When Couples Separate – How To Get Child Maintenance From Your Ex

Separation and subsequent divorces are always especially challenging where children are involved. Sorting out child maintenance issues on the parties’ initial separation is not always as straight forward as simply applying to the Child Maintenance Service.

Danielle Messenger, a Family Law Specialist at award winning leading law firm Pictons says “At Pictons we give consideration to the bigger picture when advising clients in this situation. We often refer to ‘global maintenance’ which represents both the standard child maintenance to be paid as well as the additional element of spousal maintenance.  Spousal maintenance is paid in cases where there is a disparity in the parties earning capacities and the needs of the parties dictate that such additional payments are required to support the household.

“In some situations it makes far more sense, especially an on interim basis (until an overall settlement is reached), for the mortgage and bills to be paid directly by the husband or whichever partner is the main breadwinner in lieu of maintenance. Mothers or house husbands may feel aggrieved if they don’t receive a literal payment of maintenance, but that is not to say that the absent parent is not adequately providing for the family.

“Family solicitors need to consider the total income and outgoings of both parties to ascertain what would be the appropriate level of global maintenance payments in any case.  If it transpires that the person who is covering the mortgage and bills is making a fair contribution based on their earnings, then it may not achieve anything to apply to the Child Maintenance Service, as the payer may then stop the direct payments altogether. We will always advise clients of the best way to formalise any overall final financial agreement.”

If you find the above issue affects you then contact Danielle or one of her team on 01582 870880 for our Luton, Milton Keynes and Tring offices or email info@pictons.co.uk