Q&As

Where a parent is paying child maintenance and is below the Child Maintenance Service threshold so an application for a ‘top-up’ maintenance order is not possible, can an application be made under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 for the payment of nursery fees as an educational expense?

read titleRead full title
Produced in partnership with Paul Infield of The 36 Group
Published on LexisPSL on 26/03/2021

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Paul Infield of The 36 Group provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a parent is paying child maintenance and is below the Child Maintenance Service threshold so an application for a ‘top-up’ maintenance order is not possible, can an application be made under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 for the payment of nursery fees as an educational expense?

Section 8(1)–(3) of the Child Support Act 1991 (CSA 1991) provide that in any case where the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) would have jurisdiction to make a maintenance calculation, whether it has made one or not, the court does not have any power to ‘make, vary or revive any maintenance order in relation to the child and non-resident parent concerned’.

There are limited exceptions to that prohibition. One of them is where there has been a maximum assessment by the CMS, which is currently where the respondent has a gross income greater than £3,000 per week. In such circumstances, an applicant may apply for ‘top-up’ of what would otherwise be the maximum amount assessed by the CMS.

Another exception under which the jurisdiction of the court is preserved is for the payment of school fees. CSA 1991, s 8(7) provides as follows:

‘…(7) This section shall not prevent a court from exercising any power which it has to make a maintenance order15 in relation to a child if –

(a) the child is, will be or (if the order were to be made) would be receiving instruction at an educational establishment or undergoing training for a trade, profession or vocation (whether

Related documents:

Popular documents