New research published by Child Poverty Action Group and co-funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that it now costs a minimum of £148,000 in total to bring up a child to age 18 and meet their minimum needs which is around £160 a week (averaged for a child across all ages and including childcare costs and housing). This is a rise of 4% over the last 12 months.
When parents separate, they negotiate a level of maintenance that should be paid to the parent with the care of the Children for the benefit of those children. If an agreement cannot be reached then it’s up to the CSA to make a formal assessment. The formula they apply is based on the parent without care income and then a percentage of that is paid to the parent with care. The CSA don’t consider the actual cost of having a child only the ability of the other parent to make a contribution in accordance with their income. Given the above findings it seems that parents are going to continue to struggle to ensure that a child’s minimum needs are met.
By Family Law Solicitor Lorraine Harvey