Manage your Child Maintenance Service case

Changes you need to report

There are some changes you must tell the Child Maintenance Service about by law.

Either parent

Either parent should tell the Child Maintenance Service if the paying parent’s income changes by 25% or more.

You also need to tell the Child Maintenance Service if:

  • you want to close your case
  • you want to change from using a payment collection service to a Direct Pay service, or the other way around
  • there’s a change to the number of nights a child stays with the paying parent - known as ‘shared care’

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:

  • 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, for example:

  • 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 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

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 do not give the right information

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

  • do not 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 information, for example:

  • employers
  • accountants
  • either parent

When changes could affect your payments

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

You can find out how child maintenance is worked out.