Resolving finances for children including maintenance and lump sums
If you are able to agree the financial support that each of you will provide for the children, the court will not interfere.
If you are not able to agree the arrangements for financial support, but all that you need to resolve is the question of the amount of child support (maintenance) that should be paid, it is likely that this issue will be resolved by making an application to the other side and Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency (CSA). This is a government run department that will calculate and if necessary collect the maintenance.
There are occasions however when either the CSA is not relevant, where your finances are more complicated or where the children’s needs are such that a court should give consideration as to what financial support should be made available for the children.
Such applications are under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. This enables you to make an application for financial support for the benefit of a child. The court can, in appropriate cases make orders, amongst other things, for the following:
- The maintenance of a child where the Child Support Agency either does not have jurisdiction at all or its own remit has been exhausted and a “top up” is applied for;
- Lump sum payments can be made for the benefit of the children to pay for particular items of expenditure, for example to pay for furniture or for computer equipment that a child may need.
- Property to be purchased or held on trust for the child to live in during their minority. The property is strictly for the child to live in, and usually when they no longer need the property, it shall revert (or the proceeds of sale shall revert) to the original owner.
- school fees to be paid