Family Solicitor London
Most couples that are looking to get divorced appreciate that they will need to reach an agreement on a range of financial issues. When there are children in the marriage, one of the more important matters to decide will be whether Child Support needs to be provided, and if so, how much.
Child Support, or Child Maintenance as it’s sometimes called, is a payment made by the non-custodial parent to the partner who has custody of the children, to contribute financially to the care and upbringing of the children. It’s worth pointing out that the amount of Child Maintenance that needs to be paid isn’t linked to how much Contact the non-custodial parent has; they have a financial responsibility for their children, no matter how little they see them.
Parents will be able to come to a voluntary agreement on the level of Child Maintenance, and this will usually be dealt with along with all the other financial aspects of the divorce, such as Spousal Maintenance. However, if a voluntary arrangement can not be agreed, rather than the courts making the final decision, it will be up to the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC). CMEC replaced the old Child Support Agency (CSA), and has the responsibility for deciding the appropriate amount of Child Maintenance, and making sure it is paid.
Because Child Maintenance has to be paid by the non-custodial parent until the child has either left full-time education or they reach the age of 17, any voluntary agreement or arrangement decided by CMEC, needs to be reasonable and fair so the non-custodial parent has a good chance of maintaining it over the long term. If you are dealing with a Child Support issue and need help form a Family Solicitor, London Family Law Solicitors from our firm will be able to provide the necessary support and assistance.
Calculating Child Maintenance
There are many factors which determine the amount of Child Maintenance that will need to be paid. The number and age of the children, as well as any special requirements they may have, are taken into consideration, as is the financial standing of each parent, including their current assets, savings, income, and the financial support that is already being provided to the custodial household. If you want a more accurate assessment of the Child Maintenance amount you might be required to pay, click the link and visit the Government’s Child Maintenance Calculator, or if you need more information from a Family Solicitor, London Family Law Solicitors from our office can help.
The Review and Modification Process
In some cases, where parents may have been granted a divorce when their children were still very young, there may be the need to review and modify the amount of the Child Maintenance some time in the future. As the children grow up, their requirements, and the cost of meeting them, are likely to change, as are the incomes of the two parents. Changes like these that would mean the amount of Child Maintenance rises or falls by 10% or more will typically lead to a review and potential modification of the financial support that needs to be provided.
In many cases changes to the Child Maintenance agreement can be made voluntarily by the parents, but in some cases the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission might need to get involved. If the non-custodial parent is required to pay Child Maintenance for a number of years, the original agreement may be reviewed and modified a number of times. If you need help from a Family Solicitor, London Family Lawyers at our firm can offer advice advice about reviewing an existing Child Maintenance agreement.
Child Support Disputes
If you have been unable to reach a voluntary agreement with your former spouse about the amount of Child Support, and the matter is now being handled by CMEC, the non resident parent can sometimes feel as though what they ‘re expected to pay is too much; and the parent with care may feel as though they are not receiving enough.
Parents who find themselves in either of these situations can get help from an organisation called the National Association for Child Support Action (NACSA), which provides parents with advice on dealing with CMEC and the Child Support Act. Follow the link to learn more about NACSA, or get in touch with a Family Solicitor – London Family Law Solicitors from our firm will be happy to see how they can help.
Child Support can be a difficult issue to resolve, and you need to make sure you receive the very best advice. If you need a Family Solicitor, London Family Lawyers at our offices will explain how they can provide the necessary assistance within your budget.