Maintenance for children is assessed by the Child Maintenance Service (with the Child Support Agency (the CSA) handling some existing cases).
The CMS has jurisdiction to deal with matters of child maintenance and therefore such applications cannot usually be made to the Court although agreements in relation to maintenance payments can be recorded in a Court order or maintenance agreement/family-based arrangement if both parties so choose and agree.
Clients may need support with regard to the maintenance assessment carried out by the CMS or with regard to an appeal against any such assessment.
There is a helpful child maintenance calculator at https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance which will calculate the appropriate level of child support payable by the parent with whom the child does not primarily live to the parent with primary day to day care of the child. The level of maintenance is based on a number of factors including the gross annual earnings of the paying party, the number of children, the number of nights spent by the children with the paying party and whether there are other children for whom that parent is financially responsible or has living with them whether or not they are their natural children.
For detailed discussion or advice on these issues please contact one of our Solicitors.
Financial Provision for Children
A parent with care of a child or children may need to apply to the Court for additional financial provision for a child to include payment of school fees, payment for school trips or nursery fees and even for housing provision.
Such applications are made under Schedule 1 (and Section 15) of the Children Act 1989.
The Court has power to order the non-resident parent to provide a lump sum payment to the parent with care or to provide a fund of capital for housing provision with such fund being held on trust for the paying party and therefore recoverable at some future date.