FINANCIAL PROVISION AND CHILD MAINTENANCE SOLICITORS
Schedule 1 Children Act Claims
In certain circumstances, the Court has power to order a party to make financial provision for a minor child. 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. They are most common when parties are not married although there are some claims that can be issued by a married or formerly married parent.
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
- 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.
Upon a divorce, 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 eighteen or finishes tertiary education. Afterwards, the property reverts to the non-resident parent and 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. We can advise you as to the merits of making such an application and the costs involved.
How does the Child Maintenance Service work?
It is possible for a resident parent to seek financial provision for their child via the Child Maintenance Service (“CMS”).
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 who apply a set formula.
The government website provides a useful guideline as to the way in which the formula will be applied in specific circumstances. This can provide a useful indication which should help parents to reach an agreement. If an agreement is not possible and an application needs to be pursued 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 financial claims involving children and can advise you on matters relating to child maintenance, Schedule 1 claims, and any other issue that arises.
Rayden Solicitors is committed to equality and diversity and in doing so supports and advises all members of our community.
Financial Provision and Child Maintenance FAQs
Do fathers legally have to pay child maintenance?
Yes. Under the Child Support Act 1991, both parents are financially responsible for child maintenance, and in the event of a separation the non-resident parent – whether the father or the mother – is obliged to make regular child maintenance payments.
What does child maintenance pay for?
Child maintenance payments cover anything that can be considered everyday living costs such as food, clothes and housing. Occasional or one-off payments such as school fees are not covered by child maintenance payments.
Do I have to pay child maintenance if my ex remarries?
Yes. If an ex-partner remarries, the legal obligation to provide child maintenance payments remains. The payment is for the benefit of the child and is based on the payer’s income; the financial circumstances of the receiving parent are not taken into account.