Supporting Your Child Financially

When parents separate they both remain responsible for the care and financial support of their children. Most parents think it is important for the children’s lives to be affected as little as possible by the separation and for them to have a similar standard of living when they are spending time with each parent. The law takes this view too.

Sometimes this means that one parent gives the other a regular amount of money, known as child support, to contribute towards for example, maintaining a home with heat and light, providing food, school uniform and other clothes, paying for school materials and out of school activities and generally ensuring that their health and welfare needs are met.

Because every family has different needs the government thinks it is important that parents negotiate their own arrangements for child support and provide support to help do this. You can find out more about family based arrangements and making arrangements yourself. This site has a form for you to use to write down the arrangements you agree. There is an online Child Maintenance calculator to help you think about how to work out how much to pay and, if you absolutely can’t agree between yourselves, find out more about the statutory arrangements. Until now using the collection service has been free but one of the changes being introduced is for this to be paid for in future – by both the paying and receiving parent.

Use this link to visit The Money Advice Service's guide 'How to arrange child maintenance'

Read more about Child Maintenance:

Mediation offers a place for parents to sit together and talk about their finances and parenting, including child support and to think through what will work best in any particular circumstance.

National Family Mediation (NFM) is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family

National Family Mediation (NFM) services charge £25-£100 for a MIAM, depending on geographical locality, which may include the fee for the completed FM1 form. Meetings usually last for 45 minutes – 1 hour. This includes the means assessment to check whether you will be eligible for Legal Aid, determining whether your mediation will be free or not. Mediation sessions which follow the initial MIAM are charged at a sliding scale according to income, but start at around £80 per session, and usually last up to 1½ hours.

If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.

All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.

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Help and support or separated familes