In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘when does child maintenance stop?’, so that you know what to expect.
Both parents are responsible for the costs involved in raising a child. Before getting into detail about when child maintenance stops, it’s important to note that the parent who pays child maintenance, is the parent who does not live with the child in question. This person is known as the non-resident parent. How much child maintenance this parent will have to pay can be worked out between the two parents or, if this is not possible, arrangements can be made through the Child Maintenance Service.
You will need to make child maintenance arrangements for your children who are under 16 years old. Sixteen is the minimum age when child maintenance stops.
If you have other children who are over 16 years old and are not in approved education (see below), you will still have to pay child maintenance for the child who is under 16.
If they leave education, child maintenance stops on 31 August following your child’s 16th birthday. If they choose to continue in what is known as “approved education”, child maintenance does not stop and will continue until they turn 20 (as long as they remain in approved education).
In addition, child maintenance does not stop (until 20) if the child in question takes part in approved training. This can include Foundation Apprenticeships or Traineeships in Wales.
To be classed as “approved”, education has to be full time. Full-time education must be for more than an average of 12 hours per week of “supervised study or course-related work experience”.
• A levels or equivalent
• Traineeships in England
• NVQs and other vocational qualifications (only up to level 3)
Approved education can also include home education, as long as it was started before the child’s 16th birthday.
University degrees are not classed as approved education.
If your child is in approved education, child maintenance stops when they reach 20.
As well as a child turning 16 (and not taking part in approved education), child maintenance can stop for a variety of other reasons.
Child maintenance may stop if, for example, one parent dies or the parent who is receiving the child maintenance stops being the child’s main carer.
When does child maintenance stop? Normally, when a child reaches 16 or 20, depending on whether or not they are in approved education or training.
As always, it’s a good idea to seek advice from an experienced family solicitor, such as Austin Kemp, to find out when child maintenance stops in your circumstances.
Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to how to stop child maintenance payments, including:
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