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Children: Maintenance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 47290, tabled on 7 October 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to change the calculation for child maintenance payments to take into account the outgoings of the non-resident parent.

Answered on

17 October 2016

We have no plans to change the treatment of a non-resident parent’s outgoings within the calculation of child maintenance.

There is currently allowance made for:

  • other children that live in the non-resident parent’s household;
  • children they support under a court order or family-based arrangement; and
  • for providing shared care for any of their children.

Certain additional costs can also be taken into account - for example costs incurred in caring for a disabled child.

The calculation of a child maintenance liability is based on a percentage of the Non-Resident Parent’s income. This is broadly aligned with the proportion of their income a parent would normally spend on their child if they lived with them. This gives the Non-Resident Parent freedom to decide how to adjust their spending in light of their obligation to their child or children, as they would do if they lived with them.