Every parent has a financial responsibility towards their child, which includes the child’s daily living costs.
When a relationship or marriage breaks down, maintenance is often overlooked as parties start to battle about the matrimonial home or other assets.
However, child maintenance should not be forgotten and it should not simply be based on how much contact a parent has with a child. These are essentially two separate issues and one does not necessary determine the other.
How much does a non-resident (the parent who does not live with the child) need to pay?
Well parties can agree a voluntary child maintenance agreement between them. This can take into consideration costs associated with children, such as school trips, clothing etc.
This means that both parents decide the amount of child maintenance payments to be paid on a monthly basis and the payments are made in accordance with this. This can also be known as a family based arrangement.
If the amount of maintenance cannot be agreed or if one party refuses to pay child maintenance, then you can apply for maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).
This will enable you to consider your options and applications can be made online or by telephone.
The CMS can also help parties to calculate the amount of maintenance they need to pay and parties can then set up a voluntary payment to their ex- partner.
If payments need to be ‘collected’, which means taken by the CMS, then there is a fee for this, which is:
• An additional 20% in addition to the amount of maintenance for the person who pays
• A deduction of 4% for the person receiving the maintenance
Here is a link to the CMS website:
If you require advice about a financial settlement, contact me on 0115 923 2193 to arrange a consultation.
Written by Seetal Missan