Child support is money paid by parents who are not living with their children to contribute to the support of those children.
Applications for child support are made to the Child Support Agency, which is part of the Inland Revenue Department. Child support is governed by the CHILD SUPPORT ACT 1991.
If you are the parent with day-to-day care of a child (the "eligible custodian") and you are a beneficiary, then you must apply for child support. Your application for child support is made automatically when you apply for a benefit.
If you're not a beneficiary, then there's no obligation to apply for child support. If you wish to apply, you should contact the Child Support Agency on freephone 0800 221 221. Applications are to be made to the Agency on an approved form and must be accompanied by the appropriate documents, including proof that the other party (the "liable parent") is in fact a parent of the child.
You can apply for child support if you an "eligible custodian" of a "qualifying child".
A "qualifying child" is a child who is:
You are an "eligible custodian" if -
The person who has the greatest responsibility for a child is the person who is the principal provider of ongoing daily care.
You can claim child support from a parent of the child (which includes a step-parent), provided the parent is:
A child will cease to qualify for child support when he or she turns 19, unless before then the child gets married or enters into a civil union or de facto relationship, or becomes financially independent.
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