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Terms of use and disclaimer

The self-service website ('the website') is managed by the Child Maintenance Service (referred to as 'We', 'Us' or 'Our' below).

In Great Britain, the Child Maintenance Service is a part of the Department for Work and Pensions (Opens in new tab). The Child Maintenance Service is responsible for child maintenance in Great Britain.
In Northern Ireland, the Child Maintenance Service is a service provided by the Department for Communities (Opens in new tab). This Department has responsibility for child maintenance in Northern Ireland.

In entering this site, you as a user are accepting our terms of use.


The Child Maintenance Service's responsibilities and liabilities to you in providing this service and any associated services are limited as set out in our disclaimer below.

You will find full details of the services that are currently available on our Child Maintenance Service web pages. See our Directgov web pages for British cases (Opens in new tab) or our NiDirect pages for Northern Ireland cases. (Opens in new tab)


As an individual, you can register to use the self-service website through Directgov for British cases and NiDirect for Northern Ireland cases.

If you register on Directgov or NiDirect, the details you provide will be stored securely on the Child Maintenance Service self-service website in accordance with the Child Maintenance Service privacy policy.

You can view the Child Maintenance Service privacy policy on the self-service website.

Your email address, if provided, may be used by the Child Maintenance Service to communicate with you about your Child Maintenance case.

Your registration details may also be stored on the self-service website's systems. You can view the Child Maintenance Service privacy policy on this website.


When your Child Maintenance case has been set up, you can login to the self-service website using your Customer Reference Number, National Insurance number and your seven digit PIN which is chosen by you when your case is set up.


You must always keep your Customer Reference Number and PIN safe and secure.

If you forget your Customer Reference Number and PIN, you can ask for it to be re-issued either by post or telephone by contacting the Child Maintenance Service.

Message service

When you register for the self-service website you will have access to an online message service which will be used to send you communications and replies to your questions.

You should regularly check your messages and read messages as you will by default be set-up with a preferred method of contact via the self-service website. This means that some of the communications we send to you will only be visible via the self-service website in the message area. It is possible for you to change this preferred method of contact via the self-service website or by contacting the Child Maintenance Service.

Statutory notices, reminders and certificates

Some online services may be used to issue statutory notices and reminders to you. You can view the notices and reminders securely on the self-service website. You may also print or save them to your own computer. Statutory notices made available in this way by the self-service website will have the same legal validity and implications as a paper statutory notice sent to you by post.


The Child Maintenance Service may revise these terms of use as services are developed. The Child Maintenance Service may:

  • use this internet service for any part of its dealings with you in relation to any of the services you are registered for.
  • withdraw or add services and features or change the way in which you may access those services without prior notice - although we shall try to give you notice of any changes.

You can view these terms of use at any time by following the 'terms of use and disclaimer' link at the bottom of any self-service web page.

Authorised use

This is a protected United Kingdom Government website. Unauthorised access and unauthorised modification are offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990; it is unlawful therefore to cause damage to it intentionally or to any Child Maintenance Service electronic facility or data through the knowing transmission of any program, information, code or command.

Unless otherwise specified, the material featured on this site is protected by Crown Copyright.

Service access

The Child Maintenance Service will try to ensure that the online service is available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. If the service is interrupted the Child Maintenance Service will seek to restore it as soon as possible. However access to the service may be suspended without notice. If the service is disrupted, it remains your responsibility to comply with any obligations arising in respect of child maintenance.

The Child Maintenance Service reserves the right to deny access to the service where it is considered necessary to protect the organisation, for example, to protect us and/or the service integrity.

Information relating to your statutory obligations

You can access legal information and guidance concerning your statutory obligations by going to the Child Maintenance Service website. You should make sure you are familiar with this information as it will tell you what the statutory requirements for the use of online services are.


The Child Maintenance Service makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in the publications and services stored, served and accessed by this web service, but this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for formal advice. The materials contained on this website are provided for general information only and do not constitute any form of advice.

The Child Maintenance Service, its employees and agents will not be responsible for any loss, however arising, from the use of, or reliance on this information. The Child Maintenance Service will not be liable for any special, incidental, indirect or consequential damages of any kind, including, without limitation, those resulting from loss of use, data or profits, however those damages may arise.

By providing links to other websites, the Child Maintenance Service does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link necessarily indicate any association with or endorsement of the linked site by the Child Maintenance Service.

The Child Maintenance Service will not be liable for any disruption or failure to make the system available.

Paying by credit or debit card using the self-service website

Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure that payment is received by the Child Maintenance Service, and has cleared in to the Child Maintenance Service's account, on or before the due date. Failure to do so may result in interest and/or a surcharge.

Applicable law

The terms of use of this agreement will be construed in accordance with the laws of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Child Maintenance Service may at any time change these terms of use. Your continuing use of the service after such a change will be construed as your acceptance of the revised terms of use. In your own interests you should ensure that you re-visit them frequently.

As a user of this service you must take all reasonable steps to ensure that you do not create, use, store, download, install, distribute or circulate any material including images, text, software or links to websites that:

  • is or might be considered to be indecent or obscene
  • is or might be considered to be offensive or abusive, could be taken as a personal attack, or is rude, sexist, racist, or generally distasteful
  • encourages or promotes activities that make unproductive use of this service
  • promotes any business or cause, financially or otherwise, whether commercial, political, cultural, ethnic or religious
  • encourages or promotes any unlawful activity
  • involves any activity beyond the scope of this online service, for example, any selling or advertising of goods and services
  • has the potential to damage or overload the Child Maintenance Service's systems, networks and/or external communications
  • might be defamatory; incur a liability for the Child Maintenance Service or another registered member or have any adverse affect
  • is protected by copyright laws

Some actions are actually criminal offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. These include:

  • unauthorised access to computer material (such as hacking; inappropriate access to customer records and corporate data and systems, including trace/search facilities)
  • unauthorised access, with the intent to commit (or to help others commit) further offences
  • unauthorised modification of computer material

The Child Maintenance Service's responsibilities and liabilities to you in providing this service and any associated services are limited as set out in our disclaimer below.


The website and material relating to government or Child Maintenance Service information, products and services (or to third party information, products and services), is provided 'as is', without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security, completeness and accuracy.

We do not warrant or represent that the functions contained in the material available on this website will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or represent the full functionality, accuracy or reliability of the materials.

In no event will we be liable for any expense, loss or damage including, without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any expense, loss or damage whatsoever arising from use, or loss of use, of data, or loss of profits, arising out of or in connection with the use of the self-service website, or reliance on its content.

No data transmission over the internet can be guaranteed as totally secure. Whilst we strive to protect such information, we do not warrant and cannot ensure the security of any information which you transmit to us. Accordingly, any information that you transmit to us is transmitted at your own risk. The website is not a substitute for independent professional advice and users should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances.

The material on this website may include the views or recommendations of third parties, which do not necessarily reflect the views of the Child Maintenance Service or government, or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action. We assume no responsibility or liability arising in respect of any such third party material.