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Child maintenance and parent responsibility

Divorce and children | Private Client
23 February 2017

Parents have a financial responsibility to their children in relation to child maintenance costs, 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.

Court Order

If the parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding child maintenance costs, the resident parent may wish to make an application to the Royal 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”); however the Jersey Courts do have discretion in this regard.

The guideline amounts set by the CSA are as follows:

  • If the non-resident parent has to pay child maintenance costs for one child, they will have to pay 15% of their net weekly income;
  • If the non-resident parent has to pay child maintenance costs for two children, they will have to pay 20% of their net weekly income;
  • If the non-resident parent has to pay child maintenance costs for three or more children, they will have to pay 25% of their net weekly income.

Although the Jersey Courts are not bound by the CSA guidelines, the Court will take into account the guidance of the CSA, which is often a good starting point when calculating child maintenance costs.  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.

As with the main application in your divorce here at Parslows Jersey we will always strive to reach amicable divorce financial settlements.

Parslows Jersey can help

The breakdown of human relationships can cause great stress, anxiety and problems. The process of separation and divorce is rarely easy.

Our aim is always to attempt to deal with divorce as painlessly as we can. While this cannot always be achieved – much depends on an individual client’s own requirements and the way in which the other party to the case proceeds – we will always attempt to seek such a course for you.  We will look to solutions to solve any problems between the parties and not to add to the antagonism.

Our divorce lawyers are focused on providing you with expert advice with a truly personal service.

We advise on all aspects of family law: whether it be advice on divorce, dissolution of a partnership or financial settlements we can assist.

Our clients are pleased with our service and fees; we are confident you will be too.

Contact us

For further information please do not hesitate to call 630530 or email us on  familylaw@parslowsjersey.com

We offer fixed fee divorce petitioner and fixed fee divorce respondent packages together with a regular Jersey Free Divorce Clinic – peace of mind right from the start.

Please note that the information provided on this website is for general information purposes only and is designed to provide you with an outline of the legal services we offer.  Whilst we endeavour to ensure our information is correct and useful, we make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information offered.  Information on our website does not constitute legal advice and Parslows Jersey accepts no liability for any loss or damage arising out of, or in connection with, the information found in this website.  Please consult a lawyer at Parslows Jersey in the event that you require professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of the same, is correct.

Parslows Jersey are here to help with all your legal queries call us today on +44 (0) 1534 630530

Or email us on enquiries@parslowsjersey.com