Both parents of a child have a financial responsibility for their child until they reach 18. However, in reality the financial burden is likely to continue for many years past your child’s 18th birthday. The financial responsibility is regardless of with whom the child lives with and whether the parents were married at the time of the child’s birth. When a child lives with one parent, the other parent is liable to pay maintenance payments for the child’s day-to-day care. This payment is based upon the non-residents parents income (work or benefits) and is paid directly to the resident parent. If the non-resident parent has overnight contact with the child, the payments can be reduced according to how many nights the child spends there. This applies for children up to the age of 16, or until the child is 20 if it is in full time education of if the resident parent gets child maintenance. CSA payments can be varied (up or down) if the non-resident parents income changes. Child maintenance can be assessed here.
In the event of a divorce, child maintenance can be agreed by the parties and included in the Consent Order which details all financial agreements once agreed and is sealed by the court.
You may also feel that you need a provision in place in case one parent dies or finds that they can no longer work. We can talk you through options such as provisions in a will or obtaining an insurance policy to cover such eventualities.