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Going through a divorce is a stressful experience in itself, but when you also have children, you will also likely feel worried about their happiness and financial security. During this difficult time, you need legal advice you can trust.
Our expert family law solicitors in Hammersmith can provide sensible, practical advice to individuals going through divorce or civil partnership dissolution on agreeing a Child Maintenance Agreement with your ex-partner.
A Child Maintenance Agreement is the safest and most secure way of ensuring your ex-partner contributes financially towards the upbringing of your children when they spend most of their time living with you. Payments often contribute to things like clothes, food, travel and activities.
We value a collaborative, non-confrontational approach to divorce and children issues to prevent any unnecessary distress in yours or your children’s lives. With our assistance it is highly likely you will be able to come to an agreement without having to go to court. We will utilise strong negotiation skills to uphold your parental rights and the interests of your children to try and come to an agreement which is fair and workable in the long-term.
Our child law solicitors’ expertise
Our expertise includes:
- Providing support and guidance during informal (out of court) child maintenance negotiations with your ex-partner
- Helping you access Alternative Dispute Resolution methods such as mediation
- Using the Child Maintenance Service – a Government scheme which calculates maintenance payments on your behalf if you and your ex-partner cannot come to an agreement
- Applying to court for a Child Maintenance Order
Agreeing child maintenance yourselves
Agreeing child maintenance between you and your ex-partner is generally the fastest, cheapest, and least stressful option.
As parents, you are perfectly within your rights to come to a joint decision about how much maintenance is appropriate to ensure your child is properly provided for. However, it is always a good idea to consult a legal expert to ensure the agreement you are making is fair. That is where we come in. We will take the time to personally get to know you as an individual so we can provide proper, practical advice about coming to an agreement which is fair but that you are also happy with.
Using the Child Maintenance Service
If you and your ex-partner cannot come to an agreement you can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to calculate payments on your behalf. There are fees for using the service apart from circumstances where there was no way you could make an agreement without using the service (such as where there are issues of domestic violence).
The CMS uses a set process to calculate your child maintenance payments. This includes getting information about the paying parent’s income and benefits from HMRC and checking information about your income and expenditure. They will then use this information to calculate the paying parent’s gross weekly income and the amount of child maintenance according to set rates and how many children need providing for.
The CMS also provides services such as:
- Arranging the payments and transferring them from the paying parent to the receiving parent
- Annually reviewing the payments and whether there are any changes in circumstances which might affect payments
- Locating the paying parent
- Taking enforcement action if the paying parent does not keep up with payments
Applying for a Child Maintenance Order
You may be able to apply to court for a Child Maintenance Order in situations you cannot apply to the CMS, for example:
- Your ex-partner does not live in the UK
- You have expenses the CMS does not take into account, such as costs to support a child with a disability
- Your ex-partner has a high income and you want higher payments than would be calculated under the CMS’s set rates
We can provide expert advice about your eligibility for applying to court as well as handling the administrative process on your behalf.
Why choose our child law solicitors?
Hubbard Pegman & Whitney is a firm of dedicated, specialist solicitors based in Hammersmith, London.
Our focus is accessible legal services. We welcome clients from all walks of life to use our family law services. We take the time to get to know each and every individual who seeks our help so we can tailor our advice carefully to suit their needs.
Being committed to the non-contentious resolution of family law matters, we will give you the best possible chance of coming to an amicable agreement with your partner, avoiding the stress and cost of court.
You won’t find any legal jargon in our advice. The child maintenance process can be challenging to get your head around but we will always use clear English and regularly check you are happy with how things are proceeding.
Family law services in other languages
Family law solicitor Thanuja Oppilamany is able to offer Family Law and Divorce services in Tamil.