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A seesaw with a child balanced in the middle and a parent on either side.

Who do I apply to for child maintenance? 

Historically, the family law court would deal with child maintenance however the CSA 1991 ousted the Court’s jurisdiction to deal with this. Consequently, the Child Maintenance Service now has the responsibility to deal with most new child maintenance cases. That said, Family Law Courts may still be involved in Child Maintenance matters, if the payment of school fees are being disputed or in the case of wealthy families, when an amount exceeding the maximum figure payable by the CMS’s calculation is sought or in cases where the child lives abroad. 

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MG Legal's leading Family Law Solicitors in Preston offer all of our family law services on a clear, fixed-fee rate. 
Our team put your first, and work with care to ensure the best outcome for you and your family. Call us today on a free, no-obligation basis at: 01772 783314 
Get in touch today to speak to a Family Law Solicitor. 

Do you have to be married to get child maintenance? 

The Child Maintenance Service will have jurisdiction to deal with the matter whether the parents of the child are married or not however they will only make a maintenance calculation if the parents are no longer living together. 

Is there an age limit for claiming child maintenance? 

Maintenance calculations can be made in favour of children under 16 years old and those under 19 years old who are still in full time education. 

Do I have to pay child maintenance for stepchildren? 

The Child Maintenance Service does not have jurisdiction to deal with stepchildren, indeed it will be for the Courts to determine whether child maintenance should be paid. If the stepchild has been raised as part of a new family consisting of parent, stepparent, stepchild, and biological children then the Court may well determine that child maintenance is required for the stepchild. 

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Maintenance and property orders in matrimonial proceedings 

Usually when a parent is involved is divorce proceedings, judicial separation or nullity proceedings, they could apply for a lump sum or property adjustment order for a child of the family as part of these proceedings however in practice relatively few orders of this type are made in favour of children as maintenance is generally dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service. 

If I am still married can I claim financial relief for my child? 

Yes. A married parent can apply during marriage for a maintenance order and a lump sum order of up to £1,000.00 for a child of the family from the other parent. 

What financial relief can I apply for? 

The Children Act 1989 enables a parent (whether married or not), guardian, special guardian, anyone with a residence order in their favour or a child to apply for the following orders against one or both parents of a child: 
- Periodic payments to the applicant for the benefit of the child or to the child directly 
- Lum sum to the applicant for the benefit of the child or to the child directly 
- Settlement of property for the benefit of a child 
- Transfer of property to the applicant for the benefit of a child or to the child directly 
It is important to note though, in circumstances where a child lives abroad with one parent and the other parent lives in the UK, the court can make orders for periodic payments only. 
If you need assistance from our expert Family Law Solicitors based in Lancaster contact or call 01524 581 306. 
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