Q&As

Can the court make an order within financial proceedings, or otherwise take into account, overpayments of child maintenance made under a statutory child support assessment?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 31/10/2018

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can the court make an order within financial proceedings, or otherwise take into account, overpayments of child maintenance made under a statutory child support assessment?

Save in limited circumstances, the court has no jurisdiction in respect of child maintenance which is governed by the Child Support Act 1991 as amended. The powers of the court in financial remedy proceedings are limited to orders for periodical payments (including secured periodical payments), lump sums, property adjustment and pension orders. The court can also make interim orders such as for maintenance pending suit or legal costs orders. See the following Practice Notes:

  1. Financial proceedings—orders that can be made by the court

  2. Child support—general considerations

  3. Child maintenance provisions via the court

The court therefore cannot, per se, order the return of overpayments of child maintenance made under a statutory scheme assessment. However, the court must reach a fair division of the matrimonial assets by considering all of the circumstances of the case and the specific factors set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. This may, in some circumstances, include consideration of overpayments within the context of the assets of each party. However, this is unlikely to be a consideration based on simple arithmetic, but rather just one part of the approach of the court to the division of the family assets. See Practice Note: Factors considered by

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