The Child Support Agency was introduced by the Government in 1993 and removed power from the courts to deal with maintenance for the children. It was rebranded as the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and the government introduced several changes with the aim to encourage parents to arrange their own Family-Based Arrangement (FBA). If agreement is not reached parents will be charged a fee for the CMS to deal with an application for child maintenance. Various formulae have been introduced which will be applied to the gross weekly income of the paying parent to calculate the maintenance. Further enforcement fees will also be payable if further action is required to collect the maintenance. Instead, the CSA deals with child maintenance in most situations, except where there are step-children, and its role ends when the child reaches the age of 17 years.
You can access the CMS's calculator for a rough calculation of the level of maintenance you can expect from your partner.
In the interim stages of your divorce or dissolution, we can apply to the court on your behalf for an 'interim maintenance order’. This is a temporary financial maintenance order, pending final resolution of the financial issues between you and your partner, or through the CMS.
[Correct as at March 2014]