If you are separated you may require financial provision from your former partner for your children, particularly if you are unmarried.

Child maintenance (regular payments from your children’s non-resident parent) is dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), previously known as the Child Support Agency (CSA). The CMS sets out guidelines as to how much separated parents should pay for the maintenance of their child(ren) based on their gross weekly income, number of children for which maintenance is paid and taking into account the number of nights per week the child(ren) stays overnight with their non-resident parent.

There are occasions where you may need to seek “top-up maintenance” over and above the prescribed rates set by the CMS e.g. if your former partner earns more than the CMS upper limit of £3,000 per week (gross). To do this, in the absence of an agreement with your former partner, you would need to make an application to the Court under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

Under this legislation it is also possible to apply for the following financial provision for a child:

• Maintenance for children over the age of 18 in full-time education

• Maintenance or lump sums for special circumstances, such as disability

• Lump sums

• Settlement or transfer of property to provide secure housing for a child(ren).

We have extensive experience of making this type of application and can guide you through the process.