Building Society Relaxes Rules on Child Maintenance
Ipswich Building Society has announced that 100% of a divorcee’s income from child maintenance will be taken into account when assessing affordability for residential mortgages. This is provided that it is supported by the Child Support Agency or a court order and has at least five years left to run.
There is little consistency between banks as to what will be taken into account with regard to income from child maintenance. Some banks will accept 50% of income from child maintenance whilst others refuse to accept it as a form of income.
Although this will open the market to those just out of reach being able to obtain a mortgage, some may argue that child maintenance is intended for the benefit of the child and should not be taken into account when assessing the income of a parent to be adequately housed. If a parent cannot afford to house themselves and their children then there is an argument that there should instead be an increase to their spousal maintenance. This would preserve child maintenance for the sole benefit of the child.
Others may argue that the cost of providing four walls and a roof is synonymous with the everyday expense of raising a child and anything that can be paid in meeting that requirement should certainly be taken into account.