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Maintenance and Child Support

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When a relationship breaks down and there are children involved, the priority for most parents is to sort out parenting arrangements and contact time, closely followed by making sure that their children are supported with child maintenance.  

Advice from a top London children law and child support solicitor is important to help with:

  • Looking at the differences between spousal maintenance and child support and how each is calculated;

  • Advice on the role of the child maintenance service and the UK family court in resolving payment of child support and child maintenance;

  • Advice on the child support options, whether a voluntary arrangement is a good route or whether the child maintenance service or family court will have jurisdiction to make child support assessments or child support court orders;

  • Calculating the level of child support and advising on how the amount of child support can be affected by shared care arrangements and overnight contact or  by the contributions made to a pension by the parent paying the child support;

  • Advice on what to do if paternity of a child is in issue and needs to be resolved;

  • Court applications for payment of school fees or to cover the extra costs arising from a child’s disability;

  • Court applications for “top-up” child maintenance where the child maintenance service has made a maximum child support assessment under its mathematical formula and a parent wants the family court to award extra or “top-up” child maintenance under a court order;  

  • Court applications when the child maintenance service does not have jurisdiction, for example , child support for step-children or where a  parent lives  overseas;

  • Reviewing the level of child support, for example as a result of a change in the paying parent’s personal or financial circumstances;

  • Enforcing payment of voluntary child support payments, child maintenance assessments by the child maintenance service or child support court orders.

  • Legal advice during the mediation process to help understand your children law rights and options and to get the best out of children and financial settlement mediation sessions;

  • If you cannot reach an agreement on the level of child support, representation in child maintenance service assessment tribunal cases or court proceedings for  child maintenance court orders;

  • Resolving associated child support and parenting issues, such as whether the care of a child should be equally shared by both parents or if a child should be privately educated or should move abroad to live with one parent.

To speak to a member of the London based OTS Solicitors children law and child support team about maintenance and child support, please call us on 0203 959 9123 for an initial discussion about how we can help you. If you prefer you can contact us through our online enquiry form.

Angelique Holm has a lot of experience in helping parents resolve children law and child support issues with sensible child focussed advice at times when worrying over money for a child can make things seem overwhelming. Cutting through the worry Angelique and the children law and child support team at OTS Solicitors will work with you to help resolve the child maintenance arrangements.

Supporting you 

Some parents think that they do not need advice from a children law and child support solicitor before reaching an agreement over custody and contact or agreeing  child support and a financial settlement. However, did you know that:

  • If child support is calculated by the child maintenance service the agency  applies a strict mathematical formula to work out how much child support should be paid;

  • If the care of children is equally shared then neither parent may need to pay child support, even if one parent earns more than the other one;

  • Child support does not take into account the paying parent or the receiving parent’s financial obligations, such as their mortgage or other household bills. Spousal maintenance is more flexible as it is assessed by the family court. Instead of using a mathematical formula the family court looks at both parent’s financial needs and resources when determining if spousal maintenance should be paid, and if so, for how long;

  • The amount of child support can go up or down, for example because a parent paying child support has a new family, overnight contact visits are increased or the paying parent increases their pension contributions. It is important to reality test financial settlement options to ensure that they best meet your family needs in the short and long term.

Although most parents do not know where to start when it comes to reaching a financial settlement, it is surprisingly common for a parent to want to ask the child maintenance service to carry out an assessment of liability to pay child support.

Top London children law and financial settlement solicitors will tell you that asking the child maintenance service to carry out an assessment of child support as soon as you separate is not necessarily in your best interests. A voluntary child support arrangement may work best for you, at least in the short term. Often resolving childcare arrangements and the long-term complete financial settlement, rather than just looking at child support in isolation, is the best solution. Families are complex so it is hard to focus on child support when you also need to think about:

  • Contact and child arrangements orders;

  • Whether the family home should be retained by one parent or sold;

  • Whether spousal maintenance should be paid, and if so, for how long;

  • Whether pensions should be shared;

  • Who will keep the family business.    

London based OTS Solicitors children law and child support team can help you look at child maintenance, spousal maintenance and the overall financial settlement to help you reach a financial support agreement that works for you and your family. Angelique and the friendly team of family lawyers at OTS Solicitors can provide you with legal support through negotiation or during family mediation or in representation in tribunal or court proceedings.

For the advice you need and your family deserves call OTS Solicitors today on 0203 959 9123 or use our online enquiry form.
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