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Changes to Child Maintenance

From the 25 November 2013 the Child Support Agency stopped taking on any new cases. It will continue to handle its existing cases. New cases will need to be made to the Child Maintenance Service, who will apply a new ‘gross income’ scheme.

Child maintenance is financial support that helps pay for child’s living costs when their parents have separated. Child maintenance is paid by a non-resident parent to the parent that has every day care of the child.

Basic Formula
A non-resident parent, depending on whether they have 1, 2, 3 or more children living with the parent with care will be required to pay 12%, 16%, or 19% of the first £800 per week of their gross income, and then 9%, 12%, or 15% of their income over £800 per week and up to £3,000 per week.

Flat Rate
A non-resident parent with an income of less than £100 per week will pay a flat rate of £7 per week.

Reduced Rate
A non-resident parent earning between £100 and £200 per week will pay a reduced rate.

Maximum Rate
A non-resident parent with a gross income of more than £3,000 per week will receive a maximum calculation. In these circumstances it is possible for the parent with care to apply to the court for ‘top up’ maintenance under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

The formula can help you to agree a voluntary amount of child maintenance. You should take care when applying the new formula to your case as it is more complicated than the old net income scheme. There is a wealth of helpful information on the Government website and an online calculator which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance.

If you are in any doubt you should seek specialist advice from a solicitor. For further information please contact one of our specialists;
Trudi Featherstone
Ann Thompson
Natalie Friday
Priya Palanivel
Laura Dalgliesh

Written by Laura Dalgliesh

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