Child support or child maintenance is financial support that helps towards a child’s everyday living costs.
Payment is made by the absent parent to the parent, caregiver or guardian, with whom the children live – the parent with residence.
In family law, child support is not arranged as part of a divorce as such but the Court will want to be assured that arrangements regarding contact and residence have been agreed by the parents.
The Courts no longer have powers to order the payment of child maintenance – instead this was handed over to the Child Support Agency (CSA), now known as the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC).
You can avoid relying in the CSA if you are the parent with residence or the parent with the main day to day care by making an agreement with the other parent.
Ideally you should have child maintenance looked at and sorted out at the same time as spousal maintenance as part of agreeing a financial settlement.
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Andrew Woolley, Divorce Solicitor