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  • 5 Apr 2023

    The welfare of the children involved in a divorce | What is Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989?

    The welfare of the children involved in a divorce is the top priority of any parent. If the parents are married then as part of divorce proceedings, the court will consider the welfare of the child(ren) in the division of matrimonial assets as part of financial settlement reached between the parties. For example, the court may wish to ensure the child(ren) housing needs are met and this can in some instances mean one party (usually the party with whom the child(ren) live) receiving more of the matrimonial assets to meet such requirement. 

    If the parties are unmarried, or the parties are wealthy or the child(ren) has a disability then a party can seek financial provision for child(ren) under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.  Such order will normally be in place until the child(ren) turn 18 or complete full time education or training. For example, private school fees, top up of child maintenance if a parents’ income exceeds maximum payable under the Child Maintenance Service.

    Under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 the kind of factors the court considers:

    • Financial circumstances of each parent both now and in the future
    • Financial needs of child(ren)
    • Income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of child
    • Any physical or mental disability of child
    • The manner in which child is being or expected to be educated or trained.

    The type of orders the court will make are:

    • Periodical payments for the child
    • A lump sum
    • Settling property for the child
    • Transfer of property from one parent to another parent for benefit of child

    Funding should be considered at initial consultation with your solicitor as proceedings can take up to a year or more to resolve. 

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