It is important to note that there are minimum and maximum amounts that parents can be asked to pay under the law; this means you may only have to pay what is deemed necessary by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).
If you feel unable to meet your payments or think they’re too high, it may be possible to make an application to the CMS or court for an adjustment to your existing agreement.
It is also worth noting that there are some circumstances, such as if the other parent is ill or on maternity leave, it may entitle you to a payment holiday from your full amount in child maintenance.
It’s always worth checking with the CMS about this option if it applies to your situation.
How Is Child Maintenance Calculated?
So how is maintenance determined in a divorce? The amount of child maintenance payable is calculated using the formula set out by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). This takes into account both parents’ incomes, as well as any additional costs such as childcare or medical bills.
You are legally required to show your gross income when requested.
What If I Can’t Afford Child Support?
Financial strains often lead fathers to ask, “What if I can’t afford child support?” This is a legitimate concern.
The first piece of advice is, don’t panic. It is important to understand that child support isn’t designed to punish the parent but to ensure that the child’s needs are met.
The amount of child support paid usually depends on your income and the number of children you have. It’s not arbitrary but based on a set formula that has to be followed. Understanding this formula can make the process easier to gett through.
If you’re struggling with payments, don’t ignore the issue. Ignoring can lead to legal problems. Instead, communicate your situation to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). They are there to help.
Lastly, it is always advisable to get legal advice. Many organisations in the UK offer free or low cost legal advie to parents facing child support issues. They can help guide you through the process and help you understand your options.
Ultimatrley, child maintenance is essential for your child’s upbringing. If you’re facing financial hardships, there are avenues to explore and professionals to guide you. It’s all about seeking advice, staying informed, and prioritising your child’s needs.