2012 Gross Income Scheme
The process for calculating child maintenance changed in 2012, and the original formulas used have now been phased out.
All child maintenance decisions are now calculated under the Gross Income/2012 Scheme regulations, details of which can be found throughout the site.
- Child Maintenance is now based on the Gross Income of the Paying Parent, which is the income paid before any deductions for tax and national insurance.
- Income information is sourced directly from HMRC.
- Tax credits are no longer included as income.
- Parents are encouraged to make their own arrangements for child maintenance where possible.
- The default position is a 'Direct Pay' arrangement, where no fee is charged. Non payment will result in a move to the 'Collect and Pay' service and fees will be charged.
- Fees are charged for making an application to Child Maintenance Service. Other fees may also be applied. Exemption from the fee is available for cases of reported domestic violence, or where a parent is under the age of 18.
- There is a two tier percentage rate applied against the Paying Parents income (see How Much Should I Pay? details)
- Allowances are given for:
- children living with the Paying Parent,
- children for whom maintenance is payable under other private arrangements,
- shared care arrangements.
- Equal shared care arrangements may result in no maintenance liability under the CMS scheme. For more details see our Equal Shared Care page.