Children Issues On Breakdown
The starting point with any breakdown is that the parents are expected to resolve the arrangements for the children without intervention of the Court. In the divorce proceedings no orders will be made by the Court about the children unless the parents cannot agree on the arrangements.
If there is a dispute about where children should live, then either party can make an application for a Child Arrangement Order (previously called Residence and before that custody) to confirm who is to be the primary carer.
If there is a dispute about how much time children should spend with the “non-primary” parent, then an application can be made for the same Child Arrangement Order (previously called contact and before that access) to confirm how much time the children will be with the non-primary parent.
To change a child’s surname, you will need to get permission from all those who have parental responsibility for the child. If they agree, there is no issue. However, if they object, then you will have to apply to the court.
We have a huge amount of expertise and experience in dealing with all aspects of a child arrangement order both as to arrangements agreed outside of court proceedings and with dealing with contested court proceedings relating to the children.
Child Support and Maintenance
It should be noted that the court does not consider it in anyway relevant in deciding the arrangements for the children whether the non-primary parent is or is not paying an appropriate level of child maintenance,
The Child Maintenance financial support may be agreed between parents perhaps with the assistance of an online child maintenance calculator or may be imposed by the government’s Child Maintenance Service (CMS) formerly known as the Child Support Agency (CSA).
If you can agree the amount of support that is to be paid between yourselves, that is encouraged and is called ‘a Family Based Arrangement’. You may then be able to have your agreement incorporated into a court order.
If you cannot agree on the amount of support to be paid, the Child Maintenance Service now deals with all new cases. The calculation takes into account the non-residential parent’s gross income, any pension contributions they make, the number of nights their children stay overnight with them and whether there are any other children living in the non-residential parent’s home e.g. step children. The Child Maintenance Service have an online calculator which has proved useful to many couples in calculating and agreeing a level of child maintenance.
Talk to Tollers
At Tollers Solicitors our dedicated children’s department advises clients on the options available to them as parents, including child arrangement orders and child support and maintenance. We will work with you to get the best possible outcome. Get in touch with our team of family solicitors today.