It is important to understand the law at the start of your journey to parenthood so you can make informed decisions and manage financial provision for your child effectively. The law applies differently depending upon whether you are a legal parent, donor, married, unmarried or in civil partnership.
Whether an individual is financially responsible for a child can be legally complex in cases where families are created through assisted conception, for example:
- A solo mother conceiving with a known donor (where a known donor may or may not be financially responsible for the child)
- A male co-parent (who may or may not be financially responsible for a child)
- Intended parents through surrogacy (where one or both may not be financially responsible for the child)
- Non birth lesbian mother (who may or may not be financially responsible for the child)
Efficient "financial planning" is required to span the short, medium and longer term to proactively manage day-to-day living expenses and address potential and unexpected changes in life and relationships.
If your relationship breaks down or you are disputing financial arrangements for care and upbringing of a child, you will derive benefit from pragmatic timely expert advice.
If you are unable to agree financial provision for a child, you can subject to eligibility apply:
- to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) for maintenance payments from your child's other parent
- to the English Family Court under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 against your child's other parent, to include:
maintenance payments for your child
capital provision for your child
- to the English Family Court for financial provision for a child within divorce or dissolution of civil partnership proceedings
The English Family Court will take a variety of factors into account when determining financial provision for a child including:
- income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources each parent has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- financial needs, obligation an responsibilities which each parent has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future
- financial needs of the child
- income, earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the child
- any physical or mental disability of the child
- the manner in which the child was being, or was expected to be educated or trained
How we can help you
If your relationship breaks down or you are disputing financial arrangements for the care and upbringing of a child, you will benefit from confidential and expert legal advice on:
- financial provision for a child and the interaction between fertility and family law in the UK
- managing arrangements for children following relationship breakdown
- preparation of "specialist family proof" wills
To find out more about our legal services click here.
Find out more about children and family law in the UK in our resource hub.
Gain an understanding of wider issues in the development of and current issues surrounding children and family law in the UK and internationally. Click here to visit our Media and Publications section.
Arrange a meeting with Louisa Ghevaert, Partner and Head of the Fertility and Parenting Team at Michelmores: email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44(0)207 7886382.