Apply for help arranging child maintenance

Use the Child Maintenance Service to set up a child maintenance arrangement if you and the other parent cannot agree to one yourselves.

If you are not the child’s biological or adoptive parent, or your child is in local authority care, you need to contact the Child Maintenance Service (opens in a new tab).

Contact Child Maintenance Choices if you live in Northern Ireland

Before you start

You’ll need:

  • your unique reference number - you may have received this in an email or text message. If you do not have one, you can apply for it through Get Help Arranging Child Maintenance
  • your National Insurance number
  • the other parent’s name and as much information you know about them, for example, where they live or their phone number
  • an email address - you need to create an account to use this service

Your application is usually processed quicker if you or the other parent claim child benefit.

Start now

If you’re worried about contacting the other parent

You do not need to have any direct contact with the other parent. The Child Maintenance Service will need to share some information with them, including:

  • your name
  • your child’s name and birthday
  • the number of nights your child stays with the parent who will be making payments - the other parent will need to confirm this

If you will be receiving child maintenance payments

We can give your payment details to the other parent if you ask us to. You can ask your bank or building society to set up an account that does not give away your location.

If you will be paying child maintenance

We also need to tell the other parent:

  • your income information
  • whether any other children are included in the calculation (we will not share any of their personal information)