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Can I claim child maintenance online?

When two parents separate, applying for child maintenance online may seem like the most simple way to arrange child maintenance payments.

But is claiming child maintenance online really the simplest solution? Should applying for child maintenance online be the first step you take? We take a closer look…


Before applying for child maintenance online, have you considered a family-based arrangement?

When two parents break up, submitting an application for child maintenance online can seem like the most logical step to take, to ensure that the child’s living costs continue to be met.

However, instead of going straight for child maintenance online, stop to consider whether it may be possible to make a private arrangement between you and the other parent. This is known as a family-based arrangement.

If possible, it is usually best to try to make a family-based arrangement first, before taking steps to apply for child maintenance online.

If you and the other parent cannot agree between yourselves and want to apply for child maintenance online, you may want to consider seeking help from a local mediator (a third party there to aid discussions with the aim of reaching an agreement).

Before you apply for child maintenance online, you can also contact Child Maintenance Options for support. They have a child maintenance online form, as well as a telephone line (0800 953 0191).

In some circumstances, such as if you are a victim of domestic abuse, you may not want to attempt to make a family-based arrangement and would prefer to go straight to applying for child maintenance online.

child maintenance online


Child maintenance online: using the Child Maintenance Service

If you are unable to come to a family-based arrangement with the other parent, you can apply to the Child Maintenance Service.


How can I apply for child maintenance online?

You should contact Child Maintenance Options before you apply for child maintenance. They will explain how you can make an application for child maintenance and provide you with a reference number.

Once your case is set up (this usually takes less than a month), you can manage your child maintenance online.

So although you cannot make your initial application for child maintenance online, you can manage your case for child maintenance online afterwards.

You will be given a 12-digit customer reference number and a 7-digit pin, which you will need to log in to your child maintenance online area. You will also need your National Insurance number in order to gain access to your child maintenance online account.


Finding out more about child maintenance online…

There is lots of information about child maintenance online, including child maintenance online calculators, so you know how much child maintenance you could expect to receive.

You can find out more about child maintenance online on the government’s website.


Other articles that may be of interest to you?

How long does a divorce take?

What is the divorce process?

When is decree absolute granted in a divorce?

Decree Nisi – What does this mean in a divorce?

What are the first steps to divorce?

Is a cheap divorce really possible?


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to divorce, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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25th February 2020

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