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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35062
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I have been paying child maintenance years. My children

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I have been paying child maintenance years. My children have been removed from their mother and placed in care. I don't have the ability to look after them also. I have been informed that I no longer need to pay child maintenance as they are no longer resident with their mother. Do the local authority have a legal right to demand payment from me. I may volunteer but wish to know the legal argument first. Many thanks. David

Thank you question.
My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you
You are correct - you no longer need to pay the children's mother since they are not with her.
However I am afraid that Social Services do have the legal right to ask you to contribute financially towards their care - but they do not always chose to do so
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare.

Is there a piece of statute that states that Social Services have this right. I can't see it in the Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012 or its predecessor Child Support Act 1991.

If they do have a right how do they know how much to ask the calculation is based on paying over to resident parents?

Finally if they don't claim this right are they able to backdate a claim. I have been erroneously paying my children's mother and she has kept the money rather than paying over to SS. Thus if SS can backdate I may end paying twice.

I realise there are a few Qs here. If I need to pay more then please let me know.


Social Services are not covered by the CSA regulations in any event!
I just need to check - are the children in Care on a Section 20 agreement or are there ongoing care proceedings?
Do not worry there is certainly no risk of double payment
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I am not entirely sure. My children lived with their mother who, due to severe disability, social services deemed was no longer able to look after them. They can't live with my wife and I reasons - it has been tried and failed. I wasn't consulted when the decision was made to put the children in foster care and the only facts I know are:

- they were not put in care via a court order i.e. it was a voluntary agreement made with their mum

- I was not consulted - rather just informed

- I have not signed any paperwork agreeing to the care arrangements

As to whether this was section 20 I do not know.

I have been told that they will probably remain in care until they are 18 on a voluntary basis


If there have been no Care Proceedings then it is a S20 agreement and technically Social Services could claim maintenance from you.
This is nothing to do with the CSA.
You can read more here
However I would be very surprised if there was any question of this in your case given the circumstances that you have described
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare. Final point just to put my mind completely at rest do you know the answer to the question I previously asked as to whether they could backdate a claim. My children are only 13/14 and as such could technically be in full time education till 21. I wouldn't be comfortable wondering if a backdated claim might arrive years worth of care. Would they need only be able to claim monies period after they put a claim in (if they chose to do so)?


No they would not be able to raise a backdated claim (if indeed they claim at all)
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