Child support - quids for kids
Family breakdowns are hard. When two parents separate, it can be worrying knowing whether your child is going to receive the correct support. Often, one parent (usually the parent that mainly resides with the child), will apply for child support through the CSA (Child Support Agency). This is to see whether they are entitled to financial help that will contribute towards the everyday costs of looking after children.
It is not always the parents that are receiving the support for the child, in some cases; it may be a relative or a guardian.
There are plenty of situations where an agreement can be made between the two people involved, and child support can be arranged privately. Child support set up through the CSA is often called for when:
- An amount for maintenance cannot be agreed on
- The parents are no longer on good terms
- One parent is proving difficult to contact
- One parent refuses the financial responsibility of the child
Child support is often paid regularly through the bank from one parent to the other. The amount to be paid is calculated dependent upon the circumstances of the income and living agreements for both parents.
The Child Support Agency are there to calculate the payments, to monitor that the payments are being made and also to chase up any problems when it comes to not receiving the child support. If in the event of late payments, the CSA can attempt to recover any problems and take appropriate action if needed, i.e. court proceedings.
After a separation or divorce, there can be a lot of tension between the parents. Some parents may fail to keep up with their payments as they feel it is not their responsibility to support the child. Usually, during a divorce, there would be arrangements made in regards to support for the child. If these arrangements are not adhered to by the parent owing the payments, it may result in a court settlement.
The non-resident parent will receive a court summons stating that they are being sued for child support. The parent will be issued with a mandatory court hearing, where the reasons for non-payment will be determined and the actions to be taken will be decided. There may be certain problems that need to be addressed, i.e. a DNA test if the parent doubts that they are biologically responsible. If the result is that the parent is responsible, the court will then order them to make regular child support payments.
It is always advisable that if possible, the parents can come to a mutual decision over the support of the child. This way it causes less upset for everyone involved, and most importantly, the child.