The importance and significance of child support cannot be underestimated where there has been a breakdown of a relationship between parents.
If you need financial support for children you can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (previously Child Support Agency) for an assessment or you can try to agree on a level of maintenance on a voluntary basis with your former partner.
However, in some cases the CMS does not have the power to deal with child maintenance and therefore applications to the court may still be necessary. This could be where the absent parent lives abroad, has a high level of income which is above a specific level, or where you are seeking a contribution to school fees or costs associated with a disability.
We always aim to settle your case out of court first, amicably with the other parent, but if court proceedings are required then we are able to advise and help you with this process.
Other financial support for children
Additionally you are likely to need capital provision for your children to ensure that their housing and other needs are met. In the case of the breakdown of a marriage, such provision for children will be dealt with as part of any financial settlement on divorce.
In the case of unmarried parents, if you are unable to reach an agreement with the other parent, you may make an application for lump sum and property adjustment orders in relation to your children under Scedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. The Court has the power to make capital available for specific needs of a child which are not catered for by regular maintenance. Further the Court can make a property adjustment order.
At BLB we have considerable experience in giving clear advice to unmarried couples who face challenging times. Where there are children we will always consider whether it is appropriate to make an application under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.
For expert advice in relation to Financial Provision for Children please contact one of our specialist family lawyers.