The CSA as it was commonly known is now CMEC (The Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission). For some time now the way child support is calculated has been relatively straightforward.
The basic rules are that the non resident parent pays the parent with care 15% of net income if there is one child; 20% of net income if there are two children and 25% if there are three or more children up to a maximum of £104,000 per year. There exists a facility for top ups through the courts (if income exceeds £104,000). These sums can also be varied down depending on the number of overnights the non resident parent has the children.
Legislation has been passed to change these rules to lower percentages of gross income.
As the default position is making an application to CMEC, it is usual for couples to agree on the CMEC percentages within the context of their separation agreement without ever needing to make an application to CMEC at all.
Child support is usually dealt with as part of an overall negotiated settlement known as a separation or post nuptial agreement which will include all financial claims, property rights and other child issues.
We can provide the best advice on how best to seek either contact or residence orders for children.
The courts will take into account a number of factors, the paramount consideration being the best interests of the child.
Parental Rights and Responsibilities
Since 2006, any unmarried father whose name is on the child’s birth certificate automatically has parental rights and responsibilities.
Unmarried fathers who have children born pre 2006 are not afforded these rights automatically.
Their only option is to proceed to court or enter into an agreement with the mother.
Even those with parental responsibilities and rights can find that they disagree with the other parent as to where the children live, with whom they have contact, even where they are schooled and what medical treatment they should receive.
Where there is impasse we can assist.
If your child has been removed and taken to another country without your consent, you need urgent legal advice. Depending on where your child has been taken, you may be able to raise proceedings for your child’s return.
If you have come to Scotland with your child from another country or have retained your child here following a contact visit, you will also need urgent advice on defending a potential application for return.
It is essential that in either case you seek urgent specialist advice as delaying matters could result in your position being substantially prejudiced.
Adoption law in Scotland has been overhauled recently. Significantly, same sex couples can now adopt.
We have experience in adoption and are able to assist you in making an application.
We can advise you on how Scots law affects you if you are conceiving through fertility treatment, surrogacy, donor conception or in an alternative family structure.
If you are a grandparent denied contact with your grandchildren, you can apply to court for a contact award. We can assist you in making as strong an application as possible.
We are also able to assist with kinship orders and permanence orders in situations when grandparents have grandchildren residing with them full time.
If you are separated and have children, you will need the other parent’s consent to remove your child from Scotland if that parent has parental rights and responsibilities.
If consent is denied, you will require to seek an order from the court to allow you to remove your child.
If you remove a child and fail to obtain consent or a court order you will be deemed to have removed your child unlawfully and grave consequences can follow. Always seek advice in advance of a prospective relocation.
Contact: Lesley Gordon, Partner firstname.lastname@example.org / Call 0131 222 2959 or T. 0141 225 4848