What is Schedule 1 of the Children's Act 1989?
Updated: May 15, 2021
What is the Schedule One of the Children’s Act of 1989?
Schedule 1 claims to provide financial assistance for the benefit of the child from unmarried parents or cohabitants. This should not be confused with the claims under the Child Maintenance Services of the act. The claims under the Schedule 1 apply where the income of the non-resident parent earns is above the maximum maintenance assessment through CMS, which is 3000 euros per week gross. There were speculations about Schedule 1 of the act that it was only directed at the higher class of the society rather than directed towards all the classes.
Commonly we see in society that when a marriage comes to an end, then the husband or the wife can look for financial support from their spouse to meet their needs as well as the needs of their children. This is a reasonable way out for the divorced parents of the child. However, it was observed that it is not the case if separation happens in the case of the unmarried couple. This consideration is not commonly considered in this regard. This provided the basis for Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act of 1989.
If we talk about the speculations created about Schedule 1 of the act, they are baseless and were cleared. Schedule 1 is not discriminatory at all. It is available to consider by all the parents who have children and need financial assistance to fulfil their children's basic needs. This law is not only applicable to the rich. These speculations were initiated because the case law reported applications from the higher strata of the society. Slowly the awareness is spreading among young unmarried couples. This allows them to build a secure future for their children. However, there is a long way to go in terms of awareness about Schedule 1. Child welfare organisations and media can play a key role in spreading the information. The state has to be responsible in this regard as well.
Who is eligible to apply for Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act of 1989?
As we discussed earlier, Schedule 1 of the Children's Act of 1989 is for unmarried couples with children. It is considered at the time of the separation as well for the unmarried couple. The aim of the Schedule 1 is to secure the safety and well-being of the children. The separation of the unmarried parents can have the same devastative impact on the children as that is in the case of the divorced parents. In the case of separation of the unmarried parents, there stands a notion of taking the autonomy or the financial responsibility.
In some cases, the parents take a responsible stance and decide a reasonable way out. However, in some cases, unmarried parents are not settled or financially not stable. On the other hand, if the case is that parents cannot decide or do not want to take responsibility. In such cases, children are at the brink of being left helpless and can have a very destructive impact on the well-being of the child. To avoid this situation and to ensure the welfare of the children, Schedule 1 was introduced as an integral part of the Children’s Act of 1989.
The Schedule 1 order is made against the partner, which qualifies financially according to standards set by the legislation. Usually, the one who is more financially stable and is bound to make the provisions.
What are the key factors to consider in a Schedule 1 Case?
When a case of Schedule 1 of the Children's Act of 1989 is received, the application is thoroughly examined and investigated by the court with special experts. They look at all the circumstances and background of the case. The application is validated after looking for certain factors required for a Schedule 1 case. These factors help the team to ensure transparency and the authenticity of the case. Let us see what these factors are:
The financial status of the parents is the most crucial factor in the case of Schedule 1. This factor takes into account the earning capacity, income, property and other financial resources the parents have or likely to have in the coming future.
The health status of the child is another leading factor. This factor check takes into account any physical or mental illness or disability in the child. The financial grant is highly dependable on the health factor.
A child's educational and training status is another paramount factor. It tells about the current or past educational credentials of the child and how it needs to be taken care of.
The financial and other basic requirements of the child.
Financial obligations presently or future of the child.
The financial status of the child if earning.
A study of children in need shows that almost thirty-seven out of every forty children were neglected by their guardians! Children were abused or abandoned or had unstable minds! So, applications were submitted for these types of kids.
Scrutinizing the application strictly, keeping all these factors in consideration will lead to a just and viable application. It is the job of the court’s assigned legal team to make sure that all the facts and details provided by the applicants are authentic and up to date.
What kind of financial grants does the Court for Schedule 1 Cases give?
After the application is examined well in the light of required factors and is approved, the case now goes for the financial grant stage. The financial grant can take many forms. In this regard, the court possesses certain powers and exercises them for the provision of the financial grant.
Schedule 1 re-enacted the provisions of the Family Law Reforms Act of 1987. This allows the court to exercise its authorities in order to grant financial grants for the children. The court makes these provisions based on the factors examined about the case. The financial grants or provisions include the following:
Periodical Payment orders. Most cases would have their periodic payment dealt with through the CMS.
Transition and transfer of the property orders
Secured Periodic Payment Orders
Settlement of the property matters
There is one case that needs to be noted which is that the court can give orders against the persons who are not the parents of the child. If there is any such case, the court has to take the below-mentioned prerequisites:
The court needs to have knowledge about the person or family who has taken responsibility for the child. If this is the case, to what extent or kind of responsibilities or needs has been covered by the person or the family. In addition, the length of period for which the responsibility was taken.
Is there any other person who is liable to take the responsibility?
Whether person the person is aware that it is his own child.
Let us answer some questions about the provisions
In order to provide you with a better understanding of the provisions of Schedule 1 of the Children's Act of 1989, we would be discussing some of the provisions. We would also learn how the court uses its powers bestowed by the legislation.
What is the transfer of property under Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act of 1989?
In the case of property provision, the property is allotted to a parent in order to meet the housing needs of the child. The property remains in the parent’s custody until the child becomes an adult and is able to take care of the property. The property usually reverts to the payer.
What is a lump sum under the Schedule 1 application?
Lump-sum payments are an integral segment of the financial grants or provisions. They are provided to cover the capital expenditure. The lump-sum payments amount for the depreciable assets. These include vehicles, technology equipment or the expenses incurred.
What are the periodic payments under Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act of 1989?
Periodic payments cover the costs such as the child's disability, educational fees and other maintenance costs incurred. Such payments come under the jurisdiction of the Child Support Agency. Such costs do not come under the general maintenance of the child. However, the court can only award general maintenance if the income of the paying person exceeds the maximum threshold set by the CMS/CSA. In the case of CSA, the threshold is 104,000 Euros per annum, and in the case of CMS, it is 3000 Euros per week.
What are some of the misconceptions about Financial Assistance in Cohabitants in Schedule 1?
There have been various cases in which the parent already received financial assistance through the Child Maintenance Services (CMS from the ex-partner. Now a question arises that does he or she still needs to go for Schedule 1.
In such scenarios, the CMS is the first platform for parents seeking help for financial assistance. In the case of Schedule 1, there are widely applicable laws and is more beneficial. The CMS cannot provide you with comprehensive provisions. In case of the Schedule 1, the partner receives more detailed provisions such as the educational funds, the lump sum and the property rights.
Why does not everyone apply under Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act of 1989?
Let us tell you why not. If you go for a claim under Schedule 1, the court will not automatically accept it. The court will run thorough and tight scrutiny of your application. Remember, this is an extensive process, and there are various deliberations and considerations required to be taken. The court will assign a team of legal attorneys and experts for your application. They will ask to acquire about everything, your income, property, the child's health and education. They would even ask you about the reason for differences that led to separation after having children.
Once the legal team is done with the process, they make a decision whether you qualified or not, keeping the earlier discussed factors in mind. That is the reason not everyone can apply or claim under Schedule 1. The court has very tight and strict mechanisms of accountability and transparency. This must be remembered that the claims made under the Schedule 1 are for the benefits of the child only. It is easy to see, though, how a parent would benefit from the claims made under Schedule 1.
Shed some light on Schedule 1 of the Children’s Act of 1989 critically.
Let us now view Schedule 1 of the Children's Act of 1989 critically. The Children's Act of 1989 holds a paramount position, and its amendments have paved the way for improved child welfare. Schedule 1 has benefitted society in many aspects. Schedule 1 stands as one of the games changing amendments to the act, which has set new and improved standards and has broadened the scope of the act. Sche
dule 1 also takes the credit for eradication destructive societal norms. Such norms are baseless, and they eat away the society by curbing away the rights. One such norm was that it was considered radical for cohabitants to have a right on their former partner, even they had children together. There was no such specific law, which tackled this issue. Schedule 1 allows the parent who is taking the acre of the child to ask for or claim full financial support from the other parent. They can take help from the court in this regard to demand financial support from th
eir partner. All thanks to the Schedule 1 amendment. Schedule 1 also gives the court powers to avail the financial provisions such as the lump sum and the property rights for the child.
Another aspect of the Schedule 1 is that still there is not enough awareness in terms of the amendment. There have been countless cases where separated cohabitants do not have sound knowledge about Schedule 1. Most often, it is looked over by the cohabitants in case of a relationship breakdown. In this regard, the state or other welfare organisations can play their roles in educating the masses about the laws and their rights.
Let us now briefly discuss the inadequacies of the legislation as well. These inadequacies have resulted in insecurity and violation or non-provision of the child or cohabitant's rights. The amendment or the legislation has not gone under more revision according to the present-day standards, facts and economic conditions. This has led to the ineffectiveness of the legislation. In many cases, the financial provisions are not sufficient to raise a child and to care for his or her overall well-being. Such insecurities have led to many cohabitants stay in their relationships despite the toxicity, just for the sake of their children.
Schedule 1 of the Children's Act of 1989 has proved to be a game-changer but still needs to be applicable and revised regularly according to the varying trends of the economy and parental standards. However, despite all these inadequacies, Schedule 1 still stands as one of the most beneficial amendments in legislation.