Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will try and assist you.
Please may I ask:
- how old is your daughter?
- is the father seeing her regularly?
- are there any court orders in place in respect of maintenance or contact?
- were you married?
Thank you for your response.
In respect of maintenance – it is the child maintenance service that has jurisdiction.
You can agree between you what he should pay if you want too.
The child maintenance service has a useful calculator on their website which will give you a rough idea of what he should be paying if you know his income.
In respect of his spending time with your daughter – all things being equal – the courts do consider that it is a child’s right to have a relationship with both of their parents.
That being said – your daughter doesn’t know her father by his choice and it is not fair on your daughter to have him walk in and out of her life in the future. This could effect your daughter emotionally if he did this.
If he wants to have a relationship with your daughter and spend time with her then in reality he is going to have to prove that he is committed to your daughter. Letters and cards is usually a good start if this is the plan.
If he didn’t agree then he could apply to court to spend time with your daughter. The court will only do this if they think it is in your daughters best interest. If his commitment is lacking then he will not find this easy at all.
Contact and Maintenance are separate. The father is still financially responsible for your daughter even if he is spending no time with her.
Let me know if I can help you further
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I am suspicious about his lump sum offer but maybe that is just the lawyer in me.
The CMS can look at his income although I have heard stories about frustrations following limited dividends so I am not saying that they will be easy to work with although any income is included.
If he's being honest - perhaps he will provide you with disclosure as to his income?
Mediation might well be able to help you here. There are lots of family mediation service and there will be one local to you. Just google family mediation in your area and give them a call to get the ball rolling.
You need to also be aware that if he has assets/ means then you could also give consideration to a Schedule 1 Children Act claim. The court has a wide ability to be able to meet a child's needs if he has the assets/means. This can include lump sum and also provision for housing / education fees etc.
Mediation can also help you with this type of claim.
The court will make the father disclose his position.
The reality is that you are not going to know what is fair unless he is honest with you.
Perhaps he will voluntarily offer this information?
If not try mediation. If this doesn't work then apply to court.
I wouldn't like to see you cut things short if you don't have all the information to make a decision.
For the Schedule 1 Children Act - specifically in relation to maintenance - Court's power to order top-up maintenance is only available where the CMS has assessed that the payer's income exceeds the maximum maintenance assessment of £3,000 gross per week.
But if there is a need - such as housing, education etc and he has the means - then the could also order these if the income is less - as this is not maintenance but meeting the need.
If he wont disclose then the court will make him during the court process.
It will be yearly gross income from all sources, wages, dividends, etc ect
Mediation should still be approached and attempted. You never know - it will save him costs rather than court fees.