Tag Archives: Mediation

Parents face charges for Child Maintenance

Latest Government proposals concerning child maintenance include charges to parents who need state help to agree child maintenance payments.

Under government proposals the CSA, part of the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission, is to be wound down. The process is planned to begin next year. As part of the proposed new system parents will have to show they have taken reasonable steps to try to reach a private agreement with an ex-partner before being able to use the new child maintenance system. If parents were able to reach an agreement, then it seems unlikely they would have approached the CSA, or any subsequent replacement, in the first place.

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Mediation has been available for some years, and is a form of dispute resolution that can help people negotiate, and reach agreement in respect of their differences  regarding their children, or how to divide their finances. When successful, mediation avoids the need for costly, and stressful court proceedings.

Until now, it has not been compulsory to mediate unless an application was going to be made for public funding. The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that on 6th April it is likely that a protocol will apply to the majority of applications to court for children and for financial issues.  As part of the protocol, in order to make an application to the court, you, or your solicitor, will need to submit a form FM1 to either confirm your attendance at a mediation information meeting, or explain the reason for your exemption from this requirement. Full details of the protocol and its application are expected to be available from 10 February 2011.

This article is intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.