CMS Advice

Expert Legal Advice on Day to Day Shared Care, Child Maintenance Appeals, Case Management Child Maintenance Arrears

Advice Voucher

You CAN afford to use Durham Legal Services because we will help you.

Not every legal matter requires the use of a lawyer. Fighting a speeding ticket or going to small claims courts are two examples. However, in many other situations involving a legal dispute, you may not wish to chance the risks of going it alone without the advice of an experienced lawyer who can help you out. In fact, good legal representation can help with a number of sticky situations - such as a bad divorce. The potential alternatives for not using a lawyer can be very costly.

There is no doubt an expert Child Support lawyer can have an enormous and positive impact on your Child Support case. An expert CSA Lawyer is not only a professional who is an authority on Child Support legislation, they also have experience and knowledge beyond what is accessible to the average CSA case worker, high street solicitor or Facebook user. As an expert, they offer factual information and analysis that can only benefit your case.

Understandably, some clients are reluctant to add more expense to what may be already escalating legal fees. Some people even think “if I can afford a lawyer the judge my find against me”. Our experience is people who are represented more often obtain a favourable settlement or judgement which will, in the end, save them money. While each person’s child maintenance case is different, there are times when then really should instruct a child support lawyer.

Below are the top ten reasons why our clients have instructed Durham Legal Services.

1. Child Maintenance legislation is complicated. They recognise because they have no legal training they have no business acting like they have. Even experienced lawyers typically do not represent themselves in court. A solid case can quickly unravel without the help of a trained and emotionally detached lawyer.

2. They understand what’s at stake and not having legal representation will cost them more in the long run. A Child Maintenance Appeal will determine your payments for many years to come. In all probability, if not conducted properly, it will result in arrears. Arrears in child maintenance case could result in a civil case that could hurt them financially.

3. Clients recognise a good lawyer knows how to challenge and sometimes suppress irrelevant evidence the other parent wants to use to discredit them.  

4. Clients understand the need to properly file court documents and handle other legal procedures. Many struggle with the deadlines and protocol for properly filling out and filing certain legal documents.  One late or incorrect filing could delay a case or worse - have the case thrown out altogether (and not in your favour).

5. Appeal Tribunals don’t use any expert witnesses or private detectives. Lawyers depend on an extended network of professionals to help their client’s cases. Most clients do not personally know the types of professionals who can help them discover or challenge evidence or testimony by the opposing parent.

6. Clients are not sure how to present the grounds of appeal or what options they have. Our team understand the law, client options and what will work and what will not.

7. Clients understand it is probably better to avoid problems in the first place rather than try to fix them once they arise. You may have heard the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

8. Our team can strike a good settlement offer. Our experience has seen many similar cases or at least knows enough to make a calculated guess about how it might resolve at appeal. Sometimes a settlement is the best choice, while other times it makes more sense to see your case through to Appeal.

9. The other party has legal representation. Non-represented clients are generally at a disadvantage when squaring off against opposing counsel or doing business with another party that has legal counsel. As explained above, the law is complicated and a lawyer representing your ex partner adversary (or even a non-adversarial party entering into a legal agreement with you) will take advantage of this inequality.

10. Our costs. 

Why do we charge for our services?

Sadly, nothing is free in this day and age and even the basic advice from organisations like Citizens Advice is funded by the taxpayer somewhere down the line. We are a private legal firm and we don’t receive any funding from Government and neither is Legal Aid available for child support work, even if you are on benefits. Instead, we pride ourselves on having the lowest fee structure in the UK for child support appeal representation given by specialist CSA lawyers. Not only will you benefit from the skills and expertise of the staff involved, we also try to achieve your outcome as quickly as possible.

Both the Child Support Agency (CSA) and the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) now strongly recommend you should seek qualified CSA/CMS legal advice if you have a child maintenance problem. Your first step towards getting this advice is via our voucher scheme. Each voucher costs £35.00 and entitles you to two advice telephone calls with a member of our legal team. We have no time limit – it’s advice you are buying, not time.

Please remember we don’t give general advice; our advice is qualified, legal advice give by qualified CSA expert lawyers.  We don’t just guess or give a personal opinion and we don’t hide behind disclaimers. We give the correct legal advice based upon the legislation and the current CSA or CMS policy on how the law is interpreted and implemented.

£35.00 GBP

Advice on Arrears

  1. Old CSA1 arrears including where there are no longer any Qualifying Children.
  2. CSA 1 and CSA2 arrears being transferred over to Child Maintenance Service Cases.
  3. CMS arrears and how to deal with the 20% collection fees
  4. How to stop paying the 20% collection fee
  5. How to negotiate a lower arrears repayment

Advice on Case Closure

  1. When does a case close and how to check the CSA have used the right date
  2. How to find out if child benefit should still be paid

Advice on CSA CMS calculations

  1. How to check your payment is correct
  2. How to challenge an incorrect payment
  3. How to increase a payment when true income has not been declared
  4. How to deal with shared care and obtain the correct allowances

Advice on CSA & CMS Appeals

  1. How to appeal  the decision
  2. How to gather the right evidence for your appeal

Advice on Private Agreements

  1.  The best ways to tackle a private agreement

Please contact us on 01207 693966 to arrange your consultation.


John Envoy “It’s the best £35.00 I have ever spent. I was totally made to relax not rushed and felt like someone at last was listening to me and not judging me. I got more than answers I got a plan of action which worked. Thanks Mike you are OK for a Sunderland Supporter”.



Child Maintenance Service Advice

CSA Testimonials

Without doubt I have the most awkward ex partner any man could ever have, you name it I have been accused of doing it. I meet a new partner and things went from bad to worse with my ex taking me to 3 different appeals.

Read more CSA Testimonials

Why DLS?

We are confident not only about the advice we offer but the standard of that advice. Durham Legal Services has represented people with child support problems for the last twenty years. We know we can help you if you have a real CSA problem.

Read more about our CSA advice

Make a call today

Our years of experience in child support legislation are available to you. Read More Book your call with a member of our legal team and we can explain what your options are and give you practical help and information. All consultations are strictly confidential.

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