St Martin's House, 63 West Stockwell St. Colchester, CO1 1HE
Tel: 01206 577676, Fax: 01206 548704

The Chestnuts, 4 Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1DA
Tel: 01371 873277, Fax: 01371 859232

Main Website:
Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm    Saturday 9am - 1pm

The amount of child maintenance can, of course, be agreed; however, as a starting point it is always good to use the Child Support Agency (CSA)/Child Maintenance Service (CMS) rate.

There are three different schemes under the CSA. The most commonly used schemes are the 2003 scheme and the 2012 scheme.

The 2003 Scheme

Most cases at the moment are covered under the 2003 scheme and the basic rates of child support are 15% of the non-resident parent’s net weekly income for one child; 20% for two children; or 25% for three or more children. However, this percentage will reduce according to other factors, for example, whether there are any relevant other children and for how many nights the children stay at the non-resident parent’s house.

You can use the CSA self-calculator which is quite useful in calculating how much maintenance should be paid. The link is

The 2012 Scheme

The 2012 scheme is currently being phased in. At the moment, you will be eligible for the scheme if you are an Applicant with 2 or more children with the same parents and there is no case with the CSA already.

Before being able to apply for the 2012 scheme you will need to firstly pass through a ‘gateway’. You will need to liaise with the Child Maintenance Options Service who will make you aware of the options available. If having considered the options you wish to proceed with the CSA/CMS you will need to pay an application fee and there will be ongoing charges which will be explained to you.

The level of maintenance that will be paid by the Parent Who Pays (PWP) will be dependent on the PWP’s income. Where the income is under £800 per week gross, the PWP will pay 12% for one child; 16% for two children; or 19% for three or more children. Where the income is over £800 per week gross, the PWP will pay 9% for one child; 12% for two children; or 15% for three or more children.

Helpful Information/Contacts

The telephone number for the CSA is 08447 700 0251.

Online calculator:

You can apply online at, or by post or by phone.

For independent advice you can call Child Maintenance Choices on 0800 028 7439 which is free.

You can also contact Child Support Solutions on 08456 588683. This company deal solely with issues arising from the CSA/CMS and they charge £40 per hour.