Child Support


Child Support is financial support paid by a parent to the primary care giver of a child. Care givers can include grandparents, other relatives, or friends, who have the child in their care. Both parents have a duty to provide financial support for their children, even if the parents were never in a relationship. There are a number of ways that child support can be assessed:

  • A formula assessment: which is an administrative assessment for your child support based on a legislative formula.
  • Agreement between parties: if you both agree on how your children should be supported financially, you can make a child support agreement and ask the Child Support Agency (CSA) to accept it.
  • A court order: which is dealt with by the Family Court when child maintenance cannot be assessed by the CSA.

Parents who choose the option to arrange child support, which is independent from the CSA and the courts or government agencies, make all the arrangements themselves. Then both parents decide how much child support should be paid and by what means the payments are made.

Another option is private collect where the CSA tells you how much child support needs to be paid, then parents transfer payments between themselves. This option is flexible and parents can cooperate to work out the payment options that best suit them and the children.

Child support is a difficult area of law. If you have problems working out what you should pay, or what you should be paid, you should seek legal advice. We have included more information below.

More Information:

Legal Advice:

If you are seeking legal advice or representation, you should check out the Law Society's website. You may also wish to visit the Legal Aid webpage about lawyers.