When it comes to financial support all parents have a responsibility to provide for their children, even if they do not have contact with the child.
Child maintenance also known as child support, is a consistent financial payment made towards the everyday living costs of the child. The non-resident parent has to make the required payments to the parent whom the child lives with.
In some situations, parents can make a private arrangement between themselves regarding how much needs to be paid. If this isn’t the case the government can calculate the amount that should be paid by using a formula.
The formula for this calculation is based on the gross income of the non-resident parent (before any deductions of income tax or national insurance), the number of children and whether or not the children have any overnight stays with the non-resident parent.
For example, if there is one child then the parent has to pay 11% of their gross income in child maintenance. For two children they have to pay 16% and for three children or more 19%.
If the children spend time living in the non-resident parent’s home, such as when having overnight stays, then deductions are made.
If the children stay overnight with the parent, for example one night a week, then the payment is reduced by 1/7th. For two nights it is reduced by 2/7th.
It’s a parents responsibility to provide financial support for their children. If they refuse to pay then the parent who the children live with can make an application to the Child Support Agency (CSA).
The circumstances will then be assessed by the CSA and they can pursue the non-paying parent for any payments that have not been made.
If you would like to discuss an issue with one of our family law solicitors, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you.