Child Support: How to get a Child Maintenance Order

Child Maintenance is often essential in ensuring that your children have the right amount of financial support to grow up happy and in good health.
In this article, Family Trainee Katelyn Webster has outlined key points you need to know to arrange suitable child support and what to do if your ex-partner is refusing to pay.

What is Child Maintenance?

Child Maintenance, also known as Child Support, is an arrangement between you and the other parent of your child which sets out payment for your child’s living costs.

Maintenance costs are usually paid by the parent who doesn’t have a Child Arrangements Order to the parent who does or is the primary caregiver.

Related: Child Arrangement Orders: How they work and why you might need one

How is child support calculated?

Child support payments should be able to help cover the child’s living costs. These costs include food, clothing childcare, toys, books, travel and more.
The amount of child support payable will depend on how many children you have and the payers income.

Assuming your children live with you permanently, the basic child maintenance rates are as follows:

  • One child – 12% of gross weekly income
  • Two children – 16% of gross weekly income
  • Three or more children – 19% of gross weekly income

However, please bear in mind that these rates will depend on your individual circumstances. For a tailored calculation on the amount of child support payable to you, this can be found here.

What are the factors that are considered when calculating child support?

As well as the number of children you have and living costs, there are some other factors that will be taken into consideration when child maintenance is calculated.

These can include:

  • The paying parent’s gross income
  • Whether there are any ‘shared care’ agreements in place
  • other outgoing costs, where applicable, such as:
    • Pension payments
    • Living costs if they have and live with any other children
    • Child support for any other children

Where applicable, these factors may increase or deduct from the rate of child maintenance.

Related: How much does a divorce cost and can I get a Cost Order?

Can I get a court order for child maintenance?

If you and your ex-partner are able to agree on child maintenance arrangements yourselves, and would like this reflected in a court order, you can apply to the court to make the agreement legally binding with a Court Order, formally known as a Consent Order.

Related: What is a financial order and why are they important?

In the full article, Katelyn looks at your options if child maintenance can’t be agreed on, how long an order lasts, what happens if your ex refuses to pay and more. Click here to read it.

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