Child Maintenance in Divorce
How to deal with Child Maintenance in Divorce
If you are looking to get divorced and have children there are few more factors you need to take into consideration. One being child maintenance.
Child maintenance is a payment made to the parent who looks after your child the most from the other parent. It’s there to ensure that your child’s basic needs such as a home, food and clothes are met. This payment is vital and ensures your child gets the best start to life.
Types of child maintenance
Child maintenance can come in many different forms depending on how you and your ex-spouse decide to deal with it.
If you are able to come to an agreement yourself then its best to get it written into a financial consent order. This ensures that both parties have to stick to what is stated in the agreement if they don’t then legal action can be taken.
If you are not able to come to an agreement then a child maintenance service will be needed. There are fees involved with a child maintenance service including application fees and collections costs.
Do you have to pay child maintenance?
As a parent you are financially responsibility for your children. You have a legal duty to ensure your child has somewhere to live and that you provide financially for your child.
You have to pay child maintenance for you child if :
- You are their biological parent/adoptive parent/legal parent
- you live in the uk
- Your child/children are under 16, under 20 if they are in full-time non-advanced education
- Your child predominantly lives with their other parent.
How much Child Maintenance do you have to pay?
The amount that you have to pay varies massively and depends on a few factors. These factors are as follows:
• how many children you have
• how much you earn
• if the paying parent has any other children they pay child maintenance for
• how many nights your child will stay in the other parents care.
If you’re paying the basic rate then it roughly works out at 12% of your gross weekly income. If you have more than one child then the percentage changes. If you have two children you’ll pay 16% of your gross weekly earnings and if you have three or more children then you will pay 19% of your gross weekly income to your ex-spouse.
What does child maintenance cover?
Child maintenance covers day-to-day living costs. This can including a lot of things including the running of the house, clothes, food and essentials for your child.
This payment ensures your child does not miss out on life essentials and makes sure you are doing your part in taking care of them financially.
How long do you have to pay it for?
You are expected to pay child maintenance until your child turns 16 or until they turn 20 if they’re in full-time education.
Child maintenance may stop earlier if one parent dies or circumstances change.
It’s important to know that child maintenance does not stop if your ex spouse gets married. You are still expected to pay for your child. Your ex’s spouse is not expected to contribute or provide financially for a child that it not theirs.
The government website is a massive help when it comes to working out child maintenance. They have their very own online calculator which can help you work out the amount of money you need to pay and how often.
It also has information on how to use a child maintenance service if you require it.
How can Quicke Divorce help
The best way to arrange child maintenance in divorce is to use a financial consent order. A financial consent order is vital in divorce as it allows you to separate your finances and assets and put it into a legally binding agreement.
You are able to include child maintenance payment within your financial consent order. This ensures that the payments are made and if they’re not then legal action can be taken.
We offer a financial consent service for just £199 this saves you on average £700 compared to your local high street solicitor. Contact one of our advisors today to get started or find out some more information.