Since November 2013, key changes have occurred to the collection of child maintenance. Rather than using the Child Support Agency, new cases are managed by the Child Maintenance Service. The Child Maintenance Service is able to find out the other parent’s gross income from the HM Inland revenue rather than wait for them to provide their own payslips. The amount that the paying parent is to pay, ‘Child Maintenance’ is calculated using gross income rather than net income (i.e. after deduction of tax and national insurance) The amount that the paying parent should pay when they earn between £200 – £800 per week is 12% of their gross income for 1 child, 16% of their gross income for 2 children and 19% of their gross income for 3 of more children. There are reductions to the amount of maintenance paid due to number of nights that the paying parent has the children staying over with them or if they have any dependant children living with them.

From April of this year, the Child Maintenance Service will charge the parent applying for assistance over maintenance, and the paying parent for having to collect maintenance. The collection fees will not apply if you are able to agree the amount of maintenance and if it is paid direct into your bank account. If you require the maintenance to be reviewed by the Child Maintenance Service due to the paying parent having a promotion or their wages increasing, then the gross income of the paying parent has to have varied by 25% before that review can take place.

Where parties are married, using the Child Maintenance Service, is not the only option as maintenance can be recorded as part of a financial order. Once an order is in place, the parent with care of the children can apply to the magistrates for collection of maintenance after payment of a one off court fee.

At Ringrose Law, we have dedicated team of family and childcare specialists to assist you in making the best arrangements for you and your family. For further information contact our family team at your nearest Ringrose Law office in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Newark, Sleaford or Spalding.

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