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Financial provision for children

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financial provision for childrenFinancial provision for children

If parents who live apart cannot agree on what maintenance should be paid for children, an application can be made which will go to the Child Maintenance Service (previously known as the Child Support Agency). This applies whether or not the separated parents have been married to each other. However, many divorcing couples reach an agreement during the divorce proceedings about maintenance for the children. If so, that agreement can be incorporated in an agreed order within financial part of the divorce case.

The Circumstances To Consider

For most people any dispute about child maintenance has to be resolved by the Child Maintenance Service. However, there are some circumstances where an application can be made to the court for maintenance for children. These include circumstances such as

  • when there’s a disabled child involved
  • when the child is aged over 18 years and in full time education or training or
  • where there has been a maximum assessment by the Child Maintenance Service which then gives the court the power to make a “top up” order.

The Child Maintenance Service now calculates child maintenance  based on gross income. The figures are obtained from  HMRC. The formula takes into account the number of children, and the number of nights per week on average that a child stays with a paying parent.  In certain limited circumstances the Child Maintenance Service has power to vary the formula.

Arrangements for contact with your child will be decided on the basis of the child’s best interests. This generally is to be for the child to maintain good contact with both parents. Consequently payment of child maintenance has no legal connection with whether or not you have  such contact so if, for example, your ex-partner has stopped your contact for no other reason than a disagreement over the amount of child maintenance, we can assist you in applying to court for a child arrangements order.

Married couples who divorce can use matrimonial legislation to obtain other financial provision such as lump sums and transfer of houses which will help them with providing for their children. This avenue is not available to unmarried couples but in certain circumstances any parent can seek  additional financial provision for children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. There may also be applications available under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1976 which can resolve disputes about ownership and entitlement to benefit from property owned by either party.

We have particular expertise in this specialist area of law and can help you to obtain the best outcome. For more information please contact us via the contact button below:

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