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How do I make my ex-partner pay child maintenance?

Is your ex-partner refusing to pay child maintenance? A child maintenance solicitor can help. Read our guide here.

Last updated on January 11th, 2024 at 10:16 am

How do I make my ex-partner pay child maintenance?

Going through a breakup can be a difficult and emotional time, especially when it comes to child maintenance disputes. While many couples are able to come to an agreement regarding child maintenance, there are situations where this is not possible. If you are finding it challenging to get your ex-partner to pay child maintenance, there are a few options available to you. You can reach out to a solicitor to help with child maintenance issues and learn more about your rights.

What does child maintenance cover in the UK? 

Child maintenance is a payment made by the parent who is not the primary carer to the child’s primary carer. These payments are intended to cover the child’s daily living costs, such as food, clothing, housing, and other necessities. In the UK, parents are legally required to contribute to the daily living costs of their children until they are at least 16 years old, or up to the age of 20 if they are in full-time education. While many parents are able to come to an agreement on the amount of the payment, known as a family-based arrangement, it is important to note that this type of agreement is not legally binding. 

What should I do if my ex-partner refuses to pay child maintenance? 

If your ex-partner refuses to pay child maintenance, it is advisable to seek help from a child maintenance solicitor. An experienced child maintenance lawyercan discuss your situation with you and suggest the best course of action. Usually, the first step is for the solicitor to contact your ex-partner and attempt to reach a resolution through mediation. If this doesn’t work, you can take your ex-partner to court. This is often a better option than going through the Child Maintenance Service, particularly if your ex-partner has a high income or if you have additional expenses that the Child Maintenance Service doesn’t consider, such as private school fees or if your ex-partner lives outside the UK.

How is child maintenance calculated? 

Determining the amount of child maintenance you should receive from your ex-partner depends on various factors, such as the number of children you have, the expenses involved in raising your child/children, the income of both you and your ex-partner, and the amount of care each partner provides. The government child maintenance calculator can provide an estimate of the amount of child maintenance that should be paid.

What should I do if my ex-partner suddenly stops paying child maintenance? 

If your ex-partner suddenly stops paying child maintenance, you should first try to contact them to resolve the issue. There may be a valid reason why your ex-partner has stopped paying, such as a change in financial circumstances. 

Can an ex-partner be forced to back pay child support money? 

The ability to force an ex-partner to back pay child support depends on the type of child maintenance agreement that has been established. A family-based agreement is not legally binding, whereas if child maintenance payments are being made through the Child Maintenance Service, they have the authority to collect unpaid maintenance, even if it means going through the courts.

Do parents have to pay child maintenance in the UK?

It is a legal requirement to pay child maintenance to the parent who is the primary carer of your child. Failure to provide for your children is considered a serious offense in the UK and can even lead to a prison sentence. If you are unable to reach an agreement with your ex-partner, it is advisable to seek the help of an experienced child maintenance solicitor. Alternatively, you can contact the Child Maintenance Service, who will assess how much your ex-partner should be paying. They may even take the issue to court if your ex-partner refuses to co-operate.

How can a child maintenance solicitor help me? 

If you’re dealing with child maintenance issues, a solicitor who specializes in this area can help you understand your legal rights and options. They can assist you in negotiating with your ex-partner to reach a mutually acceptable agreement or modify an existing one. If your ex-partner refuses to pay, the solicitor can also take legal action on your behalf. Additionally, a child maintenance lawyer can advise you on whether you should apply to the courts or opt for a Child Maintenance Service assessment based on your unique circumstances.

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