Financial Provision & Child Maintenance
If you are getting a divorce and have children, you need to think about financial provision for your family. When separating, both parents have an ongoing duty to maintain their children. You and your ex-partner are still responsible for your child’s upkeep. Therefore, you need to pay for their everyday living costs. These expenses can include food, clothes, education, leisure, utilities and housing costs.
Arranging Child Maintenance
Financial provision for children is generally referred to as child maintenance. There are four options for arranging how child maintenance will be paid with your former spouse or partner:
- Family-based arrangement: You and your ex-partner arrange maintenance between you.
- Direct Pay: The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will calculate how much financial provision should be made, but you and your ex-partner arrange how it will be paid between you.
- Collect and Pay: The CMS calculates how much child maintenance should be paid, then collects the money from one parent and passes it to the other.
- Court-ordered arrangement: This is used in varying circumstances. For example, when the paying parent has a very high level of income; to arrange for school fees to be paid; or to decide how much child maintenance should be paid for stepchildren or disabled children. IT can also be used if the parent who is supposed to be making the financial provision lives abroad.
In addition to child maintenance, there are other instances when it may be appropriate to apply for other forms of financial support. For more information, see Schedule 1 Children Act Applications.
Most separating couples do not find it easy to discuss financial provision for children. It is always recommended to involve child maintenance solicitors to make the arrangements for you, while finding out your best options.
At Major Family Law, we can help you arrange child maintenance. Our expert team of solicitors can work out how much you should be paid or are obligated to pay. In addition, we can draw up a formal arrangement that is legally binding in court, should your ex-partner break your agreement.