What are family based arrangements?
A family based arrangement means that you deal directly with your child’s other parent to reach an agreement on the amount of child maintenance and how often it is paid. This is the method all separating parents will be encouraged to use because of the changes to child maintenance currently being piloted.
Because it can be very difficult to negotiate this kind of thing at the point of separation when emotions are running high, you might find it helpful to use mediation. In family mediation, the mediators are trained in financial and legal issues so that they can give you information and help you negotiate an arrangement which works for the whole family. Other financial and children’s issues can be sorted at the same time. If you manage to come up with a family based arrangement, there will be no fees to pay. You simply arrange your payments between you, building in reviews.
Calculating how much maintenance you need to pay is currently based on net income and depends on the number of children you have. The new system will be based on gross income and again will depend on the number of children you have. You can input your details on the calculator on-line. The Child Maintenance Payments Calculator will help you to work out how much you might be paying. You can decide to use this information as the basis for a family based arrangement or you can come up with your own arrangement.
In family mediation, Child Maintenance can be negotiated alongside other family issues so that you can make your own arrangements.
National Family Mediation (NFM) is a network of professional family mediation providers based in England and Wales that work with families affected by relational breakdown. All providers aim to help clients achieve an outcome that works best for them and their family
National Family Mediation (NFM) services charge £25-£100 for a MIAM, depending on geographical locality, which may include the fee for the completed FM1 form. Meetings usually last for 45 minutes – 1 hour. This includes the means assessment to check whether you will be eligible for Legal Aid, determining whether your mediation will be free or not. Mediation sessions which follow the initial MIAM are charged at a sliding scale according to income, but start at around £80 per session, and usually last up to 1½ hours.
If you would like to get more information about mediation and/or make an appointment you can contact NFM direct on 0300 4000 636 or you can contact a NFM family mediation provider in your area.
All services also take referrals from Solicitors, the court or other helping / support agencies.