Child Maintenance Calculations – where’s the research?

You are here:
Estimated reading time: 1 min

In order to understand the basis for the current calculations someone made a request to the Child Maintenance Service in August 2017 to ask:

Please could you provide me with the data that is used to work out the annual  amount of maintenance needed to pay for a child. Specifically: 

  • Where the percentage of gross income information was and is derived from.
  • The body that conducted the study and when.
  • What contributing factors the amount of child maintenance is paying for i.e:  clothing, food, etc

The Child Maintenance Service responded as follows:

A percentage of income calculation has been used to determine the value of a  child maintenance liability since the creation of the Child Support Agency  administered 2003 Scheme. In the 1998 Green Paper, “Children First: A new  approach to child support,” the government set out the rationale for the  percentages used. This paper is freely available in the public domain, but in order to be helpful I attach this in Appendix A.


When the Child Maintenance Service was introduced we increased the  percentages in line with the change from using a net salary figure to using a  gross salary figure. This change was publically consulted on in the “Child  Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012: A technical consultation  on the draft regulations”. This paper is freely available in the public domain,  but to be helpful I attach this at Appendix B. The relevant section is at paragraph 61.

Appendix A can be found here:

Appendix B can be found here:

Was this article helpful?