CMS Calculator
csa calculator Private Child Maintenance  Payments Calculator
Just separated, need help and advice to make a family-based agreement

The simple fact is that whether you are the paying parent or the receiving parent, you want the best deal. The best deal for the paying parent is to pay the least and the best deal for the receiving parent is to get the most. To get your own best deal, you need to set up your own private agreement because if you don't and you choose to use the CMS, you will pay surcharges. This means the paying parent will pay more and the receiving parent will get less and your children will see what could be spent on them going to the Government instead.

From now on, the amount of child maintenance to be paid is fixed against HMRC recorded earnings. Paying parents no longer need to provide weekly/monthly wage slips because their P60 or Self Assessment Tax return will be obtained from HMRC then automatically checked every year. The Footprint calculator has been built around this new process so you can be sure of the accuracy of the calculation but, more importantly, we offer you the option to set up your own agreement wit the other parent, and get the right amount without the monthly charges.

When you use the Footprint calculator you will see a annual savings box. This is the amount you will pay in surchages if you use the statutory service.This is on top of the £20.00 application fee. The calculator also gives you a monthly comparison to show you how much child maintenance your child is losing out on.

Three simple steps

Step 1. As a separated or separating parent, you need to make a conscious decision that you want to try and enter into a private agreement. Use the calculator, fill in all the details and if you are able to deal directly with each other to sort an agreement for yourselves, then just follow the prompts on the website. If you need some support, then go to step 2.

Step 2. Once you have used the calculator, we will contact you to confirm you want to make an agreement. We will need contact details for the other parent and we will speak to them to make them aware you are seeking a private agreement and invite them to work with us to take the process forward ending up in your own formal agreement. There is a one-off charge of £70 for this but you can see how quickly you will recover this by looking at your monthly savings on your Footprint calculation because by using the Footprint Private Agreement service you will save those surcharges every month.

Step 3. Once the maintenance payment has been agreed by both parties, we produce a hard copy of the agreement and send it out to both parents.

Your savings

Under the CMS (Government) Collect and Pay Service, and based upon a £35.00 per week maintenance payment, the paying parent would pay a extra £364.00 per year and the receiving parent would lose £72.00 per year. This is in addition to the £20.00 application fee. It's simple: if you use the CMS Collect and Pay Service, your child wil llose £456.00 per year. The Footprint service costs £70.00 per application but this fee only becomes payable once the other parent has confirmed their willingness to reach a family based agreement.

Protecting your Footprint Maintenance Agreement

Having arranged your Child Maintenance, you now may wish to consider putting Child Maintenance Protection in place. One of the benefits of using the Footprint service over the Government Collect and Pay Service is you will save money by not having to pay surcharges. Perhaps you could consider using some of those savings to secure your payments. Not only will this give you peace of mind, it will also demonstrate to the other parent your commitment to the family-based agreement.

Footprint has been working with the Child Maintenance Service and a number of leading financial service companies to create a bespoke insurance policy, similar to National Insurance, to cover you during illness, unemployment and death. The premium is paid by the paying parent and the insurace company will pay the receiving parent direct if a claim is made.

The advisers who help with this insurance can also help with reviewing life insurances, mortgages and updating wills.


Resolving child contact and other child related disputes

Through our mediation partners, Footprint is able to offer parents access to family mediators who specialise in child contact and other disputes involving children. Many parents will quailfy for Legal Aid to use this service.

Shared care has become much more important because the Government wants to recognise those parents who take responsibility for their children.

Full 50:50 shared care could result in a £nil liability but there are exceptions so don't take it for granted. If you would like to get proper advice about this, please see the following link and set an appointment with Durham Legal Services.


Durham Legal Services and child support legal assistance

For the last 21 years Durham Legal Services has been leading the way in offering parents assistance with child support problems. We want you to reach your private agreement and can work alongside other Footprint services to provide advice and assistance to get you there. This could be a simple telephone advice appointment to iron out any concerns you have before proceeding. Our senior partner, Mike Smith LLB, has specialised in the field of child support for the last 21 years and is a great believer in promoting collaboration and the reduction of conflict in all child maintenance matters. Mike is head of the design team which built the HSSF kitemarked Footprint CSA Calculator .

In any event, the simple reality is if you have a CSA problem you need professional help - it’s a false economy not to get it. Child Support law is very complex and can have a dramatic effect on family life, especially if the problems are not dealt with properly. An unresolved child support problem can affect you, your family and your health for years, so contact us today and get the right professional advice. Our confidential telephone advice appointments are £35 and you can contact us to organise this here.

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