Unfortunately sometimes following a relationship breakdown, disputes can arise regarding the children. If matters cannot be resolved through mediation or negotiation, then it may be possible to apply to the court for a Child Arrangement Order or other Orders to resolve the dispute.
Disputes regarding children from a relationship breakdown can relate to a number of matters, for example:
This can be a complex area of the law. The Child Maintenance Service (‘CMS’, previously the Child Support Agency or CSA) has a formula for maintenance in the UK based on the paying parent’s income. The formula can be difficult to apply. There is also a cap so that the maximum income of the paying parent which can be taken into account is £156,000 per year before tax.
If the paying parent's income exceeds the cap then it may be possible to apply through the courts for additional top up maintenance.
CMS is also limited to cases where the children and the paying parent live in the UK. If the CMS cannot make a calculation for maintenance then the court may make an order, depending on where the children are located.
When the child is born English law assumes the surrogate mother to be the legal mother of the child and the intended parents gain parental rights by asking the court to make a Parental Order.
This order also ends the surrogate mother’s parental rights. A Parental Order can only be made after the child is born and once he or she is living with the intended parents. They must apply for the order within six months of the date of birth.
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