Child Maintenance is also known as “child support”. When parents end their relationship they often choose to make an informal agreement about financial support for their children. The payment should meet the everyday costs of living for the child. It is a payment which is normally made by a non-resident parent to the parent with whom the child lives with.
For many reasons, sometimes parents struggle to make an agreement. It might be that the break up has been difficult and communication has broken down. Or it might be that “the lived with parent” is not happy with the amount that the non-resident parent is making. The non-resident parent might argue that they are paying too much or they might be failing to make any payments at all. One of the parents might be disputing their parentage and this can often affect the financial agreement to support the child.
Importance of Child Maintenance
Parents have a legal responsibility to make Child Maintenance payments for their children.
There can be legal consequences of not paying child maintenance in some circumstances.
Making a Child Maintenance Arrangement
Many parents are able to make informal agreements between themselves about the payment arrangements. The informal agreement is called ‘Family-Based Arrangement’. When an informal agreement cannot be made, or is not being fulfilled then a Child Maintenance Arrangement can be sought from the Child Support Agency.
If you are not happy with the decision made by the Child Support Agency then you should appeal this decision within 1 month. Our Family Law Experts can help you to make this appeal.
How Family-based Child Maintenance Arrangements Work?
The family-based arrangement is free and easy way to agree to the payments. However, these are not legally enforceable. Our specialist Family Team can help you to make sure that the agreement becomes legally enforceable.
Using a Court Order
The CSA will manage most CSA claims. In some circumstances, it will be appropriate for a court to look into a new application. The court may still refer to the CSA guidelines when determining the payments. The circumstances are:
- Your ex-partner lives outside the UK
- Your ex-partner is highly paid i.e. earns above
Our specialist Family Team can help you with any questions that you might have about these issues. Once you have successfully obtained a court order, the court will make sure that the maintenance is regularly paid in accordance with the arrangements provided in the order.
We can help you to come to the right agreement by:
- Helping you to establish a formal Child Maintenance Agreement with the CSA if your informal agreement has broken down
- Writing letters and liaising with your ex-partner and the CSA to try for an agreement
- Writing to the CSA on your behalf
- Helping you to prepare your case for an Appeal with the CSA
- Preparing your case for a Court hearing and providing you with representation
If you have any questions or would like to use one of our services then call our experts on 0161 240 3555.
What is Child maintenance ?
Child maintenance, called child support by several, is regular, reliable financial support that helps cover a child’s everyday living costs.Child maintenance can be used for anything that provides for the child, including (but not limited to) food, housing and clothing. If you’re a child maintenance recipient, it might be a good idea to keep records of how you spend your child maintenance payments in case a dispute ever occurs.
Child maintenance orders:
In the UK, families are required by law to provide for their children financially no matter the living arrangement. Specifically when one of the parents lives in a different state, it can get challenging to work. However there are a lots of various choices for how paying child maintenance (called child support in some countries) can look. The agency responsible for handling these matters is called the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), though until recently it was known as the CSA (Child Support Agency). The CSA has now been disbanded and replaced by a new body called the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).
Within UK law, a person may perhaps be responsible for child maintenance if they:
• Are actually the child’s biological parent
• Are actually the child’s adoptive parent
• Are actually the legal parent because of donor insemination or fertility treatment, or
Are actually the legal parent under a parental order if they were conceived by a surrogate mother. A person who isn’t the child’s parent, perhaps a relative or friend, but provides day-to-day care for someone else’s child for at least 104 nights a year, can also apply for child maintenance from either or both of the child’s parents.
How can TMC help?
At TMC Family Law we are on hand with clear, supporting guidance for both parents and children (depending on their age and ability to instruct us) on any legal concern which affects children.
In relation to divorce, we can suggest you on the various options and the steps required to agree concerns between you and your ex-partner. We can also support you in getting ready a written agreement if necessary.
As a child, you may feel old enough to convey your views in regard of these concerns. The general age for this is aged 12 or over but that is not a fixed rule. You may feel that your voice is not being heard. We can take instructions from you and make your views known to your parents and/or their solicitor. This may help your parents to reach an agreement.
At TMC Family Law, we offer an initial free no-obligation chat over the phone to outline your options and the possible costs.
Why Choose Us?
No case is the same as another, and we do not take a ‘one size fits all approach’ to our clients. We prepare and undertake a tailored strategy based on our client’s individual’s needs and circumstances. Our experienced team is able to provide advice and assistance in various legal areas.
Our team will undertake a formal review of your case documents and advise you on the suggested next steps. Our expertise in this area means that care and consideration will be used when reviewing your file. We understand that matters can be time sensitive and you will receive our advice promptly following our instructions.
We are experts in advising and dealing with complex matters on behalf of vulnerable clients. Our team is committed to fighting for justice and providing a high quality service for all of our clients.