The question of child maintenance can appear a simple matter but in fact it is a complex area of law. We are happy to advise on any and all aspect of the provision of Child Maintenance.

CHILD MAINTENANCE AND THE CMS

Child maintenance is legally governed by an organisation called the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

It is possible to agree the sum to be paid by one parent for the care of the child or chidlren who do not live with them. Such agreement is often based upon the standard legal CMS formula which dictates the amount which should be paid.

If there is no agreement about the maintenance,either as to the amount to be paid or as to whether it should be paid at all, then this is a matter which would need to be resoved by way of an application to the CMS. The CMS will then determine whether the maintenance is payable and the sum which is to be paid. Either parent can apply to the CMS to make an assessment.

We can advise you upon the amount which the CMS would award the maintenance to be paid. Knowledge of the amount payable on calculation using the CMS formula can assist you in reaching agreement about the Child Maintenance which should be paid.

DISPUTES AS TO THE MAINTENANCE

The process of applying to the CMS is relatively straight forward. If, however, you are unhappy with the CMS maintenance assessment then we can help. We will consider with you routes to apply to vary the assessment ( to ask for the CMS to take additional matters into account) or to apply to appeal against the decisions made by the CMS.

CHILD MAINTENANCE AND THE COURTS

The family courts can still become involved in dealing with certain aspects of child maintenance. This includes:-

1  An order for maintenance to cover the costs of private school fees

2  An order for maintenance for a child at university

3  An order for maintenance for a child or children where a parent is not in the UK

4  An order for "top up maintenance" where the parent is wealthy

5  An order for maintenance to cover expenses for a disabled child.

6 An agreed maintenance order for a child, subject to certain conditions, in divorce or dissolution proceedings

These applications can be made by both married and unmarried couples. These applicaitons are very specialist and our family law team have the knowledge and expertise to advise and represent you.

FURTHER ADVICE

If you need further individual advice please call us on 0845 482 0641 and we can discuss your problems in more detail