Couples who separate whether they are married or unmarried and have children will need to consider what financial arrangements are in place for their children on a day to day basis.
You will be encouraged firstly to try and agree arrangements in an informal, family-based arrangement. If an agreement is reached then nothing further is required though it often helps if this is set out in writing. If there is disagreement over what level of child support is appropriate or reasonable then an application to the Child Maintenance Service can be made but there are costs implications to doing that.
Where the parents of a child are married or are civil partners, the courts have the power to order the transfer of property to a child or to order the payment of a lump sum of money to a child within divorce proceedings.
Where parents have not been married or civil partners or the person caring for the child is a step-parent, guardian, special guardian or person with a residence order an application can be made to court under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 for other financial provision for a child. In some cases it may be appropriate for the application to be made by the child. In these circumstances however, the court does not have the wider powers it has on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership to make financial orders that consider the children’s needs outside of day-to-day maintenance.
Guidance on making representations on your behalf to reach an agreement or making an application to court and support throughout the process is provided in accordance with your particular circumstances.
If you would like more information and/or a written guide in relation to this please contact us.