In December 2012 there were changes made to the definition of a qualifying child. A qualifying child is a child that maintenance must be paid for.
Previously to December 2012 a qualifying child was one who was under 16, or under 19 and still in full time education (not higher than A-level equivalent). The age of a qualifying child has now been raised to under 20, if they are still in full time education which is equivalent to an A-level.
Therefore if your child is 19, but it studying a BTEC at sixth form or other A-level equivalent course, they will still be eligible for child maintenance.
Previously as soon as a child celebrated their 19th birthday child maintenance was stopped. As you can see from the above this may now not be the case. If you have a private agreement with you ex-spouse/partner with regards to child maintenance it is likely that they are not aware of the Child Support Agency (CSA) changes and may have stopped paying your child maintenance, even though you are still entitled to it. You will need to address this issue, if they will not agree to reinstate payments then a claim can still be made to the CSA.
Furthermore if you are the parent paying maintenance and you had anticipated that once your child reached the age of 19 you would be able to cease payments, you may need to budget to make payments for an additional year.
Faye Remnant is part of our Family Law team based in Loughborough; our Solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.
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