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The 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme - how old are the children?

This advice applies to Scotland

Both parents are legally responsible for the financial costs of bringing up children. If you split up and one parent doesn’t have day-to-day care of the child, they might have to pay child maintenance to the other parent.

Check if you can claim maintenance for your child

The Child Maintenance Service can arrange maintenance for a parent with day-to-day care of a 'qualifying child'.

To qualify, a child must be either:

  • under 16
  • under 20 if they are in full-time non-advanced education
  • still entitled to Child Benefit

Full-time non-advanced education means a level of education not higher than A-levels or equivalent post-16 courses of study.

A child over 16 doesn’t count as a qualifying child if they are, or have ever been, married or in a civil partnership.

It doesn’t matter if you get Child Benefit. What matters is if you're eligible for it. If you're not, the other parent doesn't have to pay child maintenance. Check if you can get child benefit. [NG v the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] UKUT 20 AAC]

Next steps

Other useful information

A family mediator can help you set up a child maintenance arrangement.

Find a family mediator on the Relationships Scotland website.

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