Financial provision for children is a specialist area of financial remedies, and vital for those separating families where there has not been a divorce, or where provision separately considered from spousal claims is important. This can include provision for housing, education (including now a greater focus on tertiary education), maintenance and lump sums, and members of the Harcourt Finance Group are well placed to advise and represent clients on these issues.
Often there is the need for linked consideration of property ownership issues and housing provision for cohabiting couples, and the Harcourt Finance Group members at all levels are skilled at addressing these sometimes complex sets of circumstances, which includes the interplay with Child Maintenance Service rules and voluntary arrangements, including those cases which fall on the borderline of, or outside, the statutory child maintenance scheme.
Maintenance for children is in the majority of cases governed by the Child Support Act 1991 and the agency that calculates and administers maintenance for children, the Child Maintenance Service (“CMS”), and can be implemented through a Child Maintenance service assessment, by agreement between separated parents, or as part of a court order for other maintenance.
In cases where child maintenance is not dealt with through a CMS assessment, it is usually necessary for there to be a clear understanding of the interface between those provisions and other financial support for children and their parents.
Within the Child Support system itself there can be a number of variables and complexities that require expert assistance in navigating the rules, reviews and appeals processes, and there is a wealth of expertise with the Harcourt Finance Group at all points of the statutory system, including representation at tribunal and appeal stages, with the focus on achieving resolution as early as possible.