Family Solicitor Birmingham
Most couples that are looking to get divorced appreciate that they will need to reach an agreement on a range of financial issues. When there are children in the marriage, one of the more important matters to decide will be whether Child Support needs to be provided, and if so, how much.
Child Support, or Child Maintenance as it’s sometimes called, is a payment made by the non-custodial parent to the partner who has custody of the children, to contribute financially to the care and upbringing of the children. It’s worth pointing out that the amount of Child Maintenance that needs to be paid isn’t linked to how much Contact the non-custodial parent has; they have a financial responsibility for their children, no matter how little they see them.
Although it is preferable that the parents voluntarily agree on a level of Child Maintenance when they deal with the other financial arrangements that are part of a divorce, if an agreement can’t be reached it might be necessary for the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) to get involved. Formerly known as the Child Support Agency (CSA), CMEC is responsible for ensuring that the level of Child Maintenance is appropriate, and that it’s being paid.
Child Maintenance is paid until the child is 17 years old, or until they leave full-time education– whichever of these is the later; which could mean that the non-custodial parent will be expected to contribute to the upbringing of their children for a number of years. With this in mind it is important to make sure that any voluntary agreement is sustainable in the long term, or that the amount decided by CMEC is reasonable and fair. If you need help with a Child Support issue, contact a Family Solicitor – Birmingham Family Lawyers from our office can provide the advice you need.
How Child Maintenance is Calculated
There are many factors which determine the amount of Child Maintenance that will need to be paid. The number and age of the children, as well as any special requirements they may have, are taken into consideration, as is the financial standing of each parent, including their current assets, savings, income, and the financial support that is already being provided to the custodial household. If you want a more accurate assessment of the Child Maintenance amount you might be required to pay, click the link and visit the Government’s Child Maintenance Calculator, or get in touch with a Family Solicitor – Birmingham Family Solicitors from our firm will be able to help.
Review and Modification
In some cases, where parents may have been granted a divorce when their children were still very young, there may be the need to review and modify the amount of the Child Maintenance some time in the future. As the children grow up, their requirements, and the cost of meeting them, are likely to change, as are the incomes of the two parents. Changes like these that would mean the amount of Child Maintenance rises or falls by 10% or more will typically lead to a review and potential modification of the financial support that needs to be provided.
Any modification to the Child Maintenance agreement can be voluntarily agreed by the parents, or mandated by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. In some cases the agreement might need to be modified on more than one occasion, and for help with the review and modification process you should speak to a Family Solicitor. Birmingham Family Solicitors at our offices will be able to assist you.
Disputes Regarding Child Support
If you have been unable to reach a voluntary agreement with your former spouse about the amount of Child Support, and the matter is now being handled by CMEC, the non resident parent can sometimes feel as though what they ‘re expected to pay is too much; and the parent with care may feel as though they are not receiving enough.
Whether you feel that you can’t afford the Child Maintenance payments you ‘re expected to make, or that the money you ‘re receiving isn’t enough, the organisation that provides advice and information about CMEC and the Child Custody Act is called the National Association for Child Support Action (NACSA). Click the link for more details about NACSA, or talk to a Family Solicitor – Birmingham Family Lawyers from our office can provide more information.
If you need help with a Child Support issue, get in touch with a Family Solicitor. Birmingham Family Solicitors from our office provide different levels of service to suit all budgets, and will make sure you get the advice you need.