Financial arrangements for children—client guide
Financial arrangements for children—client guide

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial arrangements for children—client guide
  • Child maintenance
  • Other financial provision for children
  • What orders can the court make under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989?
  • Can a child apply?
  • What is the procedure?
  • How does the court decide?

This document provides general guidance regarding financial provision for children. Your family lawyer will be able to provide specific advice based on your circumstances.

Child maintenance

The statutory child maintenance system has been through a period of change and the rules that apply will depend on whether there is an existing maintenance assessment/calculation or an application is to be made for a new maintenance calculation.

Under the law relating to child support, the court is not able to make an order for child maintenance other than by consent (agreement), save where certain exceptions apply. Orders for maintenance for children made by consent are only binding for one year, after which point either parent can apply for a calculation by the Child Maintenance Service.

If you and the child’s other parent cannot agree the appropriate level of child support, the parent who lives with the child or children can apply to the Child Maintenance Service. A fee is payable, unless the applicant is under the age of 18 or the victim of domestic abuse. The predecessor to the Child Maintenance Service, the Child Support Agency, now deals only with existing maintenance assessments. Although the formulas applied to income are worked out differently depending on which scheme your family falls under, the process for determining