The information set out below applies within divorce proceedings or financial applications made on behalf of children by unmarried parents.
With the exception of certain specific items such as school fees, the Court no longer has any jurisdiction so far as child maintenance is concerned. In the absence of an agreement, it will be necessary for the parent with whom the children normally live to apply to the Child Support Agency to enable a maintenance assessment to be carried out. The level of maintenance payable under the Child Support Act is calculated by reference to a formula and is therefore non-negotiable.
Where the financial claim relates to maintenance for a child in further education, the payment of educational expenses such as school fees or a claim for a capital payment for the benefit of a child, it is necessary for an application to be made to the Court rather than the Child Support Agency.
In addition, if either parent is not resident in the United Kingdom then the Child Support Agency has no jurisdiction and, once again, an application has to be made to the Court.