Step 1 – Find the right time

Sitting down to work out a child maintenance arrangement might seem a bit of a daunting task. It may be something you don’t feel ready to do yet.

But in most cases, it's better to discuss things sooner rather than later. The quicker you can work out an arrangement, the clearer your child’s future will seem and the more secure you’ll feel.

You might also want to bear in mind that the government is considering charging parents for using the Child Maintenance Service in the future. So if you can make a free family-based arrangement now, you won’t be affected by this.

It’s also a good idea to think about the practicalities of where and when you want to talk about your child maintenance arrangement. For example, do you want to meet in a public place or somewhere more private?

For more help planning your conversation, read our Discussion guide

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