Child Maintenance Service

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) was created in 2012 to replace the failing Child Support Agency. The CMS changed the way child maintenance was calculated but also aimed to encourage separated parents to make their own decisions about the amount of child maintenance payable and how this would operate.

There are currently 783,000 children covered by CMS arrangements. Of these:

    • 506,600 children are covered through Direct Pay arrangements – this is where parents may have asked the CMS for a formal assessment but following this, they have been able to agree on how payments will be made between them.
    • 267,100 children are covered through the Collect & Pay Service – this is where the CMS is more involved as they are responsible for collecting money from one parent and paying it to the other. Both parents are charged fees for this service.
    • 9,300 children have not yet been assigned to a service.

The number of children covered by CMS arrangements increased by 13,400 between March 2021 and June 2021.

If you are a separated parent struggling to reach an agreement with the other parent, we can advise you on your legal rights and options. Please speak to our family team assistants on 01473 611 211 about our initial consultation process.

Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.

Suffolk Family Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email