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When does child maintenance end?

(12 Posts)
reallyanotherone Tue 12-Jul-16 11:54:32

I thought it was 19, but googling seems to show it is now 20?

Dh pays maintenance for his eldest, who has just turned 19. She has severe autism and has been at a specialist school all her life.

Now she's 19 she is leaving, and we think going to some sort of college*.

Our plan has always been that once she is an adult and gets adult DLA etc, to put the CM money into a trust, so in later life she is financially secure when her mum and DH aren't around.

Anyone know what the legal rules are?

*Long bloody story, but over the years we have spent a vast amount of money on solicitors letters to try and get school reports/medical info etc, as the ex simply will not tell us, even with a solicitors letter. She agrees she will, then doesn't, and we cannot afford to take it to court each time to enforce. Dc hasn't the capacity to tell us.

Renotry Tue 12-Jul-16 13:20:58

Well she is an adult now. I don't know the rules sorry so can't help with that but I consider 19 years old to be an adult.

TimeforaNNChange Tue 12-Jul-16 14:09:24

Assuming that there is not court ordered maintenance, then payments are aligned with Child Benefit, which is linked not to calendar age, but the academic age the child is.

In summary:

Maintenance and CB ends the 31 August after a Year 11 DC leaves F/T education


The DC continues in F/T approved education (there's a list on the .gov website). The payments/liability continue for a further 3 years assuming the DC remains in F/T Education - and they end at either the end of Feb, May, Aug or Nov after the DC leaves F/T Education or secures employment.

What this means is that a DC who spends 3 years in F/T education post-16, and then does not secure a job, will be eligible for Child Benefit and Maintenance until the end of the August after their 20th birthday.


reallyanotherone Tue 12-Jul-16 14:21:39

Thanks Time.

That makes sense.

Issue is the SEN are severe enough it's unlikely she will have a job. She's left school, having spent 3 years post-16, but can not read or write.

The new place isn't education as such, it seems to be some sort of place for young adults to try and learn some life skills and give them a sense of independence. She will still be living at home.

I suppose the only option we have is to say we will stop or actually stop the CM payments unless ex can prove she is still in receipt of CB. Although I don't think she's eligible, as her DP earns over 50k/year. Or she tells us exactly what this place is, so we can check if it's considered education.

TimeforaNNChange Tue 12-Jul-16 14:25:25

If she's done three years education post 16 already, then Child Benefit payments will stop end at the end August this year, and liability for maintenance will stop then too.

Your DSD and her carers will be eligible for other benefits based on assessment of her disability.

reallyanotherone Tue 12-Jul-16 14:39:01


Will tell DH and he can decide what to do. It's not going to go down well with ex though.

TimeforaNNChange Tue 12-Jul-16 15:10:51

Ex should have been planning financially for what would happen when her DD became an adult - she needs to ensure that her DD is receiving the benefits and support that she is entitled to as an adult.

In the longer term, (assuming that you are in England) your DH might want to consider apply to the Court of Protection to be a joint deputy along with his ex in order to ensure that he has a say in decisions taken regarding their DD.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 12-Jul-16 15:13:55

What do you mean by " adult dla"? You are classed as an adult for dla/pip aged 16 and the amounts are the same as child dla.

TimeforaNNChange Tue 12-Jul-16 16:04:18

seven my understanding is that a child in receipt of Child Benefit is assessed differently for benefits than a 16 year old who is not in eligible further education and therefore not receiving Child Benefit; however I am aware that the rules change regularly so apologise if I am out of date.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 12-Jul-16 16:20:25

No dla and pip are not affected by any other benefits and are non means tested. Your dsd will providing her needs haven't changed receive the same amount of dla or pip as she always did.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 12-Jul-16 16:22:14

Sorry Tune I answered that as if you were the op as it was the op that used the term " adult dla"

reallyanotherone Thu 14-Jul-16 11:42:52

I meant ceasing of Child benefit and claiming of any other benefits they might be eligible for.

I am not well up on the ins and outs of DLA and other benefits, so may have it wrong. I had been lead to believe that benefits post -18 reflect the fact that they are supporting an independent an adult rather than a dependent child (so if DLA stays the same my informant may have meant things like carer's allowance, JSA, CT and housing benefit etc). I may have it wrong though so happy to be corrected.

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