Q:If my partner and I cohabit and have a child what rights do I have if the relationship breaks down?


The Child Support Agency (“CSA”) has guidelines on what the non-resident parent should be paying by way of child maintenance.  This is based on the paying party’s income and the number of nights the child stays with the non-resident parent.

Often parents are able to come to an agreement between themselves regarding child maintenance.  However, if you are unable to come to an agreement, or you have difficulties recovering the money from the other parent, you can ask the CSA to recover the money on your behalf.

If the other parent is a high earner or is not resident in England and Wales, you can apply to the court under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 for child maintenance, a lump sum and/or a property adjustment order in favour of the principle carer of the child or children of the family and perhaps the child or children themselves. It is common for the court to order that a property is purchased for the primary carer and the children to live in while the children are minors, at which stage the interest in the property will revert to the other parent.

Vardags is a top family law firm that specialises in complex cases often involving an international element. If you cannot find answers to your questions here, please consult our ‘family law guide‘ for further information, call us on 0207 717 9979  or email