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Child Maintenance, Support and Spousal Claims

Putting to one side the emotional issues surrounding the breakdown of a relationship, there will also be practical ones to help you carry on with your day to day living arrangements. Bills still need paying; food needs putting on the table and the car still needs petrol. You may also have school fees which need to be taken care of. This is why making sure that you can continue to meet the needs of you and your family during the divorce process is vitally important to being able to carry on and move on. 

For many separating couples, spousal maintenance, child maintenance and child support law can be very confusing. Thankfully, this is a legal area that Debenhams Ottaway have extensive experience and expertise in. We can help you obtain the financial provisions you need by helping you with your child maintenance, child support or spousal maintenance claim.  

Spousal Maintenance Claims for Husbands and Wives

We are often asked "What is spousal maintenance?". Once divorce proceedings have been issued, the wife or husband can apply to the court for spousal maintenance; a monthly payment made by their ex partner to help meet the costs of day to day living. The amount that can be claimed will depend on the husband and wife’s income, outgoings and what both need to live on each month.

Working with a wide range of clients, from local land owners to city professionals and older couples, as family and divorce solicitors, can help to avoid financial hardship when a relationship ends.

With most of our client’s welcoming a non-confrontational approach, we negotiate on your behalf an appropriate sum to be paid each month. When necessary we are strong on litigating claims in court if an agreement cannot be reached. We are also fast and highly experienced in emergency applications for our clients often in extremely difficult and distressing circumstances.

Child Maintenance and Support Claims for Children

Child support can be claimed by a parent to help with the costs of providing for any children of a relationship living with them. Even grandparents or guardians can be paid child maintenance if they are the child’s main carer. Couples do not need to be married to claim child maintenance, even where paternity is disputed or the paying parent’s whereabouts are unknown. 

Most parents try to work things out for themselves and reach a private agreement to pay for a child’s needs which can include amounts for holidays and music lessons in addition to meeting day to day needs. If that is not possible, the Child Maintenance Service (formerly the Child Support Agency) will be able to assist. This is a governmental administrative body that can help with the assessment of an appropriate amount to be paid, help with arrangements for payment and take enforcement action if payment is not made.

Where child maintenance is being considered within divorce proceedings often an agreement is reached for the amount of child maintenance to be paid as part of the overall financial arrangements.

It is important to remember that one year after any financial order has been agreed, either parent can then apply to the Child Maintenance Service for a review.

There are circumstances when the Child Maintenance Service cannot help such as where a parent earns a high income, there are school fees to be paid or the paying parent lives abroad. In such circumstances, court applications are necessary to protect and secure financial arrangements for children.

Whether you need advice on dealing with the Child Maintenance Service, court applications or defending unrealistic child maintenance and support claims, we will be able to help you with what is an appropriate amount to be paid. Contact us today to discuss your options, rights and legal responsibilities.

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Alternative dispute resolution: helping separated couples reach an agreement
Alternative dispute resolution: helping separated couples reach an agreement

November 2016

For separating couples, it is often hard to reach agreement on how to deal with finances and arrangements for children. At the end of a relationship, communication has often broken down and there are heightened emotions...

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