Research and analysis

Study of child maintenance (WP75)

The findings of the Study of Child Maintenance Arrangements.


Study of child maintenance (WP75)

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Working Paper No. 75

This working paper presents the findings of the Study of Child Maintenance Arrangements. The aim of the study was to provide an estimate of the prevalence of effective child maintenance arrangements just prior to policy changes at the end of October 2008. The study sample was drawn from the sample of the 2007 to 2008 Family Resources Survey.

On the basis of child maintenance cases, 28% had an arrangement in place that was ‘successful’ on the criterion that payments were received, whether on time or less regularly. The most common type of arrangement was a private agreement, followed by a Child Support Agency arrangement. When an arrangement existed, the payments were usually received in full and on time. In general, it tended to be the older parents with care and those in employment, who had more successful arrangements. The findings provide useful lessons for developing sustainable, fit-for-purpose measures of effective child maintenance arrangements going forward.

Published 1 April 2010