Our role is to make sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upkeep by paying child maintenance.
We calculate and collect child maintenance from the parent who is not the main day-to-day carer of their child (the non-resident parent) and make sure that it is paid to the parent or person who is the main day-to-day carer of the child (the parent with care).
We support parents in taking responsibility for their children by:
- tracing parents who no longer live with their children (the non-resident parent) in cases where the parent residing with the children (the parent with care) wants support in seeking maintenance
- working out how much child maintenance should be paid by the non-resident parent, to help meet their child's everyday living costs
- (in some cases) handling the payments from the non-resident parent to the parent with care
- monitoring these payments and taking appropriate enforcement action where payments are late or missed.
Our main activities
- contact parents with care and non-resident parents
- discuss and explain the amount of child maintenance to be paid with non-resident parents and parents with care
- take action to resolve paternity disputes in accordance with child maintenance law
- arrange suitable methods of payment
- ensure that a pattern of regular payments is established.
We also continue to maintain child maintenance arrangements by:
- keeping calculations up to date when a change is reported
- monitoring payments and discussing late payments with both parents
- taking action where necessary to re-establish payment and recover arrears.
Under the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission The Child Support Agency remains firmly open for business and we will intensify and increase our efforts to improve our client services and get more money flowing to more children.