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.

Either parent can report a change by contacting the Child Maintenance Service.

Changes to your circumstances may mean a change to the amount of child maintenance you pay or receive. Find out how child maintenance is worked out.

What you need to report

Tell the Child Maintenance Service if:

  • you change how often the child stays overnight with the other parent
  • you change who the child’s main carer is
  • you want to change how you make and get payments using Direct Pay or Collect and Pay
  • you move house (give your new address within 7 days of moving)
  • you change your bank details
  • you change your phone number
  • you want someone else to deal with your case for you
  • you add a child to your case
  • the child leaves full-time education (up to and including A Level or equivalent)
  • the child is being adopted by someone else
  • you want to close your case
  • the child no longer lives in the UK
  • someone on the case dies

There are extra changes that need to be reported about the paying parent. Either parent can tell the Child Maintenance Service if the paying parent:

  • misses a payment
  • makes any voluntary payments on top of existing payments
  • has an income change of 25% or more, or no longer has an income
  • is spending more or less money in order to see the child, for example on transport costs

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

If you are the paying parent, you will not be taken to court or fined if you made a mistake when you reported your income. You must report the mistake by contacting the Child Maintenance Service as soon as possible so that you pay the right amount of child maintenance.