Parents have a financial responsibility to their children whether the parents are married or unmarried.
There are two methods by which the resident parent can obtain child maintenance. The first is by way of an agreement between the parents as to the specific amount of maintenance based on both parents’ income, their financial circumstances and the needs of the child. Parents may also agree to contribute to additional expenses for the child such as school trips, school uniforms and dentist and doctor’s fees.
If the parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding child maintenance, the resident parent may wish to make an application to the court. Both parents will be required by the Court to complete forms disclosing their finances and their assets. Once the forms have been exchanged, the non-resident parent’s lawyer will calculate the amount of child maintenance payable per child, per week based on the non-resident parent’s financial circumstances. The rate will usually be in line with the UK Child Support Agency Guidelines (the “CSA guidelines”).
The guideline amounts set by the CSA are as follows:
Although the Jersey Courts are not bound by the CSA guidelines, the Courts will take into account the guidance of the CSA which is often a good starting point when calculating child maintenance. In addition to the CSA guidelines, the Court will also take into account any issues as to affordability and will consider both parties’ outgoings and liabilities.
Once the Court has made a decision as to the level of maintenance payable, the decision will be reflected in an Order of the Court which is binding on both parties. Should the non-resident party default, the resident parent may enforce the order in the Petty Debts Court.
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The information and opinion expressed in this briefing does not purport to be definitive or comprehensive and are not intended to provide professional advice. For specific advice, please contact Parslows, We are not responsible for, and do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with, the content of this document or any reliance upon it