Guide to Child Maintenance

Barclay DeVere Family Mediation Service for all child maintenance payment issues
When securing maintenance for your child, you need to know what to do and what not to do so as to be able not to hurt the child’s chances of getting a stable and bright future. Here are the things and procedures that you should explore.

Why is it important to get child maintenance?

Not only is child maintenance a legal responsibility and a way of each of the parents to stay relevant in their child’s life, it also helps to make a primal difference on the child’s life since it helps to pay for among other things the child’s education, food and clothing.

How can you arrange maintenance?

There are a variety of ways that you can use. These include the gamily-based agreements where the parents comes together and make an agreement on how they are going to get around it or, you can use a state agency like the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and in some cases, you may also use the law courts to help you get maintenance for your child.

Which are the most reliable source of information and support?

Should you be looking on how to go about getting child maintenance, perhaps one of the most reliable places that you can visit is Child Maintenance Options. This is there to offer assistance for parents, guardians as well as relatives and those that might be concerned about the wellbeing of a child.

How can one be able to arrange for child maintenance?

There are a number of ways that a parent can be able to do this. The quickest and most amicable method is the family based agreements and this is more so the case because it also comes with its own variety of advantages that include;

  • Is fast and easy and payments are able to begin instantly.
  • It is amicable and there is less conflict involved hence making it more beneficial for the child.
  • It is easier for one to keep their promises if it is not on coursed terms.
  • These option is very private.
  • It is flexible and you can be able to change the terms.
  • It’s not legally binding.
  • You can still negotiate even when the other partner is out of the country.

Call 03300 100 082 to speak to one of our Mediators

How much should child maintenance be?

One of the most convenient ways that you can use to tell how much child maintenance you should be asking for is by using the CMS’s Child Maintenance Calculator. This can offer you a great place to start. Also make sure that you keep all the records of expenses and payments since they could come in handy.

What is the option other than family based agreement.

While the family based agreement is highly advocated for, for one reasons or another which includes violence and abuse, it may not work out for all. In this case, you can apply for a child maintenance which is statutory and is managed by the CMS. Once either of the parents contacts the CMO, they can then apply to the CMS which is able to;
  • Determine how much and when the child maintained payments should be made.
  • Track down the other parent.
  • Collect and ensure payments are made.
  • Also helps to make sure that the two parents avoid contact.

Keep in mind though that this option is very stringent and is not easy to make changes on this platform.

Direct pay.

To curb the hurdles that the previous method poses, CMS also offers the Direct Pay. Her parents are able to organize how and when they will be paying and the CMS is able to offer advice in case the need arises. This platform is more flexible.

Change of Guard.

The CSA will be closing the maintenance agreements of 1993 and 2003 in preparation of the takeover by the CMS. Affected parents will be advised to either opt for the family based agreement or file a fresh with the incoming CMS.

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Which children does the child maintenance cover?

The law provides that any parent that does not have the day to day responsibility of the child should be the one to pay maintenance. It also states that a child is anyone that is below 16 years or one that is between 16 to 19 years depending on these provisions;
  • Is not married, has never been or is not in a civil partnership.
  • Is one who is on a non-advanced or full time education

Call 03300 100 082 to speak to one of our Mediators

How does the CMS Calculator work?

The amount that the CMS is able to work out depends on a variety of factors that are provided for by children laws that include;

  • The non-resident parent’s net income.
  • The number of children that the parent who is a non-resident lives away from.
  • If there are any children that the non-resident parent lives with and their number.
  • The amount of care that the non-resident parent shares.

What types of child maintenance is a court able to order?

There are a variety of instances that the court has the ability to order for that include;

  • School fees payment.
  • Maintenance for disabled and step children.
  • Those that are in further education and a variety of other situations that can include regular medical prescriptions.
Aside from that, a court also has the ability to order for a certain amount of money to be paid or property availed to the children in certain circumstances.

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What if there is a paternity dispute?

Should a father be named in a child maintenance application and they have an issue about the paternity, the following criteria is followed if the child has not been legally adopted;
  • If you and the mother had been married at any single point between the conception and the birth of the child in question.
  • If you have legally adopted the child.
  • In the even that you appear as the father on the child’s birth certificate.
  • If you have already been named in a court order as being the parent to the child in question.
  • If legally you can be presumed as the father of the child due to a fertility treatment.
In this guide any potential worries or question that you may have had about how to get the child maintenance have more or less been addressed. However, in the even that you still have any worries, the CMS can be a great resource.