Child Maintenance – Answering your questions
Q. My ex-husband and I managed to go through our divorce amicably and, as part of our financial order, agreed that he would pay child maintenance over and above what he was told he should pay by the Child Maintenance Service online calculator. He since changed his mind and is now only paying the amount that the online calculator has told him he should. What can I do?
A. Where a financial order is made, requiring your husband to make payments for the children (known as periodical payments) then he is required to make these payments, and pay any arrears, whilst the order stands. If your husband has breached the order then you may consider making an application to the court to enforce the payment of the periodical payments and/or collection of arrears. If an application to the court has to be made you may also be able to recover any of your legal costs.
However, it is important to be aware that after the expiry of one year from the date of the Order your ex-husband can apply to the CMS for a formal calculation of his child maintenance liability (simply using the online calculator is not sufficient) and, upon an assessment being made, the present order will no longer be valid and enforceable. Your ex-husband will, thereafter, only be required to pay the amount assessed by the Child Maintenance Service from that date onwards (you may, however, be able to recover any arrears accrued before that date).
Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law at email@example.com or 01656 645525.
Partner, Family at Berry Smith Lawyers