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Legal Advice on CMS Shared Care and CMS Day to Day Care

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Frequently Asked Questions about our Shared Care and Day to Day Care Services


1. I'm in London and you're in Durham / I live abroad, can you help me?

Based in Consett, Co Durham we represent thousands of paying and receiving parents throughout the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland with shared care and day to day care child maintenance problems. We are totally independent and not connected in any way to either the Child Support Agency or the Child Maintenance Service.

2. My hearing is next week, can you help me?

Unless we're already booked out to be somewhere else, we should be able to help you, but if you know you have a hearing coming up, it is always better to give us as much time as you can

3. How much does it cost?

Each case is as individual as the people involved in it so it’s impossible for us to cover every combination of fee but wenoffer real value for money, a helping hand to make it affordable and a full, professional, qualified legal service. We deal with the CSA, the CMS, the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal. We offer representation, advice, guidance and a huge amount of experience in the field of child maintenance. If you need assistance with something we haven’t covered, please call 01207 693966 and we’ll see how we can help.

4. I don't get on with the other parent - how will this affect my shared care case

Separation can be acrimonious but when parents do separate from each other they should not separate from their children. Parliament has recognised this fact by introducing Regulation 50 effectively saying that two parents can co-parent. It can be difficult if the other parent is uncooperative or adversarial but once Regulation 50 is in place we have seen cases where it has eased those tensions. 

5. I am a high earner, how does Regulation 50 affect me

Regulation 50 may result in you not being liable under the statutory system but you may be liable under the Childrens' Act. This is where a sensible family based agreement which is fair and provides for the children should be looked at and this could mitigate action under Childrens' Act

6. Is it worth getting represented?

As we've said throughout the website, we believe there is a bias, either conscious or otherwise which needs to be called out and it takes experience to be able to do that successfully. That makes representation something you should look at. The younger the children, the more worthwhile it is. 

7. If you're representing me, do I need to go to my hearing?

Yes you should. But in these days of video and telephone hearings, it is much easier to attend and we'll help you through.

8. I need to complete an appeal application form, can you do that for me?

We can complete the appeal application for you as part of the appeals preparation or representation work.

9. I would like a face to face meeting, can I have one?

Yes, you can but it will be a virtual meeting only, as you'll understand

10. Will I still need to send lots of stuff to the Tribunal?

Yes and No! If we're helping you, you will still need to supply the evidence but you can send it to us in a way that suits you and we will check it's good to go and send it to the TS in an accceptable fashion. We will also help you to keep track of what's gone in and what still needs to be supplied. We will also check that the Directions ask for things which are relevant and question the Direction if we don't think they are.

11. How do I know I can trust a company I've found on the internet?

a) We're not ringing you up at 8:30pm telling you we're a new Government initiative - you're free to call us or not.

b) If we wanted to run a scam company there are many easier ways to do it than going to University to take a law degree and learning twenty years' of child support legislation.

c) Look up Upper Tribunal decision GR vs CMEC 2011 UKUT 101 AAT which now gives us the legal definition of a person with care - that's our Mike Smith in there.

12. Will you help with a private agreement?

On the day of the hearing, if it's appropriate, we will always attemp to reach a settlement with the other party if that's in the best interest of the children. This can include an arrears recovery agreement. However, we don't otherwise get involved because we firmly believe that if an agreement is going to work then the two people involved are the best ones to sort it out. 

13. Where can I find a CMS Calculator

If you need a CMS calculator, we suggest you use our Footprint CMA Calculator app at a cost of £0.99p.

14. Where can I get free advice

If you have a low income and live in Scotland you could qualify for Legal Aid. In England and Wales you cannot get legal aid for child maintenance matters. Free legal advice is almost impossible to find. All major organisations dealing with child maintenance problems charge a fee although here at DLS we offer a legal fee guarantee. Please see our home page for details.

15. At what age does Child Maintenance stop ?

The governing factor which determines when child maintenance stops is the existence of a qualified child. A qualifying child is a child who is under the age of 20 in full time non-advanced education, who does not live full time with one of their natural parents.

16. Shared Care and day to day care

We are shared care and day to day care specialists - that is what we do. The circumstances around 50/50 shared care and day to day care need to be looked at carefully and there is no quick answer we can give here, however the rest of our website is dedicated to shared care and day to day care issues. 

Thank you for looking. We are Durham Legal Services, the UK's leading independent provider of Child Maintenance Shared Care and Day to Day Care Advice.  CLICK HERE to arrange your appointment or call 01207 693966 to purchase your legal advice voucher


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Without doubt I have the most awkward ex partner any man could ever have, you name it I have been accused of doing it. I meet a new partner and things went from bad to worse with my ex taking me to 3 different appeals.

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We are confident not only about the advice we offer but the standard of that advice. Durham Legal Services has represented people with child support problems for the last twenty years. We know we can help you if you have a real CSA problem.

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