All parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, but exactly what support children need will depend on the circumstances. We will work closely with you to ensure all of your children’s needs are met, with particular expertise in acting for families where one or both parents have substantial incomes and assets or live abroad.
Our goal is to facilitate constructive discussions around your children’s needs, using non-confrontational methods such as negotiation, family mediation and collaborative law wherever possible. This can allow you to get the best outcome for your children financially, as well as preserving a positive relationship between parents, which we are passionate about.
We strive to preserve relationships between parents wherever possible and believe that an arrangement that is agreed constructively, which protects the emotional wellbeing of all family members is better for everyone and ultimately will result in a more sustainable agreement.
However, where a suitable agreement on child maintenance cannot be achieved amicably, we have the experience and court litigation skills needed to deal effectively with child maintenance applications to the family courts.
Our child law solicitors in Bristol and Bath can assist with getting the right child maintenance arrangements in place, including for:
- Day-to-day living costs
- Schooling, activities and other regular expenditures
- One-off costs such as holidays and school trips
Our clients include professionals, home makers, business owners, retirees, and those with international connections around the world, including in the USA, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, and their spouses.
Whether you are unclear what support your children are entitled to, or you know exactly what you want to achieve, our child law solicitors can provide clear, sensible and pragmatic guidance to help you get the best outcome for your children.
To discuss any issues connected to children maintenance with our family law experts, please contact your local team in Bath or Bristol:
Why choose Sharp Family Law for child maintenance advice?
"All members of the team are the kind of lawyers where you can pick up the phone and have a sensible conversation, which benefits clients in reducing correspondence, acrimony and, ultimately, costs."
Sharp Family Law is one of the largest niche firms of family solicitors in Bath and Bristol. We specialise in the field of family law and divorce court litigation. We are known for our constructive, strategic and intelligent approach to family law.
Drawing on our years of experience, we can enable you to make child maintenance arrangements tailored to your child’s unique requirements. This way, you can be confident your child will have the best possible upbringing and won’t miss out as a result of your separation.
As well as using our expertise, we work with a range of other professionals, including mental health counsellors and child specialists to ensure that our approach meets the needs of your entire family.
Independent recognition for our family law expertise includes:
- The Legal 500 - Tier 3 for Family in the South West
- Chambers & Partners – Band 2 for Family/Matrimonial in the South West
- Richard Sharp is personally ranked Band 3 in Chambers & Partners
Our team’s training and professional memberships include:
- Several members of Resolution – the professional network for family lawyers committed to taking a non-confrontational approach to family law
- Richard Sharp is a trained collaborative lawyer and family mediator in both the UK and USA
To find out more about our family lawyers’ individual expertise, please take a look at our team.
How we can help you with child maintenance & support
Making a voluntary arrangement over financial support for children
In most cases, it is possible to make child maintenance arrangements amicably with the help of our constructive approach to working with both parents. Our team use methods including constructive negotiation, mediation and collaborative law to facilitate productive discussions around what financial support children need and how this is to be split between parents.
Court orders for child maintenance
Where you cannot reach an amicable agreement, we can advise on applications to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). We also have particular expertise in applying to courts for child maintenance in situations where the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) is unable to assist, such as in situations where either parent has a very high income or lives outside of the UK.
Varying child maintenance agreements & making arrangements to cover one-off costs
While any child maintenance arrangements should aim to be as comprehensive as possible, changes in circumstances and unplanned costs can mean that an additional agreement is required. This might be due to your child’s financial support needs changing e.g. if they start school or change school, meaning school fees must be covered. It can also be where there are one-off costs, such as paying for holidays and school trips.
Our team can advise you on whether an additional agreement is needed to cover such costs and the best approach for achieving this, keeping our focus on reaching an amicable agreement wherever possible.
Dealing with non-payment of child support
Should your ex-partner fail to pay child support, we can advise on your legal options, including applying to enforce payment through the Child maintenance Service or through the court where appropriate. However, in our experience, many child maintenance disputes can be resolved amicably by working with both parents to explore the reasons for non-payments and agree solutions.
Speak to our child law solicitors in Bristol and Bath
For pragmatic, constructive and sensible advice on any aspect of child and parenting law, please contact your local team in Bath or Bristol.