The introductory text to the Children Act 1989 (ChA1989) describes it as ‘An Act to reform the law relating to children’ and Sch 1, ChA 1989 is titled ‘Financial Provision for Children’. Section 105, ChA 1989 is clear that a child is defined as ‘a person under the age of eighteen’, with well-known exceptions that allow the court to extend payments while a child remains in education, or indeed if a child themselves applies for provision once they reach the age of 18.

So does this mean that the court has no power at all to make orders when a parent makes an application in relation to a child who is 18 or over? The decision in DN v UD explores in detail the exact boundaries of Sch 1. It perhaps goes significantly further than any previously reported case in relation to what capital provision can be made for such a child.

Jemma Pollock examines the decision in DN v UD and asks whether the boundaries for when provision may be made for a child age 18 or over have been pushed too far. 

Outside the lines? is available to read on the Family Law Journal website via subscription. 

Jemma is a senior associate solicitor in the family team. Jemma advises clients on a broad range of family matters including divorce and financial matters following separation and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. She has significant experience of cohabitation and property disputes between both separating couples and family members, as well as in private law children matters including international relocation cases.