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Child Maintenance

Where parents are living apart, it is essential that child maintenance arrangements are put in place to help the everyday living costs of the child. There are different options for making these arrangements and our family team can provide expert advice to help you.

Child maintenance is paid to the parent who has day-to-day care by the other parent and this can be arranged by the parents themselves in what is called a family-based arrangement.

No-one else has to be involved – you simply agree how much the payments should be and when they should be made. There’s no official paperwork but it is sensible to write down the arrangements in case of a future disagreement.

We also offer referrals to mediation services, which can assist in agreeing on a family-based arrangement, you may find our experience in child maintenance issues helpful. We also offer mediation services, which can assist parents in negotiating agreements.

From 30 June 2014, the government’s new, fee-based Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will charge applicants £20 to open a new child maintenance case. The date also marked the start of a four-year process of closing down all Child Support Agency Cases.

From August 2014, parents going through the CMS face collection charges if they use its Collect and Pay service – in which the CMS collects maintenance from the paying parent – rather than a Direct Pay arrangement, where the paying parent pays the parents with care directly.

Under Collect and Pay, the paying parent will pay an extra 20% in collection charges while 4% will be deducted from the child’s maintenance before it reaches the parent with care. All paying parents in the CMS can opt for a Direct Pay arrangement while the Collect and Pay service will only be available if the parent with care requests it.

For more information on our child maintenance services please contact us.