Within Great Britain, a parent is legally responsible for maintaining their child or children, even if they have do not live with the child or children, or have no contact with them.
Child maintenance can be arranged and agreed directly between parents and can be discussed when making arrangements for separation. There are, however, are some circumstances where it may be necessary to make arrangements through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). For example, when one parent does not have any contact with the other parent as a result of previous domestic abuse.
The CMS have the power to work out how much should be paid by the non-resident parent, arrange payments and take action if a parent does not pay. The CMS are also able to try locate the other parent if you do not know where they are. A £20 application fee is payable for a child maintenance calculation, albeit this is not payable by victims of domestic abuse who have reported the abuse to an ‘appropriate person’ e.g. a domestic violence charity, GP or the police.
The amount paid by the non-resident parent each month will depend upon the number of nights the child/children spends in their care and the non-resident’s annual income after tax.
There are circumstances whereby the CMS may not be able to assist or assist fully for example if the other parent’s financial circumstance exceed the income threshold or there are other financial matters which may require the advice of a solicitor and/or an application to Court.
If you have any queries in relation to child maintenance, living arrangements for children or any other aspect of family law, then please contact us on 01274 861096 (Liversedge Office) or 01423 637272 (Harrogate Office) firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free initial half an hour appointment.