Divorce can be one of the most emotionally straining experiences a couple can go through, and when there are young children involved the whole thing can become that much more upsetting. We understand you want to ensure your children are properly looked after. It is of the utmost importance, therefore, that you arrange an effective child maintenance agreement so you can be assured your children are provided for.
If you are unsure of the best option when it comes to arranging child maintenance payments, we can help you make the best decision for your family. Contact the expert Family Law team at BuchananBurton today for sensitive, pragmatic advice.
Parents have a responsibility to financially support their children. In many cases where a relationship has broken down, the child/children will live most of the time with one parent. Child maintenance is the money paid by the parent that does not have everyday care of the child/children (the ‘paying’ parent) to the other parent (the ‘receiving’ parent).
The agreement reached between the parents should including the following information:
- the amount to be paid by the paying parent;
- the frequency of payments;
- how payments will be made (bank transfer, etc.); and
- the date and time of a review meeting where the agreement will be reviewed and necessary changes can be made.
The amount of maintenance to be paid will depend on the income of the paying parent. To avoid difficulty down the line, it is important that the amount is realistic and that it is regularly reviewed.
If you remain on good terms with your ex-partner, you may be able to come to a voluntary and informal child maintenance agreement, known as a family-based arrangement. This type of agreement offers flexibility and is an amicable solution. The biggest downside, however, is that it is not legally binding. If either parent does not keep to the agreement, it cannot be enforced. If you require a Family Lawyer to advise you of the benefits and downsides of this course of action in light of your family’s situation, get in contact with BuchananBurton today.
Minutes of Agreement
Our experienced Family Law Solicitors can also help you make your child maintenance agreement legally binding by applying to the court for a minute of agreement. This means that if either parent does not stick to the agreement, it can be enforced through the courts.
Child Maintenance Service
If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on what levels of child maintenance to pay, you can contact the Child Maintenance Service to make the decision for you. The Service can work out how much should be paid (this amount is legally enforceable) and take action if maintenance is not paid.
Taking your matter to court is rarely the best way to deal with a child maintenance situation, and we recommend using this as a last resort. However, there are situations where a court application may be appropriate, for example:
- where the paying parent lives abroad – a court order called a Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order may be required;
- where the paying parent has a very high level of income, over £156,000 per year and you believe it would be fair to ask for more than the levels required by the Child Maintenance Service.
If you need to make a court application for child maintenance, we will provide specialist advice and representation to get you the best possible outcome for your family.
Contact our Child Maintenance Solicitors – Providing Legal Services within East Kilbride, Hamilton, Strathaven & Glasgow South Side
At BuchananBurton, we speak your language. Our advice is down-to-earth and practical – giving you real solutions to your everyday problems. Our solicitors offer cost-effective solutions to your legal needs, ensuring you have a good understanding of your options every step of the way. We serve clients in East Kilbride, Strathaven, Thorntonhall, Carmunnock, Hamilton, Clarkston, Busby and the surrounding areas.
Pop into our office, give us a call on 01355 249 228 or contact us via our online contact form and someone will be in touch shortly.