Child maintenance issues

Putting the needs of children first

Drawing on our legal expertise in child maintenance 

Every parent has a duty to financially support their child, even if they live separately from them and the other parent. Child maintenance is vital for a child’s well-being. Fostering positive family relationships, it offers consistent financial support to cover everyday living expenses and ensure the child receives the best possible start in life.

In family law, child maintenance will only be included in a financial remedies order if the amount is agreed between the parties. Otherwise this responsibility falls to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), formerly known as the Child Support Agency (CSA).

Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable family lawyer during divorce or separation will ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities in respect of child maintenance. 

How can I arrange to have child maintenance agreed?

The parent who doesn’t live with their child full time and isn’t the primary caregiver is referred to as the non-resident parent. They are obligated to provide child maintenance until the child turns 16, or until the age of 20 if the child is in full-time education (up to A level or its equivalent).  

There are various ways of arranging child maintenance whether by an agreement reached directly between the parties or negotiated through solicitors, or by a parent making an application to the Child Maintenance Service.

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