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More than half a million children in Great Britain benefit from child maintenance arrangements which parents have agreed between themselves. These are called family-based arrangements - although you might also have heard them called family arrangements, voluntary arrangements or private agreements.

Many parents think this type of arrangement is a better option for them and their children because it allows flexibility and no-one else has to get involved.

Why choose a family-based arrangement?

There are several advantages to family-based arrangements. They are private and are about your family, no-one else's. They can also be quicker and easier to sort out, as you don't have to deal with lots of paperwork. Because there are no fixed rules, they are also flexible and easier to change.

This can mean fewer arguments about money, and may also help you work together in other ways, which is almost always in the children's best interests.

And, unlike other child maintenance arrangements (it has been reported in the media that there may be a charge for statutory arrangements in the future), a family-based arrangement is completely FREE to set up.

Questions about family-based arrangements? Ask us in the Child Maintenance Clinic on the forum.