The majority of child maintenance will be dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service. However, the Court has the power to make Orders for financial provision for children in specific circumstances. Most of these applications will be in situations where the parents were not married or in a civil partnership. Financial Orders can include requiring either or both parents of a child to make periodical payments to one of the parents of the child or the child itself for such term as the Court deems fit. Further, the court may order lump sum payments, settlement of property orders and transfer of property orders.
Who is a parent?
A parent is either the child’s natural mother or father or any party to a marriage or civil partnership in relation to whom the child is a child of family. This includes step parents, unmarried mothers, unmarried fathers without parental responsibility, guardians or special guardians or individuals with a residence order or a child arrangements order specifying that the child lives with them.
It should be noted that with a settlement of property order, once the child reaches the age of 18 years, the home or property will revert back to the parent who owns it. The property is simply held on trust by the parent caring for the child.
A child, if over the age of 18 may also apply for financial provision under the Children Act in specific circumstances.
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