• Send us a message

    Fill in our form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible

    Please enter name
    Please enter your telephone number
    Please enter your email address
    Please let us know which of offices would most convenient for you?
    Please enter the details of your enquiry
    Please enter the verification code
    Send us a message
  • Services for you
  • Services for business

Unmarried Couples - Financial Provisions For Children

Our solicitors at Glanvilles have a wide range of skills when it comes to dealing with children and finances. Our solicitors pride themselves on their expert knowledge and practical approach which is required when dealing with financial provision for children.

Married and unmarried couples do not have the same legal rights on the breakdown of a relationship. This becomes more apparent when there are children who need to be provided for and there is a dispute about the family home.

Child Support

It is often possible to reach a constructive agreement with your ex-spouse about how to fairly calculate child maintenance payments so that your children are financially taken care of. This can be done privately or through other methods such as mediation,

Any issues in relation to maintenance for children can only be dealt with by the Child Support Agency if an agreement is not possible. The Court does not have the power to order child maintenance, other than in exceptional cases.


If the primary carer of the child requires financial assistance from the other parent, an application can be made to the Court under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, if matters cannot be agreed.

The Court can make various orders to include periodical payments, lump sum payments, settlement of property or transfer of property. Before the Court would make such orders, it would have to consider the financial position of both parties. As in matrimonial financial proceedings; full and frank financial disclosure will be required.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to pay child maintenance if you are not married?

Having to pay child maintenance not dependent on if you are married or not, in fact, if parents are unmarried, married, or in a civil partnership does not make a different – both parties have a legal responsibility to financially support their children.

Due to this, the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has created a framework to help calculate child maintenance payments, as well as ensuring that both parents are making regular contributions, which is irrespective of the parent’s marital status.

Child maintenance arrangements can be made as a private matter between the two parents or via the CMS, this depends on the specifics of the situation. If you feel that your ex-partner is not providing adequate financial support for your children, you can contact the CMS who will help to rectify this. If you have any questions regarding child maintenance, our team of expert family law solicitors will be more than happy to help. We can also provide assistance in a wide range of family law matters.

Do unmarried fathers have to pay child support UK?

All fathers in the UK, unmarried or married, are legally obligated to pay child support apart from in very specific circumstances. This is because marital status does not affect a father’s financial responsibility for his child. The CMS’s framework is available to help calculate how much a father should be paying depending on his financial situation and their services are available to help enforce this.

If you have any queries regarding this topic, please contact one of our family law solicitors who will be able to advise on whatever legal issue you are facing.

Contact our highly experienced solicitors in ChichesterFarehamHavant or Petworth or use the contact form below and we will get back to you quickly.

What happens when an unmarried couple with children split?

When a couple who are not married or in a civil partnership with children split, the legal process differs from those who are married/in a civil partnership.  The unmarried couple will not have to go through the formal process such as divorce or civil partnership dissolution. However, with regard to any children involved, there will still need to be provisions put in place to ensure the children’s overall well-being.

The main priorities in these cases will be regarding child arrangements, residence and financial support. Both parents will maintain legal rights and responsibilities towards their children – this includes financial responsibility. The child maintenance payments can be calculated through the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) which will be based on the non-resident parent’s income as well as various other factors.

Matters regarding property and the division of assets are best resolved through negation or mediation, however, they can also be resolved through litigation if the latter doesn’t yield any productive results.

It is important to note that unmarried fathers may be required to acquire parental responsibility if they haven’t done so already, as unmarried couples aren’t granted the same instantaneous rights as married couples. In these situations, it is highly recommended to speak to an experienced family solicitor who will be able to inform you of all of the complexities of this situation, as well as briefing you on all of the rights and responsibilities available to you.

Who gets the house when an unmarried couple splits up with children?

After an unmarried couple with children has separated, the question of who gets the house between the separated parents can vary depending on multiple factors, such as any agreements or contracts that are currently in place and the specifics of the breakup. It’s important to note that unmarried couples do not have the same entitlements as married couples, so it will likely come down to negotiation, mediation, or litigation to determine child arrangements, maintenance and the division of any property. If required, our solicitors are more than happy to provide representation in Court. We highly recommend seeking legal guidance in this situation so you are fully informed of your rights and responsibilities, so you can work towards a fair resolution for the future of your children.

How can we help?

Our family law solicitors have years of experience in this field and have guided many clients through the separation process as an unmarried couple. We understand that this process can seem exceptionally daunting as unmarried couples are not afforded the same rights that married couples have, so we are here to take the load off your shoulders. We will take care of any complex documentation that needs to be completed, whilst working with you to figure out the best possible options for your specific situation. We are also at hand to help with the intricacies of the separation process, such as deciding on the best solutions to child arrangements, child maintenance and division of any shared property.

Our solicitors take a compassionate and sensitive approach to these matters, ensuring that your concerns are heard and addressed. We will also keep you fully informed throughout the entire process, so you won’t have to worry about any last-minute surprises.

Contact our solicitors

To get in touch with one of our friendly and professional solicitors, you can call one of our offices in Chichester, Fareham, Havant or Petworth or alternatively, you can email us at hello@glanvilles.co.uk.

You can also use our easy-to-use contact form and one of our staff will be in touch shortly. Our family law solicitors will be happy to answer any initial queries you may have.