Enforcing payments

Date last updated: 28 October 2019

What to do if you stop recieving child maintenance payments

If your child’s other parent stops paying child maintenance without your agreement, there are options available to you. The advice and information you will need depends on whether your child maintenance is arranged through the Child Support Agency (CSA, now closed) or through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

Find out more about the child maintenance systems

Use our handy guide below to find out the basics about how to enforce child maintenance payments, including any informal agreement you made with your child’s other partner. You may also want to read our factsheet on how to arrange child maintenance.

How to enforce child maintenance

Find out what’s the best way to enforce child maintenance payments using our quick interactive tool below. Click the answers that best describe your circumstances to find out how to get your child maintenance paid.

ImportantRecent changes

Recent changes mean that the CMS now have additional powers in terms of enforcing payments.

The CMS is now able to use regular and lump sum deduction orders in relation to joint accounts and unlimited partnership bank accounts and use lump sum deduction orders in relation to sole trader accounts.

Additionally, the CMS can now apply to the court for an order to disqualify a non-paying parent from holding or obtaining a UK passport. The grounds for obtaining an order are that there has been willful refusal to pay child maintenance due, or culpable neglect. The order can last for a maximum period of two years.

Using the CMS?

If your child maintenance payments were set up through the Child Maintenance Service (‘CMS’) you can find out more in our CMS enforcement factsheet

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Using the CSA?

The Child Support Agency (‘CSA’) is now closed, but some parents have outstanding arrears through the CSA. You can find out more about enforcement in our CSA enforcement factsheet.

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Enforcing child maintenance

Follow the steps in this guide to work out what steps you can take and where to get advice if your child maintenance payments have stopped.

Use our interactive guide