CMS Tribunal Preparation and Tribunal Representation
"Anyone involved with the Child Maintenance Service who finds themself in front of an appeal panel is a fool if they do not have legal representation." Michael Smith LLB, Senior Partner, Durham Legal Services.
The quote may sound harsh but please be clear, once a Tribunal has made a decision on your case, that decision will follow wherever your case goes so it needs to be right from the beginning. When the Child Maintenance Service makes a decision on a child maintenance claim and either parent feels the decision is incorrect their only real option is to take the matter to appeal. An appeal is a process administered by HMCTS and, in most cases, ends with an oral hearing in front of a Judge sitting alone or with a financial expert. If it looks likely your case is going to get to this stage, we strongly recommend you consider one of our services to help you with your appeal preparation.
Preparation is very important because if the Tribunal does not have the correct evidence, it can’t determine the case and may seek an adjournment which drags the time out. However, if evidence is continually not supplied and someone is deemed deliberately not to be helping the Tribunal, it may just draw adverse inference and will make a judgement based on what it can see and what opinion it forms. Being properly prepared with help from people experienced in attending and representing at Tribunals can save time and money. Avoiding being assessed through adverse inference can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of your appeal.
At Durham Legal Services, we have attended hundreds of appeals making us the leading company in the country specialising in child maintenance tribunals. Our team of lawyers have been instrumental is shaping child maintenance legislation over the years from a legal definition of a Parent with Care to more recent jurisdiction about shared care and day to day care.
Our team travel all over the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland. We offer a fixed fee which will allow you to identify the financial benefit of having professional representation. If you are considering appeals representation or would like to find out the benefit of having us represent you, please contact us and a member of the team will be glad to assist you.
Be fully informed and beware hidden costs.
Durham Legal Services fees are fully inclusive so you have total peace of mind. All costs for work to be done are agreed with you before the paperwork is issued. Other organisations offering child support assistance might appear to be less expensive but may apply additional charges over the course of your case. Always make sure you are 100% informed on what is included before you commit to avoid unexpected costs later on. Make sure you are fully assured about their expertise in such a complex area of law (they need to be competent in all 3 Child Support Scheme because of over laps in legislation). Be clear about what levels of support you will get before, during and after the case. Take into account travel and accommodation costs, allowing for additional time and travel costs should you require unexpected additional assistance. We suggest you research carefully to find the legal team that you trust.
We can make your appeal application for you or, if it is already underway, we contact HMCTS and obtain a full set of appeal papers. Once we have the papers, time permitting, we can arrange a full face to face appointment or a long telephone appointment to go over the grounds, period and evidence with you. If necessary, we submit case management directions.
CMS Appeal Tribunal Representation
If you instruct us to represent you, we can make your appeal application for you or, if it is already underway, we contact HMCTS and obtain a full set of appeal papers. Once we have the papers, time permitting, we can arrange a full face to face appointment or a long telephone appointment to go over the grounds, period and evidence with you. If necessary, we submit case management directions.Additionally, you will be represented in person on the day by a member of our legal team.
What to expect at a Tribunal hearing
Tribunal judges have one role only and that is to interpret child support legislation to achieve the overriding objective of finding the highest child maintenance payment available. The very nature of a Tribunal is inquisitive and any paying parent should expect to get a grilling at the hearing. They will be asked lots of questions about their employment and how it is set up and they will be expected to know the answers. This is why you need to be properly prepared with the correct evidence and representation to present that evidence. If you are hesitant or unsure, the Tribunal will you as being unreliable and that is the most common reason why Tribunals draw their own negative conclusion that income is being hidden.
Where people go wrong
Believing you are operating within HMRC rules or Company Act rules and that you are therefore safe is a fools errand, because a child maintenance Tribunal can go behind other legislation with a view to finding income for the purposes of child maintenance. Our team can guide you through the relationship between business legislation and child maintenance legislation. We take you through the whole Tribunal procedure and prepare you for the questions you will be asked and can help to make sure the Tribunal gets the right facts and makes a decision based upon them.
CLICK HERE to arrange your appointment or call 01207 693966 to purchase your legal advice voucher