Friday, October 3, 2008

The 12 Month Rule

Since March 2003 the courts normally have no jurisdiction to impose child maintenance except in certain circumstances such as one parent living abroad, maintenance for over 18s in education or training and when there are step children. Divorcing couples may enter into an agreement either in the form of a registered minute in Scotland or consent order in England & Wales. After one year either party may ask the Child Support Agency to carry out an assessment (the 12 month rule.) At this point the CSA should notify the courts and the minute of agreement or consent order should cease to have effect. However, the CSA staff frequently say they can not handle an application when the parent with care doesn't consent.

This is completely wrong. The problem originates from a staff handbook which was available on the CSA website but has now been removed. In an article in The Journal John Fotheringham, solicitor and former Chair of Child Support and Social Security Appeal Tribunals, recommends demanding to speak to someone more senior and better trained if a member of staff at CSA says the application can not proceed for this reason.


BFS 04 October, 2008 03:02  

You had me all excited for a moment there Fiona! But on doing the maths, my salary final seems to have caught up with my CM

Fiona 05 October, 2008 20:11  

Remember only 80% of your net income will now be taken into account by the CSA. There is a deduction on the amount of income assessed for the children living with you. 15% for one and 20% for two.

BFS 06 October, 2008 01:13  

But I thought that under CMEC, there was a new reduction in gross salary of 12/16/19% for 1/2/3 kids? I really struggled to find links that agreed. Are we using part CSA and part CMEC rules now? That would leave me calculating maint on 84% of my gross salary, no?

Fiona 06 October, 2008 08:17  

There are new rules for those on benefits staring later this month, but I don't think using the gross salary starts until 2011, except in some cases the NRP is self employed.

BFS 07 October, 2008 05:01  

Ok, I was being a bit blonde. Got it now. Either way, there's not enough in it for me to go rocking a boat that's sailing along just nicely for a change.
It's good to know though, thanks.

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