Child Maintenance refers to regular financial support – weekly, monthly or yearly – paid by a parent to the other to help with the day-to-day living costs of a child. It is for children who are under 16 or under 20 and still in full-time school or college education (this stops if a child goes to university).
Child Maintenance can be arranged between the two parents, but if it cannot be achieved this way, an organisation such as the CSA or Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will work out how much should be paid. These statutory child maintenance services can also collect payments and pass them on.
If parents can agree on the amount and frequency of maintenance, it can be recorded in a written document. This option is useful when both parents trust each other and are honest about their financial situations. However, it is important to note that this agreement is not legally binding and therefore one parent cannot be held to the terms of the agreement should they decide to change their mind.
These organisations help a lot of parents to resolve questions of Child Maintenance. There are four different types of rates that one parent (the paying parent) pays to the other (the receiving parent). The receiving parent looks after the everyday care of a child and the paying parent doesn’t.
The four different rates of pay are depend on the circumstance of the paying parent. They are called:
A Court Agreement can only be used as part of a dissolution or divorce proceedings. This type of agreement is largely the same as a private agreement, however, the major difference is that it is recorded and approved by the court as an Order, which is legally binding.
If you are having difficulty reaching an agreement concerning children or would like more information about applying for a Child Arrangement Order please contact one of our family law solicitors on 0345 507 5151, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online form at the top of this page.
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