Financial Support for Children
Getting the right financial support for your children is essential to make sure they have everything they need and that you do not end up in financial difficulties. Having specialist legal advice from the outset can help you to get the right financial support in place sooner and make sure you don’t miss out on anything your child is entitled to.
Our Family Law team can advise you on all of your options for getting the financial support you need for your child, including arranging child maintenance.
We can assist you to reach a voluntary agreement on child maintenance. This helps to make the process much easier by avoiding unnecessary conflict.
If you are the primary carer for a child, you will often be able to claim some level of financial support from their other parent or anyone else with parental responsibility for the child. This can be done either with an informal agreement, by making an application through the Child Maintenance Service or in some circumstances, by applying to a family court for a financial order.
If child maintenance is agreed through an informal agreement, the details can be however you want them to be.
If you cannot agree financial support between yourselves, the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) can help. The CMS took over from the Child Support Agency (CSA) in November 2013.
The CMS can assist by calculating how much maintenance should be paid and then the payments are normally made direct from the other parent.
If you are having difficulty in getting the maintenance from the other person, the CMS can help by getting the money paid to them which they then in turn pay to you. However, the CMS do charge a fee for this to both the person paying maintenance and to the person receiving it. The CMS can also help with enforcement if the money is not paid. The CMS encourage families to sort out the payments between themselves where possible.
How much child maintenance can you claim?
To see how much child maintenance you may be able to claim for your child or children, you can use the government’s simple online child maintenance calculator.
Anyone who is caring for a child long term can receive child benefit for the child, although if your income is above a certain level you may have to re-pay it at the end of the tax year.
You may be eligible for Welfare benefits such a Universal Credit.
Financial Support from Social Services
If you apply for a Special Guardianship Order, Social Services have to consider what support you might need. This includes financial support, which is means tested. Usually, any financial support offered by Social Services is time limited and reviewed after 2 years.
Get in touch to discuss how we can help you by calling 01752 292201.