Child maintenance

If you are parent of a child you have a legal duty to contribute to the maintenance of that child. Arrangements can be made privately, by court order or through the Child Support Agency. In most cases there are no problems and both parties are happy with the arrangements. However, sometimes things go wrong and you need further advice and help.

Below are contact details for the Child Support Agency and for Child Maintenance Options. There are also contact details for agencies that can give you advice if you have arrears or you have a dispute about your child maintenance.

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Organisation Telephone/email Website Notes 

Child Maintenance Options

England, Scotland and Wales

0800 988 0988

Email - contact form

Live chat - 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri ex bank hols) 9am-4pm (Sat) 

Child Maintenance Options

Information including setting up child maintenance, switching between private arrangement and Child Support Agency, and help where an existing arrangement has broken down.

Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm.

Child Support Agency

England, Scotland and Wales


0845 713 3133 

Child Support Agency on

Deals with direct requests for setting up arrangements under the statutory scheme. Also deals with enforcement and collection.

Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturdays 9am to 5pm.

Search for your local office

Child Maintenance Choices

Northern Ireland

0800 028 7439 

Text 'choices' to 66101 to get a call back

Email - childmaintenance.choices

Child Maintenance Choices on nidirect  Information and support to help you decide on the best maintenance arrangement.

Freephone - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, but some providers may charge.

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division

Northern Ireland

0845 608 0022

Email -

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division on nidirect To make sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upkeep by paying child maintenance.

Organisations that can help if you are in arrears with child maintenance  

The Royal British Legion

England, Wales and Northern Ireland

0808 802 8080 - 8am-8pm, 7 days a week

Free from UK landlines and main mobile networks.

From overseas call +44 (0)20 3376 8080 (full rate)

Online contact form

Benefits and Money Advice Service at The Royal British Legion

For practical care, advice and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.

Find a local office

Citizens Advice

England - 08444 111 444
Wales - 08444 77 20 20
Northern Ireland - 08452 666 696
Scotland - 0808 800 1007

Northern Ireland Email-

Citizens Advice 

Armed Services Advice Project Scotland

Advice is available by phone or face to face.

Find your local bureau

Last reviewed: 24/08/2015