Have a question? Call us on

0800 1979 345 0330 333 6555
News
Testimonials
Testimonials

Legal updates

What is the 12 month “opt out” rule in child maintenance?

30th September 2016

The court’s powers to assess child maintenance were removed some years ago by the legislation which created the Child Support Agency. Basically the government’s policy was to take questions of child maintenance away from the courts and leave to the Child Maintenance Service (previously called the Child Support Agency) the decision-making in disputes about the amount of child support which should be paid. There are a couple of exceptions, but generally speaking, since 1991 the courts’ power to make a child maintenance order has been limited to rubber-stamping an agreement made by the parties.

 

The 12 month “opt out” rule is that where a court has made an order for child maintenance after 3rd March 2003, either party can opt out after 12 months and instead have the maintenance assessed by the Child Maintenance Service

So if you can opt out, why bother with a Court Order?

There may be reasons why you want an agreed maintenance order. It is important to take advice before deciding.

For example:-

 

  • If one of you lives abroad or may be going to live abroad and the CMS will not have jurisdiction there;

 

  • Some mortgage lenders like to see maintenance in a binding form such as a CMS assessment or a court order and you don’t want to go through the CMS process;

 

  • You may want to see your agreement recorded formally rather than go through the CMS;

 

  • You have agreed a higher amount than the CMS would assess and you want to be sure to receive that for at least a year;

 

  • You may have agreed that school fees are to be paid. This is separate from normal child support

What happens when you opt out?

The CMS jurisdiction takes over from the court order and the court ordered maintenance lapses. You will pay the CMS amount from that point on whether it is higher or lower than the court ordered maintenance.

However you actually have to apply to the CMS, otherwise the court order remains in force.

It is important to take advice before deciding what to do. Talking to a solicitor about all these options is not an aggressive step. No amount of searching on the internet is going to be a good substitute for talking to an experienced solicitor about this.

Armed with the right information you can go to mediation or just sit and talk to your husband or wife about the best way to deal with your situation.

Woman’s Chrone’s misdiagnosis could have caused her untimely death

26th September 2016

A woman who’s Chrone’s disease and blocked bowel was not diagnosed, has died of ischemia (heart complication).

Read more

An elderly woman makes complaint against hospital for botched eye surgery

26th September 2016

A woman has been left partially sighted after a routine cataract operation went wrong leaving her with an air bubble in one eye.  The 74-year-old woman had already had one eye operated on back in 2005 which was a successful surgery and so was in hospital to have the procedure on the other eye.

Read more

Company fined £75k after worker gets leg crushed in workplace accident

21st September 2016

The Health and Safety Executive started investigations into a company after one of its employees was involved in a serious accident leaving him with a badly broken leg.

Read more

Thank you to our North West Air Ambulance Service

21st September 2016

Anyone unfortunate enough to have been involved in a road traffic accident will know and appreciate the importance of fast, emergency support in the form of a land or air ambulance. Many motorcyclist’s, due to the severity of their injuries, are airlifted to their nearest trauma unit for emergency care which often saves lives or prevents catastrophic injury.

Read more

DIY divorces – is your divorce future proof?

12th September 2016

Divorce solicitors are seeing a rise in problems occurring from DIY divorces after people are choosing a cheap, quick fix only to find themselves foul of the financial agreements further down the line.

Read more

Sepsis sufferer is awarded clinical negligence compensation and warns others to be vigilant of symptoms

12th September 2016

A man who contracted sepsis and lost both his legs, some fingers and the end of his nose, has been calling for more awareness about this awful condition as part of Sepsis Awareness Month. Luckily this brave ex-policeman survived his ordeal and is now expecting his first child but he wants to highlight the dangers of contracting an infection that kills 44,000 each year. Statistics show that each year, 150,000 people in the UK develop sepsis and 25% of survivors suffer life-changing disabilities, such as organ failure and amputated limbs.

Read more

Cyclist calls for safer roads after sustaining a spinal injury after cycling accident

8th September 2016

A woman has been highlighting the dangers of cycling in city centres after she was involved in an accident which left her with a broken back. She sustained a severe spinal injury after being involved in a road traffic accident with a car on her way home from work.

Read more

Urgent Care Delivery Board to deal with A&E dept missing national targets for two months in a row

8th September 2016

A&E departments are the NHS’s essential emergency service, the place where you go when you are in excessive pain, severely injured from an accident or suffering a sudden debilitating illness, whatever your age. Highly skilled staff provide urgent, first class care which can often save lives especially if the care and diagnosis are given in good time.

Read more

Company fined £100,000 by HSE for poor workplace health and safety practices

1st September 2016

A construction company has been fined £110k after the Health and Safety Executive discovered numerous failings during an inspection.

Read more