Re1195 - Maintenance payments: Child Support Agency Assessments

Applications for an assessment can be made by

  • the absent parent (payer), or the person with care of the child (if she or he has parental responsibilities for the child) under Section 4 of the Child Support Act
  • the person with care, when required to do so by the Secretary of State (the DWP) under Section 6 of the Act if she/he is receiving or claiming Income Support, an income based Job Seeker's Allowance, Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance in respect of the child(ren)
  • a child aged 12 or over who is habitually resident in Scotland, under Section 7 of the Act if no application has already been made by the absent parent or parent with care.

Who can be awarded payments under a child support agency assessment

Assessments can award weekly payments of maintenance to

  • the person with care (who may or may not be the child's parent, or the absent parent's spouse or former spouse) for the child or
  • the DWP for the child, see Re1183 and Re1202.

Who must pay under a child support agency assessment

A Child Support Agency assessment can require payments for the maintenance of the child(ren) from one or both of their parents. It cannot require payments for the maintenance of a step-child. The income of the parent with care of the child(ren) is taken into account in deciding what is due from the child's absent parent but a Child Support Agency assessment is not made against the parent with care of the child(ren). Where a third party has care of the child, assessments can be made against both the natural parents.

If either

  • the absent parent (the payer) or
  • the parent with care (the normal recipient) or
  • the child

cease to be habitually resident in the UK, any assessment in force for the child's maintenance lapses.