What happened?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were married in 2014 before divorcing earlier in 2022. The former spouses have four children together: North (7 years old), Saint (5 years old), Chicago (3 years old) and Psalm (1 year old). Kim and Kanye have shared care over the four children; however, they spend the majority of their time with Kim.

On 29th November Kim and Kanye reached an agreement at Los Angeles superior court, in which Kanye would pay Kim £200,000 a month in child support. This settlement brought an end to the court cases over the issues of child maintenance.

What is Child Maintenance?

Child maintenance is a monthly payment made from one parent to another. The aim of the payment is to benefit the child and provide for the child’s needs.

How does it work in the England and Wales?

Child maintenance is a payment made by the one parent to the other to cover the needs of the child/ren. In England and Wales, child maintenance is (in most cases) governed by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). The CMS have an online calculator to work out how much child maintenance the paying parent should be paying, and often this is used to agree this figure voluntarily without the need for formal assessment.

The calculation is based on the number of nights the children spend with the paying parent, whether the paying parent has other children living with them and that parent’s total gross income from all sources (less pension contributions). However, the CMS are only able to make assessments on income up to a maximum of £3,000 gross per week. Any income above that is not assessed within their calculation and an application to the court in those circumstances may well be appropriate to ‘top up’ the maximum award if an agreement cannot be reached. If there is equal shared care over the children then the CMS will make a nil assessment. In these circumstances a parent can still make an application to the court for Child Maintenance.

The court also has jurisdiction to deal with child maintenance if the payer is not the biological parent of the child or if the paying parent is abroad.

Child maintenance payments can be made voluntarily, though if the paying party refuses, then an application to the CMS can be made for enforcement. This does unfortunately result in the receiving party receiving less, and the paying party having to make higher payments. The introduction of this policy was to encourage parents to agree payment arrangements.

If you are facing issues over child maintenance payments, or the finances following the breakdown of a relationship, then please contact one of the Family team who will be able to help.