Child Maintenance when at college – Answering your questions

Q. I separated from my husband two years ago. I have an 18 year old daughter in college. My husband thinks he doesn’t have to give me any more maintenance now she has turned 18. Is this correct? She is still in college for another year.

A. If payments are being made through the Child Maintenance Service these would continue until your daughter turns 20, but only whilst she remains in full-time education up to A-level or equivalent. If your daughter is on a part-time course or undertaking a degree course at University, then payments made through the Child Maintenance Service will stop. I would also point out that maintenance payments could also stop if your daughter is no longer eligible for child benefit or if she has moved away from home to attend college (and, therefore, you are no longer her main carer).

If payments have been made on a voluntary basis by your husband, and have now stopped, you should contact the Child Maintenance Service to arrange for a formal assessment of your husband’s liability to pay child maintenance. In the event that he is not liable, your daughter may consider making an application to court herself for maintenance until she finishes college (or even an undergraduate degree).

For further information, or to make an application, see or speak to a member of our Family Law team at Berry Smith LLP on 01656 645525 or 02920 345511.


Katie McColgan

Partner, Family at Berry Smith Lawyers