Following separation and divorce, you and your former partner will each still have an obligation to pay for your children’s upbringing, regardless of what parenting arrangements are in place or how those parenting arrangements were determined. It may be the case that you and your former partner are able to reach an agreement as to “who pays what” and you can avoid engaging with lawyers or the Child Support Agency (CSA) to assist you.
If you feel as though you do need assistance however, you can contact the CSA and make an application for an assessment. The CSA has developed a formula that can be applied in each family to determine which parent (if any) needs to pay child support to the other. The CSA will speak to both you and your former partner, ask you to disclose certain information about your financial position and living arrangements, and then will release their assessment. Another option available to you is to reach a private agreement with the assistance of a lawyer and have it formalised as a Binding Child Support Agreement. This can then be registered with the CSA and will override any assessment that the CSA may make.
Child support is an extremely complex area of law and we encourage you to get in touch with us if you are struggling to make sense of a CSA assessment or directive to pay, or want to bed down a private agreement with your former partner to negate any further uncertainty with respect to child support arrangements.