Schedule 1 claims
Whilst the Court does not have the power to order one party to make financial provision for the other, where the parties are unmarried and the relationship breaks down, the Court does have the power to order a party to make financial provision for a chid born outside marriage. Such claims are known as Schedule 1 claims and can be brought by a parent (or other party) on a child’s behalf under the Children Act 1989.
Schedule 1 claims are common where the non-resident parent (parent who does not reside with the child) has a high income or assets available to them. The Court has the power to make the following orders for the benefit of the child:
- Periodical payments i.e. monthly maintenance;
- Lump sum payments; and
- Transfer/settlement of property.
Lump sum payments can be used to purchase a car to use for the child’s benefit, buy furniture or pay for school fees.
Where the parties are married, have children and the relationship breaks down, the Court has the power to transfer property outright to the resident parent as part of the financial settlement. In Schedule 1 claims, however, if property is transferred to the resident parent, this will usually only be until the child turns 18 or finishes tertiary education. Afterwards, the resident parent will need to find alternative accommodation.
In determining what financial provision to make for the benefit of the child, the Court will consider the following factors:
- The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which any parent of the child (or the applicant or person in whose favour the court proposes making the order) has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
- The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which any parent of the child (or the applicant or person in whose favour the court proposes making the order) has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
- The financial needs of the child.
- The income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the child.
- Any physical or mental disability of the child.
- The manner in which the child was being, or was expected to be, educated or trained.
If a resident parent (or other party) wishes to bring a Schedule 1 claim, it is possible for them to make an application to have their legal costs covered by the non-resident parent.
Child Maintenance Service
Where the non-resident parent does not have a high income or assets available to them, it is possible for a resident parent to seek financial provision for their child through the Child Maintenance Service.
Parties should first try to reach an agreement between themselves as to the amount of child maintenance that should be paid. Where this is not possible, an application can be made to the Child Maintenance Service, however handling fees will be charged. The non-resident parent must pay an additional 20% on top of the child maintenance payment and a 4% fee will be deducted from the resident parent’s payment.
Rayden Solicitors have experience in dealing with Schedule 1 claims and can advise you on matters relating to child maintenance.