Unmarried Parents

If you are not married, then there are only a limited number of ways of making a claim if the relationship breaks down.

The Child Maintenance Service will be your first port of call.

Where the non-resident parent’s income is over £156,000 per annum it’s possible to apply to the court for what is known as “top up” maintenance  under Schedule 1 of the Children Act. Before such maintenance can be claimed, however, it is necessary to have a maximum assessment from the Child Maintenance Service.

Where the non-resident parent lives abroad and therefore  does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Child Maintenance Service, the resident parent may apply to the courts under Schedule 1 of the Children Act.

Separate to the claims for income that can be made, unmarried parents can also make claims for capital from each other. The claim for capital can include a one-off claim for housing provision.

Commonly this is structured as a non-interest bearing loan of capital which then reverts to the paying parent when the children turn 18 or 21 or if they die prior to that time.

You should take specialist advice on these claims as they are complex and they often overlap with a claim under property law where a couple separates and there is ambiguity about the ownership of a property in one party’s name or in joint names.