High net worth and high earning individuals may be subject to enhanced child support obligations in the event of a family relationship breakdown. Where a separated couple has been married, this financial support will usually be determined in the context of the overall financial settlement on divorce. However, for those who have not been married to the child’s other parent, specific legislation imposes stringent financial obligations.
In addition to having powers above the Child Maintenance Service to award maintenance for educational expenses and those attributable to a disability, the court can award “top up” maintenance where a paying parent’s income exceeds £156,000 gross per annum (this being the maximum assessment that the Child Maintenance Service can deal with). The court also has the power to deal with the payment of child maintenance where one of the parents and/or the child is not habitually resident in the jurisdiction.
The court can also require a parent to pay a substantial lump sum or series of lump sums to the other parent, together with having powers to order settlements and transfers of property.
Known colloquially as the “footballers’ charter” this legislation is often used to secure substantial financial settlements for parents of children born as a result of a short relationship with a particularly wealthy individual. It is important that such parents ensure appropriate financial security is provided for their child and for themselves.
Our family lawyers can advise you on appropriate financial arrangements in these circumstances whilst ensuring that you receive a suitably discrete and commercially minded service.
How much child maintenance will I have to pay?
In the majority of cases, child maintenance payments will be dealt with by the child maintenance service and parents can make use of the online child maintenance calculator to determine the appropriate rate of payment: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance However in certain circumstances, including where there is substantial wealth and/or one or both parents are resident abroad, the court will determine the appropriate maintenance to be paid.