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Financial Application For A Child Under Schedule 1 Of The Children Act 1989

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It is possible to make an application under Schedule 1 paragraph 1 (2) of the Children Act 1989 to the Court in respect of children for:

  1. Periodical payments (maintenance)
  2. Secured periodical payments (a lump sum payment)
  3. Settlement of property and/or transfer of property

The Court may in certain circumstances make an Order for interim periodical payments.

Such an application may be made usually through the County Court.

The application can be made by a parent of a child (including a step parent) a Guardian of a child, any person who has a Residence Order in respect of a child, or in certain limited circumstances the child themselves if over 18.  Orders are usually only made in respect of children who are under the age of 18.

The application is usually made using Form CHA13 accompanied by a statement of means.

A copy of each application and statement is served on the Respondent.  There is a Court fee payable to issue the proceedings.

Once the proceedings have been issued and then served on the Respondent, the Respondent has 14 days to make a response.

The Court usually fixes an initial hearing date for Directions.

An application can be only be made by a child over the age of 18 if they are or will be undergoing education or training or where there are special circumstances provided his parents are not living together.

At the Directions Hearing that Court can consider an application for interim periodical payments although usually the Court fixes a timetable for how the case is to be prepared and planned and require the filing and exchange of any documents.

The Court's Discretion and Jurisdiction

The matters to which the Court must have regard when decided whether or not to make any of the Orders for financial relief include:

  1. The financial needs of the child.
  2. The income and earning capacity (if any), property and other financial resources of the child.
  3. Any physical or mental disability of the child and the manner in which the child is being or was expected to be educated or trained.

In addition the Court will look at income and earning capacity, property and other financial resources, financial needs and obligations and responsibilities at the time of the hearing and in the foreseeable future of the parties, including the child's parents, step parent and former step parents

The Court's Approach

a. Periodical Payments (Maintenance)

In practice an Order for periodical payments will only be made if the Child Support Agency does not have jurisdiction or where the Court retains its own jurisdiction.  An Order in favour of a child can reflect the contribution of the parent with care as to the child's upbringing by including an allowance.

b. Lump Sum

A lump sum can be ordered as a contribution to the expenses connected with the birth of a child.  There is no limit to the size of the lump sum payable in a County Court or the High Court.  The lump sum may be ordered to pay by instalments.

c. Transfer or Settlement of Property

The Court tends to take the view that provision of property is for the child during his or her minority, i.e. under the age of 18 and any exceptionally will provision be carried beyond a child's 18th birthday or the completion of full time education.  In practice this means that any property that is transferred for the benefit of a child would usually revert to the transfer of when the child reaches 18 or finishes full time education.

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