Regardless of whether you were married or not, and the duration of your relationship (if any) with the other parent, you will both have financial responsibilities towards your child.
Child Maintenance Service
Most commonly the parent with whom the child spends the least number of nights, will pay the other parent child maintenance for the benefit of their mutual child. The sum to be paid can be as per agreement reached by the parents or can be entirely managed through the child maintenance service Child Maintenance Service: What child maintenance is – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The child maintenance calculator can be a helpful tool when negotiating child maintenance Calculate your child maintenance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Financial needs of children to a marriage
Housing needs and the children’s needs generally will be considered as part of a financial remedy court order on divorce.
The amount of child maintenance can also be stipulated in a financial remedy court order; however, this would only be binding for 12 months from the date of the order. After this period, either party can apply to the CMS to have this figure reassessed.
Financial provision for children of unmarried parents
Although the Child Maintenance Service has primary jurisdiction for assessing child maintenance, Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 seeks to make additional financial provision for the benefit of the children of unmarried parents. A claim under Schedule 1 could be for:
Periodical payments (or sometimes secured periodical payments) such as:
- Educational costs
- Costs relating to a child’s disability
- Child maintenance top-up orders (where the paying parents income exceeds a prescribed sum)
Lump sums such as:
- Capitalising periodical payments
- As a deposit for a property
- To furnish a property
- For a car
- Liabilities/ debts
Settlement or transfer of property – usually until the child turns 18 or finishes University
For more information on whether you could make a Schedule 1 claim for the benefit of your child or as an adult child, contact Madia Aslam or a member of our Family Team for advice.