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...the CSA are completely useless?

(42 Posts)
Holly129 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:10:38

Hi All,

I am hoping some of you will tell me some success stories with the CSA, however I have had pretty much 0. In 3 and a half years I had one payment of £40 when I first claimed and since have had nothing. I've told them where dd's father lives, works, provided phone numbers. I've called the CSA (0845 number!) every month, and everytime I call it's either a different excuse or "you should receive something next month." How is he buying a house, new cars, brand new TVs etc, and avoiding the CSA for over 3 years! I asked today if they would consider taking it to court as now he has over £5,000 of debt towards me (calculating at their basic rate as he and his employer have refused to provide payslips) and they told me they would not consider taking it to court as he has an employer! Is there any other way to get what I'm owed? I feel like nothing is happening, I'm being fobbed off all the time, if there's such a massive back log why don't they hire more workers?

It seems like if a father wants to pay, he will pay, and surely you don't need the CSA for that. If a father doesn't want to pay, he can avoid the CSA forever. AIBU to think the CSA are completely useless?

mummymeister Mon 17-Jun-13 19:17:19

go and get some proper paid legal advice not words of wisdom from mumsnet. this is too important for you and your family. you can either see a solicitor or get an hours free legal advice at your local CAB. whichever you choose get on with it as this man has no intention of paying you any time soon. does he have access to the kids? is it a legally granted one. if not then stop it until he pays up. I am staggered that some people do this and the CSA just try to do what they can to clean up the mess of human relationships. not defending them exactly just feel they have a completely thankless task and will always be on a loser.

RedHelenB Mon 17-Jun-13 19:17:58

Have you contacted your MP about this?

RedHelenB Mon 17-Jun-13 19:18:38

Oh & contact & maintenance are two separate things so do not stop contact.

rainbowfeet Mon 17-Jun-13 19:26:59

My friend has been involved with CSA for 12 years & has only had a handful of payments of those years.. Her ex would leave a job as soon as they caught up with him.... He owes her in the region of £30'000 ... The CSA say they have bayliffs after him to cease his assets (he has none, well apart from a push bike)!!! I'd say they are as useless as he is!!! confused

They are now suppose to use his NI no. to know exactly how much he is earning & if he doesn't cooperate with them then to order his employer to make deduction every month.. Can take a while to set up but the employer could be fined if they don't do it!!

Holly129 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:32:44

I understand contact and maintenance are two seperate things, I gave him whatever contact he wanted but just after she was 1, he phoned me and told me his new gf did not want him to have contact so he didn't want me to bring dd round anymore. Since then he has had several different gf's but has not contacted me to resume access.

I didn't think I could claim maintenance any other way than through the CSA so am reluctant to spend my hard earned pennies on legal advice?

mumandboys123 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:45:59

legal advice is pointless - child maintenance is the CSA's jurisdiction and you have a case open with them. I would involve your MP - they should by now be taking action against his employer if his employer is refusing to co-operate.

hiddenhome Mon 17-Jun-13 19:48:14

They sharpened their act up quickly when I told them I would be contacting my MP. I do only receive £4 a week, but hey ho.

Go to your MP, he can then refer your case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman which is the last port of call for the CSA.

Good luck x

willyoulistentome Mon 17-Jun-13 20:17:24

YANBU. They are total crap....and this is on behalf of my DH and his ex trying to get things sorted. They didn't know their arse from their elbows. Totally useless for both sides... and DH was happy and willing to pay.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 17-Jun-13 20:50:56

Contact your MP. I did after two years of exactly the same as you, and in the end the CSA took him to court. The judge ordered him to start paying £12.50 a month hmm which he did for a while. The CSA then found out he had a new job and reassessed him to pay a semi-decent amount but he refused, so they issued a deduction of earnings order. He promptly left his job so he didn't have to pay. He's now on the dole (although I expect he's working CIH because he's not the type to go without multiple foreign holidays and gadgets) and I get a paltry £2.50 per week confused.

What I'm trying to say is you might be in for a long, bumpy ride. Hopefully you'll have more success than me though, but definitely go for the MP approach first.

GoingUpInTheWorld Mon 17-Jun-13 21:09:39

I thought the minimum was £5 a week?

hiddenhome Mon 17-Jun-13 21:51:41

Yes, the minimum is £5, but they let him keep £1 of that because there is another child living with him (step daughter).

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 17-Jun-13 21:54:39

I get £2.50 per week because the whopping £5 he pays is split between me and one of the numerous women he had affairs with behind my back hmm.

needaholidaynow Mon 17-Jun-13 22:01:00

SoftKitty I thought the £5.00 was per child! I didn't realise it was split. Can you imagine if he had 4 other children? You'd get £1.00 a week!

Dahlen Mon 17-Jun-13 22:01:19

The minimum is £0. Nearly half of CSA 'payers' are assessed as having to pay no more than £5 per week (if on benefits) or £0 per week (if self-employed with 'no earnings' or no other form of income - e.g. wealthy partner).

Dahlen Mon 17-Jun-13 22:02:51

The trouble with the CSA is that it is very good at going after the PAYE parent who would probably pay without their involvement anyway. If they employed the same tactics to the feckless wasters who seem to want to take no responsibility for their children, there would be a lot more better-provided-for children in this country.

ThingummyBob Mon 17-Jun-13 22:10:52

OP, when they say 'he has an employer' it sounds as though they are enforcing using an attachment of earnings order possibly. Call and ask them if this is happening.

They don't need to take him to court for this - they can order his employers to deduct at source and then pay CSA.

Note that if employer is also 'non compliant' it still won't work. I'm lucky that ex has got a decent job these days with a national company who deduct and pay over like clockwork.

Also bare in mind that arrears do not disappear EVER grin The csa might be useless a lot of the time, but it is worth pursuing if the non resident parent is a persistent non payer.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 17-Jun-13 23:11:32

needaholidaynow funnily enough, at the last count he had five kids by four different women probably more than that by now but only pays for two of them, as two are now in their early twenties and the other is being brought up by a woman he had an affair with and her husband. Honestly, it's like an episode of Jeremy Kyle. You couldn't make it up.

jammiedonut Mon 17-Jun-13 23:19:51

Well, my mum has just started receiving maintenance payments for me from my dad.....14 years after she applied! She thinks it's hilarious (14 years ago we were dirt poor, now she's remarried and very well off and doesn't need the cash). Dad less than impressed of course but accepts we deserved the money. They catch up with them eventually, hopefully they'll sort you out a bit quicker than they did our mum!

chocolatespiders Mon 17-Jun-13 23:25:47

A deduction of earnings was meant to happen in Dec 2012 on my ex and it never happened sad

I ring them once a month and they tell me they are taking action hmm

I think I will contact my local MP- good tip.

paperlantern Mon 17-Jun-13 23:26:27

They are. Ask to speak to a manager. Then their manager then their manager then complaints then the complaints manager.

Your case actually seems quite simple, remind the CSA it's criminal not to provide information to the CSA when requested so either they haven't asked for it or you ex/his employer are acting illegally and you want it reffered to the criminal team.

ladylambkin Mon 17-Jun-13 23:28:29

If your ex is employed and this employer is known to the CSA they should be able to enforce a Deduction from Earnings Order...if the employer fails to implement this they can be referred for criminal compliance action. Given the lack of payment I assume they do not know his employer or he is a job hopper (leaving a job once a Deduction from Earnings Order is in place) If he is paid cash in hand it is virtually impossible for CSA to collect payment. Remember that it is the non resident parent responsibility to pay child maintenance...if they do not want to pay and are move around it is difficult to enforce. But as someone said earlier arrears do not go away unless you ask them too.

The 0845 number is not premium rate, it is a local number although if you use a mobile I know it can cost more. If you are worried about the cost call them, complete security and ask them to call you back.

I hope you start to receive payments soon.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Mon 17-Jun-13 23:52:23

This whole subject infuriates me. The government really need to get their arse into gear and get this system working properly. They want to tackle the benefits issue then this is the place to start. So many single parents wouldn't get benefit bashed if the absent parent was made to take more responsibility. What other option is there but to rely on benefits when the other parent swans off and lives a cushy life.

meddie Tue 18-Jun-13 08:04:29

This is a real bugbear of mine, the ability of men to just leave and contribute nothing, and get away with it.If you owe council tax or income tax arrears, you can bet your arse they will find you.
It pisses me off that single parents are vilified for claiming benefits, when their feckless partners can walk away and start life afresh, with barely any social pressure to be responsible. You would be vilified more for drink driving, yet these men contribute to children being raised in poverty, something that can affect them for life...
There needs to be harsher consequences for their actions.

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