When parents separate, the onus is on the parent with whom the children live fewer nights in the week with, to pay ongoing maintenance to the other parent.
The starting point to determine this would be an assessment using the calculator provided by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), the body tasked with these matters.
It is better to try and agree the level of maintenance because any formal application and implementation by the CMS, attracts a fee.
Should parents agree the amount of child maintenance during a divorce, they may wish to reflect that amount in a financial consent Order. This will prevent either parent from applying to the CMS for 12 months after the making of the Order.
There are limited circumstances in which a Court can intervene with regard to the financial arrangements for children.
They include provision for:
- educational expenses
- a child with disabilities
- top up where necessary
A top up can only be made when the paying parent has a gross income in excess of the maximum assessment by the CMS.
There is additional scope for separated parents who have not been married to apply to the Court for financial provision. The factors which will be taken into account are the financial resources of the paying parent, the needs of the child and the manner in which the child is or was expected to be educated.
The Orders which the Court can make include a monthly payment, a lump sum and the transfer of property which may or may not revert to the payer when the child reaches a certain age.
For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you to talk through your options and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.