Child support is an on-going financial obligation and is not linked to marital status, parental responsibility arrangements, or the level of intended contact any children will have with each parent. Following a divorce or separation, one parent may be legally obliged to pay child support to the other, to ensure that their child or children are provided for by both parents.
Child support payments are widely known as ‘CSA payments’, as these payments used to be governed by the Child Support Agency. Over the past decade or so, the rules – and agencies involved – have changed on multiple occasions, resulting in a range of provisions that can be difficult to understand and complicated to apply in practice.
The body currently responsible for governing child support payments is the Child Maintenance Service. Its website includes a calculator that enables you to access an estimate of the value of potential child maintenance payments in your specific circumstances.
Exploring these calculations can help parents to agree their own child support terms, which can then be documented in what is known as a family-based agreement. However, these agreements are not legally enforceable, meaning some parents opt for a more robust solution by entering into a legally-binding and enforceable deed.
If you and your partner have been unable to agree the terms of any child maintenance arrangements, or if you did agree a set of terms but the other parent has then ceased making payments, you can apply to the Child Maintenance Service to make and enforce suitable arrangements.
How can we help?
We will ensure that the Consent or Financial Order concluding financial arrangements following divorce or dissolution includes the terms of any child support payable by one parent to the other, which offers more legally robust protection if a parent then fails to meet their obligations.
Or, where parents have agreed their own child support terms, we can formalise these into a legally binding and enforceable deed, which is a much more robust solution than a family-based agreement.
Whatever your circumstances, give us a call and let’s talk through your options to secure your financial position and give you peace of mind.
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