Partner Julian Bremner discusses financial options for support that unmarried mothers can access.
It has been reported in various news outlets that Liam Payne has assisted his former partner, Cheryl, in purchasing a property in which to live with their child, Bear.
It seems that this was an amicable arrangement and simply shows Liam wanting to assist the mother of his child, as well as providing and ensuring that his child has somewhere suitable to live. He is absolutely to be commended for taking the right approach which will only benefit his child and help him and Cheryl co-parent effectively from a position of mutual trust and respect.
However, not all fathers of children have either the same means or, frankly, approach.
Whereas, if parents had been married, the mother of the child will have access to the raft of assistance provided by the Matrimonial Causes Act – unmarried parents simply do not have that resource available to them.
However, that does not mean that there are not avenues they can take. Unmarried mothers, if their partner is a man of means and income – can access support through Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act.
An order under Schedule 1 will require a father to assist in, or provide absolutely, a property in which the child can live and be raised by the mother. The Court will look at the means of the father to provide this housing. This provision is not a gift. The money/house is returned to the father once the child attains the age of 18. It does mean that a mother who finds herself in the position of having very little means herself and needing a home that is suitable for her and her child or children, has the ability to seek funding from a father who is otherwise not motivated to assist.
If the father earns over £156,000 gross from all sources the mother may also make a further claim to assist with the ongoing expenses of her child or children, so as to meet their needs growing up; whether by regular payments or by periodic lump sum payments for specific needs of the child as they grow.
So if a mother finds herself faced with a father who does not have as child centric a focus as Liam Payne, there are legal avenues which my team and I can assist her explore to ensure her children’s needs are met. If you want to discuss the issues raised in this blog please do get in touch with us.