Often upon separation, a parent with the majority of the care of their child or children believes that the only way to secure some financial support from the other parent is by contacting the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).  However, if the other parent’s income is over and above the award that the CMS can make then rest assured, there is another way. Some parents can apply under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 to the Court for financial provision for a child.

A claim can be made for financial provision on behalf of a child if you are a parent, guardian, special guardian or a person who is named in a Child Arrangements Order as a person with whom the child is to live with.  In some circumstances a child who has reached the age of 18 may apply for an order for themselves.

Usually, the person against whom the application is made will be the other biological parent.  However, the Court does have the power to make an Order against a party to a marriage or civil partnership to whom the child is considered to be a “child of the family”.  A “child of the family” is a child of both parties to a marriage/civil partnership or a child treated by both of them as a child of their family.

The types of orders that a Court can make are varied, and include: periodical payments orders, I.e. a regular sum of money paid over a course of time; secured periodical payments; a lump sum; settlement of property for the benefit of the child; transfer of property to the child himself or to the applicant parent on the child’s behalf.  It should be noted that a child over 18 can only apply for periodical payments for his or her self.

To pursue an application under Schedule 1 the parent must first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting. If mediation is considered appropriate it may avoid the need for making an application to the Court.  If it is not however, or if mediation fails and an application to the Court is necessary, then the parties must be ready to provide financial disclosure to the Court and the other person as part of the process before a decision can be made.

If Court proceedings are necessary or if you require some initial advice Farleys can offer a cost effective Case Management Meeting to discuss your individual circumstances.

Farleys team of specialist family lawyers can also provide expert advice and support to clients in relation to a full range of family law related issues, including divorce, civil partnership, resolution of financial matters, pre nuptial and cohabitation agreements, domestic abuse and disputes relating to children. For more information visit call 0845 287 0939 or complete an online enquiry form.