Child Maintenance Solicitors

Child maintenance is financial support provided by a non-residential parent to assist in the upbringing of their child. It ensures that both parents share the responsibility of caring for their child, even if they live apart.

Child maintenance covers expenses like education, housing, food, clothing, and other essential needs. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS), a government agency, helps parents set up and manage these arrangements.

In the UK, parents have the option to make private agreements or use the CMS to calculate and administer payments.

The CMS employs a formula that considers the non-residential parent's income, number of children, and living arrangements to determine the amount of maintenance payable.

This helps provide a fair and consistent system for supporting children's welfare. The overarching goal of child maintenance payments is to ensure that children are financially supported by both parents, regardless of their living situation, promoting their well-being and upbringing.

At Huggins Lewis Foskett in South Woodford, our family law experts can help you arrange child maintenance support.

If you would like to talk to our London child maintenance solicitors, ring us on 0208 989 3000. Or use our simple contact form to request a call back and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Why choose Huggins Lewis Foskett for help with child maintenance?

Our family law team have extensive experience in the sector and are friendly and approachable.

Marcin Typiak our experienced family law solicitor is a member of Resolution and is committed to resolving cases in a timely and professional manner, in order to minimise conflict and stress for all family members involved. 

As well as genuine legal expertise, we provide outstanding service, giving you the guidance and support you need. We offer fixed fees wherever possible so that you can be sure of the costs involved.

Our child maintenance services

Voluntary Child Maintenance Agreements

A Voluntary Child Maintenance Agreement is an arrangement made between parents, outside of the formal legal process, to determine financial support for their child.

It involves agreed-upon payments one parent provides to the other to contribute to the child's upbringing, covering expenses such as education, healthcare, and living costs.

Our solicitors can assist with Voluntary Child Maintenance Agreements by offering legal advice, ensuring fairness, and drafting formal agreements.

We can help clarify financial responsibilities, consider legal implications, and provide mediation if needed.

While not legally binding, such agreements benefit from legal guidance for smoother cooperation between parents.

Using the Child Maintenance Service

The Child Maintenance Service is a government resource ensuring financial support for children when parents separate.

You can contact the Child Maintenance Service online or over the phone, the details to apply can be found on the UK Government website.

The service calculates child maintenance based on income and other factors. It facilitates payment collection and offers support for disputes.

Our solicitors can help with navigating the Child Maintenance Service by explaining its processes, assisting in accurate disclosure of income, and addressing complex situations.

We can provide legal advice if disputes arise, ensuring proper application and compliance, leading to a smoother experience when utilising the service.

Child Maintenance Orders

A Child Maintenance Order is a legal ruling issued by a court to specify the financial support one parent must provide to the other for their child's upbringing.

It ensures regular payments for essentials like education and healthcare, enforcing parental responsibilities in separated or divorced situations.

Our solicitors can assist with Child Maintenance Orders by guiding you through the legal process, advocating for your interests in court, and ensuring fair and accurate financial arrangements.

We can help present compelling cases, navigate complexities, and ensure the order aligns with your child's best interests and the law.

Everything you need to know about child maintenance

Can a parent refuse to pay child maintenance?

In the UK, parents are legally obligated to financially support their children, regardless of their relationship status.

Refusing to pay child maintenance is not permitted, as it can adversely affect the child's well-being. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) or a private agreement can determine the amount.

Failing to comply with these arrangements can lead to legal action, including court orders, wage deductions, or even imprisonment in extreme cases.

It's essential for both parents to prioritise their child's needs and fulfil their financial responsibilities to ensure the child's proper upbringing.

When can a father stop paying child maintenance?

In the UK, a father's responsibility to pay child maintenance continues until the child reaches the age of 16, or 20 if they're still in full-time education (up to A-levels or equivalent), or if they have a disability that prevents them from supporting themselves.

Parents can agree on private arrangements or use the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to calculate and manage payments.

It's important to note that ceasing payments without a valid reason can lead to legal consequences. It's advisable to seek legal advice if uncertain about when child maintenance obligations can cease.

What happens if a father doesn't pay maintenance?

If child maintenance payments have stopped, legal consequences can follow. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has the authority to take action, including wage deductions using an attachment of earnings order, freezing bank accounts, and reporting the debt to credit agencies.

In more serious cases, the court can issue enforcement orders, seize assets, or even impose a prison sentence.

These measures are aimed at ensuring financial support for the child's well-being. It's crucial for parents to fulfil their legal obligations to avoid these repercussions and to maintain a stable environment for their child's upbringing.

How much child maintenance should a father pay in the UK?

In the UK, the amount of child support a father (or non-residential parent) should pay depends on various factors including income, number of children, and overnight stays.

Parents can reach a private agreement or use the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to calculate payments.

The CMS follows a formula to determine the amount, usually a percentage of the paying parent's income.

It ranges from 12% for one child, 16% for two, and 19% for three or more children. Additional costs like healthcare and education can affect the final amount.

It's recommended to consult CMS guidelines or seek legal advice for accurate calculations.

Can a solicitor help with child maintenance?

Yes, a solicitor can provide valuable assistance with child maintenance matters.

We can help parents understand their rights and responsibilities, explain legal options, and guide them through the process of calculating and negotiating child maintenance agreements.

Solicitors can also offer mediation services to facilitate discussions between parents, ensuring the child's best interests are met.

If disputes arise, a solicitor can represent their client in court and help enforce maintenance orders.

Our expertise ensures that child maintenance arrangements are fair, legally sound, and in line with the best interests of the child.

Our family law fees

Fixed fee family law services

We offer fixed fees for some family law work so that we can advise you in advance of the cost. This will give you complete certainty over the amount to be charged.

Hourly rates for family law advice

For other matters, our charges will be made on an hourly rate. We will let you know in advance of the rate and the likely costs and we will ensure that you have the right level of expertise to help you.

For more information, see our page on hourly pricing. We are always happy to discuss the likely costs of the work that you need with you.

Our London family law team

Fee earners

Marcin Typiak

Speak to our child maintenance solicitors in South Woodford, London

Need clear, sensible guidance on arranging child maintenance or any related issues?

Call our child maintenance solicitors in South Woodford, London now on 0208 989 3000. Or use the simple contact form below and we will get back to you soon.