The court still retains its powers to make orders for
- the payment of school fees
- child maintenance for step children or disabled children
- child maintenance for those who are in further education and certain other specific situations
- children whose non-resident parent lives overseas
It can also order that capital sums be paid for children, or that property must be made available for them, in certain circumstances. This is quite separate to any capital payment or maintenance that might be arranged between the couple.
Are you divorced or thinking about divorce? Do you pay child support? Are you wondering how to file for child support?
Family matters are dealt with in the Family Division of the High Court, by district judges in County Courts and in Family Proceedings Courts.
With a family-based arrangement, you and the other parent can decide between yourselves how much child maintenance should be paid, and how often it is paid, as long as you both agree.
Family-based arrangements also give you the flexibility to change how much you pay depending on your circumstances. For example, if you lose your job, with the other parent’s agreement you might be able to arrange to pay a bit less child maintenance until you’re back on your feet.
If the other parent doesn’t agree to a family-based arrangement
We speak to a lot of dads that want to sort out child maintenance without using the CSA, but the other parent won’t agree to it. If you’re in this situation, then try and highlight the advantages that family-based arrangement offer to them.
For example, the flexibility of this type of arrangement could work in their favour too – if they get a big household bill that they weren’t expecting, you could agree that you help towards paying that instead of your regular payments.
One reason the Government has proposed charging for government child maintenance arrangements in the future is to encourage parents to make collaborative family-based arrangements. If the other parent applied for a case, they would have to pay an application fee.
But you would be able to avoid any collection charges by opting to pay her directly (through standing order) once your payments have been calculated. Click here to read more>>>
This leaflet explains what action we take if non-resident parents
don’t pay child maintenance that is arranged through the CSA.
It explains the powers we have in England and Wales, and the
different powers we have in Scotland.
Top Ten Child Maintenance Myths
Myth 1: Child maintenance does not makes a difference
Child Maintenance is regular, reliable financial support that helps towards a child’s everyday living expenses. It covers the cost of things like food and clothes, and providing a home for your child. An effective child maintenance arrangement can make a significant difference to a child’s well-being, because it can help create a more stable environment for them.
What’s more, research shows that when both parents are interested and involved in their children’s lives, the more the children are likely to do well at school, stay out of trouble and develop self esteem and healthier relationships as an adult.
Myth 2: I have to use the CSA to arrange child maintenance
The CSA will only ever become involved at the request of a parent. If both parents agree, they can choose to either:
- make a family-based arrangement and sort out child maintenance between themselves
- go through the courts and put a Consent Order in place
Bear in mind, the CSA can’t arrange child maintenance for you during the first 12 months of a Consent Order.
Myth 3: If I make an arrangement now I’ll be stuck with it.
This is not always the case.
With a family-based arrangement, you and the other parent can decide between yourselves how much child maintenance should be paid, and how often it is paid, as long as you both agree. Family-based arrangements also give you the flexibility to change how much you pay depending on your circumstances. For example, if you lose your job, with the other parent’s agreement you can arrange to pay a bit less child maintenance until you’re back on your feet.
Of course, you should make sure that money is always paid regularly, so your kids don’t go without.
If you’re not sure how much child maintenance you should be paying, you can ask the Child Maintenance Options service to help you estimate an amount. You can then use this amount as a basis for your family-based arrangement.
See Myth 10 for more information about Child Maintenance Options.
But, family-based arrangements are not suitable for everybody, and if either parent asks the CSA to become involved, it will.
Myth 4: The CSA keeps some of the child maintenance that’s paid
In the past, if a parent with care was on income-related state benefits, their benefit entitlement was reduced if they received over a certain amount of child maintenance. So it might have seemed like the CSA or the government were taking some of the money being paid.
But, since April 2010, any child maintenance that is paid will be passed on to the parent with care withoutaffecting their benefit entitlement. Which means more money will reach your children.
Myth 5: Sorting out child maintenance is just too much hassle
With a family-based arrangement, there is no official paperwork to do, so child maintenance can start being paid for your children as soon as you agree the terms with the other parent.
If you decide to ask the CSA to arrange child maintenance for you, you can apply over the phone if you want to, rather than fill in lots of forms. The CSA aims to get your case up and running in 12 weeks or less.
Myth 6: The CSA doesn’t take my personal circumstances into account
The CSA does consider personal circumstances when it works out how much child maintenance should be paid. This includes things like:
- the non resident parent’s income
- how many children you or the other parent have or support
- how many nights a week the child spends with each of you
Other factors may also be taken into account. For example, if the non resident parent;
- has to pay travel expenses in order to see your children
- has children living with them who have disabilities or a long-term illness
- is repaying certain types of debt
The CSA call these other factors ‘variations’ and you need to tell the CSA if you think a variation should be applied to your calculation.
Remember, the CSA must treat all clients in the same way – and that means using the same rules for everyone.
Myth 7: When it comes to child maintenance, there’s no-one I can talk to
Impartial information and support IS available to help you deal with child maintenance issues.
Child Maintenance Options is a free service for separating or separated parents, and anyone else with an interest in child maintenance. It can help you to:
- understand your options if you don’t already have a child maintenance arrangement or your current arrangement isn’t working as well as you’d like.
- help you to understand how much child maintenance should be paid – whether that’s through a family-based arrangement or CSA arrangement.
It can also help you deal with other issues linked to child maintenance, such as housing, work, money and emotional well-being – by putting you in touch with other helpful groups that offer specialist advice.
And here’s what your children’s father might be thinking…
Myth No. 8: I never see my kids so I don’t have to pay child maintenance.
In the eyes of the law, access to or contact with the children is a separate issue from the payment of child maintenance.
But most parents would agree that the most important thing is the welfare of their child. What’s more, research has shown that paying child maintenance often leads to an improvement in the quality of family relationships.
So, even if your ex doesn’t see your kids as much as you or they might like – they can – and should – still contribute to their upbringing by paying child maintenance regularly.
Myth No. 9: The CSA always favours the mother.
Above all else, the CSA is committed to getting more money to more children. And that means making sure money is paid by the non-resident parent to the parent with care, regardless of whether they are the child’s mother or father.
When it comes to making decisions about a case, the CSA won’t automatically accept anyone’s version of events without thoroughly checking the facts first. What’s more, if you disagree with a decision the CSA makes, you may be able to ask them to look at it again.
Myth No. 10: I have no way of knowing what my ex spends my money on.
There is a way to make sure that child maintenance does directly benefit your kids.
A family-based arrangement allows the non-resident parent to pay for specific things for the children, for example new clothes or a school trip instead of handing over cash. Or, they could help with the costs of running your children’s home, by contributing to household bills.
If a CSA arrangement is put in place, once money is passed to the parent with care, it is their responsibility to decide how to spend it. So if at all possible, you should try and work together with the other parent to decide the best way of providing financially for your children.
Miami judge calls child support prosecutor’s actions ‘reprehensible’
When his ex-wife falsely accused him of shirking on $3,632.25 in child support, Miami businessman Tony Schehtman discovered that the government had stripped him of his passport.
That sparked a lengthy legal dispute that ended in unusual fashion: a Miami-Dade judge chastised prosecutors for going along with the claim, then ordered them to pay Schehtman’s legal bills.
The judge’s unusually scathing order sanctions prosecutors and Schehtman’s ex-wife, ordering them to each pay $7,645 in legal fees. Circuit Judge Pedro Echarte, in his Jan. 8 order, called their actions “reprehensible” and “irresponsible.”
The judge said that even though Schehtman had proven he was not in arrears, the prosecutors failed to correct the wife’s claim, instead quibbling in court for months and hindering Schehtman’s ability to travel for work.
“This court finds that the State Attorney’s Office engaged in pointless litigation,” Echarte wrote. Click Here To Read More>>>
- ANOTHER SOCIAL WORKER CAUGHT WITH CHILD-PORN.
- Boy ‘killed himself after being raped’
- Child Support Agency.
- CPS Handbook Revision, July 2013.
- Circuit Judge Appointment – Venables
- Ethics Lawyers in Witch Hunt Against Parental Advocate Leon Koziol Removed From Office Due to Ethical Misconduct
- False Abuse Claims Are The New Court Weapon, Retiring Judge Says.
- Human Rights Case Defends Privacy Of Medical Records.
- Names And Addresses Of Some Judges
- Northampton Borough Council: Save The Children Fund.
- Northampton Borough Council: Parents Rights Blog
- Parentalrights.org – Protecting Children by Empowering Parents.
- Police Act 1964 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- TEDDY PENDERGRASS – Wake Up Everybody (The Essential Teddy Pendergrass).
- Terminating parental responsibility.
- Top court removes judge from bench for lying under oath – ABA Journal.
- Secret Family Courts | Parents Rights Blog.
- UK Social Workers Exposed.
- U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down The Defense of Marriage Act.