When would I need to seek a Court Order to obtain Maintenance Payments?
Sep 19, 2016
Arranging maintenance payments for your children from your ex-partner or spouse can be difficult. There are a number of ways you can go about making arrangements for child maintenance and we’ll also look at what you can do if payments aren’t made.
Your first option is to make an agreement with your ex-spouse or partner called a family-based arrangement. The type of agreement has a number of advantages but won’t suit everyone particularly if your relationship breakdown was not amicable.
If you are hoping to obtain a mortgage in your sole name then it is important that the child maintenance payments are paid to you under a court order as this is something the mortgagee will take into account as income when looking to grant a mortgage. If child maintenance is put into a consent order then the order will hold for one year before you can apply to the Child Maintenance Service for review.
If the father is outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales then again you can apply for a court order for child maintenance as the CMS do not have the jurisdiction to deal with the transaction.
So if you can’t make a family-based arrangement because you can’t come to an agreement and a consent order cannot be entered into, what are your options?
The Jurisdiction you use is the Child Maintenance Service, known as the CMS. The CMS will decide for you how much child maintenance will need to be paid. They calculate this based on a standard formula.
They can also take the maintenance money from the paying parent and pay the receiving parent if you choose or you can arrange payment between yourselves.
The CMS can and will change maintenance payments if and when either parent’s circumstances change and they’ll also take action against the paying parent if they do not pay the agreed amount.
There are criteria that you will need to meet to use the CMS and fees now apply to use the service. You’ll pay £20 to apply to use the service and additional charges to cover any need to enforce the order once it’s made at a maximum of £300.
Also if you ask the CMS to manage your payments for you, the paying parent will pay 20% on top of the maintenance and the receiving parent will have 4% deducted from their child maintenance.
You can decide which option suits you best, but you should speak to a solicitor to get advice. We can help you so call our family team now on 01264 353411 or contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via our free, no obligation online enquiry form, and we will help you.
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