The Child Maintenance Service (CMS), previously known as the Child Support Agency, deals with most cases of child support. A Child Maintenance Order can only be made in divorce proceedings by consent. Even when an order is made, either party after 12 months, can apply to the CMS for an assessment.
However, in limited circumstances, an application can be made for child support under S.1 of the Children’s Act. This applies whether or not the parties were married or had lived together.
These special circumstances are as follows;
· The absent parent earns more than £3,000 per week
· Payment of school fees or vocational fees
· The child is disabled
· The absent parent is abroad
The CMS only counts income up to £3,000 per week. If the non-resident parent earns more than that, then the resident parent can apply for top-up maintenance.
The CMS has jurisdiction if both parents are resident in the UK. Where an application is made in respect of a non-resident parent living abroad, then the court will normally follow the CMS formula to determine the amount that is payable. However, the judge has a discretion to order a different amount from that that would have been assessed by the CMS.
If you would like to find out more information about the issues raised above, please contact Susan Taylor. 0161 883 0460 or email email@example.com