7. Changes you need to report

There are some changes you must tell the services about by law. Depending on which service manages your case, contact the CSA or Child Maintenance Service.

Either parent

Either parent should tell the Child Maintenance Service or CSA if:

  • the paying parent’s income changes (for Child Maintenance cases you only need to tell the service if there is an increase or decrease of 25% or more in the paying parent’s gross weekly income)
  • you want to close your case
  • you want to change from using a payment collection service to a Maintenance Direct or Direct Pay service or vice versa
  • there is a change to the number of nights a child stays with the paying parent - known as ‘shared care’. Tell the service which child or children the change applies to and how many nights shared care there are

Paying parent

You must report if you:

  • move house (give your new address within 7 days of moving)
  • start or stop getting benefits
  • change your phone number (including mobile number)
  • start or stop working for an employer
  • start or stop being self-employed
  • become unemployed

If you pay child maintenance through deductions in your earnings and you leave your job, you must tell the Child Maintenance Service or CSA:

  • the date you left your last job
  • the name and address of your new employer (if any)
  • how much you expect to earn
  • your new payroll number (if any)

You should also report details about children who you or your partner have registered for Child Benefit, eg:

  • any changes to the number of children living with you
  • if any child living with you reaches the age of 20

Receiving parent

You must report if there’s a change to the number of:

  • children living with you that you get child maintenance for
  • children that you or your partner have registered for Child Benefit
  • nights a child regularly stays overnight with the paying parent

You must also tell the Child Maintenance Service or CSA if:

  • a child you get child maintenance for leaves full-time education (up to and including A Level) or reaches the age of 20
  • you or any of the children you get child maintenance for no longer live in the UK
  • you find out that the paying parent is coming off benefits
  • you’re moving house or know that the other parent is
  • your phone number (including mobile number) changes

1993 scheme cases

If you have a case that uses 1993 scheme rules you should also report:

  • a change in housing costs
  • if a new partner’s income changes

When you report a change

Depending on the change, some examples of information you’ll need when you call are:

  • employers’ details or payslips
  • benefits information
  • tax return or what you think you’ll earn if you’re self-employed

If you don’t give the right information

You could be taken to court and fined up to £1,000 if you:

  • don’t give the information you are asked for
  • give information that you know is false

This applies to any person or organisation who, by law, must give the Child Maintenance Service or CSA information, eg:

  • employers
  • accountants
  • either parent

When changes could affect your payments

Changes in your circumstances may mean a change to the amount of child maintenance you pay or receive.

Read the information about how child maintenance is worked out to find out about the different rules.