Home > Child Support & Family > Maintenance: Separation and Divorce

Maintenance: Separation and Divorce

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 20 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Parent Children Child Obligation

If a couple separate or divorce there will be many things to consider. These will include how they divide their possessions, what to do with their home, shared finances and other equally important matters. If there are children, within the relationship, maintenance and child support will also become a consideration.

Responsibilities And Obligations

It is a parent’s responsibility and obligation to provide financial support for their children. This is accepted in the form of Child Support, which is paid to the parent the child will continue to live with. This could also be paid to other family members, grandparents or a legal guardian, if this is who the child or children live with.

Child Support payments are made to allow the parent with care to have sufficient funds to cover the costs of raising a child, and should be used to pay for educational and extracurricular activities, clothing, shelter and food.

Shared Care

The parent who retains full-time responsibility for a child, is known as the parent with care and is entitled to receive maintenance from the parent who lives elsewhere. In some cases custody of the child is shared, and the child divides their time between both parents equally. Shared care is usually considered to be the best option for the child, as they will regularly get to benefit from spending time with each parent.

By sharing care and parental responsibilities the 'with care' parents are also agreeing to contribute financially to the costs of the child’s expenses. However, the father will still be expected to pay maintenance to the child’s mother, although the amount payable will be considerably less than if he had limited contact with the child.

Maintenance Payment Limit

Maintenance is calculated by assessing the income of both parents. After pension contributions are deducted maintenance payments are worked out as being 15% of the net sum for one child, 20% for two children and 25% for three or more children. Children from a second family with be treated in the same way, and the number of children will be taken into account when payable maintenance is calculated.

The non resident parent is obligated to pay maintenance towards the cost of their child, until the child reaches the age of 19.

Court Orders

The court can issue orders for a number of different financial reasons.This includes maintenance payments to a former partner, maintenance for children, the provision of a lump sum to a partner and/or children, a property adjustment or transfer of property, or a claim on the other’s person’s pension.

After filing divorce proceedings the man or woman can file a financial claim application. These forms are filled in by both individuals at the same time, and an appointment is then made with the court. Once evidence has been filed a decision is reached in court. The court decides financial issues by examining evidence, the income and earning capacity of both individuals, other financial resources and responsibilities, the standard of living and the contribution each person makes to the welfare of the children.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
My brother divorced his wife two years ago. His has a 3 year old d daughter with her. She also has 2 children from a previous marriage and has had another baby with yet another father since the divorce. My brother has been paying the full amount of csa and has also been paying the mortgage as the house is in his name. She refuses to pay anything towards themortgage and is pleased that she is preventing him from moving on.She has a good job and earns around 40 k a year as wellas ccsa from 3 different dads. He currently lives with our parents at 36 years old as he cannot afford to live independently. He is in the process of forking out more money to take her to court to make her sell the house as he is providing a home not only for his own child but 3 others as well. Is he wasting his time or does he have a chance of forcing her to sell or at least pay him rent on themortgage? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as it is causing so much stress as she threatens that she will stop him seeing his daughter whom he loves very much.
Nikki - 20-Sep-17 @ 11:49 AM
Lean - Your Question:
I am currently going through a divorce and through the child maintenance calculator I am entitled to £300 a month from my child's father, currently our mortgage is £600 a month and I am living in the house with our daughter until it sells. At the moment he doesn't give me a penny towards my daughter as he says my half of the mortgage with the £300 I should be receiving monthly. When we was together he always paid the full mortgage , I am much worse off and don't get a penny towards our daughter is this right?

Our Response:
If you have a family-based financial arrangement, then you agree between you what your ex can afford to pay and what you need to help support your child. It's a tricky question to answer and would also depend upon your own personal income against your ex's. If the mortgage is in both of your names, then by rights you should be paying half and then you could claim child maintenance, but this would equate to the same figure. However, if you're a stay-at-home mum, then your are in a tricky situation and your only recourse would be to take the matter to court for the court to decide what your ex should pay with regards to the mortgage and child maintenance. Currently, your ex is stopping the mortgage from going into arrears and by doing this he is paying towards keeping a roof over your child's head. However, if he is earning all the money and you are earning nothing, then you may wish to speak directly to CMS to see what it advises.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Sep-17 @ 11:45 AM
I am currently going through a divorce and through the child maintenance calculator I am entitled to £300 a month from my child's father, currently our mortgage is £600 a month and I am living in the house with our daughter until it sells. At the moment he doesn't give me a penny towards my daughter as he says my half of the mortgage with the £300 I should be receiving monthly. When we was together he always paid the full mortgage , I am much worse off and don't get a penny towards our daughter is this right?
Lean - 11-Sep-17 @ 7:29 AM
Hi all,was just wondering if I can claim spouse maintenance as well as child maintenance, don't get me wrong I'm not trying to bankrupt anyone, was just curious Thank you ??
Shazza - 26-Aug-17 @ 5:53 PM
Kissestea - Your Question:
My partner and I are expecting our first child early next year, we don't live together as we don't live near each other and both have children from previous relationships. He pays maintenance for his previous children, an I entitled to anything from him for this child when it's born and of so at what rate? Also can his ex partner refuse him acces to his children? Is there anything he can do about this?

Our Response:
You will be entitled to receive child maintenance yes. If you are together in a relationship still then you may wish to agree this between you in a family-based arrangement. If you want child maintenance to be arranged via CMS, much will depend upon how many other children your partner has and how many nights he will have your mutual child overnight. Please see CMS calculator here .
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Aug-17 @ 11:40 AM
My partner and I are expecting our first child early next year, we don't live together as we don't live near each other and both have children from previous relationships. He pays maintenance for his previous children, an I entitled to anything from him for this child when it's born and of so at what rate? Also can his ex partner refuse him acces to his children? Is there anything he can do about this?
Kissestea - 23-Aug-17 @ 12:00 PM
De - Your Question:
Please help. Daughter 18 next March. Finished A levels next easter. No CSA or other agency agreement ever required as paid agreed amount for years increasing year on year. Can I stop paying monthly payment after A level course ends????

Our Response:
Yes, you should agree it with your ex is you are on speaking terms and have a family-based arrangement. Usually, when paying through an agency such as CMS, the official end of the school year (August 31) is when payments stop.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Aug-17 @ 11:21 AM
Please help. Daughter 18 next March . Finished A levels next easter. No CSA or other agency agreement ever required as paid agreed amount for years increasing year on year. Can I stop paying monthly payment after A level course ends????.
De - 10-Aug-17 @ 7:17 PM
DIVORCEDandHAPPY - Your Question:
My ex pays the bare minimum for his daughter through CSA. I have told him on his days (twice a week) that he needs to cover his childcare elements albeit a childminder or day camp. He is refusing. Am I right in thinking this?

Our Response:
Your ex does not have to pay any more than CSA/CMS have assessed, unless he voluntarily agrees.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Jul-17 @ 2:46 PM
My ex pays the bare minimum for his daughter through CSA. I have told him on his days (twice a week) that he needs to cover his childcare elements albeit a childminder or day camp. He is refusing. Am i right in thinking this?
DIVORCEDandHAPPY - 29-Jul-17 @ 10:28 AM
Kel - Your Question:
Is there any legal requirement that states father has to collect children from marital home after divorce?

Our Response:
There is no 'legal requirement' that specifies this. It is something that should be agreed between both parents.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Jul-17 @ 11:48 AM
is there any legal requirement that states father has to collect children from marital home after divorce?
Kel - 17-Jul-17 @ 5:37 PM
Me me - Your Question:
Hi, me and my partner split up receny. We have 7 year old and 3 year old. Me and children are staying in the house, which is in his name and paying mortgage. Are children entiteled in any extra maitenence, if we stay in his house till kids turn 18 and he pays the mortgage. Or mortgage payments for the house that stays in his name cover all. Ghanks

Our Response:
If you apply for child maintenance through the likes of Child Maintenance Service, they may include the fact your ex is paying towards the mortgage when making the assessment of your children's father. Ideally, you would agree a family-based child maintenance arrangement that suits you both. Otherwise, you should speak to CMS directly, here .
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Jul-17 @ 11:26 AM
Hi, me and my partner split up receny. We have 7 year old and 3 year old. Me and children are staying in the house, which is in his name and paying mortgage. Are children entiteled in any extra maitenence, if we stay in his house till kids turn 18 and he pays the mortgage. Or mortgage payments for the house that stays in his name cover all. Ghanks
Me me - 11-Jul-17 @ 4:51 PM
Dantheman - Your Question:
My wife had a nervous breakdown in Feb 2015 I have exclusively looked after my three children (13, 11 and 10) ever since and carried on working as a teacher. My wife has now applied for a divorce which I have agreed to and all she wants is 3 hours access with children per week. My wife gets job seekers allowance. I don't have a partner, but she has a casual partner. I earn £35k and pay £1000 rent plus bills and food for three kids. Is there a calculation for spousal maintenance. I have a property worth £100,000 which pays rent at £300 per month which we have never lived in. She says she wants £100 per month. Would you say this is reasonable? Would mediation advise her to ask for more. Thank you.

Our Response:
We cannot comment on whether this is a reasonable amount as it is all relative. Once your ex begins work, your ex will be legally responsible for paying you child maintenance, if you wish to claim. Therefore, you may wish to seek legal advice in order to explore the options.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Jun-17 @ 11:59 AM
My wife had a nervous breakdown in Feb 2015 I have exclusively looked after my three children (13, 11 and 10) ever since and carried on working as a teacher. My wife has now applied for a divorce which I have agreed to and all she wants is 3 hours access with children per week. My wife gets job seekers allowance. I don't have a partner, but she has a casual partner. I earn £35k and pay £1000 rent plus bills and food for three kids. Is there a calculation for spousal maintenance. I have a property worth £100,000 which pays rent at £300 per month which we have never lived in. She says she wants £100 per month. Would you say this is reasonable? Would mediation advise her to ask for more. Thank you.
Dantheman - 22-Jun-17 @ 8:02 PM
rhoders105 - Your Question:
My wife and I have seperated recently and I have moved out of the family home.She has said that I should pay maintenance.How soon would I do this?The boys are with me mostly due to her line of work.

Our Response:
If parents share care, the one who has the majority of the care will be the one who is entitled to child maintenance. If the shared care is entirely equal, it is the person who is in receipt of child benefits who can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). If both parents make competing applications for child benefit, the person who applied first will take priority. You can see more via the link here. If you can't agree who should pay child maintenance or whether child maintenance should be paid, you may wish to consider suggesting mediation to your ex in order to try to come to an agreement between you. If you agree to paying child maintenance to support your children while living in the family home, then you can come to a family-based arrangement which is by mutual negotiation. Please see CMS link here which will further help answer your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-May-17 @ 11:16 AM
My wife and i have seperated recently and i have moved out of the family home. She has said that i should pay maintenance. How soon would i do this? The boys are with me mostly due to her line of work.
rhoders105 - 10-May-17 @ 1:30 PM
I separated from my ex in November. My 17 month old son lives with me, he see his father whenever his father wants which is regularly. He has paid less then £200 towards child maintenance in last 6 months. He is now going to be working a full time job is insisting on having his son a few nights a week and at weekends. I work and provide for myself and child. I have never had issue with my son staying overnight with his father when his father had his own flat, however he now lives in a communal house with 13 other individuals that I know nothing about, and this is where he wants his son to stay overnight with him, my son would not have his own room. I don't know what my rights are or what I should do. The father in the past was substance abusing, and was in debt with several utility companies and councils.I am unsure if he is still substance abusing ( I have worried about my child being in his supervision in the past but he gave me no reason to take action as my son would not spend more then a few hours with him and he was looked after well during that time) I guess my main concern is my son being exposed to bunch of people I have no background information on for several nights a week.
Mummy - 28-Apr-17 @ 6:22 PM
singledad - Your Question:
Me and my wife have split up and I have sole custody of out daughter, my ex wife is payinng child maintenance but insists that I have to her spousal maintenance.is this true? or is she being awkward?many thankssingle dad

Our Response:
Unless a court orders spousal maintenenance via a court order, then you do not have to pay this.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Apr-17 @ 2:39 PM
Me and my wife have split up and i have sole custody of out daughter, my ex wife is payinng child maintenance but insists that i have to her spousal maintenance. is this true? or is she being awkward? many thanks single dad
singledad - 6-Apr-17 @ 11:55 AM
A friend is going through the process of separating from her husband, (she is Scottish and her husband Irish) they were married in Kenya and now live in East Asia due to his work. This is getting messy as he is refusing to give her any financial assistance. They have one 9 year old child together who will be staying with the mum. Although he has a well paid job and considerable savings my friend is unable to access them. All the accounts as are UK based with a property in London rented out but under his name (it was previously the marital home) which my friendhas financially contributed to the mortgage when she was working and living in London with him and paid for extensive refurbishment as well. If she has to apply to a UK Court to force him to pay would she be better raising an action in England or Scotland where she intends to relocate to?
bev896 - 16-Mar-17 @ 9:36 AM
Lol275 - Your Question:
Hi can anyone help I'm seperated from husband for the last 2 years , been together 36 years , should he be paying me maintenance , also have a son who he never pays for. now hes saying he wants us of the marital home which is in my name , he moved out , can he do this

Our Response:
Your ex would be liable to pay child maintenance if your children are under 18. It is also unlikely a court would force you to move out of your home if your children are under 18 and in full-time education. If your children are over-18, then regardless of whether the house is in your name, your ex would be entitled to claim if you bought the house together when married and/or due to the length of your marriage. You may wish to seek legal advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Mar-17 @ 11:30 AM
Hi can anyone help I'm seperated from husband for the last 2 years , been together 36 years , should he be paying me maintenance , also have a son who he never pays for .. now hes saying he wants us of the marital home which is in my name , he moved out , can he do this
Lol275 - 5-Mar-17 @ 11:27 AM
Hi. Im in the starting process of leaving my wife. We've been together for 10 years but we haven't been happy for a while and we don't want to effect our son in the long run by staying together. I would like joint custody which i thing my wife had agreed on but at the moment i work nights so i can only have my son 2 nights a week. But by working nights it helps us both out by my wife not having to pick our son up from school and worrying about paying for child care and plus i get to see my son everyday. I will be feeding him his dinner and getting him ready for bed most nights then either drop him off on the way to work or he will be picked up. So i will have him at least 3 hours everyday. My concern is i will have clothes, food and things for us to do and bath things but at the moment my wife is saying that i will have to pay full maintaince money even though i have him as much as i do and feed him etc but i don't think i can afford that. Does the CSA take inconsidertion that i have him everyday and feed him everyday or is it solely done on where he sleeps
Nelson - 25-Feb-17 @ 10:50 AM
MY HUSBAND AND I ARE NOW SEPERATED FOR 6 YEARS, IS HE STILL RESPONSIBLE TO LOOK AFTER ME FINANCIALY?
GERDA - 17-Feb-17 @ 11:55 AM
Jon - Your Question:
My ex wife and I divorced 4 years ago, the kids stay with us both 50/50 (they actually spend more time with me as I pick them up from school every day, even on days they are staying with her) it's an agreement that has worked well for us both. The only issue is money. I pay £100 a week maintenance, as worked out using the online calculator, but why? She is already getting the child benefit plus my £400 per month. I also pay for their extra curricular activities and we split the cost of school trips. Am I being taken advantage of? And what is to stop me being the 'resident parent' and thus getting maintenance from her?

Our Response:
If your agreement if family based, then parents usually decide between themselves what is an appropriate amount. The online calculator assesses child maintenance on the non-resident parent's earnings. Really it is down to who funds the children in their day-to-day lives, whether it is clothes, lunches, bus fairs, pocket money etc, it all adds up. Even if parents share their care, the one who has the majority of the care will be the one who is entitled to child maintenance. If the shared care is entirely equal, it is the person who is in receipt of child benefits who can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). You can see more via the link here and here. With shared care there is no black and white answer, child maintenance is either agreed by parents or left to the CMS to decide. If you want to make a change to how child maintenence is paid for you to receive it instead of your ex, and your ex does not agree, then you would have to apply to court to become the primary carer. The court will always decide what it think is in the best interests of your children, and unless there is a good reason for them to change the arrangement, then it is unlikely they will.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Feb-17 @ 10:36 AM
My ex wife and I divorced 4 years ago, the kids stay with us both 50/50 (they actually spend more time with me as I pick them up from school every day, even on days they are staying with her) it's an agreement that has worked well for us both. The only issue is money. I pay £100 a week maintenance, as worked out using the online calculator, but why? She is already getting the child benefit plus my £400 per month. I also pay for their extra curricular activities and we split the cost of school trips. Am I being taken advantage of? And what is to stop me being the 'resident parent' and thus getting maintenance from her?
Jon - 13-Feb-17 @ 7:16 AM
My husband and I are separated. I have yet to file for divorce. I have had a look at child maintenance payment calculation on the website and this only gives me £500. My husband has left me in a lot of debt under name . Basically he is a gambling addict and used lies and deceit to get money off me. Because of these outgoings, £500 a month will not cover living and childcare costs.
Sheena - 11-Feb-17 @ 9:10 PM
Hi, i was just wondering if my ex ahould pay me maintenance, i am the primary carer for our 2 daughters and i am currently in the process of taking him to court as we have a joint tenency and he wont leave and its umbearable living with him. If i applied for maintenance would i get it if we still live together?
Becca.S - 23-Jan-17 @ 6:07 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.