You may not think you are, but it is very likely that you haven’t fully appreciated the significance of an order for child maintenance payments included in a consent finance order within divorce proceedings.
It is always desirable to have a finance order in place, which you can ask the Court to make after decree nisi in divorce proceedings, because it brings closure to the financial claims of the divorcing parties so you know there won’t be any nasty surprises in the future.
But it is not uncommon for the recipient of child maintenance payments set out in a consent order, to get a nasty surprise when the payer, very often the husband, decides to reduce or stop the payments altogether. You may think that can’t happen, but in fact after 12 months from the date of the order, child maintenance is not enforceable in the usual course of events and the Child Maintenance Service takes over the enforcement of maintenance, in accordance with their own calculations. Either party can apply for a CMS assessment and once this is made, the terms of the court order are cancelled.
So bear this in mind if you are presented with a consent order with agreed child maintenance included. It only has a short life span. Any questions, consult with your family law solicitor.