Child maintenance is financial support that helps towards a child’s every day living costs, where the parent who does not have day to day care of the child makes regular payments to the parent or person who does. That could include a grandparent or guardian as well as a parent.
In many cases it is possible to reach an agreement about child maintenance. This agreement can in many cases be incorporated into a consent order or agreement which is legally enforceable, ( although it may be possible after 12 months for this to be overridden by an application to the Child Support Agency.) When it is not possible to reach agreement, either directly between yourselves or with the help of mediation, generally the organisation that has the power to make a child maintenance order is the Child Support Agency (CSA) or Child Maintenance Service.
You should contact your local CSA office who will tell you which service will manage your case.
A useful website for further information about child maintenance is www.cmoptions.org.uk
The Child Support Agency does not have the power to make assessments in certain cases and it may be necessary to apply to the Court, for instance in cases where:
- The non-resident parent lives abroad
- The application for maintenance is against a step-parent who is not the child’s biological parent
- The non-resident parent has an extremely high income
- The child has exceptional income needs
We can advise you further in relation to which options are available to you.
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