Child Maintenance Solicitors in Scotland | Aberdein Considine Legal

Securing the financial support you need to raise your family

Child Maintenance

Child aliment, or child maintenance, is regular financial support which is usually paid by a parent who does not live with their child.

A commonly held misconception is that a parent’s legal obligation to financially support their child ends when they turn 16 – but this is rarely the case, and the obligation can continue well beyond what would normally be regarded as ‘childhood’.

Arranging payment of child maintenance

In many cases, the level of financial support is agreed between the relevant parties and can either be paid on the basis of a verbal agreement or set out in a legal document called a Minute of Agreement.

If the level of support cannot be agreed upon, then either parent (or in some cases, the child’s guardian or the child) may seek an assessment Child Maintenance Service (CMS), or a court, depending on where the relevant parties live.

The CMS has exclusive powers in issues relating to child maintenance where a child is under the age of 16 and both parents and the child live in the UK. The CMS will continue to have powers to deal with matters whilst the child is under 20 years old if that child is undertaking education or training at a specified level.

How is maintenance calculated?

The CMS calculate child maintenance payments according to a mathematical formula based upon the non-resident parent’s gross annual income, and other factors, including the number of children for which maintenance is being paid, the number of children in the non-resident parent’s household and the number of nights the child or children spend with the non-resident parent.

Once an assessment has been made, the non-resident parent can pay the assessed amount to the resident parent, or the CMS can manage the collection and payment of money.

If the non-resident parent’s gross weekly income is more than £3,000 per week, the resident parent can apply to the Court for “top up” maintenance. This can be contested by the non-resident parent.

It is important that legal advice is taken even if the CMS are involved to ensure that all relevant factors have been considered and the assessment is accurate.

The Court

In certain cases, for example if a parent is living or working abroad, the CMS may not have powers to deal with payment of financial support for children, in which case the matter may have to be decided by a Scottish court.

In these cases, no mathematical formula applies and it is important that early advice is taken in relation to your entitlement to claim or obligation to pay child aliment.

Why choose us?

Our client promise

At Aberdein Considine Legal, we have a simple three-point promise to all of our clients.

  • "April Campbell and Megan Hannah have been quite simply outstanding in their professionalism. I found myself in one of the most vulnerable and unsettling times of my life to date. April and Megan where with me every step of the legal case- they listened, advised and always gave me the confidence in explaining the legal aspects of my file. April and Megan always had the law and the best interests of my son at the very core of all of their work."