When you’re separating it’s important to make sure that you know what you are entitled to so that you can plan for your separate futures. Tax credits can be really helpful in topping up low incomes and helping people into work. There are two types of tax credit – Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Working Tax Credit (WTC).
Child Tax Credit is paid to people who have one or more children normally living with them. It can be paid to single parents and to couples, whether or not they are working. There is an amount for the family and then for each child under 16, or under 20 if they’re still in full time training or non-advanced education. Eligibility and the amount received is based on income. When parents are separated only one of them can get CTC, usually the one who receives Child Benefit.
Working Tax Credit is paid to people who are working and on a low income. People have to be working a minimum number of hours a week – the number of hours is different for people with disabilities, single people of different ages, single parents and couples with and without children. There is an element of working tax credit that helps parents with up to 70% of childcare costs and this can make a huge difference to enabling parents with care to work.
Find out more about tax credits and whether you might be eligible. To claim tax credits for the first time you will need to complete an application form which is available by phoning the Tax Credits Helpline on 0345 300 3900 (textphone 0345 300 3909). Calls cost the same as a local rate telephone call.
If you decide to sort things out in mediation, your mediator will be able to guide you towards maximizing your resources to meet everyone’s needs.
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.