Child Maintenance Solicitors

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Child Maintenance Solicitors

When parents separate, making sure their children are fully provided for is obviously a top priority. An expert child maintenance solicitor can help to ensure your child or children get everything they need, especially when there are issues such as school fees to consider.

At IBB Law, we regularly work with a wide range of clients to secure appropriate child maintenance following divorce and separation. We have strong experience advising High Net Worth individuals and their former partners, so can assist in all scenarios.

With expertise across all areas of child law advice, we can ensure that your children are fully provided for and that all issues related to their upbringing and wellbeing are correctly handled.

Complete support for child maintenance law

Our child maintenance solicitors can assist with a wide range of matters, including:

  • Child maintenance agreements
  • Child Maintenance Service (CMS) applications
  • Varying child maintenance
  • Child maintenance disputes

Why choose IBB Law for help with child maintenance payments?

The Child Law team at IBB Law can offer you:

  • High-level expertise in some of the most complex and challenging legal issues involving children, including those related to child maintenance
  • Independently accredited expertise with our Family Law team being ranked by leading client guides the Legal 500and Chambers & Partners
  • Children Law accreditation from the Law Society
  • Many of our team are members of Resolution, a network of legal professionals committed to removing conflict from family law, reflecting our skills in avoiding unnecessary friction in any disputes

Discuss your case with our child maintenance solicitors

Our child maintenance lawyers are available in Uxbridge, Beaconsfield, Reading and Ascot.

You can call one of our legal offices directly or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page and one of our legal team will call you.

How our child maintenance solicitors can support you

Child maintenance agreements

It is now common for separating parents to reach an agreement on child maintenance voluntarily through constructive negotiation, mediation and other amicable approaches. This can make things much faster and less stressful, as well as keeping the costs involved as low as possible.

Working with a specialist child maintenance solicitor can help to ensure you enter negotiations with a clear picture of what your children are entitled to and, therefore, what level of child maintenance payments would be reasonable. Where appropriate, a solicitor can sit in on the negotiations or negotiate on your behalf.

Our child maintenance experts will be happy to advise you on your negotiating position, represent you during negotiations and advise on whether any agreement reached is fair.

Child Maintenance Service (CMS) applications

Making an application to the Child Maintenance Service can be daunting, so it is often reassuring to have expert advice in advance. Our team can explain how the process works, what information you will need to provide and the sort of outcome you may be able to expect.

Should you run into any issues with your application, we will be happy to advise on what you need to do to get things back on track and make sure your children are getting the support they need.

Varying child maintenance

Where circumstances have changed and you need to change the level of child maintenance being paid, it is important to take the right approach. This can help to ensure the matter is resolved as quickly as possible and that your children continue to get the support they need.

Our child maintenance solicitors can assist with scenarios including where you are the paying parent and your income or financial obligations have changed, as well as where you are the receiving parent and your financial situation or your children’s needs have changed.

Wherever possible, we will secure an agreement on varying child maintenance through friendly negotiation or other non-confrontational means. However, where this is not possible or not appropriate, we can support you with applying to the Child Maintenance Service to vary the payments.

Child maintenance disputes

Unfortunately, disputes over child maintenance do sometimes arise. This can be where there is a disagreement over how much maintenance should be paid, non-payment or in relation to other issues, such as a parent paying child maintenance being unhappy about how much contact they have with the child or children and threatening to cease payment.

In such situations, early expert advice can make all the difference. Knowing where you stand and what your rights are is the first step to being able to find a way forward that best protects your children’s wellbeing.

Our child maintenance lawyers will be happy to talk through your situation, your legal position and what steps you can take. We can then guide you through the whole process, giving you the highest likelihood of getting the right outcome quickly and with minimum fuss. Where necessary, we can help you to apply for a child maintenance court order to enforce payment.

Common questions about child maintenance law

Child maintenance (also sometimes referred to as ‘child support’) means financial support paid by one parent to another specifically for the care of their children following a divorce or separation. In many cases, specific child maintenance arrangements are not needed as provision for the children will be included in the overall division of finances.

However, there are circumstances in which having specific child maintenance arrangements in place may make sense, for example, if the parents cannot agree on how much financial support is needed to meet children’s needs.

The exact amount of child maintenance one parent will need to pay to the other will depend entirely on the circumstances. Key factors that will be taken into consideration include the income and assets each parent has available, as well as the specific needs of the child or children, including any special health or additional support needs.

If a parent stops paying child maintenance, there are various actions the other parent can take. In the first instance, it is often best to contact the parent who is not making payment to attempt to determine the cause. This may allow an amicable resolution quickly and without significant legal costs.

However, if an agreement cannot be reached, then your immediate options will depend on whether the agreement over child maintenance was voluntary or determined by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

If you had a voluntary agreement, then you may need to apply to the CMS to determine what child maintenance your child or children are entitled to. This gives you a legally binding basis for pursuing payment.

If you have a legally binding determination on child maintenance from the CMS, then you can contact the CMS for support. There is a range of actions it can take to enforce payment, including seeking an Attachment of Earnings Order (meaning child maintenance is deducted automatically from the other parent’s wages) or seizing property to cover the necessary child maintenance.

Where your former partner has stopped paying child maintenance, it is recommended to consult an experienced child maintenance lawyer at the earliest opportunity. This can significantly boost your chances of a swift, positive resolution.

Child maintenance is compulsory until a child reaches 16, unless they are still in full-time education, in which case it will end when they finish full-time education or turn 20 (whichever is sooner).

Child maintenance can potentially change if either parent’s circumstances have changed or the needs of the child or children have changed. Examples of situations that could necessitate a change in child maintenance arrangements include where:

  • The income of either parent changes, affecting their ability to support the children
  • The child or children no longer live with the parent who was receiving child maintenance or spend less time living with them
  • The parent paying child maintenance has more children they need to support
  • The needs of the child or children change

Where you have a voluntary child maintenance agreement in place, it may be possible for the parents to simply agree to change the amount being paid. However, if child maintenance was set by the CMS or an amicable agreement cannot be made, then it may be necessary to apply to the CMS to vary the amount being paid.

Child maintenance does not affect benefits, so receiving child maintenance from your former partner will not change what benefits you can claim. However, the overall income and assets of each parent will be a consideration when determining how much child maintenance should be paid, so how much you receive in benefits could be a factor in working out your ability to support your children and, therefore how much maintenance should be paid.

Discuss your case with our child maintenance solicitors

Our child maintenance lawyers are available in Uxbridge, Beaconsfield, Reading and Ascot.

You can call one of our legal offices directly or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page and one of our legal team will call you.

    Cohabitation and Separation AgreementsDivorce and FinanceChildren matters

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