The Child Maintenance Service determines the level of child maintenance payable by an absent parent where both parents and the child are habitually resident in the UK. However, where the absent parent’s gross income exceeds £156,000, it is possible to apply to the Court for “top-up” maintenance Orders and the Court also has jurisdiction to make Orders in relation to payment of school fees. The Courts may also order a parent to make a lump sum payment, or to transfer or settle property for the benefit of a child.
For unmarried parents, whilst one party cannot make claims against the other's income or capital for spousal support, it is possible for the financially weaker party to seek assistance both in respect of housing and child maintenance payments until the child reaches independent adulthood. Whether such an approach is appropriate will depend on the assets in the case.
We have significant experience of such situations and have acted on a number of cases involving high profile, wealthy absent parents.