At DLS, our reputation is built upon legal excellence, exemplary success rates and unrivalled client care. We are one of the UK's leading Child Maintenance Service legal practitioners.
You can put a price on quality.
Quality and a professional approach really matter in all areas of law and you should expect and receive the highest standards of client service to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. We deal only with child maintenance work and based on your information, we assess your case to make sure your query is something we can help with before you are asked to pay anything.
Legal experience really does matter.
The DLS legal team is lead by Micheal Smith LLB, who has 25 years experience working with both the Child Support Upper Tribunal and Child Support First Tier Tribunal.
In 1990 Mike Smith left the British Army due to family separation and in July of that year he found himself becoming a single parent of four children. Because of his experiences as a single parent, Mike went on to study Law at Durham University in 1993 completing his LLB in 1996. As part of his time at Durham, Mike worked within the charity sector helping people to deal with the newly formed Child Support Agency. In 1996 Durham Legal Services opened its first office in Seaham, Co Durham. With the introduction of the World Wide Web, DLS began to expand country wide. Due to expansion the company moved to its present office in Consett, Co Durham in 2003.
Through DLS, Mike has always looked for ways to help families going through the trauma of breakup and 2004 saw the introduction of Evidence-Tracker. The system is a secure online programme designed to allow estranged couples to avoid acrimonious outbursts which can emotionally scar their children. The password-controlled system allows couples to log all contact arrangements in a virtual diary and they comment on any problems which arise. Because nothing can be removed, it provides a warts-and-all record of contacts and confrontations. Evidence-Tracker prompts couples to analyse behaviour and think more carefully about what they say and do. We believe Evidence-Tracker resulted in the new social policy that saw the introduction of the 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme and encouragement of separated familes to enter Family-Based Agreements.
Following the success of Evidence-Tracker and the introduction of the Child Maintenance Service, Mike and his team introduced Privare Agreement a second online system which help and encouraged parents to reach a private agreement. The system helps parents to calculate the correct maintenance payment without using the Statutory CMS and identified the savings from having no collection fees. The same system is currently used by the Child Maintenance Service with its own calculator. Private Agreement was one of the first companies to be awarded the Government Kite Mark for its work in Supporting Separated Families. DLS continues to grow with its help and support for seperated families through its work in the area of a legal defernition of Day to Day Care.
What and who we deal with:
CMS Tribunal Representations All Child Maintenance Tribunals adopt an inquisitorial approach when trying to find the facts during a hearing. This can easly result in you not presenting your case correctly resulting is a bad decision that can last the lifetime of your child maintenance case. (please click on the link to find out more)
Paying Parent (NRP) Over the years we have represented thousands of parents who just want to pay the correct maintenance payments based on their actual circumstances, we can help you do this. (please click the link for more details)
Receiving Parent (PWC) Like life in general there are people out there who believe they can beat the system or the rules don't apply to them. We make the rules apply to them. (please click the link for more details)
CMS Arrears The biggest problem facing any parent who is either paying or receiving child maintenance is arrears. If your case has arrears it can only mean one thing: an old or current assessment that has been in place has not been paid. There are hundreds of reasons why this may have happened and it would be wrong to assume that the paying parent has simply not paid. From our own statistics we are aware that 78% of arrears demands by the CMS are incorrect and therefore we offer a full arrears investigation service. (please click the link for more details)
CLICK HERE to arrange your appointment or call 01207 693966 to purchase your legal advice voucher
DLS Legal Advice Line : 01207 693966