Child maintenance can be agreed between separating parents.Alternatively, it is open to either parent to make an application to the Child Maintenance Service.The Child Maintenance Service uses a set formula which is generally (subject to some exceptions) a set percentage of the absent parent’s gross monthly income.The formula is presently as follows:
- 12% for 1 child
- 16% for 2 children
- 19% for 3 or more children.
If the non-resident parent’s gross weekly income exceeds £800, the amount of maintenance payable will be the following percentages of gross weekly income above £800:
- 9% for one qualifying child
- 12% for two qualifying children
- 15% for three or more qualifying children
If the non-resident parent has other children living in their household the gross weekly income to which the percentage calculation is applied is reduced as follows:
- 12% for one relevant child
- 16% for two relevant children
- 19% for three or more relevant children
The reductions available where there is a shared care arrangement will remain, but where there is an equal sharing arrangement neither parent should be able to claim.
The following adjustments are then made to provide an allowance where the qualifying child stays overnight with the non-resident parent:
- 52 to 103 nights a year by one-seventh
- 104 to 155 nights by two-sevenths
- 156 to 174 nights a year by three-sevenths
- 175 or more nights a year by half less £7
The weekly income threshold at which the statutory scheme will cease to have jurisdiction changed from £2,000 net to £3,000 gross. Where the non-resident parent’s income exceeds £3,000 per week, the parent with care can apply to the Court for a top-up maintenance order.
The Court also has jurisdiction to deal with child maintenance applications to cover educational costs (e.g. private school fees or university expenses).
Ideally you should receive advice from your solicitor concerning child maintenance at the same time as discussing a financial settlement.
To book an appointment call us on 01626 33 33 80 or complete our Request a Call Back form and we will call you back, at a time to suit you, free of charge.