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

Maintenance: Separation and Divorce

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 17 Nov 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.

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hi i wanted to ask in regards to child support.my parents got divorced so many years ago but we all still lived under the same roof for many years,my parents lived together for 46 years and and divorced by year when i was about 14 now im 29.my dad always paid half the thing and gave mom cash.now my mother has sued him for child support in an effort to destroy him.he is now owing 250.000 in debt of child support.he is 60 years old.we want to fight this so he can be free.what is can be done as me and my sibling are prof that he has alwaysbeen there and my mother is eating money for free. please help
rj - 17-Nov-17 @ 2:59 PM
I'm currently getting divorced have one daughter who is 4 I'm on low income and my ex is on a higher income than me he pays child maintenance of 30.00 a month my daughter goes to pre school 3 days a week does my ex have to pay nursery fees
Sarah Jane - 11-Nov-17 @ 3:59 PM
Help Needed - Your Question:
I have 3 children with my estranged partner. I know and understand that I have to pay maintenance, however she has a few properties and her money is tied up in these pproperties. Will.this be taken into account that she has a rather large income in relation to my child.maintemamce payments.?

Our Response:
No. Child maintenance payments are solely based on the earnings of the non-resident parent. The primary carer's income is not taken into consideration. Child maintenance is more or less based upon the proportion of your wage that you would allocate towards bringing up your child and catering for their day-to-day needs, if you were still living under the same roof.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Nov-17 @ 1:48 PM
I have 3 children with my estranged partner. I know and understand that i have to pay maintenance, however she has a few properties and her money is tied up in these pproperties. Will.this be taken into account that she has a rather large income in relation to my child.maintemamce payments.?
Help Needed - 8-Nov-17 @ 8:56 PM
Hi, I have separated from my daughters dad. We are currently still living under the same roof. Am I right in thinking that I can start to ask for maintenance, due to me paying for everything for our daughter and also being the main parent?
Jan1991 - 26-Oct-17 @ 8:15 PM
In 2012 I was contacted by DWP /CSA,knew nothing about it, then in 2016 £300 per pay cycle is taken from my wages, then in 2016 arears takes £400 per pay week.I never met these people, I could not maintain my job, What can I do ? Totally sick of this situation
Rickvan - 20-Oct-17 @ 11:37 AM
Kevin - Your Question:
I have 3 children with my first wife and I pay £270 a month maintenance arranged by the cma. I am now divorcing my second wife and we have 1 child together. How do I work out child support as the calculator does not have the option of 2 ex wives

Our Response:
For one child, you’ll pay 12% of your gross weekly income, for two children, you’ll pay 16% of your gross weekly income and for three or more children, you’ll pay 19% of your gross weekly income. The money should be divided evenly to account for each child.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Oct-17 @ 2:21 PM
I have 3 children with my first wife and I pay £270 a month maintenance arranged by the cma. I am now divorcing my second wife and we have 1 child together. How do I work out child support as the calculator does not have the option of 2 ex wives
Kevin - 15-Oct-17 @ 6:13 PM
Iddzy - Your Question:
I have been with my partner for 6 years and we have a nearly 1 year old daughter. We live in a rented house that is only in my partners name and he pays the rent. I have been working as a Teaching assistant but I am now a full-time student in my last year of my teaching degree. The relationship isn't working for me anymore, and I feel there is a lot of damaging emotional abuse going on between us that I don't want my daughter around. The only reason I havnt left is because I do not feel financially dependent to support myself and my daughter on my own while I am only in receipt of student finance. From previous conversations hes made it clear he would make things hard work if I did leave. My question is what obligations doesnhe have to uphold as we are only in a co-habiting partnership ?

Our Response:
Your partner would be obliged to pay child maintenance to help you support your child if you decide to leave. Dependent upon your other circumstances, you may be able to claim other benefits as a single parent, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Oct-17 @ 3:16 PM
I have been with my partner for 6 years and we have a nearly 1 year old daughter. We live in a rented house that is only in my partners name and he pays the rent. I have been working as a Teaching assistant but I am now a full-time student in my last year of my teaching degree. The relationship isn't working for me anymore, and i feel there is a lot of damaging emotional abuse going on between us that I don't want my daughter around. The only reason I havnt left is because I do not feel financially dependent to support myself and my daughter on my own while I am only in receipt of student finance. From previous conversations hes made it clear he would make things hard work if i did leave. My question is what obligations doesnhe have to uphold as we are only in a co-habiting partnership ?
Iddzy - 7-Oct-17 @ 8:46 AM
Nikki - Your Question:
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 the mortgage and is pleased that she is preventing him from moving on. She has a good job and earns around 40 k a year as well as 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 the mortgage? 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.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. I advise your brother to seek professional legal advice before he goes ahead with taking the matter to court, as a solicitor would be able to advise whether it is worthwhile. As a rule, the court’s main concern is the welfare of his child. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Quite often the resident parent is given permission to stay in the house until the child leaves full-time education, regardless whether the house is in his name, or whether other children are living in the house. Your brother needs to explore his options fully to find out what the best outcome can be v the worst. Much will also depend upon his ex's personal circumstances i.e whether she is living with the father of her most recent child in the house.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Sep-17 @ 12:26 PM
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
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