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Child Maintenance Variations

Child maintenance is calculated according to a particular formula backed by legislation. That calculation may be increased or decreased through the Variation Scheme which provides an opportunity to have additional factors considered. 

Any application for a Variation can be made in writing, or verbally, but in some cases a variation form is required.  If a form is sent, it is important that you return it within one month. Failure to return the form may lead to  the application being rejected. 


To Increase Child Maintenance:

A variation application may be made for

  • Unearned Income:    
    This will allow for dividends, or rental income.  Recent changes in law also now see the introduction of unearned income generated through the ownership of 'Assets' that exceeds a value of £31,250
  • Additional Income:   
    This is necessary if maintenance has been set at nil or flat rate because the paying parent receives a particular benefit, but the paying parent also has earnings. 
  • Diversion of Income.  
    This is available for cases where the full financial status of the Paying Parent has not been declared. 


To Decrease Child Maintenance:

  • Contact Costs:
    If you incur costs to maintain contact with the child/ren you are entitled to make a claim for those costs to be considered. 
  • School fees:
    An boarding element of school fees paid can be considered against the maintenance payable. 
  • Cost of supporting long term illness/disability:
    Although subject to restrictions, if a child in the paying parent's household has a long term illness or disability that incurs extraordinary costs, those costs may be considered against the maintenance payable.
  • Prior debts:
    Certain debts, that were incurred prior to separation can be considered against the maintenance payable.


Each of these categories are restricted in their own right, so will not automatically guarantee a change in maintenance payments.  

If a decision is made that you disagree with, you can follow the process for Mandatory Reconsideration, and into appeal if necessary.  

To discuss your case and how to challenge any decision, please take advantage of our support services.