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Child Law and Custody

Child Maintenance for Unmarried Couples

When a relationship breaks down and there are children involved if one parent is taking the majority of responsibility for the childcare then the other parent must make payments towards the upkeep of the children.

In most cases the separating of the financial affairs is much more straightforward for unmarried couples than for married couples. This is because unmarried couples don’t have the same legal obligations towards each other. When children are involved then it is usual for unmarried parents to come to some sort of informal agreement with regards to how much the non-resident parent will pay towards the upkeep of the children. This is usually based on the calculation used by the Child Support Agency, soon to be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service.

More than just maintenance

As well as child maintenance, an application to the court for a transfer of property or cash lump sum for the children is possible if the parent paying the child maintenance has substantial assets and wealth. It is also possible to get the child maintenance raised above the minimum amount set by the CSA/CMS if this is the case. Austin Kemp are experienced in representing high net worth individuals in this specialist area of law.

Austin Kemp’s experienced team of solicitors can guide you through the process and legal requirements of child financial provision to help make sure that you are not left unable to cope financially when looking after your children after your relationship break-up. We particularly specialise in advising high net worth individuals, or ex-partners of high net worth individuals, who have assets and investments on an international scale.

Our specialist solicitors will negotiate the best possible outcome and make sure that you receive what you should over and above the minimum level of child support available from your more wealthy partner.

Alternatively, we also have experience in defending claims for child maintenance in a sensitive but firm manner where the amount is much too large to be manageable. If your ex-partner is bringing an unjust claim of child maintenance against you we are able to provide you with independent, expert advice to help you negotiate your case.

An application can be made by the primary carer of the children to the Child Support Agency or the Child Maintenance Service, although it is worth noting that they are unable to make an assessment if the other parent is living abroad. If one or both parents lives outside England and Wales then the court will be able to deal with the issue of child maintenance. Going via these two agencies will mean that you get the most basic level of child support available to you as the primary carer.

Whether you use the Child Support Agency or the Child Maintenance service will depend on a number of things including how many children you have. The Child Support Agency calculates support through the other parent’s net income whereas the Child Maintenance Service calculates using the other parent’s gross income. It is worth noting that both of these bodies have the power to take payments directly out of income. It is also important to note that with regards to child maintenance, a child is seen as someone under the age of 16 or under the age of 19 in full-time education.

Austin Kemp can help whether you need us to argue your case in court or whether you just want advice as to how much child maintenance you can expect to pay or receive. We are able to act quickly and effectively to make sure you get a fair and just outcome.

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Find out how we can help you, call us on
0333 311 0925 or email us today.

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