Child support if you go to prison

You must tell us if you go to prison. This is so we can make sure your child support is accurate.

What happens if you don’t tell us

We’ll keep basing your child support on your income and care percentage from before you went to prison. This means you may either:

  • pay too much child support
  • build up a debt
  • receive too much child support and have to pay it back.

When to tell us

Tell us as soon as you can. Normally we can only change your payments from the date you tell us about the change. We can’t backdate the new amount.

What to tell us

Tell us your address in prison and the best way to contact you while you’re in prison.

You also need to tell us your income while you’re in prison. You need give details of any:

  • income or allowances you earn in prison
  • money from investments or other income you receive outside prison.

You should also tell us if the care arrangements for your children will change while you’re in prison. This is if you normally have care of your child, as your payments may change.

How to get someone else to deal with us for you

You can choose someone to deal with us for you while you’re in prison. This can be a person or an organisation. If you want them to, they can do both of the following:

  • ask us about your child support
  • give us information about you.

They can’t:

Read about getting someone to deal with us on your behalf.

You can use the Representative authority form to get someone to act on your behalf.

What we tell the other parent

We won’t tell the other parent you’re in prison. We must tell them if we reduce or stop any child support you pay. We won’t tell them why.

Page last updated: 16 August 2019