Separating couples can often reach arrangements in relation to child maintenance between themselves. In the event they struggle to agree a suitable figure, the Child Maintenance Service provides an excellent online tool, into which the parties can input the relevant information, such as the number of nights the children spend with the paying party and the paying party’s income. An appropriate maintenance sum will then be generated and the parties will be free to execute the transactions between themselves. In the event the paying party will not co-operate, the Child Maintenance Service can arrange for the monies to be paid directly from source, i.e. taken from their wages before they are paid out, along with other methods of enforcement.
Due to the efficient service provided by the Child Maintenance Service, the court rarely gets involved in relation to child maintenance payments. In certain scenarios, however, such as when the child in question has special needs, or where the paying parent’s income is exceptionally high, a judge will be able to guide the parties or make an order in relation to maintenance if something cannot be agreed between the parties themselves.
Maintenance for a spouse is totally separate to that for a child and may be payable when there is a discrepancy in the divorcing spouses’ financial positions. There is no set formula when working out the appropriate figure for spousal maintenance and, instead, it will be agreed between the parties, or ordered by the court if the matter becomes litigious, after many factors have been considered. Factors for consideration include:
- The lump sum payment that will be received
- Whether there has been any arrangements relating to pensions
- The length of the marriage
- Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
- The parties’ needs moving forward
It is important to note that maintenance, once ordered or agreed, is not fixed and can change when circumstances do. Our family lawyers can help you negotiate in relation to spousal maintenance, as well as advise you if you feel that your maintenance payments should be varied.