Legal reform for unmarried couples is slow in coming.
This article aims to provide a summary of what legal remedies are currently available for unmarried mothers when unfortunately their relationship breaks down.
First and foremost contact the Child Support Agency or the Child Maintenance Service as it is now called. The new child support formula is very simple. An absent father must pay 12% of his gross income for one child, 16% for two children and 19% for three children or more. The formula is laid down by statute and cannot be changed. Child Maintenance Options will encourage parents to reach a private agreement. If they have to become formally involved however whilst you will lose 4% of what is owed to you, your ex partner will then have to find an additional 20% on top to pay the Child Maintenance Service for managing the same.
What is not widely known is that a parent can claim money for a child under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. This is in addition to regular payments for child support. Schedule 1 claims are for more expensive items that are hard to budget for such as furniture, holidays, school trips and even a car to get around with the children. These sort of things are all claimable. Schedule 1 claims are not limited and multiple claims can be made throughout the child’s minority. Schedule 1 claims also include provision of accommodation until the child reaches his or her 18th birthday. A schedule 1 claim can also include a cash lump sum for a deposit to purchase a property, or a deposit for a rental property.
A third area of claim is under the Trusts of Land & Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. Even if the family property is in the sole name of the father, where representations have been made to the effect that “this house is our family home” then a claim may lay under the Trusts of Land & Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 for the house to be put into joint names.
In the event of a relationship breakdown, it always pays to get expert legal advice.