Child Maintenance Appeals
We provide support and guidance for HM Courts and Tribunal proceedings.
Disputing a child maintenance decision may need to go to Appeal, managed by HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTs) which form part of the Ministry of Justice. There is a specific process to follow when lodging a child support appeal.
Tribunal proceedings are similar to other court processes and require appropriate participation and preparation. It is vital that you seek help and advice about child support law during the Tribunal process. There are strict time frames in which to comply with requests, and a degree of information may have to be submitted prior to any hearing.
The matter is heard by a Tribunal Judge and in some cases, a Financially Qualified Panel Member will also be present. The objective is to establish if the decision made by CSA or CMS is correct in law.
Evidence submitted as part of the proceedings, including personal financial information, must be issued to all parties.
There are no appeal rights against child support debt!
Only certain decisions have the right of appeal. Letters regarding child support arrears, and the enforcement of such debt is not a decision. There is no right of appeal against those notifications.
You cannot appeal on the basis that you cannot afford to pay the maintenance assessed.
A 'Decision’ made by CSA/CMS may be either;
- A Maintenance Assessment/Calculation
- A refusal to revise or supersede an existing Assessment/Calculation.
- A variation decision or refusal to complete a variation decision.
- There are appeal rights against Paternity, but these are dealt with by a Magistrate Court and not HMCTs.
- There are limited appeal rights against a Deduction from Earnings Order, and Deduction Orders but these are also dealt with by a Magistrate Court.
If you receive a ‘Decision’ and you believe the information used is incorrect you must contact the Child Maintenance Service, in writing within one month to request a Mandatory Reconsideration. For more details about the Mandatory Reconsideration process click here
It is the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice that provides the right of appeal to HMCTs.
After the Mandatory Reconsideration process has been completed, should you wish to take the dispute further, you will need to make an appeal application to HM Courts and Tribunals. You will need to complete SSC02 form, which can be emailed to you, or found online.
Complete the form, and send it, together with the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, and any additional evidence, to the Direct Lodgement Centre. There are two centres, depending on to where you live. We would recommend sending the application by recorded or registered post.
England and Wales:
HMCTS SSCS Appeals Centre
PO Box 1203
HMCTS SSCS Appeals Centre
PO Box 27080