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Freeths - Law firm

Child Maintenance & Appeals

Calculating your finances

What is involved?

Sorting out the financial consequences arising from divorce can be difficult and confusing. There have been various attempts to simplify the system and improve the quality of the service given to families through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). However, calculating payments isn’t always straightforward.

Click here to find out more about how child maintenance is calculated.

The rules and regulations governing the calculation and collection of Child Maintenance are complex. Our expert lawyers can provide specialist legal advice to ensure you identify the correct grounds for appeal.

Call our friendly, professional family team to find out how we can help you.

Why choose Freeths?

  • We can advise you on the likelihood of successfully appealing a CMS assessment
  • Our renowned family lawyers can advise on the technical issues relating to child maintenance, calculations and the process
  • We are ranked in the top tier by both the Legal 500 and Chambers for family law advice
  • You can trust our team to take a sensitive, empathetic approach to your personal situation
  • We offer advice built on genuine experience of working with the Child Maintenance Service and Child Maintenance Tribunal

Once you have calculated the appropriate level of child maintenance, which can be done through the Child Maintenance Service website, you do not have to involve the Child Maintenance Service if you don’t want to.

However, if you do not agree the amount or if you encounter difficulties receiving payment from the paying parent then you will need to involve the Child Maintenance Service. They can carry out a formal calculation. If you do not agree with how the Child Maintenance Service have calculated the child maintenance you can ask them to reconsider (this is known as a Mandatory Reconsideration).

There are strict rules about how quickly you must request this. During the Mandatory Reconsideration, the facts and evidence will be reviewed as well as any new evidence that you provided when requesting the reconsideration. This will only be done once. The outcome will be confirmed to everyone in writing. If you are still concerned the maintenance calculation is incorrect, the decision can be appealed to a tribunal using the CMS appeal pack. Your appeal must be made within one month of the Mandatory Reconsideration letter and your application should outline the decision and the reasons for your appeal.

The appeal will be decided by an independent tribunal who, normally following a hearing, will provide a “decision notice” confirming if the original assessment has been changed. If a new award is made, this will be backdated to the date of the original decision before the appeal. Whilst a decision is being reviewed through an appeal process, it remains in force. If you are the non-resident parent, always make sure you are paying the amount assessment until the appeal has concluded.

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"I was really satisfied with the team. I felt very supported. Nothing was too much trouble, and I could always get hold of the lawyers. They were helpful, supportive and friendly, and they explained everything in layman's terms."

(Chambers & Partners, 2016)


"Very professional, yet friendly and approachable."


"Top class practice."

(The Legal 500, 2017)

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‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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