21st December 2023|In Latest News, Children

Six Common Myths About Child Maintenance

Navigating the complexities of child maintenance can be daunting for many parents, not least as there are so many misconceptions. In this blog post we’ll dispel some common myths…

Myth 1: Child Maintenance Is Only for Divorced Parents

Contrary to popular belief, child maintenance is not exclusive to parents who have divorced. It applies to all parents, including those who were never married but are separating, and even those who have never cohabitated.

Interesting Fact: In the UK, about half of the children born each year are to unmarried couples.

The primary consideration is the responsibility towards the child, irrespective of the parents’ marital status. Financial support for a child is a shared obligation, focusing on the child’s needs rather than the relationship between the parents.

Myth 2: Legal Courts Always Handle Child Maintenance

Many assume that child maintenance is always processed through the courts. However, since the introduction of the Child Support Act 1991 and the creation of the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), most cases are resolved outside the judicial system. In the UK, child maintenance is the only aspect of family law not determined by a judge but by the CMS as a statutory duty.

Myth 3: Child Maintenance Ends at 18

The duration of child maintenance payments is not strictly till the child turns 18. It depends on whether the child is in formal education up to GCSE level at 16 or A Levels at 18, or if there’s an agreement to extend support into tertiary education.

Myth 4: Child Maintenance Covers All Expenses

While child maintenance contributes to essential costs like food, clothing, and basic living, it doesn’t automatically cover all expenses. Additional costs such as extracurricular activities, higher education fees, and specific medical needs often require separate agreements.

Myth 5: The CMS Must Handle All Child Maintenance Agreements

Though many believe that the CMS must oversee all child maintenance agreements, parents can opt for a ‘family-based arrangement’. This allows them to determine maintenance terms independently, offering more flexibility and promoting cooperative parenting, though CMS provides a more structured, enforceable approach.

Myth 6: There are uniform Child Maintenance Laws Across the UK

Child maintenance laws vary within the UK, with Scotland having distinct regulations from England and Wales. For clarification on these regulations or on any related matter, call 0333 344 6302 and speak with one of our experts.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.