Child maintenance payments usually stop when the child reaches 16 (or 20 if they’re in full-time education not higher than A-level equivalent), but there are some exceptions.
Child maintenance can stop sooner if, for example:
- the child is 16 or over and getting certain state benefits - including Income Support
- the child is no longer eligible for Child Benefit for any other reason
- the parent paying the maintenance goes to prison - payments may restart when they’re released
- the parent receiving the payment doesn’t want it anymore
When child maintenance stops any unpaid amounts up to that point must still be paid. These are known as ‘arrears’.
Contact the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency (CSA) for more information.