Lauren Harley

Associate Solicitor

DATE PUBLISHED: 16 Jul 2019 LAST UPDATED: 13 Apr 2022

Child maintenance challenges with a self employed parent

In our experience, clients often encounter difficulties in seeking the correct level of child maintenance from a self-employed parent.

The CMS works out the child maintenance payable using evidence of the paying parent’s gross taxable annual income from information given to HMRC for the most recent tax year. A paying parent or their accountant can also produce proof of income for child maintenance purposes, but the CMS will only use this to work out the child maintenance rate if there is a difference of 25% or more.

For the CMS to take into account any other information when calculating child maintenance, you have to contact them direct and “apply for a variation”. You can then ask them when calculating child maintenance to take into account additional income sources such as –

i. “unearned” income from a rental property, dividends or interest on savings which are over £2,500 p.a.

ii. “earned” income from benefits arising from their self-employment, which are over £100 per week; and

iii. “diversion” of income, if the paying parent can divert or control their income by attributing it to another person or source.

If you’re experiencing any difficulties with child maintenance and would like advice on whether you can make any other financial claims on behalf of your child, please contact one of our family lawyers on 01202 525333 or email us at

How can we help?

When you submit this form an email will be sent to the relevant department who will contact you within 48 hours. If you require urgent advice please call 01202 525333.

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