Separation or divorce between two people can be hard for the children and especially if they decide to part ways with their children. In the United Kingdom, special arrangements are in place for children whose parents decide to fall apart.
A special cell known as the child maintenance unit arranges provisions for a child if the parents cannot come together to settle the financial matters around raising their children.
What is Child Maintenance in the UK?
If the child is below 16 they will get covered under the child maintenance program. If however, they are pursuing full time courses, their parents still need to pay for their maintenance for another four years until they turn 20.
It is a completely tax-free amount that you will invest in your child’s upbringing. The financial arrangement is made between two parents to provide for their children. Even when one of the parents does not see the child regularly or ever, they still would be responsible to pay for them.
- Through child maintenance, you can work out an amount that is essential for the child’s proper care.
- Arrangement of payments and suitable actions towards parents if they fail to pay up.
- Parentage disagreements can be sorted out through the child maintenance unit.
- If you are not aware of the whereabouts of the other parent, try to find out about them using the child maintenance resources.
Who is Eligible for Child Maintenance Application UK?
Here is the eligibility criteria list that you need to stick to for getting help from the child maintenance unit.
- The child must be below 16 or 20 (when pursuing a full-time study course).
- Your primary home should be the United Kingdom even if you don’t stay here permanently.
- Applications can be made by any one of the parents, grandparents, guardians or children over 12 years of living in Scotland.
- Those who do not have an income are full-time students or a prisoner need not pay for the child maintenance process.
- A parent with consent orders that is less than a year old or made somewhere before 3rd March 2003 cannot apply.
- If the primary caretaking parent is outside the UK, you cannot apply for child maintenance.
What are the Application Requirements?
The application requirements for Child Maintenance include the following;
- The application fee of £20 must be paid. Domestic abuse survivors, under 19 parents, or those living in Northern Ireland need not pay the amount.
- For better assessment, one needs to submit employment details.
- Go ahead and add the bank detail information.
- Put forth the National Insurance number of the parents.
Steps to Apply for Child Maintenance Application
For making the Child Maintenance application, the process is quite elaborate and involves the following steps.
- The first step is to generate the Get Help arranging child maintenance service. If you are not able to click on the Get Help online option, you can call them at the given numbers.
- Generate the Get Help reference number using the above means and then contact them. You will need to give them the Get help reference number, bank details, and the National Insurance number.
- The non-day-to-day care parents will need to give their employment details, income and benefits summary, and private pension contribution information.
- If the other parent should not know your details inform the same to Child Maintenance.
- Pay the fee of £20 if you are not under 19, a domestic abuse survivor, or someone from Northern Ireland.
- After they contact the other partner, they will put together the amount required for a child’s maintenance and then will move ahead with the process of fixing the details.
The benefit of child maintenance is that they will work as a middleman and fixing of the six-step payment process.
- Generating the income details for both parents: If the paying parent earns £3000 or more the receiving parent can ask for a little more benefit for the child.
- Keeping an idea of the stuff that can impact the earnings of both the parents.
- Counting per the formula, the child maintenance rates will fall in any one of the five categories:
|Income scores||Amount due for the parent|
|Income not provided||Default £38 for 1 child, £51 for 2 children, £61 for 3 or more|
|£7 to £100||£7|
|£100.01 to £199.99||Reduced rate|
|£200 to £3,000||Basic payment|
- The weekly child maintenance amount needs to be fixed.
- Shared care per night for the parents will also be determined.
Also Read: How to Apply for Child Tax Rebate?
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How long does it take to set up child maintenance?
You will hear from the child maintenance team within six weeks under normal circumstances but when there is difficulty contacting the paying parent of the child, it can take almost up to 26 weeks to hear from them.
Is child maintenance legally binding?
It is not legally binding for a parent to pay for child and most often if people can settle the matter out of court without involving the court or solicitors; it can serve well for all.
Can you apply online for child maintenance?
Yes, applying online for child maintenance is possible in the United Kingdom by visiting their website, www.cmoptions.org.
Here is all about going with the Child Maintenance unit and for those parents who are newly separating or divorcing, they can refer to the article for more information. Child maintenance is a necessity that parents need to take care of until the child learns to wade for themselves.