Divorce has become the norm of the day; 3 out of every 5 marriages end in divorce. The sad fact is that most of these homes have children involved in the mess. While some ex-couples can come together and agree on how to parent their children, most of them can’t. As such, they need some sort of mediator to bring order into that homestead.
It is important to note that all parents are responsible for their children even after a divorce. This means that both parents have to contribute towards the upkeep of the children. If the parents cannot agree on who gets custody and how much will be paid by the other partner, Child Support Agency as well as Child Maintenance Services take over the situation. You can call CSA Contact Number on 0843 455 0070 to get started.
Child Maintenance Options 0843 455 0030
After a divorce, it is important to work out the options for child maintenance. There are three common arrangements that can work well in cases of child support. These are as follows:
This is an arrangement where both parents agree on who should pay the maintenance, how much and when the payments should be made. It is the quickest and easiest arrangement, and the parents can easily adapt to circumstance changes.
This arrangement, however, is not legally binding. This means that if the paying parent refuses to honor the arrangement, the receiving parent cannot go to court to force the other to pay. However, the receiving parent is at liberty to pursue other legally enforceable child maintenance options. You can call Child Support Agency on 0843 455 0070 for more information on the options available to you.
The Government Child Maintenance Schemes
These are statutory schemes established to ensure that both parents take financial responsibility for raising their children. There are three basic statutory schemes established by law.
- The 2012 Scheme for new applications from couples unable to make a family-based agreement
- The 1993 Scheme which manages child maintenance cases opened before March 3rd, 1993
- The 2003 Scheme which manages all child maintenance cases opened on or after March 3rd, 1993
These arrangements are legally binding and enforceable by law.
While the child maintenance services process for new applications for UK residents and workers, a court order can be used to deal with a new application if;
- The paying partner is a UK non-resident
- The amount that CSA can allocate is considerably lower than the actual expenses especially when dealing with situations such as additional costs of raising a special needs child
- The paying parent earns a high income, and so the maintenance should be equally high, but the CSA cannot grant it
The court order option needs legal advice to implement. For starters, you need to specify whether you were legally married, living together or in a civil union to address the issues appropriately.
What is Child Support Agency?
This is a government agency that manages child maintenance schemes that were developed to ensure that both parents are financially responsible for their children. The CSA ensures that non-resident parents also pay towards the expenses of the children’s upkeep. CSA manages the statutory 1993 and 2003 child maintenance schemes but is currently closed to new applications. Child Maintenance Services is the body that manages the statutory 2012 scheme as well as handles all new applications.
Before you fill in any application, call the CSA contact number 0843 455 0070 for more information. By the end of the conversation, you will know what your child maintenance options are, how to fill an application as well as the supporting documents you need to attach to the application.
You can have the Child Maintenance Options on 0843 455 0030 agent help you in making the application. The agent will give you a reference number that you can use to trace your application once it is forwarded to Child Maintenance Services. Be sure to call Child Support Agency contact number 0843 455 0070 to follow up on your application.
Who Can Contact Child Maintenance Services For Assistance?
Statutory child maintenance options can be requested by any of the following;
- A person who is charged with daily care of a child/children
- A person or parent without the main responsibility of the daily care of a child/children
- Any child over the age of 12 (must be living in Scotland)
The person who is charged with the daily care of the child is called the receiving parent while the one who does not take daily care of the child is called the paying parent.
How to Contact the Child Support Agency
The easiest way to reach the CSA for any queries on child maintenance options is by phone.
|Description||CSA Contact Number|
|CSA contact number for new applications||0843 455 0030|
|CSA contact number for existing applications||0843 455 0070|
|CSA National helpline||0843 455 0070|
|CSA Falkirk (Scotland & North East England)||0843 455 0071|
|CSA Belfast (East England)||0843 455 0072|
|CSA Birkenhead (North West England)||0843 455 0073|
|CSA Dudley (The Midlands)||0843 455 0074|
|CSA Hastings (South East England)||0843 455 0075|
|CSA Plymouth (South West England)||0843 455 0076|
Who Is Eligible For Child Maintenance Arrangement?
There are a few categories of people who are entitled to child maintenance services and can be assisted by using the CSA contact number. These categories include:
- The person or parent applying for the support has the main responsibility of the day to day care of the children and lives in the UK
- The parent who is expected to pay the child support lives in the UK or works for the UK civil service, armed forces or any UK based company
- There is no active court order filed before 2003, or the court order filed after April 2003 was set up at least a year before the application is filed
- The child mentioned in the application is under 16 years, or up to 20 years if proven a dependant in full-time education/training and currently receiving Child Benefits
Previous regulations allowed dependants of up to 19 years. This was later revised to 20 years in 2012 to harmonize the age limits with those of Child Benefits. This change is effective across all statutory child maintenance schemes.
The children, as well as the receiving parents, should live in the UK. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Children who are under long-term hospitalized care or are in boarding school qualify for child maintenance. The requirements, however, differ for the 1993 and 2003 schemes.
Fees Applicable To the 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme
As previously mentioned, any new application is filed under the statutory 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme. You can call the CSA contact number for new applications on 0843 455 0070. Kindly note that CSA is no longer taking new applications and your query will be addressed by Child Maintenance Services on 0843 455 0070 under the 2012 Scheme.
Application Fees Under 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme
The government has introduced charges and fees for new applications under the 2012 Scheme. These costs are meant to encourage parents to make family-based arrangements. The amount payable in child support is submitted through Direct Pay. The fees and charges levied are as follows;
- Application fees – these apply to Scotland, England, and Wales
- Collection fees for using Direct Pay – active from August 11th 2014
- Enforcement charges
The parent making the application is required to pay £20 in application charges. Note that the application is not processed until the amount is paid.
The application fee, however, is waived for the following people.
- Any applicant under 19 years
- Any applicant who is a victim of abuse or domestic violence and has filed a report in any recognizable institution such as the police or other organizations dealing with domestic violence
Both parents are required to pay collection charges for using the CMS Collect and Pay services. This is how the charges work;
- A paying parent pays 20% of each payment surrendered in child support
- A receiving parent pays 4% of each payment paid in child support
The CMS, based on the circumstances, sets a specific amount to be paid periodically. The paying parent pays to CMS, and the agency remits the amount to the other parent. Collection charges do not apply if the parents use Direct Pay.
These charges differ depending on the enforcement actions required. Action is always taken when payments are missed or paid in half. In some circumstances, the enforcement charges are waived. Here are the situations that may occasion a waiver;
- The paying parent makes payments from two or more deductions if with more than one employer
- The paying parent regularly makes payments from more than one bank account
- The paying parent has changed jobs (employer) or bank account
- The amount to be collected has changed
- A liability order application is unsuccessful
- The paying partner has successfully challenged an earnings order or a lump sum or regular deductions order
- The paying parent decides to pay child support from their salary
- The paying parent works for the Armed Forces and a deduction request has been made
How to Avoid the Charges and Fees
Application and collection charges can be easily avoided by working out a family-based child maintenance arrangement. Alternatively, if you do need the services of CMS or CSA, use Direct Pay as opposed to Collect and Pay services to avoid the collection fees.
Do you have any queries? Call the CSA Contact Number on 0843 455 0070 and ask away. You are guaranteed of a chance to talk with professionals and get assistance in making an application or follow-up.
CSA Contact Number 0843 455 0070