I am looking to divorce my spouse but I am worried about my children, how can I ensure that they are catered for in the divorce?

by ContactLaw on November 30, 2011

Ensuring that your children remain catered for even after a divorce is handled by the Child Support Agency (CSA). At the time of the petition for divorce, you and your spouse have to agree as to the arrangements for the children. It should be noted that if agreement is not reached it will not prevent the divorce from proceeding to the next stage.

Since the Courts lost their powers to deal with maintenance for children, Child Maintenance is not strictly a case for the divorce courts or for family law solicitors and agreements may be reached in the following ways:

  1. A private agreement
  2. Arranging child maintenance through the CSA

When handling a private arrangement there are a few things you must take into account. The first thing to consider is the amount of money to be paid and if you or your spouse intends to make any additional payments ‘in kind’. Secondly frequency of the payments will need to be established. Finally, you and your spouse must choose how the payments are made.

If you and your partner are agreed on the above points, then in the absence of a specialist divorce lawyer or any legal advice, it is prudent to put the agreement in writing and have it signed by both parties; however, this agreement will not be legally binding.

To ensure your private agreement is legally binding you should seek a Consent Order from the court. Your divorce solicitor can help you to obtain this from the court.

In the event you and your spouse are unable to reach an amicable settlement as regards to the maintenance of the children your other option would be to arrange child maintenance through the CSA. This is more favoured when you require a more concrete agreement without the cost of divorce solicitors or seeking additional legal advice. In such cases any default by either you or your spouse is not handled by you divorce solicitor but rather by the CSA who will petition the court on your or your spouse’s behalf.

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