If you believe a child support decision is wrong, and you wish to challenge it, you must first request a Mandatory Reconsideration. The Mandatory Reconsideration request can be made verbally or in writing, together with any evidence you wish to submit to support your dispute, within one month of the decision being notified. You can no longer apply to HM Courts and Tribunals (HMCTs) without following this process first.
Only one Mandatory Reconsideration process can take place against a decision, so if one parent disputes a matter, the other parent is automatically invited to submit any disputes they may have. Once all disputes are received, the decision is reviewed fully. A Mandatory Reconsideration Notice is then issued to both parties, the outcome of which can be either;
- The original decision is revised, and a new decision is issued. This now concludes the review process and if any party remains unhappy, they may submit an application to HMCTs within one month.
- That the original decision is correct and no revision will be issued. Again if a party wishes to continue to the next stage of appeal, an application to HMCTs is required.
It is the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice that carries the right of appeal to HMCTs
The Mandatory Reconsideration request can still only apply against a child support “decision” and so it remains that there are no rights of appeal against debt or pay schedules detailing your monthly payments.
A decision includes:
- A Maintenance Assessment/Calculation
- A Refusal to revise or Supersede an existing Assessment/Calculation.
- A Variation or Departure Decision
- A Refusal to complete a Variation or Departure Decision.
- There are appeal rights against Paternity but these are dealt with by a Magistrate Court, not a Tribunal.
- There are appeal rights against a Deduction from Earnings Order, but these are also dealt with by a Magistrate Court.
To make the application to HMCTs you need to complete form SSC02, available online or contact NACSA for a copy to be emailed to you. This form, together with the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, and any additional evidence must be submitted to the Direct Lodgement Centre, to the relevant address according 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
For support and guidance through both Mandatory Reconsideration process, and the stages of appeal why not consider taking advantage of our one month subscription service to talk to one of our team. Click here to join.