Child maintenance experts
Ideally, separated or divorced parents will reach a Family-Based Agreement for child maintenance. When this doesn't happen, our family lawyers are here to help.
A simple guide to child maintenance
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Your guide to child maintenance in the UK
'Child Maintenance' is the legal term for regular financial support paid from a non-resident parent to the resident parent, for children up to the age of 16, or the age of 20 if they stay in full-time education in order to study for A-levels or equivalent qualifications.
The easiest way to handle child maintenance payments is for both parents to reach an amicable agreement about the amount and the regularity of payments made by the non-resident parent. This private agreement can be made by the parents alone, or with the help of family lawyers.
However, it is worth knowing that private agreements are not legally enforceable, so if the non-resident parent stops making them, you may need to contact the (CMS) in order to make the other parent honour their financial commitments.
If you would like help or advice in reaching a private agreement for child maintenance, or any other aspect of child maintenance payments, speak to one of our family law experts today by calling or and we will call you.
How do I get child maintenance from a violent ex-partner?
Private agreements are all well and good when your ex-partner can be relied upon to behave decently. But if your ex-partner is violent or abusive, it may be better for you to arrange for the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to collect payments on your behalf. Our family lawyers can advise you on how to do this.
How do I get child maintenance from someone abroad?
The CMS can only help you to claim child maintenance from someone living abroad if they are:
• A UK civil servant
• A member of a UK Diplomatic mission
• A member of the Armed Forces
• Working for a company that is based and registered in the UK
• Working on secondment for a 'prescribed body', such as a local authority
In all other cases, we may be able to help you make a court application under , as the UK has reciprocal arrangements for the enforcement of maintenance with more than 100 countries and territories worldwide.
Will child maintenance payments affect my benefits?
No. Child maintenance should always be set at a level that ensures a non-resident parent is paying their share towards the living costs of the child or children concerned.
That's why they aren't taken into account as a form of income when it comes to calculating the benefits you are entitled to receive.
Even so, while your child maintenance payments will have no impact on the amount of benefits you receive, you are still legally obliged to declare them whenever you fill in any forms relating to your benefits.
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