Are you aware of your potential claims as a parent?


Schedule 1 Children Act 1989 applications 

Many separating cohabitees, who are also parents, are aware of claims for child maintenance and claims relating to their home. However, they are often not aware of potential financial claims under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 or if they are, they consider the claims are only pursued against very wealthy former partners, such as footballers . 

When can it be used?

The fact is fewer and fewer couples are deciding to get married, or enter into civil partnerships. Upon separation they are not afforded the same financial rights as those couples who are divorcing or seeking a dissolution of partnerships. An unmarried parent who requires financial provision for a child can and should consider Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

Who Can Apply?

Applications are usually made by the parent with care of the child, a guardian, a special guardian or anyone who is named in a Child Arrangement Order with whom a child is to live. 

The child must live with the Applicant and be under the age of 18 years. A child who has reached the age of 18 years may apply in their own right, but only for a lump sum or periodical payments order, if they are or will be in education or training for a trade, profession, or vocation. 

What types of financial orders can the Court make? 

The Court has the power to make the following orders for the benefit of a child;

a.   periodical payments or secured periodical payments orders – essentially maintenance

b.   lump-sum orders – to meet the capital expenditure of a singular nature, for example, furnishing a home, buying a vehicle, medical fees. It is not for meeting a child’s day to day costs of living

c.   settlement of property or transfer of property orders – to purchase or transfer a property to the parent with care of the child for as long as it will benefit the child. This is usually when the child attains the age of 18 years or ceases full time secondary or tertiary education, but in some cases, it can be longer. The property will then revert back to the non-resident parent.

It is a provision that is available to all parents who require financial support to meet the needs of the child. It is particularly relevant where a child has a disability or additional needs and it is an underused application. There is nothing precluding someone living a normal standard of living from applying under this legislation. 

Applications for orders under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 are complex. Each case turns on its own facts and much depends on Judicial discretion. Expert legal advice is essential. If you have any questions surrounding this area of law, or you require advice or assistance in respect of any other area of family law, please contact the family law team at Hine Solicitors.

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