Child Maintenance Solicitors

Child maintenance solicitors can help you to get the support that your children need or offer advice on child support payments. Here at AWH, we offer child maintenance legal advice that makes sure that you and your children have everything that you need.

Who has to pay child support?

Child maintenance is always paid by the parent who does not reside with the child for the majority of the time. There are three ways that child support can generally be decided. These are:

  1. Agreeing maintenance payments directly with your former partner – this is sometimes also known as a ‘family-based arrangement’ and is more often than not the cheapest and most efficient way to agree child maintenance.
  2. The Child Maintenance Service – this is a government scheme that will calculate the maintenance payment for you. However, you will also have to pay some charges and financial penalties if the Child Maintenance Service is forced to get involved in your case.
  3. Court Order – this is when the court has the power to set maintenance payments. This is usually enforced when the paying parent has a high income and may live abroad. The court has the power to make the following orders:
  • Periodical payments
  • Secured periodical payments
  • Lump sum orders
  • Settlement of property
  • Transfer of property

When do you stop paying child maintenance?

The paying parent is usually expected to pay child maintenance until your child if 16, or until they’re 20 if they’re in full-time education studying for: A-Levels or equivalent. The parent’s responsibility to financially support is terminated if a child is legally adopted at any age. If you fail to pay child maintenance at any point, then the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (CMEC) has the power to enforce maintenance payments directly through the parent’s employer, by freezing assets and forcing the sale of any property.

What is the Children Act 1989?

The Children Act 1989 is an act of parliament that allocates duties to local authorities, courts, parents, and other agencies in the United Kingdom. It ensures that children are safeguarded and that their welfare is protected. It is based around the principal that children are always best cared for within their own families.

Within this act, Schedule 1 specifically gives the Court the power to make orders for financial provision for children. A parent, guardian or a person with whom a child lives under a Child Arrangements Order can apply to the Court for financial provision for a child. It is particularly relevant in cases where there is considerable wealth, or if the child has a disability. It is most used in cases where the parents were never married, rather than because of a divorce or separation. Arranging child maintenance for a child aged 18 or over cannot be made with the Schedule 1 Children Act, unless they are still in full time education. An application can still be made if the child is living in England and Wales, and the paying parent lives elsewhere.

Read more on our divorce solicitors page

How can AWH Child Maintenance Solicitors help?

Here at AWH, our family law solicitors are authorised and regulated by the solicitor’s regulatory authority and have a great deal of experience in child and family law. If you need any legal advice or help with child maintenance, then we can help.

Read more on our family law solicitors page

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