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. You should report the change as soon as it happens.

How you contact the Child Maintenance Service depends on the change you are reporting.

Either parent

You can contact the Child Maintenance Service by phone or online, depending on what you need to report.

Report by phone

Call the Child Maintenance Service if:

  • a parent or a child has died
  • one of the parents is adopting a child
  • you want to close your case

Report online

Report to the Child Maintenance Service online if either:

  • 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 regularly stays overnight with the paying parent

Paying parent

You can contact the Child Maintenance Service by phone or online, depending on what you need to report.

Report by phone

Call the Child Maintenance Service if you:

  • stop working for an employer
  • stop being self-employed
  • have lost your job or you’re temporarily receiving Statutory Sick Pay

Your payments may be reduced for a period. You’ll get a payment schedule with the new amount.

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

Report online

Report to the Child Maintenance Service online if:

  • you start working for an employer
  • you start being self-employed
  • you move house (give your new address within 7 days of moving)
  • you change your phone number (including mobile number)
  • your income has changed by 25% or more

Receiving parent

You can contact the Child Maintenance Service by phone or online, depending on what you need to report.

Report by phone

Call the Child Maintenance Service if:

  • there’s a change to the number of children living with you that you get child maintenance for
  • there’s a change to the number of children that you or your partner have registered for Child Benefit
  • 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

Report online

Report to the Child Maintenance Service online if:

  • 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
  • the paying parent’s income has changed by 25% or more (unless they’ve lost their income - they should report it themselves by phone)

When you report a change

You might need to provide:

  • employers’ details or payslips
  • benefits information
  • a tax return or an explanation of 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.