Applications for financial provision for children

If married couples are unable to agree the financial consequences of the breakup of the marriage, they have the ability, under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, to apply to the court for assistance and the court has a general overarching discretion as to the eventual awards. The first consideration in any award being the needs of any children.

There is no such thing as a common law marriage. No one therefore automatically acquires rights in a property merely by living with another person. Nor does the court have a general overarching discretion as to what to do when the relationship breaks down.

If you think you have an interest in a property, an application can be made to the court under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 for a declaration as to one’s interest in a property and an order for sale, to realise that interest.

Provided both parents and children live within the jurisdiction, the Child Support Agency has responsibility for assessing child maintenance, if parents cannot agree the amount.

Where you have the care of a child, additional rights are given under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 to make application for financial support for the benefit of a child. The court can, in appropriate cases, make orders, amongst other things, for the following:

  • The maintenance of a child where the Child Support Agency either does not have jurisdiction at all or its own remit has been exhausted and a “top up” is applied for
  • One or more lump sum awards on account of particular items of expenditure for the child which can in appropriate cases include the ability to get a lump sum on account of costs to fund the proceedings
  • A settlement of property order or transfer of property order of either money and/or property for the benefit of the child. It must be remembered that in such cases the money or property settled would revert to the original owner when the child reaches the age of 18 or ceased full time secondary education.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys are specialist lawyers with vast amounts of experience in this area and can assist you in such proceedings.

Our family law solicitors can give you more information about applications for financial provision for children at any of our offices, located in WorcesterCheltenhamBirminghamHerefordRoss-on-Wye and the Thames Valley. We also have a serviced office in London where our family lawyers can arrange to meet you.

Contact the team today for more information.