of £200 to £3000.
How to contact Child Maintenance Service?Online www.gov.uk/child-maintenance By phone 0345 266 8792 0345 266 8795 By post Child Maintenance Service PO Box 249 MITCHELDEAN GL17 1AJ
When does the child maintenance payment stops?
Understanding Child Maintenance Calculation with Example
Richard is the paying parent for two children - Sue and Joe. Richard’s annual income is £90,000. Richard and his ex-partner has agreed on to shared care of 160 nights every year for Joe only.Sue will stay with Richard for 100 nights. Richard also has two children with his current partner who stays with him. Additionally he also pays annually an amount of £5000 towards his private pension.
Step 1 – Income
As per Richard’s statement, his current gross annual income is £45,000. Since the difference between the one he claims and the one for which HMRC has record is more than 25 percent, the lower of the two amounts will be taken for calculation purposes.
Step 2 –Factors Affecting Income
Reduction for private pension After deducting £5000 from his annual income, the gross annual income is £40,000 To get weekly income, we divide this amount by 365 and then multiply by 7. So gross weekly income is £767.12. Reduction for other children Since Richard has two other children staying with him from his other partner, 14% will be deducted from his weekly income. 14% of £767.12 works out to be £107.39. So the gross weekly income that has to be considered for child maintenance payment will be £659.73.
The gross weekly income to be considered is £659.73 which falls under Basic Rate.
Step 3 – Number of children for which maintenance has to be paid
Richard has two children – Sue and Joe for whom maintenance is sought.
Step 4 – Weekly maintenance rate
When income falls under the bracket of Basic rate and maintenance is required for two children then, 16% of the weekly amount is given. So 16% of £659.73 works out to be £105.55.
Step 5 – Shared Care
Since £105.55 is to be paid, this amount is divided equally among Sue and Joe which turns out to be £52.77. Deduction from Sue’s child maintenance due to shared care Since Sue stays with her father for 100 nights, 1/7th of the weekly income is to be deducted from Sue’s rate. This works out to be £7.53 Deduction from Joe’s child maintenance due to shared care Since Joe stays with his father for 160 nights, 3/7th of the weekly income is to be deducted from Sue’s rate. This works out to be £22.61 So the total amount that is deducted is £30.14. Deducting this amount from £105.55 gives £75.41. So Richard has to pay weekly £75.41 for child maintenance for his two children.
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