Financial settlement – useful resources and links

Child Support Calculations:

In mediation through a process of working together, parents are able to make their own decisions based on what they feel works for them as separated family in meeting the financial needs of caring for their children.

Very often the discussions in mediation start by considering a calculation for child support using the helpful (and easy to use) Child Maintenance Service (CMS) calculator on the Gov.UK website.

https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance

Starting with the CMS calculation and the help of the mediator sharing their knowledge and experience, the parties can work through the financial support needed for the children alongside affordability by the other parent and achieve an amount that works for them as a separated family.

If child support cannot be agreed then either parent can make an application to the CMS.

State Benefits – what are you entitled to claim:

The UK’s benefits system is very complicated and can be overwhelming and intimidating, particularly when your circumstances are changing.  A good place to start, that is user friendly and is really helpful and used by our mediators, is the Entitled website.

https://www.entitledto.co.uk/about-us

The mission of Entitled is “to make sure everyone who is entitled to benefits is empowered to claim them”.   They provide a wide range of information and guidance together with tools and calculators to help you ensure you claim the benefits you are entitled to.

Support for mortgage interest

If you are a homeowner, remaining in occupation of the family home, paying the mortgage, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage and loans taken out for certain repairs and improvements to you home.  This help is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SIM).

You will usually need to be getting or treated as getting a qualifying benefit such as Universal Credit to get SMI.    It is a paid loan, which you will usually need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of the property.

A good place to read more about how it works and how to claim can be found on the websites of Gov.UK and Entitled:

https://www.gov.uk/support-for-mortgage-interest

https://www.entitledto.co.uk/about-us

Finding lost pensions – where to start

Over the years keeping track of pensions generated through previous employments can often be overlooked.  It is very important to track these pensions down, even the smallest pension from years ago can have grown considerably over the years.

A good place to start your research is the Gov.UK website specialist help page

https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details

Age UK also provide a wealth of guidance on lost pensions together with tools and next steps that are really helpful and easy to use.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/pensions/tracing-old-pensions/

Where can I find help with debt management?

There are many websites offering their services and it can be hard to decide whom to trust and what service they are really offering.   For impartial advice and guidance in the first instance the Citizens Advice website is a good place to start.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/help-with-debt/dealing-with-your-debts/check-your-debt-options/

 

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