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Child Support after Divorce

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission replaced the Child Support Agency in 2008. The Commission (CMEC) is responsible for assessing the amount of child support maintenance which the parent who does not reside in the same home as the child after divorce or separation should pay towards the upkeep of the child. In December 2012 the CMEC (now known as the CMS or Child Maintenance Service) changed the method of calculating child maintenance payments for new applications so that payments will based on the non-resident parent’s gross income. For income under £800 pw the calculation is 12% for one child, 16% for two children and 19% for three or more children. Additional rates apply for further income over £800pw which are 9% for one child, 12% for two children and 15% for three or more children.  Under the new scheme the upper age limit for the child is 20 years.

The child support calculation may be reduced if the child regularly stays overnight with the parent who is liable to pay child support. We will be able to give you an indication of the amount of child maintenance which the CMEC will require the non-resident parent to pay.

The CMEC have also introduced ongoing charges for the collection of child maintenance which are deducted from payments before they are received by the parent with care.  This is to meet the Services running costs and encourage parents to reach agreement between themselves.

If you and your spouse can reach an agreement as to the level of child maintenance, the Courts retain limited powers to make Orders. The Courts also have powers to make top-up Orders in high income cases or to make Orders to meet the costs of education or training.

The CMEC has jurisdiction where all parties reside in the UK. If one of the parents of the child is living abroad, an application can be made to a Court for child maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance

Application can be made to the Court for one spouse to pay periodical payments (i.e. maintenance) to the other. The amount of maintenance will be based on the income and other financial resources available to the parties and their respective financial needs. We will advise as to whether the payment of spousal maintenance is relevant in your case and can advise as to appropriate levels of maintenance and the duration of such payments.

Getting in touch

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020 8429 1010