To think that not paying child maintaince should be a criminal offence like tax evasion

(276 Posts)
ReallyTired Sun 30-Dec-12 21:12:27

One of ds's friends has a father who is extremely well off, but has been terrible about paying maintaince. The man has taken no interest in his child, and the mother has found getting maintaince out of her ex is like getting blood out of a stone. The little girl is living in adject poverty because her father owes thousands. The man is able to afford a whole host of foreign holidays and can easily afford to support his daughter.

I feel that men who hide their income for maintaince purposes should be jailed. Even if they have second families.

MrsTomHardy Sun 30-Dec-12 21:14:22

YANBU

LaCiccolina Sun 30-Dec-12 21:16:20

Agreed with u. Start a petition?

Pochemuchka Sun 30-Dec-12 21:16:35

YANBU

Can't think of anything else where you have to pay money and are expected to do so but there are no real consequences if you don't.

It's disgusting.

SnookieSnickers Sun 30-Dec-12 21:17:31

YANBU.

MrsMcEnroe Sun 30-Dec-12 21:19:37

I think this is illegal in the USA (correct me if I'm wrong please somebody?). One of my cousins knew an American, who lived in the UK and couldn't go back to the US because he would be jailed for non-payment of child support ....

Sadly this wasn't a big enough red flag for my cousin, who married the tosser man, when she was 19, and was divorced by the time she was 21.

He did go back to the US, and did go to jail, apparently. His child must be so proud of him.

Pochemuchka Sun 30-Dec-12 21:21:46

Maybe it should be done like an attachment of earnings for those on PAYE or benefits so they never see the maintenance money in the first place.

And for those who hide their incomes they should have their assets frozen while they are investigated. Might think twice about it then!

Needs to be taken seriously and the consequences need to actually affect the non-payers' lives.

difficultpickle Sun 30-Dec-12 21:22:33

YANBU. My ex has an lifestyle hugely in excess of his below minimum wage declared earnings but there is nothing I can do about it. I used to catch him out by not claiming anything and then filing a claim with the CSA but all that means is he gets savvy for the following year's tax return. His 'bumper year' translated itself into declared earnings of £140/week which obviously goes a long way to service a mortgage of £300,000 confused.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Sun 30-Dec-12 21:23:06

The fault is with the CSA they have many powers they refuse to use

WhoWhatWhereWhen Sun 30-Dec-12 21:23:28

*Is also with

LemonBreeland Sun 30-Dec-12 21:24:50

Yes I thought that too MrsMcEnroe. Sadly from watching Teen Mom. I remember something about one of the Dads going to jail if he didn't pay child support, and that included when out of work.

acceptableinthe80s Sun 30-Dec-12 21:25:24

YANBU. I have being saying this to anyone who'll listen.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 21:25:33

It is an offence I think and they can be jailed. They can also do a deduction of earnings and do if the parent refuses to pay.

LemonBreeland Sun 30-Dec-12 21:27:11

Totally agree btw. It is so annoying that some Men just run away from resposibilities and get away with it.

YANBU. It should be viewed as child neglect.

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 21:27:51

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

5madthings Sun 30-Dec-12 21:29:55

bisjo i think they can investigate if he obvioysly has a lifestyle that doesnt tally up with 'declared earnings'. I know of someone who did this, it ended up in court eyc and the csa and the judge took a very poor view and awarded substantial backpayments etc.

Yanbu op but i think there are some sanctions that can be placed but they arent given out very often.

Then we also have another thread where a suprising number of mnetters seem to think its ok for a man to 'opt out' of fatherhood and the financial responsibility if he didnt want the baby...

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 21:32:08

But can I just say as a point aside, what the actual FECK is Ken Dodd doing on Channel 5?

TV executives must be pissing themselves on their fat salaries sitting in restaurants in Soho right now.

middleeasternpromise Sun 30-Dec-12 21:32:57

I would send you mine but hes moved to the Middle East, also not covered by any arrangements, still its nice to see they can move on isn't it....

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 21:33:26

which thread is that 5madthings ? [holding harpoon emoticon]

ledkr Sun 30-Dec-12 21:34:36

Amen to that op. my x has the life of frcking Riley has had two more dc and never pays me a bloody penny

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 21:36:30

Yes middleeastern it's lovely for them isn't it. smile

May all their spring joys follow them

and may all their winters be mild,

may all their summers be warm, happy and leisurely

and may they suffer severe constipation.

quite often

5madthings Sun 30-Dec-12 21:39:12

Its in aibu and is called something like 'to not have sympathy for my friend' the op is a right charmer...

HollyBerryBush Sun 30-Dec-12 21:40:29

Amazoniancracker without meaning to sound like the board police - I think it is totally inappropriate to have a link to your ExPs facebook account posted here with your version of events.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 21:42:00

Op do you know what abject poverty is? are SS involved with this child?

i do agree that it should be a criminal offence not to pay child support.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Sun 30-Dec-12 21:46:18

YANBU at all. I agree wholeheartedly.

I am also concerned about "Trial by Facebook", Amazoniancracker.

Nuttyprofessor Sun 30-Dec-12 21:48:51

Yes agree and then it can be declared before tax credits are awarded. I was stunned to find someone getting £1500 per month maintenance and £800 wages and still getting tax credits because they don't count the maintenance.

corlan Sun 30-Dec-12 21:49:12

It should be a criminal offence but there is no political will to get this sorted.

I have thought long and hard as to why this is and have come to the conclusion it would just be too expensive to go after these men!

As a society, we should shun men who don't pay support for their children. Ironically, it often seems that the media and even other women, vilify single mothers as being feckless, drains on society etc. but we hear very little criticism of the men who bugger off and do nothing to support their children.

WhenAChildIsBawnTigga Sun 30-Dec-12 21:50:46

YANBU, there should also be a register for deadbeat non resident parents who don't pay anything which can be checked by employers/potential employers and potential partners with the amount outstanding etc.

FeckingHatesDeadbeatParentsTiggaxx

SantasHoHoHo Sun 30-Dec-12 21:51:49

I totally agree OP and the same conversation only the other day.

I truly believe that it should be run along the benefit changes. They say they're trying to tackle the benefits problem, well some families wouldn't be in the dire straits they are if the fathers (or mothers depending on the situation) were made to cough up.

I don't think it should be a percentage of salary though, but a set amount that is true to the cost of living.

stargirl1701 Sun 30-Dec-12 21:52:03

YANBU. What a great idea.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sun 30-Dec-12 21:53:15

I'm in Canada and they jail people here if they don't pay and obviously have no intention of doing so. There was a delightful man jailed who had worked in the Middle East for years as a doctor, snuck back into Canada for a visit and was hauled off from the airport.

There are a couple of problems. One is that the case above is very obvious. He never intended to pay, was a flight risk and obviously loaded. They can't lock people up who effectively hide their cash, or who look like they might pay at some point, because in jail they won't be earning. The other issue is that locking people up is expensive. It is only a deterrent if people know it can happen.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 21:56:01

corlan how on earth would anyone know who wasn't paying child support in order to shun them? it would be down to his word against hers because no doubt if a person thought they would be shunned, they would lie and as no-one has access to their bank account then we just have to take their word for it. anyway, how would you go about shunning them without breaking all sorts of discrimination laws? confused

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 21:59:03

santashohoho i totally agree with you about the amount being set according to the cost of living. i said the same on a thread a few weeks ago. if they can work out how much it costs to live (NMW, living wage etc) then they should work out how much it costs to raise a child and standardise it across the UK. it should be taken from income in the same way as tax and paid to the account the CB and tax credits (if applicable) are paid to.

WildWorld2004 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:01:37

My ex just leaves his job when the csa find him. He does this every time.

What would people suggest to solve this problem?

Pochemuchka Sun 30-Dec-12 22:02:09

5madthings - I posted on that thread early on but have stopped reading it because of the ridiculous attitudes of some of those posters.

TraineeBabyCatcher Sun 30-Dec-12 22:03:58

Nuttyproffessor - I believe that is due to the risk of non payment leaving someone in dire straits.
Maintenance used to be counted towards IS but is no longer due to this reason.

HecatePropolos Sun 30-Dec-12 22:07:00

I agree.

Paying for the children you create should not be optional.

I think the americans have the right idea.

Sling you in jail.
take your driver's licence.
take your passport.

I also agree that people should think those who refuse to pay for their children are revolting. We should think less of those who walk away from their responsibilities.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:08:40

wildworld does he claim benefits inbetween jobs? how is he surviving if not?

Lueji Sun 30-Dec-12 22:09:33

I think it should be considered child neglect.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:12:08

"I also agree that people should think those who refuse to pay for their children are revolting. We should think less of those who walk away from their responsibilities. "

oh i totally agree. it is disgusting that a parent can get away with neglecting their dcs in this way yet carry on their lives using the money they 'save' (not paying for the dcs) to go on holidays and decorate their houses or buy new partners engagemnet rings. if i paid as much for my dcs as my ex used to pay (zero) my children would have been removed from my care for neglect as they would have been starving to death!

corlan Sun 30-Dec-12 22:17:19

Booyhoo - I can give you an example of my XP who does not pay support for our daughter. His family know he doesn't pay support because I have told them!

His mother, (who is a lovely woman) makes all the excuses in the world for her son -oh, he's not earning much etc. There doesn't seem to be any shame attached to the fact that providing for his child is way down his list of priorities and I think there should be shame attached to it - massive shame.

Meglet Sun 30-Dec-12 22:18:35

Yanbu.

Although despite my XP always paying via CSA for our DC's I would be livid if anyone thought it made him a good dad (he was an abusive maniac and had the paternal instincts of a dead rat). Luckily he hasn't seen the dc's in over 3yrs, and I would stop him seeing them, but I bet he dines out on it in the pub saying how great he is for paying maintenance but he's not allowed to see the kids <gets out violin>.

Society should shun men who don't pay and who have treated their dc's like crap. I know loads of women who put up with dads not paying because 'he's great that he still see's the children' hmm.

I didn't want to get ranty on a sunday evening but this topic does tend to bring out my pissed off side. I'll go and read the sunday papers now.

DrCoconut Sun 30-Dec-12 22:22:59

It can be complicated though. I don't get any maintenance for DS1 and I have never applied. The peace of mind that my abusive ex has got the hell out of our lives more than makes up for any loss (not much since he was unemployed when I last saw him). To rake it all over again for the sake of money would not be beneficial in our case. While I'm not loaded, I have studied and worked so that I have enough to keep us and we don't need child support payments. Many people disagree with me and say I should make him pay etc but I stand by my decision. Up to other people what they do and to decide what is best for them/their DC - important disclaimer!

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:23:31

oh yes, a golden child? exp is one of those. can do no wrong in his mother's eyes. that's the problem. people seem to 'buy' all these justifications for why people dont pay CS instead of saying "actually son/daughter i'm ashamed of you. it makes me sick to think you have created a child and dont give a damn how he/she is eating or being sheltered or kept clean and clothed." but they dont, they always justify it to themselves. there's always a good reason (usually "she's a psycho and wont let him see the child. why should he pay for a child he cant see?")

WildWorld2004 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:24:02

Booyhoo this time he has applied for benefits but the other times before he hasnt. His wife or his credit card support him.

Now any suggestions on how myself & my dd can spend the mahoosive amount of £5 a week.

ReallyTired Sun 30-Dec-12 22:24:51

You can spend as much as you like on raising a child.

"They can't lock people up who effectively hide their cash, or who look like they might pay at some point, because in jail they won't be earning. The other issue is that locking people up is expensive. It is only a deterrent if people know it can happen. "

They lock up people for tax evasion, even though it is expensive. However the punishment of having a criminal record and a suspended jail sentence would be enough for some men. Prehaps you could have a fines/ community service for a first offense.

Lots of jobs like accounancy will not employ someone with a finanical criminal record. Having a criminal record rules out someone becoming a teacher.

Somehow the message needs to be driven home that it is not acceptable to refuse to support your children.

"Op do you know what abject poverty is? are SS involved with this child?"

Povety is all relative. No social services do not routinely involve themselves with families living below the breadline. I know lots of families who are working poor and in povety by British standards.

It may well be true that no one is poor by ethopian standards, but relative povety is a serious issue. It is grim when a family can not afford simple pleasures like going to the sports centre for a swim for they stress when the school asks for money for an outing. Or they feel extreme embrassment when their child is given a small christmas present that they cannot recipocate.

If you don't believe there is povety in the UK then see

www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/our_projects/child_poverty/child_poverty_what_is_poverty.htm

kickassangel Sun 30-Dec-12 22:29:10

Attitudes can be changed. My parents' generation grew up thinking it was OK to have a few drinks then drive home. Thanks to govt campaigns drink driving is now largely seen as a complete off limits and someone who got prosecuted for it would find people judging them. If the govt made it a campaign to clearly state that anyone who became a parent (except for the cases of rape where a woman gets pregnant) was financially responsible for that child for the next 18 years, then the attitude could be changed.

It really is appalling how many people think that it's fine to have sex without factoring in the possibility of becoming a parent. The only guaranteed way to prevent pregnancy is abstinence. If people think they are sensible/old enough to have sex then they must make sure that they won't become a parent OR accept that they are a parent for a minimum of 18 years.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:29:38

i can understand that drcoconut however i dont think it should even be a case of you having to apply for CS from him so as to draw his attention back to the fact he has a child. i think it should happen automatically when a birth is registered. i think both parents should have to supply NI numbers and it be declared whether child will be living with both parents or parent A or parent B. if parent A then that parent is eligible to pay half of the total figure it costs to raise a child and the amount should be expected to be covered by CB and tax credits. parent B should have the other half taken from their salary in the same way as tax and paid to the account the CB is paid into. this should be from birth. it should also remain the same amount for parents who are on benefits and no reductions for having other children or step children.

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 22:30:12

I'm tempted to send my ex a link to this thread. He seems to think that I can raise our child on thin air. hmm I'm in full agreement. Stick the arseholes in the stocks.

Offred Sun 30-Dec-12 22:31:29

We didn't ask for child support from xp for a long time, when financial changes made us struggle we asked for private arrangement which he didn't pay for 2 years, at which point we went to the CSA and he refused to pay and is now on DOE. He threatened to quit his job but I called him out in his behaviour, said it was up to him, he could avoid it if he wanted but he wouldn't find the benefits system as forgiving as last time he was unemployed and he might not be entitled to benefits because he has a live in gf also they wouldn't get housing benefit for their 3 bed house etc, he didn't quit...

FestiveElement Sun 30-Dec-12 22:31:50

As the other thread has already been mentioned, I will say I posted on that thread and thought the OP had a point. The circumstances were very different to a situation where a child has been willingly conceived and the parents have then gone on to split up, with the absent parent paying nothing.

In cases like that, I agree the NRP should be forced into making appropriate payments, not just the pittance that the CSA often decides is enough. I don't see why they don't make an attachment to earnings, and particularly deadbeat NRPs could be put off leaving their jobs if they were made to pay back pay when they found a new job.

If NRPs were forced into paying, then single parent benefits could be reduced accordingly.

corlan Sun 30-Dec-12 22:34:37

There are no single parent benefits FestiveElement!

This is part of the mythology that builds up around single parents having it easy.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:37:27

reallytired. i wasn't asking you to prove that poverty exists in the uk. i am well aware of it's presence, believe me. i was asking if you knew what abject poverty means. is this child not being fed? is she going without adequate clothing? does she have a room/bed to sleep in? is she receiving adequate health care?

SantasHoHoHo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:37:56

I don't see why they don't make an attachment to earnings, and particularly deadbeat NRPs could be put off leaving their jobs if they were made to pay back pay when they found a new job.

Totally agree

If NRPs were forced into paying, then single parent benefits could be reduced accordingly.

....and therefore addressing the benefits issue. It totally makes sense.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:38:56

what is a single parent benefit? i have been a single parent for 7 years and have never received such a thing!

corlan Sun 30-Dec-12 22:39:39

Me neither!

FestiveElement Sun 30-Dec-12 22:40:13

I know there aren't specific single parent benefits, but the way the system works a single mum will get more in benefits than a family with one parent working.

foreverondiet Sun 30-Dec-12 22:40:31

Easy solution to someone leaving job when CSA catch up with them: liasion with hmrc to change tax code so maintenance is deducted in new job just like it would be if old job had under deducted under paye.

OP: totally agree with you but think attempt should paid to collect via tax system before imprisoning someone. But yes should be treated just like unpaid income tax.

corlan Sun 30-Dec-12 22:40:34

I did get a goat though wink

izzyhasanewchangeling Sun 30-Dec-12 22:40:38

Why men? Female nrps dont pay either.

We are in a situation where we are now paying csa to a woman who owes us thousands in assessed csa arrears.

Apparently because we didnt enforce collection those arrears dont count.

Bloke around the corner raised 2 daughters without a penny maintenance from their mother only for her to chase the equity in the house when they both hit 18

scrumpkin Sun 30-Dec-12 22:42:43

Quite, dsd's bio mum pays nothing because she lives abroad, mortgage free whilst I and dh scrimp to cloth them sad

scrumpkin Sun 30-Dec-12 22:43:12

*clothe

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:43:54

i never got a goat! angry

i have 2 dcs, is that 2 goats i'm owed?

WildWorld2004 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:46:19

My ex when working has the csa taken straight from his earnings, will make maybe one payment & then leave that job & when he gets a new job the csa work out arrears, he makes maybe one payment & then leave that job. And the cycle goes on & on. He owes hundreds or thousands in arrears which my dd will never get.

I think a better solution would be to send the baliffs around to his house.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 22:48:46

i agree that should be an option. it's a non-payment of debt!

izzyhasanewchangeling Sun 30-Dec-12 22:53:24

Prob we had was the non res SC begging us not to take money off their mother -so we never enforced collection - only to b.s. hit with a csa claim for youngest once oldest 2 were no longer entitled to maintenance.

I have no problem paying what we should- but I cannot tell you how much it sickens me to be paying money to a woman who didn't so much as cook her own children tea for 7 years while we are trying to clear the debts we incurred raising them.

FestiveElement Sun 30-Dec-12 22:56:13

I also don't think CSA payments should be reduced when new children come along into a new family. The older children don't start costing less just because they have had a half sibling, if anything children cost more as they get older.

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 22:58:03

hollyberry thanks for policing that. smile Perhaps you can also summon up the wherewithall to police his non-payments to my little boy.

Cameron did say to shame these men.

I just did that confused

ChristmasIsForPlutocrats Sun 30-Dec-12 23:00:13

Not paying, or paying at a low level, whether maintenance or wages from employment, is just defrwuding the state sector. Cf. tax credits and various benefits making up for insufficient hours in a NMW job, or, in the US, people needing food stamps and other social assistance despite being employed (I don't know whether Wal-Mart and the like provide health insurance, but doubt it, so there's another example of social assistance...)

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 30-Dec-12 23:01:14

YANBU. DS was planned and much-wanted but my ex fucked off with someone else when I was pregnant. He then chose not to be involved with DS and is also completely non-compliant with regards to child support. I've spent the last 6.5 years chasing the CSA and practically doing their job for them, while my ex has played every trick in the book to avoid paying. Earlier this year they finally caught up with him and issued a deduction of earnings order. I received one half-decent payment and then he purposely left his job so he doesn't have to pay angry. I currently get jack shit. I don't know how much longer I can carry on chasing the CSA - it's so stressful, depressing and frustrating sad.

It fucks me off no end how these utter, utter wankers get away with it, while the single parent left bringing up the child(ren) on their own are vilified left, right and centre. It should be the other way around - absent, feckless parents should be the ones vilified, and yes, they should be punished in law too.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 23:01:57

i dont think it should be a choice not to claim CS either. it should be arranged on behalf of the child by the government when the child's birth is registered that both parents pay X amount towards raising him/her. we need to let go of this idea that it is an option to either claim it or pay it. it shouldn't be optional. it should be paid automatically.

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 23:02:54

Am I also allowed to report your policing of my post?

Very rum.

I have not defamed him.

niceguy2 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:04:13

The whole system is hideously and unnecessarily complicated. Factor this in with a CSA dept which for over a decade has been as effective as a chocolate teapot and you see the results today.

They should have set up the CSA as an offshoot of the HMRC. With roughly the same legal powers. An organisation designed from the ground up to extract money from people. Most people pay taxes because they don't have a choice, not because they want to. If I work, my tax code is given and my employers deduct the tax directly. The same should apply here. CSA adds to the tax code and as soon as they work, the tax gets taken at source. If they move jobs, it doesn't matter. I then either lump it or spend my entire working life on the dole.

The flat £5 deduction for those on benefits is a joke. In my opinion the same formula should apply. Ie. 15% for one child, 20% for two etc. If that formula is fair when they are in work, then it should stand if they are out of work. Why should they shoulder less responsibility if they are out of work?

Most people know that if you evade taxes for too long or too aggressively then HMRC will come at you hard and crawl up your anus with a microscope. The same fear should apply to a CSA audit. People should shit bricks at the thought of having a visit from the CSA. Right now people just laugh and bin the letters.

Once you do that I reckon most people will fall into line leaving only the hardcore few to be dealt with. Right now there's just far too many people playing the system because they know they can. How many of you would pay tax if you knew that there's a good chance you can get away with not paying it?

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 23:05:27

softkitty you should leave your child on his doorstep with a note, ring the doorbell, leave a message on his mobile and his home number, tell any other member of his family that you are going on holiday and that ds is where he is.....
then catch the plane.

I wonder what the law would say about neglect in such circumstances?

.

WildWorld2004 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:08:30

All this discussing is pointless really because when the new csa comes into force no one will make a claim and all the non payers will be laughing.

Why should i pay the csa to get money for my dd from her DAD?

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 23:09:47

amazonian i'm guessing that is a joke?

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 23:10:37

i know wild. they're making it worse for RPs instead of better.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 30-Dec-12 23:19:49

Amazonian I can't do that as I don't have his address, phone or mobile number. I haven't seen the arsehole for nearly seven years. Although I'm sure if I did that I'd be hauled before the courts for child neglect and abandonment. Double standards, anyone?

WildWorld is right. When the charges come in, parents like me who get little or no CS won't bother applying or won't be able to afford to. This will have several effects. Firstly it'll reduce the CSA's caseload and enable them to focus on fewer cases, mainly 'easy' cases (because the 'difficult' cases won't have reapplied). Secondly, due to this the CSA's success rate will increase and the govt can say 'See! Charging for the CSA works! Look how successful they are now!'. Meanwhile, those who haven't reapplied will fall into an abyss and will disappear off the radar altogether, and non-compliant non-payingparents will get away with not paying - again.

Niceguy is right, CS should be deducted at source.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 30-Dec-12 23:23:24

I'm sure she was joking Booyhoo. Joke or not, there's no way on earth I'd dump my DS on my ex, even if I knew where he was. I might as well leave him with a stranger hmm.

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 23:23:52

I had thought about the 'here, this is your son. Lets see how you cope' approach but it's unfair on ds. What about the idiots who move out of the UK? Mine's in Ireland. I have the joy of going to court here to try to get maintenance for ds.

blueemerald Sun 30-Dec-12 23:28:10

I do think that not paying towards children you have helped create is shameful, however, I find the idea of debtors' prisons very scary. Also, would time be served in lieu of payment? Would the debt be written off? Bailiffs might be an idea though...
Also, in some states in America you are not allowed a court financed lawyer if you are facing jail for not paying child support. It's a civil offence, not a criminal one, so many rights (including the presumption of innocence, a jury) do not apply.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 30-Dec-12 23:40:07

The csa can use bailiffs they just choose not to. They have plenty of things they can do, they just don't bother.

They are a joke.

But yanbu absent parents who do everything they can to avoid paying or to avoid paying a fair amount are IMHO piss poor neglectful people who do not deserve to call themselves parents.

FestiveElement Sun 30-Dec-12 23:42:11

It would be very easy for the CSA to remove passports and driving licences, and to prevent offenders from being able to obtain credit.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 30-Dec-12 23:42:49

Blue. It's only scary if you are evading paying, and if your not evading why would you need a lawyer you should be perfectly capable of showing a judge proof of payment

Wittsend13 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:43:58

I'll sign a petition if someone who knows how too would do one.

It should be a criminal offence!

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 30-Dec-12 23:44:10

Festive given they already have he power the power to issue ccj's and seize driving licenses but never do. Clearly its not easy.

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 23:44:13

In my case it's simples.
I know where he is.
I know where he works.
I know the people in Thailand who employ him.
I know the Tefl people in Bangkok who allowed him to get his job even though his headmaster in this country had kindly confirmed that he was banned from teaching.

Also, and much more damning:
I have copies of his emails asking mates to smuggle him some decent cheese through Bangkok customs

and some quaffable red wine

and emails telling these mates to get some Good Old British Backbone when they refused.

I foudn him recently and asked him to help support his son. He said he only earns 1000$ US a month.
poor lamb.

<<falls over laughing>>

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 23:44:57

Removing passports is a good idea. I'd like to see those who won't work forced to do workfare. Any earnings above their JSA can go to their children. If they refuse to participate their JSA is reduced but the minimum £5 contribution is ring fenced.

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 23:46:11

blueemerald who mentioned debtors prisons?

izzyhasanewchangeling Sun 30-Dec-12 23:49:07

It pisses me off, because as soon as we were assessed to pay, we paid, no issues (even though it sickens me), there is no way DH or I are being accused of being non paying NRPs, but it would have been nice if the onus hadn't been on us to enforce collection.

We were so naive, we just thought, well OK, she will build up arrears but we will live with it to keep youngest SC happy and it will even out in the end, never did I think that we could have a conversation that involved them agreeing someone was in thousands of pounds in arrears, but that those arrears didn't count.

If we had known that, we would have had to enforce collection, because we are being royally screwed for it now, when we were hoping to be clearing debt.

I was livid and I am still not happy.

They are useless in other ways, we changed bank accounts a while back, and the SO to the CSA went wrong, we didnt pay for 4 weeks, but as that account only runs DDs and SOs I only check it once a month, no-one from CSA contact us to tell us the payment wasnt going in - I cleared it straight away, but a call from them would have stopped it happening in the first place.

FestiveElement Sun 30-Dec-12 23:49:11

Is there some reason that its so difficult for them to do those things? I knew the CSA has powers that it doesn't bother to use, I'm just not sure why they don't use them and I'd be interested to find out.

WildWorld2004 Sun 30-Dec-12 23:49:24

LadyMary what do you mean by forced workfare because normal workfare you dont get any extra. You only get jsa.

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 23:55:55

Izzy I don't understand your post, but it is late so maybe I am being dumb.

I don't get it at all.

And why are you everywhere also?

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 30-Dec-12 23:56:16

I think the CSA should use more of their powers if needed but it shouldnt be illegal or a criminal offence unless its equal for both PWC and NRP. Lots of PWC dont work so arent paying for their children so it has to be the same rule applied.

Amazoniancracker Sun 30-Dec-12 23:57:31

Because Izzy this is a thread, it seems to me, about NRPs simply not paying a thing and fucking off. Neither of which seem to be relevant in your case.

Booyhoo Sun 30-Dec-12 23:59:03

by that logic happymum then the amount should come out of the NRP's benefits the same way it comes out of the PWC's benefits if they aren't working. so the NRP should still have to pay.

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 30-Dec-12 23:59:07

Normal workfare. I hadn't accounted for the no extra. sad

splashymcsplash Mon 31-Dec-12 00:00:08

Yanbu.

I'm so happy to see that lots of people agree. Sometimes it feels that those who are against fathers taking financial responsibility are in the majority.

Amazoniancracker Mon 31-Dec-12 00:00:51

You still talk about the mother of your SC as she and it sounds like you are well pissed off with she and the impact that's had on your we

Grrr to you and your we and your flippant observations about she

Your post sounds much more angry with she than the CSA tbh

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 00:03:41

So Amazonian - exactly where, in my post about her not paying for 7 years, is her not paying a thing and fucking off not relevant.

She did not pay maintenance for her older children for years.

She built up thousands of pounds of arrears.

She did not see them for years.

She did nothing for them, for years, didnt feed them, clothe them, care for them, look after them, see them, take them anywhere, or in anyway provide for them.

Is your problem that the NRP is a she or are you missing something?

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 00:05:32

And yes I am well pissed of with she, as we are in debt up to our eyeballs from raising (willingly) the SCs with no contribution from her, only to be hit with a "new" claim - for the youngest - who by the way we always supported and had 40% residency of, while she is thousands of pounds in arrears for the "old" claim.

Amazoniancracker Mon 31-Dec-12 00:09:53

splash those poor fathers who have lost their kids eh?

They're all weeping and wailing around our local streets and pushing their babies/walking their toddlers/taking their young teenagers to pizzahut everywhere I go.

Not.

If so many fathers want their children after a split, why aren't they in Morrisons?

Why has my friend's husband just been astounded by the amount of romantic interest he had from women when he pushed my son around for an hour a week ago?

Fathers for Justice? Pah.

Fathers for Justice should first of all turn their sights to fellow 'fathers' like my ds's dad in Thailand. They do not have a leg to stand on while they continue to ignore their fellow 'fathers' (the majority) who do not give a fuck. They do not have a united front. They need to get their own house in order.

But they never will.

Boys just whine and whine. On and On. Whether it's socks, bins, roast dinners or their lost kids.

FFJ is a wonderful neon sign - they're entitled and they think they deserve what they want.

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 00:13:03

What are you on about - the SCs lived here, with us?

Amazoniancracker Mon 31-Dec-12 00:13:31

she her we all these terms are alarming Izzy as you post a lot in relationships and your loathing of your step children's mother is worrying.

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 00:14:09

I think you may have me well confused with someone else - I dont post in relationships

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 00:15:07

how are those alarming terms? very confused

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 00:16:09

i post alot about my EXp. what does that mean? can i not post on a thread about CSA payments? still very confused

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 00:18:23

Perhaps the thousands of pounds of CSA arrears she has built up over the years are a figment of my imagination?

Maybe really, she paid and DH and I just never knew about it and the CSA have stolen our money - I mean they do have a bad reputation and all that.

No I think it is far more likley she simply never paid.

sashh Mon 31-Dec-12 00:24:45

I heard (a long time ago so I can't remeber if it was ever implemented or where) a proposed scheme where a parent not paying had their licences revoked.

So no driving licence, no fishing licence, no licence to practise medicine etc etc

It seemed like a good idea because it has an immediate impact.

Or maybe there should be a child tax. You get taxed for every child you have, but at a rate of 0% if the child lives with you.

blondietinsellyminx Mon 31-Dec-12 00:49:39

YANBU & I agree with niceguy

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 01:02:00

Amazon,

Your misreading posts and mixing up posters. You've just ranted at one poster who agreed with you and then another one who you've mixed up with a compleatly different poster.

It's a making you sound like your either drunk or a bit of a twat, I'm sure your not but you are sounding like one.

flow4 Mon 31-Dec-12 01:12:06

I'll vote for you OP.

It it scandalous and hugely frustrating that so many absent parents simply decide they're not going to pay anything, and there is fuck all the resident parent can do about it.

The CSA has powers they do not use... or are so slow to even to begin to think of using that circumstances change before anything is actually done. My X owes assessed arrears of around £25,000. The CSA took over a decade to enforce an attachment of earnings. He quit his job and wrote to me to tell me I had 'forced' him to leave the country... The CSA told me they had the power to remove his passport, but somehow they didn't manage to do that before he left.

Festive, you ask why they are so useless. I think it is because they only act efficiently to recover money when the resident parent is in receipt of state benefits - so maintenance saves the state money. If the resident parent is earning, like me, they just don't bother.

Amazoniancracker Mon 31-Dec-12 01:13:15

Yes, sorry. Will re-read in morning.

Just finished a load of shitty chemo with ds. basic point is that Op is NBU.

Gaah. Sorry again.

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 01:15:50

Dont worry about it Amazon, we all have crap nights - yours has probably been worse than most - hope you and DS get some sleep x

Amazoniancracker Mon 31-Dec-12 01:20:04

Thankyou <<wells up>>

ds has bad pains. vincristine. effing vincristine

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 01:20:50

I am so sorry - is he still in hospital or are you home??

Amazoniancracker Mon 31-Dec-12 01:38:41

We're at home. He had IV Vincristine on Thursday and is on tabs at home. He's not had a good day Today. Mouth and knee pain. hot, grumpy, miserable and he's also on dexamethasone so hungry all the time. have made countless pancakes and burgers today. It's fine. It does make me angry with the CSA in some random way though.

I also don't understand why every father who doesn't want to pay anything, or indeed be chased for bills or debts etc, doesn't go to Thailand?

It's so damned easy. Lovely warm country, cheap to live, beaches, great food, cheap work..(have never been there myself but this is obviously the case)

Of course there are a lot of father-escapees over there, but the child support people will never sort it out/seek them out. Why should they bother?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 02:00:50

Amazon, I really hope he's able to get a decent nights kip,and is enjoying the pancakes. Have you been able to eat anything?

I'm totally with you on the Thailand thing my ex ran off there as well apparently he was so emotionally damaged by being cought shagging my now ex best friend he had to spend about 2 years over there diving and contributing towards the abuse of vulnerable women on film, just to recover. He's back now and given my old company to his current gf and claims she employs him at less than nmw ( the jobs exempt from nmw) the csa have taken 5 years just to sort out a diversion and lifestyle inconstancy variation but have openly admitted to me that they just can't find where he hides funds even if they know he does and have him on tape boasting about his income.

flow4 maintainance no longer has an impact on state benefits so now the csa don't give a shit about any of the pwc's its not just the employed ones they can't be arsed with these days. Half my clients are even struggling to get the £5 a week actually paid to them or with lost paperwork or just incompetence.

Damash12 Mon 31-Dec-12 06:22:47

Agree totally - what an arse he sounds.

Iactuallydothinkso Mon 31-Dec-12 07:56:33

The CSA is the biggest toothless tiger ever.

My kids are 14 and 12 and I split with their dad when the youngest was still a baby. To this day I am yet to receive a single payment. The CSA went so far as putting a charge on both of the properties (yes! 2 houses!) owned by my ex but are unable to secure any regular payments.

He is down as not claiming benefits and not paying tax so is therefore untouchable. He sees his kids every other weekend and has them half the holidays. He lives in a 5 bedroom barn conversion, drives a very flash car, the bailiffs have been round on numerous occasions but "everything is owned by his wife or his mother". He remarried and has 2 more kids that go to private school, they have amazing holidays and he just laughs in the face of the CSA who have the power to do precisely nothing.

I don't chase the CSA anymore. It is too disheartening and stressful. I gave up. I can't secure payments and they're not interested in doing the investigative work.

I'd sign up for something where there are major consequences for someone who doesn't pay what they should.

It's a pile of crap. It really is.

crescentmoon Mon 31-Dec-12 08:29:45

Michelle Young

im really rooting for this woman and all like her who live in poverty while the father of their children lives it up in style. but i always wondered who was the 'major new funder'? a woman? a man? what would be their interest in getting involved in this case?

Collaborate Mon 31-Dec-12 08:38:40

The system jails as many non-payers of maintenance as it does parents who disobey contact orders. Not sure how you could justify jailing more of one lot but not the other. Non-payers can be jailed for wilful refusal to pay. Jailing either parent is not generally considered in the best interest of the child, which is why it's used as a last resort and in extreme cases.

creamteas Mon 31-Dec-12 08:43:38

No. it should not be a crime, and I really, really don't want to pay more taxes to pay for the prosecution and imprisonment of people who don't pay. It would costs a lot more than supporting the parent with care through the benefits system.

I have never wanted, expected nor received any maintenance for my four DC. I worked bloody hard to get to a point where I am financially secure (had to claim benefits when he left, house was repossessed) and I don't work my twat of an Ex having any power over our lives.

Mayisout Mon 31-Dec-12 09:29:26

Why do so many women choose partners who are arseholes who do not give a fuck?

creamteas Mon 31-Dec-12 09:36:13

Possibly because people are not always born arseholes, but can turn at any stage!

Mayisout Mon 31-Dec-12 09:43:05

I do think it should be an offence not to pay maintenance but wondering how these men who are the love of someone's life, who they choose to have children with can turn into such shits.

BoffinMum Mon 31-Dec-12 09:45:50

I am perpetually astonished at the number of non resident parents who wriggle out of paying child support, and I would be keen for their passports to be confiscated and for attachment of earnings orders to be made easier for people to arrange. It seems a very weak area of law.

ElectricalHoHoHoBanana Mon 31-Dec-12 09:52:52

My ExH paid (after a long struggle) for our two DDs (one has SEN) he hasnt seen the eldest (now 25) since she was 13 (he threatened her when she approached him about changing her name to my new-old-maiden name, he told her he would disown her if she did, she swore she wouldnt talk to him again. She was 13 ffs!) and he last saw DD2 (now 20 with SEN so stuck at about 10) 6 years ago- he just didnt turn up to take her out. he hasnt sent either a xmas, birthday or kiss my arse card since. BUT he did ring the CSA every birthday to see if he could stop paying for DD2....he is a charmer. TBH not a single member of their fathers family have sent them anything since he left.

And now he doesnt have to pay he has totally disappeared off the face of the earth. I saw a mutual acquaintance a few weeks ago and apparently he talks about the DDs as if he just saw them a few days before! I think he gets info from their cousin who is a FB friend.

he probably goes round saying i have stopped him from seeing them....i didnt have to do anything. he did it himself.

I have a new DH he is fab with my girls....a supportive and practical dad for DD1 (shelves, moving flats, cash) and a loving and patient daddy to DD2. DD2 says "old daddy didnt like me but my new daddy does" ....shit a brick....i dont know what i would do if i came face to face with him!!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

ElectricalHoHoHoBanana Mon 31-Dec-12 09:53:49

i did once suggest he had the girls and i would pay him the CSA money .....funnily enough he turned my offer down...

gettingeasier Mon 31-Dec-12 09:56:11

Well it took longer than expected for someone to pop up and ask why do women choose feckless men. Hilarious.

I agree with niceguy , if there were consequences to these men it wouldnt happen so much

I hope you and your DS have a better day today Amazonian

Shabbatastic Mon 31-Dec-12 10:04:20

YANBU and of course it should be a criminal offence to wilfully neglect your own child.

The CSA have been at best utterly flaccid. They need me to locate him, provide contact and employment details. How the fuck am I supposed to do that? They have powers yet refuse to use them. If student loan co can locate me and take from my earnings, why can't CSA?

I think we need a MN campaign!

meddie Mon 31-Dec-12 10:10:24

YANBU and I would love to see this become a criminal offence. Its too easy for non resident partners to walk away and conveniently forget their first children, go play the happy singleton and then start a new family if they feel like it.

ChocHobNob Mon 31-Dec-12 10:54:02

Agree with Collaborate.

Tanith Mon 31-Dec-12 11:00:50

I think the reason the CSA don't use their powers these days is because of the uproar in their early days when they were accused of hounding fathers and blamed for some suicides.
My friend was working for them at the time and had a nervous breakdown because of the relentless abuse she got from the parents she was dealing with. I know she wasn't the only one.

corlan Mon 31-Dec-12 11:09:06

''Why do so many women choose partners who are arseholes who do not give a fuck?''

The obvious answer is that we don't think they will behave like this, anymore than you think your partner will behave like this.

The idea of blaming the single parent seems to be quite common - usually from the 'hard of thinking' amongst us. It's convenient, because then all you have to do is look down your nose at others,feel smug and not actually feel compelled to get angry about the situation.

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 12:27:08

in the situation where a NRP claims to have no income (either not down to pay tax or claiming any benefits) they are being funded somehow. there has to be a paper trail of who is paying their utility bills and if they dont have beills in their own name then they must be living with someone who pays them. as much as i would hate to see partners of these neglectful parents suffer financially i think it should be possible to order that the person supporting the NRP should pay the CS. it might make people think twice about getting together with a shithead parent who doesn't take their own repsonsibilities seriously if the new partner knew they would end up paying for it. it could also reinforce the message that these children need to be paid for by someone and if the NRP wont then the person closest to them will have to.

i also agree with confiscating driving licences and passports from those parents who dont pay. they cant really afford to buy petrol or travel by plane/ferry if they cant feed their children so wont need them.

FestiveElement Mon 31-Dec-12 12:32:08

I'm not sure someone else should have to pay the CS on behalf of an NRP, that seems a bit unfair. But the NRP should be accumulating debt that has to be paid back. This debt could stand until death, and then be paid for out of the estate if there is one and it isn't paid off in the NRPs lifetime. It should be paid to the state if the RP is claiming benefits, or directly to the RP if they aren't claiming benefits.

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 12:43:58

i know. i struggle with the concept myself i really do but if they are financially supporting this person then they are essentially providing an income. i do think there needs to be harsher consequences and more effort made by CSA to get the money. if someone is willing to quit work and go without claiming benefits then they have money somewhere or someone is bankrolling them. this needs to not be an option for them and if making the person bankrolling them responsible for the CS makes it harder for them to avoid payment (and essentially get food in children's mouths!) then i think it should be an considered.

i'm not sure how allowing them to accumulate a debt til they die would be much of a deterrant. firstly, someone savvy enough to get away with hiding income all their life is also going to be savvy enough to set up their estate so that it looks like they aren't leaving anything to take the debt from. secondly, it doesn't help the person raising the children to get food just by knowing that the NRP has debt accumulating. unless something would be set up that the Govt paid any deficit in CS payments and teh NRP would owe the debt to the Govt but i doubt the Govt would go in for something like that. they know they would have to spend a fortune to recoup the money and whilst it's the PWC who is losing out ATM it's not costing the Govt anything so why would they take on a debt? nothing in it for them.

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 12:45:42

oh i missed that last sentence in your post.

why would the debt be paid to the state if the RP was claiming benefits? confused

FestiveElement Mon 31-Dec-12 12:47:32

Because depending on the benefits claimed, the state may well have paid to raise the child.

FestiveElement Mon 31-Dec-12 12:49:44

I don't see why, in cases where money isn't recovered until the child is grown up, the money should go to someone who had to rely on state money to bring up their child.

Of course, if the RP was working and paid the majority of the child's costs themselves, then the money should be returned to them.

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 12:54:14

Its quite complex though, in our case, DHs ex claimed as a single parent for years when she wasn't - he didnt agree with this and he was listed for example on the council tax -as he paid that, all his tax records showed him as living there, there was no attempt at hiding on his behalf.

This was in the days when the CSA did chase NRPs where there were benefit claims so he was always worried the CSA would come chasing him for children he lived with.

He did not see any of the money, paid all the bills etc as if she wasnt claiming, the money did NOT go on day to day expenses or indeed the DCs - but DH was faced with shopping his own wife.

So under suggested things here, I would end up paying money to a woman who committed benefit fraud and subsequesntly did not pay for her own children.

And if you are dead, where is the right of appeal?

It would have to be very robust.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 12:55:41

The reason why you cannot lump none payment in with none contact inprisonment is because maintainance and contact are two different issues one should not impact on the other.

And its very rarely the same parents who are involved in both issues.

There are plenty of very valid reason to block contact ( obviously not if your being spiteful because that's not a valid reason) there are no valid reasons for not paying the small % with account taken for your own household arangements that the csa ask you to unless the csa have worked it out wrong.

And for information single parent does not automatically mean on benefits.

And nobody else should be made liable for a nrp's payments they are the parent not anybody else they hook up with.

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 12:56:28

we are talking about a woman who flew off the handle when DH claimed CB for his children and she is the exception rather than the rule, it did all catch up with her when she put in a claim for SC who was living with us, first we knew was when we had all our CB and TC for the children living with us (including mine) stopped, because of a duplicate claim.

Meglet Mon 31-Dec-12 13:02:11

dococonut yes, with abusive parents then there is a case for leaving it alone and not rocking the boat by asking for maintenance. 'Luckily' I had the police involved with XP and had the CSA involved before he cut all contact, I certainly wouldn't have risked flaring him up by asking for money out of the blue. Even if I heard he was a millionaire I wouildnt ask for more, we can survive on what he pays and he doesn't bother us.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 14:45:16

Izzy she sounds like a utter twat as well as a criminal.

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 15:10:05

Absolutely - obviously all this was a ling time ago - we've been married a long old time.

Of course she tells a different story and butter wouldn't melt these days - but the truth is the truth.

She would have you believe DH is a neglectful non paying father and it simply isn't true.

The damage she has done her children is untold - they all ha've massive issues - and I absolutely hold her responsible for that - they have spent years being punished for loving their father.

TinkerMcJingles Mon 31-Dec-12 15:18:58

I didn't get a very good response on AIBU to this (but hey!!) I personally am annoyed at the fact that men, such as my ex-husband, who get large pay outs from their previous jobs (in his case over £50k) do not have to give a penny to their children. He is happily supporting his new gf and her children on this money but I don't get anything for our child. I am also not getting any maintenance so a double whammy.

I am totally in agreement with the fact that non residents parents who don't pay should be jailed. The CSA do not enforce their powers nearly as often as they should.

flow4 Mon 31-Dec-12 15:20:02

I do understand parents with abusive exes not wishing to claim maintenance... But if child support was always automatically due, just as tax is, and administered by HMRC just as tax, tax credits and benefits are, then this would perhaps take the emotion out of it. IMO, some abusive exes continue to abuse, even after the relationship has ended, by withholding maintenance. I would be glad to see this nasty little abuse of power thwarted.

threerings Mon 31-Dec-12 15:20:49

If you stray into the congestion charge and forget to pay it then the powers that be will chase you down hunt you down for payment you are not getting away with it. Even the balliffs turn up at your door via the courts for unpaid parking fines. What does this say about society that a car is worth more than a childs upkeep.
just think of the daily charge of congestion charge is rated higher than the measley five pounds a week csa payments for a living breathing little human being child. The Government should be ashamed of themselves and so should the non payers of cs.
It offten puzzles me why any decent women would lie down with a man knowing that her new partner does not pay for his offspring by his exp.
A national advert should be run in primetime T.V of how these men ahem should be shuned by the public as the scum that they are.
And we should start a petition of making this a criminal offence all it needs is a hundred thousand signatures for it to be brought up in parliament so lets go for it MNS.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 15:38:23

It's not just men who do it.

And very few of the evaders actually admit doing do, some of the really crappy ones boast about it but far more when talking about children say stuff like

" I pay what I can and do what I can" sadly this often means they pay and do nothing. That's why new partners often don't have a clue.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 31-Dec-12 15:41:38

Threerings, that would only work if the PWC was earning and paying to raise the child. We seem to have double standards, its prefectly ok on mumsnet and elsewhere to not work and let otherr tax payers pay to feed and house the child (and pwc) yet the NRP is vilified if he doesnt financially contribute. Being the PWC doesnt mean you cant work, millions of parents work and raise children.

Courts should start with 50/50 care after a split, that way the child gets equal time with both parents and they each pay their own expenses for when the child is with them. Where it cant work due to distance, then both parents should provide equally for the child not just one.

Sadly many women help their current partners shun previous children so its not just men that are to blame but neither party should get together to the detriment of the child.

threerings Mon 31-Dec-12 15:51:33

I am a pwc and do work to support my dc, my exp has done everything to evade his csa payments, saying why should he pay as he doesn,t live under my roof. In short he gets away with it and see,s dc regulary. So the shame is totally on him. NRP should be vilified if they do not contribute finacially. It should go further and make NRP that are in prison work in there and also contribute instead of lounging around on their playstations and having money for Tuck shop goodies. Pay for your child like the pwc has to.

manicinsomniac Mon 31-Dec-12 16:01:37

hmmm, I see your point but I wouldn't want to see it made compulsory with the alternative of prison for all parents, regardless of circumstances or what the other parent thinks.

It would be a cold day in hell before I'd take anything from the biological father of my children, he's vile and evil and I couldn't stand him ever having any potential claim over them because he'd been so good as to provide a bit of cash. Ugh. They are my children and I will raise and provide for them on my own.

Luckily he is South American so it doesn't apply.

Also, hypothetically speaking, if I had an ex who was delightful but didn't have much money and had 3 or 4 other kids in a new relationship and I had plenty of money myself I wouldn't want to take money from him either.

creamteas Mon 31-Dec-12 16:15:22

I wonder how many of the posters advocating prison for non-payers have realised that would mean that automatically they were no longer liable to pay anything.....

LadyMaryChristmas Mon 31-Dec-12 16:23:50

Wouldn't really matter if they are not paying anyway, creamteas confused

izzyhasanewchangeling Mon 31-Dec-12 16:28:41

Sock, in my admittedly limited experience, female NRPs where they do exist, are far less likely to pay than men.

As a proportion, male NRPs form the larger proportion of NRPs, but of the families I know where the NRP is a woman (admittedly only 3), not one pays any sort of maintenance.

Of the families I know where the NRP is male, maintenance is paid - although I actively choose not to socialise with those who will not provide for their children so there are no toss pot NRPS of either gender that I am friends with.

flow4 Mon 31-Dec-12 16:41:28

Why do you say that, creamteas? People are still liable for the debts they owe when they are in prison (although they can apply for reduced payments or a deferment) CAB info on debt and prison

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 18:44:40

Those saying any debt owed by a NPR after death should be paid to govt if pwc is on benefits are being very black and white about it. People who are on benefits aren't just on benefits because they have children! There are all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with NPR not paying cs that mean someone has to claim benefits. There's also the fact that being on benefits isn't a permanent state of being so working out what was due to them and what was due to govt from a debt would be a bit difficult. It's a bit short sighted to say " you are on benefits, you don't get any of this paid back to you"

FestiveElement Mon 31-Dec-12 18:50:04

Maybe it should just be if child tax credits have to be claimed by the RP then it should be paid back to the state, and if a proportion of housing benefit is awarded so that a child isn't being raised in a room in a shared house.

Offred Mon 31-Dec-12 18:55:33

I wouldn't want my xp to go to prison for non-payment, that would ruin his life and terribly affect his children.

I don't think there is much wrong with the current system (not including the planned changes which are wrong) that couldn't be fixed with more investment into the it and the staff, or rather a stop being put to the deliberate underinvestment the CSA has suffered.

Feelingdetached Mon 31-Dec-12 18:59:03

Yes I do lock em up.

doingtwelvethingsatonce Mon 31-Dec-12 19:26:34

Just thought I'd pop in and point out from an American point of view that the American system is not any better. Just an example....

It took over 10 years to get child support payments from my ex. CSA there was less than useless. We had a restraining order against him (stalking, threatening to kidnap our daughter and threatening to harm me seemed to be a favourite pastime of his) with our new (again) address withheld... and CSA GAVE it to him. When I rang them about it, the woman said "it's his RIGHT to know where you live"... he lived in another state - only came to the state we lived in order to harass us then leave again. When I pointed out that court paperwork said he was not to be given our address as he was dangerous, the woman said in a nasty voice "well, YOU're the one that married him!" Yes, that's very helpful. Thanks.

Even though they gave him MY information, they couldn't even tell me if he had been located by their agency. Which was painfully obvious when they told me that I needed to find out where he was living (address) and where he was working. Now, realistically if I knew that, I'd have told them. But they told me they couldn't attempt to collect the child support until I gave them this info. confused

After a couple years of this, I had to hire a private solicitor to locate him and force the issue through the courts. When we found him and finally got it through so there was a court order to take money from his pay, his employer notified him and he quit his job that day. He moved just over the state line, and we literally had to start all over again from square one, taking it to court in THAT state. And as soon as we got to the point where his employer was going to take money out of his pay, he quit again. Moved back across state lines. The old case in that state had been closed, as he'd moved to other state, so we had to start all over AGAIN! Finally after about 10 years from the time of the initial court order for child support, he was stupid enough to blow off a court ordered appearance (probably thought he was untouchable at that point and with good reason I suppose!), and they issued an arrest warrant for him. It took another 3-4 months before he was picked up, because (in the words of the local law enforcement who knew him) "police have actual criminals to deal with"... when they finally arrested him, he had $1000 bond, which the judge kept and applied to his child support. That judge actually put him on probation for two years, and conditional to his probation was regular child support payments. He still was rather irregular, but at least it was something! His probation officer also had the "he's not really a criminal" attitude as well, so he didn't get in trouble when he missed payments. PO actually told him as long as he didn't miss 3 in a row, he wouldn't report him to the court - so he paid every 3rd month and ignored the rest. Maddening.

It's no better in the states. Really. And it's not national, it's at a state level, so they just have to move states and it starts all over again. Not pretty.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 31-Dec-12 19:29:12

Biological parents should be financially responsible for their children until those children reach adulthood, dual responsibility, no excuses, end of story.

That's regardless of second or blended families or new partners or any other thing. If you father a child/give birth to a child - your responsibility, nobody elses.

snowshapes Mon 31-Dec-12 19:45:29

ExH does not pay maintenance for DD. He is expecting DC 3 with his new wife. I did think WTF, he can't afford the kids he has!

But I also agree a bit with Drcoconut, the less ties the better though that is partly because they laid a guilt trip on me that they could not afford to eat etc. Can't be doing with that kind of crap, they were complaining about DD wanting an extra slice of bread when she was there. So she stopped staying for dinner.

They have more money now it seems, but I don't want to broach the issue, I was made to feel like I was wanting the food from their mouths!

snowshapes Mon 31-Dec-12 19:46:27

Sorry that was my whinge for the day!

Utterlylostandneedtogo Mon 31-Dec-12 19:48:56

Yanbu but jail them and they lose their job and you lose any child support you may have got.

I want to praise the csa (I know shocking right!) as they found my ex was using his mothers maiden name to be paid into, threatened him with legal action for non payment and now take the money direct from source. I call up each year to ask for a check on his circumstances and they've pulled him up on 2 promotions. He is now paying what he should plus arrears.

Utterlylostandneedtogo Mon 31-Dec-12 19:49:21

Sorry posted too soon. Every contact I've had with the csa has been a really positive experience too

borninastorm Mon 31-Dec-12 19:51:30

My ex is British but lives in the USA with a new family. Our ds1 is 19 now and he has not paid a penny for him.
CSA has no legality in the States so they were no help. It might be illegal not to pay child support in the US but only if the child lives there too, as we live in the uk ds1 has got nothing from his dad who lives a v nice life in the states. And believe me I tried the lawyers route to no avail.
IMO we continue to 'allow' fathers to get away with this and we allow people/media/mps to put down single mothers and blame us for the problems in society and with children.
It should not be socially acceptable to not pay for your children, but you rarely hear these fathers be taken to task for it.
Surely 2013 would be a good time for mothers (single and not) to come together and say "it's not acceptable to father a child and not pay for that child."

E320 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:15:00

How do you "know" the father is filthy rich? Going on foreign holidays is not a reliable sign, could be he is hooked up with a wealthy girlfriend or won an amount on the lottery.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 20:25:26

If a single parent s claiming benefits and meeting the needs of the child, then he/she is maintaining the child the money is his/ hers and they are entitled to claim it.

There are more benefit claimants who have paid in to the system than ones who haven't if you pay into it then use it, so what that's what it's for that's why we pay for it. Why demonise them and make claims that they arnt also supporting there child.

You work you pay tax and ni then you have paid in so if you then claim it is you supporting your child.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 20:29:01

E320, in my case I know my ex is filthy rich because he took one of my houses and one of my companies and obviously I know how that does.

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 20:44:25

the thing is festive tax credits and aren't altered according to whether a NRP pays CS or not. so the PWC isn't claiming anything they wouldn't already be getting if a NRP paid CS. if you were to make it that unpaid CS was paid to the Govt upon death of NRP (from the estate of deceased) in the case where PWC was on benefits then those PWC who were on benefits and did get CS throughout are actually getting extra benefits than those whose NRPs didn't pay. it wouldnt be a fair system at all. its basically saying, if your NRP pays CS every month you get to keep it but of your NRP doesn't and we take it after they die you dont get to keep it. how is that right?

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 20:48:37

that should be tax credits and benefits aren't altered.

FestiveElement Mon 31-Dec-12 20:50:14

But if the parents were together and their combined income was too high for them to be able to claim child tax credits, then they wouldn't claim them and they woudo be supporting their children themselves. If they are separated and the PWC has to claim child tax credits to either look after their child, or pay for childcare so they can look after their child, then they are being subsidised by the state.

I don't agree that child support money isn't counted when it comes to claiming benefits, especially CTCs, because its still income. Unfortunately, it has to be that way because so many NRPs are unreliable when it comes to payments, and we shouldn't risk leaving the PWC with nothing.

That's why the money from the NRP should go to the state if CTCs are being claimed.

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 21:03:11

hang on! we aren't talking about either being in a relationship with your children's other parent or not paying any CS for them. we are talking about being a NRP who pays or aNRP who doesn't. why are you talking about two parents living together and combining their income? you seem to be suggesting PWC should suffer the cost of no longer being in a relationship by losing out on future repayment of CS debt. i dont think you have thought through what you are saying at all! you dont seem to have much of a grasp on any of it.

you may not agree but it is a fact that the money receieved for CS is not counted. so the PWC does NOT receive extra money if their NRP doesn't pay! they get the same amount in whatever benefit whether the NRP pays or not.

Meglet Mon 31-Dec-12 21:20:58

Maintenance shouldn't be counted when it comes to income. Being a single parent is expensive (the odd babysitter and various income / life insurance costs me a bomb but I have to have it as I'm single), maintenance means the kids can have swimming lessons, have the odd day out and I'm not screwed every time they need new shoes.

Receiving Maintenance doesn't mean I'm necking champange and flying off on exotic hols every year. (mum pays for our holiday in the UK).

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 22:08:39

It also shouldn't be counted for exactly the reason that it no longer gets counted as income.

Because they took it in advance of so many pwc's but the nrp's didn't pay.

Festive people who work pay tax. So they are paying into the system. And not just that but when you part company with a ex the whole point of being single is you have a single income not a joint one.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 31-Dec-12 22:12:33

Off not of

Corygal Mon 31-Dec-12 22:25:16

YANBU. Altho I wince for for the few women who don't want their DCs to have contact with the father, that ain't the point, sadly. Payment could be made through an intermediary, eg HMRC, to avoid trouble - it would be much easier to run this if non-payment was criminal, by the way.

mumandboys123 Mon 31-Dec-12 22:50:37

Festive element - you seem to be saying that it is acceptable, then, that a working family receives child tax credit but that a lone parent on the same income shouldn't receive child tax credit simply because if you combine their income with that of their ex, they would be over the limit? but they are no longer a couple and neither parent has access to the other's income (except as defined by child maintenance laws). Perhaps lone parents and their children should wear bells round their necks and cross the street when they see 'normal, decently brought up in marriage' people coming towards them?

Booyhoo Mon 31-Dec-12 23:29:12

"but they are no longer a couple and neither parent has access to the other's income "

and not only are they not a couple with combined income, they are two single people, maintaining 2 homes for their children (that would have previously been 1 house paid for by 2 incomes), on a single person income. the food bill might reduce slightly when a partner moves out but the rent doesn't reduce, the children's dietary needs dont reduce, clothing costs for the dcs dont reduce. in fact a parent who was previously paying (for the sake of argument) £300 per month of the £600 rent/mortgage (other partner paying other half) now finds themselves with an extra £300 to find, add to that increased petrol costs and childcare costs etc that previously wouldn't have been necessary, it becomes quite expensive to no longer be part of a 2 parent household.

<disclaimer> i know i have only listed a very few expenses and there are many more associated with being a lone parent but i just wanted to get the point across.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 00:34:39

So In cases where NRPs have no income from earnings or benefits, someone else should foot the bill?

Tell me, does that just apply to new partners or anyone who they may be living with? Parents, siblings, friends. Where do you draw the line? Or is this just an opportunity to dip hands in to their new partner's pockets?

Either way, I think it's utter tosh to expect someone else to pay someone else's CM payments. There are two liable parents when it comes to bringing children up- mum and dad. Anyone else and their money are irrelevant.

What's even MORE astonishing, is how some people are of the view that TOTAL household income should be used for maintenance purposes. Tht means new partners' earnings should pay as well. Whilst I am fully for NRPs being financially responsible for their children absolutely, nobody else in their family unit should be responsuble for their maintenance. New partners are talked about on here like they are vermin, but suddenly become relevant when it comes to finances. Sorry but they have their own household to run and their own children to support. And the SC when they are with them.

My OH was made redundant a couple of months ago. He and his ex have thankfully always been very amicable and had 50/50 contact with no maintenance involved. He doesn't claim JSA at the moment. However, if the situation was completely different and I was the only one bringing an income in, I would rather poke my eyes out than pay child maintenance for a child that is not mine. I love my partner's daughter I really do, she is part of our family, and I do everything to support her when she is here with us, and paying towards big things such as school trips, I bought her Christmas presents, etc.. My income provides a roof over her head, warmth, food in her tummy, transport to wherever she needs to be, clothing, and all of the basics she would ever need... when she is here with us. When she is with her mum, the basic needs then become he mum and partner's responsibility.

Similarly, when we were both working up until OH became unemployed, no maintenance was paid but if there was I would not be willing to physically give my partner's ex money from my earnings for her household unless it was to help my OH pay towards big one off expenses.

Lookingatclaus Tue 01-Jan-13 10:11:48

Well I felt the complete opposite. Dsd's maintenance was an expense if the household, so when xh didn't earn anything it continued to be paid, effectively from my income.

The money was for her, and she needed it, so it never occurred to me not to continue to support her.

Lookingatclaus Tue 01-Jan-13 10:26:35

In fact I continue to fully support her now I am no longer with her Dad.

It's ironic really that he is refusing to pay maintenance for dd or dsd, who both live with me. He claims he has no money but he runs 4 different vehicles, has managed to buy the stereo-typical massive tvs, can afford to take his girlfriends children to the other end if the country to see their Dad - but claimed he couldn't afford to but a three quid bottle of Calpol one night when I asked him to get some as dd was poorly.

The bit I don't get is why his girlfriend thinks its ok for him to be avoiding paying anything. Especially as she has been a lone parent herself. I couldn't have stayed with someone who refused to support their children - but no doubt he has justified it to her somehow, and not necessarily with the facts!!

ivykaty44 Tue 01-Jan-13 10:36:46

I would like to see it taken with tax and by the same department -that way if a NRP is self employed the two sets of papers will go in together and there would be deadlines of January other wise big penalities would be paid and interest added.

This government is changing or wanting to change the CSA so that parents that do not live together sort out their own arrangements - this way it will take a lot of pressure away from the CSA and dump it back with the resident parent - to try to get any money from some NRP. Then the press reports will be able to say the new system is working - cos they will not have a clue whether NRP are paying or not as the PR will have to pay to get CSA involved and then pay a % of the money each week to the CSA for collecting what is rightfully the childrens money.

What sort of sick society do we live in where NRP don't pay for their own children

Mia4 Tue 01-Jan-13 14:02:53

YANBU. It should be taken PAYE and be an acceptable level of support-not the crap it sometimes is and be regardless of sex- there's a couple of women I know of who've been the dumpers and abandoners.

My aunt's ex works on the side cash in hand and so she's not entitled to anything because he claims he hasn't anything to give and his parents support him. They support him in this lie and don't ant anything to do with my aunt's children. They're encouraged him to 'find someone new' and have 'better children' (their words). He's got shit loads of money and she's struggling. He's recently found someone else and had a child with her. They are allowed benefits that my aunt can't get because his new gf doesn't work and he 'fakes it'. The parents even wrote a letter for him which said if the council didn't find them a place they'd boot them out so they were found one. They're living it up on his back handed cash and with the parents who are wealthy themselves while y aunt gets sweet fa since he's not bothered to pay in years.

One of my sister's exes was a fiddler too, got his just desserts though; he dumped them for another woman after which he set up a company, invested all his (and her savings which he'd taken from my sister and his joint account) and put the company and assets in his new bits name to stop CSA getting their hands on. My sister hasn't got a penny from him and he was rolling in it with his new gf for a couple of years. However she's cheated on him now, dumped him and took the company. So while my sis is devastated he took their money she's glad he's been screwed over now too-she never was going to get anything from him after all.

CheerfulYank Tue 01-Jan-13 14:15:49

Yes, you can be jailed here in the US if you don't pay. And also the government will garnish your wages.

I am sick to the back teeth of these men who just think they can walk away. Get it snipped or keep it zipped if you don't want to deal with the responsibility! angry

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 14:16:58

if someone isn't working and isn't claiming any benefits then they either have savings somewhere or someone (partner/parents/friends) is funding their existence. the NRP should be made to show how they are surviving. there will be a paper trail. unless they are homeless and begging for food then someone is providing them with money. if it deterred people from bankrolling neglectful NRPs then yes i do think that the Govt should have the power take the CS from that person. they are providing an income for the NRP that isn't being forwarded to their child. it needs to be made far harder for NRPs to get away with not paying and it needs to be made an undesirable option for people to support neglectful parents.

" I would rather poke my eyes out than pay child maintenance for a child that is not mine. I love my partner's daughter I really do, she is part of our family, and I do everything to support her when she is here with us, and paying towards big things such as school trips, I bought her Christmas presents, etc.. My income provides a roof over her head, warmth, food in her tummy, transport to wherever she needs to be, clothing, and all of the basics she would ever need... when she is here with us."

as for this! you love your SD but would rather poke your eyes out than make sure she has enough to eat when she is with her other parent! really? hmm she's either family or she's not. not just when she's in her dad's contact hours!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 14:57:27

Mia.

If your aunt is in the uk, she is either telling you lies or has not done her paperwork correctly.

Her income has nothing to do with any incoming maintainance she could be a millionaire and it won't matter.
If her pay is that low she should be getting in work benefits.
If he is on benefits she will on claiming automaticity get awarded £5 pw ( if he has other children this gets shared between each mother) the £5 gets taken at source so he cannot chose to not pay it.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 18:24:39

Booyhoo, contact hours? Is that what you call it? Call it half of the week instead. I support her for half of the week.

She then goes to her mum's where her mum and partner provide everything for that household. Why should 3 incomes (mine, mum and her partner) pay for her household and only part of mine support this one? Can my partner ask his ex's new partner for support when his daughter is here? Is that how it works? If so, then count me in.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 18:32:34

And can I just say as well, if my partner was paying maintenance I would quite rightfully not bat an eyelid. It's his responsibility if his ex ever made a claim. I'm not a bitter twisted evil SM who hates my partner taking responsibility for his child. I just don't see why I should ever foot the bill for him. Like I said I am more than willing to pay the extras and big expenses, but to do the weekly shop or pay the gas bill would mean we struggle and as I am not liable I won't pay it.

Not that his ex has ever even asked! Even when she was single.

Mia4 Tue 01-Jan-13 18:39:30

Sock, actually her solicitor told her that she couldn't have anything except basic child maintenance since he a) declared bankruptcy and b) signed the barely paid mortgage over to her to take over as both a 'debt' and a 'payment'. Despite the mortgage being barely paid it counts as what be pay since he has nothing else.

He has no benefits, he lives off cash from cash in hand and his parents, his gf has benefits. She's not entitled to anything else because she works all hours, doesn't matter that after paying off his debt and the mortgage they have nothing but hey. Point is, he like many others find a way around the system and continue with their loopholes.

izzyhasanewchangeling Tue 01-Jan-13 19:04:27

I wouldn't pay for my SCs in their mothers either, hell would freeze over - but thats related to what has happened in the past and also what she chooses to spend her money on.

Its her choice but I know she is living a life she cannot afford and sooner or later it is going to bite her on the arse. I wont be subsidising that, and honestly - neither will DH.

When the day comes she can't pay the mortgage or put food on the table, it will be because of the choices she has made, including her abysmal treatment of her own children, me and DH, youngest SC will be welcome to come and live here, if needs be - but not a penny more than we have to give will enter that house - but then not a penny, including money she should have paid, even entered ours.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 19:35:58

Mia I apologise I thought you ment the gf and him lived together and had a joint claim and/ or that he was faking an illness to claim some type of benefit in his own right.

But tell her to put in a claim for either DWP benefits or tax credits as she is entitled to them in her own right as long as she earns less than the cut off. It's likely that Eric solisiter is not a benefits specialist and if so has given her incorrect advice. And for information the only csa payments that can be included in a bankruptcy are arrears ( and even then its not guaranteed that they will be) bankruptcy does not impact at all on current or future maintainance liability awards via the csa.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 19:39:05

Oh and a joint tax credit claim is taken into account by the csa as income for the nrp.

Mia4 Tue 01-Jan-13 20:18:57

That's ok Sock, sorry I just get a little touchy when it comes to my aunt- I worry about her and my cousins a lot.

I wish it was that case maybe she'd get something. I'll talk to her about it, I think she just doesn't have the time or energy to do anything, nor any money for anything legal. She's raising 4 kids alone and is the other end of the country to all her family. She can't afford to move, even if he allowed it, which apparently the solicitor says she couldn't because of the mortgage and the stipulations in their divorce contact. Her solicitor was shit, his was excellent-unsurprisingly. It's all very disheartening how easily he can walk away.

Worse with not being able to move is he lives just a few minutes away and crosses the road when he sees his kids. The littlest one doesn't even know him anymore thankfully but it hurts the others to see.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 20:19:00

sowhatif

"Can my partner ask his ex's new partner for support when his daughter is here? Is that how it works? If so, then count me in. "

if you weren't doing 50/50 (as you are now so this talk of you paying his CS is theoretical) and you had her the majority of the time then your partner's ex would be liable for CS, if she was out of work and her partner was supporting her then yes i think he should take on the CS the same way he would be taking on the rest of her bills! why is that such a drastic concept? if you are willing to financially support your partner whilst he is out of work then i would imagine the first bill you would make sure was paid would be the one that feeds his children! i dont get how you can love her like family but no want to make sure she is eating!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 20:39:17

But the simple fact is that she IS eating and is well provided for and cared for in both households. You are being quite dramatic saying that I wouldn't make sure she is eating by not paying child support. Obviously, if it EVER did get to that point where her mum told us all of her cupboards / her fridge/ freezer were empty and there was absolutely nothing left in the house (which come on, highly unlikely!) then of course I would make sure my partner can get his daughter some food. If it was something that would jeorpordise out household though, like her mum was severely behind on rent and we have our own rent to pay, then ours comes first and his daughter is welcome here. Otherwise where would my child live?

She is part of our family by the way.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 20:49:08

the thing is in many families the children aren't getting enough to eat and the money from CS would make a difference. it's all great to say your SDC is being fed and well cared for but you have to look at the whole picture. it might not make any great difference to your SDC to have the CS and maybe you and your partner's EX can come to an arrangement where you wouldn't pay it if your partner was out of work (if she stayed with her mum most of the time and not the 50/50 you have) but for those families who really do struggle without the CS then it can be the difference between eating and not eating. i couldn't understand anyone being happy to support their partner financially but not wanting to make sure their dcs ate in that situation.

i'm not sure why you think it's highly unlikely that someone's cupboards would be bare, unless you are talking about your partner's EX specifically?

pigletmania Tue 01-Jan-13 20:49:19

YANBU I totally agree with you

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 21:06:44

I have no idea whether her cupboards are bare or if they are full. She's never told us. All I know is we struggle on my 1 wage but our cupboards and fridge always have the basics and we still scrape by the best we can. I don't know how much they earn, but they have two incomes coming in which is currently more than us. I really don't care about how wealthy they are or what luxuries they have as its none of my business (i'm not a new partner who is obsessed with ex's finances) but If I was to pay maintenance the kids would be living off crap here and that's not fair.

flippinada Tue 01-Jan-13 21:15:54

YANBU - but I doubt it'll ever happen, unfortunately.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 21:23:11

you've chosen to pool finances with a man who has children. if you haven't realised that means there will be money leaving the house to pay for those children until they're 18 then you haven't really thought things through have you? as i said, if you're happy to take on all his bills while he's out of work i dont understand why the first one you paid wouldn't be his children. i'd get rid of the phone, internet, tv, car and loads more before i'd stop paying for my dcs to be warm and fed. and if your DH isn't getting any out of work benefits it must mean you are earning enough to keep him. if he is getting JSA then his CS would surely come out of that money? not that it's an issue for you as you do 50/50

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 21:46:32

I know exactly what being with a man with children entails. And I believe I am doing my absolute best to ensure that although her father is out of work she still is well provided for and will be until she is an adult. My partner will have found work WAY before then though my gosh! I'll just let you know now that we don't have sky (we have freeview), our tv is one we bought when we could afford a tv, we have pay as you go phones and if we want to use the Internet then we go to families houses, so we're pretty savvy on how to save money and make sure the basics are catered for.

As for JSA, you don't have to be earning that much for your earnings to prevent your partner from receiving JSA.

Circumstances could may well change in the future. OH's ex could lose her job, or she could split with her partner and take a huge dip in income. My partner could be in a job then and she may well turn to my partner for
CS and fair enough. She'll be getting the financial assistance she needs. If its still the case that I am the sole earner though, then as harsh as it sounds I have my own household to run and can't afford to subsidise two. it's as simple as that.

ReallyTired Tue 01-Jan-13 22:08:33

I don't think its up to anyone to decide whether they support a child they brought into the world.

"If its still the case that I am the sole earner though, then as harsh as it sounds I have my own household to run and can't afford to subsidise two. it's as simple as that. "

Children need enough money to live and I feel that if man is supported by someone else then he can make a contribution to his children. The income of the ex or her partner is irrelevent. The fact is that the father created the child and should contribute to its upkeep.

If he cannot afford child support payments for exisiting children then prehaps he should be stertlised before he has babies with a new partner.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 22:13:07

no. not just your household. you and your partner's household and his children form part of that household. again, it's not an issue for you as you do 50/50 but if at some point in the future you are still the sole earner and SDC is with mum more of the time, meaning CS needs to be paid then you and your DH would have to adjust your outgoings to enable you to still provide for his children, jsut as you would adjust your outgoings to provide for your own children.

i'll put it to you this way. i have two children but no partner. if i was to bring a partner into my home to live who was earning above the threshold for me to be able to claim out of work benefits would you think it fine for him to just pay the bills and food for me and him and leave me to find some way of finding money for food and clothes for my dcs? he would be my partner, he would be supporting me financially but according to your logic he shouldn't be expected to support my dcs even though we are now a family and our household income has been assessed as a whole and not individually. he would say he loves my children as if they are family but he wouldn't pay for them to eat. does that not strike you as bloody odd!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 22:16:25

Ahh ReallyTired, but when we had our child he was working so he COULD have afforded the payments, had his ex wanted the money but she didn't. Circumstances change and it's unfair to come to the conclusion that my child should not be here due to his father now having zero income. He'll have another job before you know it, and then if his ex wants maintenance she'll get it.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 22:19:11

It's a it different if you are not living in the same household as the child.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 22:22:44

the children still exist and need to eat whether they live with you or not. the same way the ones that live with you need to eat.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 22:24:11

Lol Booyhoo, how many times do I need to tell you, I AM paying my
partner's child to eat! If you had a live in partner he would do the same
but only when your children are with you! I have no idea if your children see their father or not, but if you had a partner he would be paying for your household only and would therefore be paying towards the upkeep of your children. Nothing wrong with that. If your children are with you full time then he'll be paying more. Again nothing wrong with that.

If my partner's daughter was here full time I would be inevitably be paying
more for her upkeep. My son is here full time and therefore I plan his meals for 7 days as opposed to 4.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 22:25:35

paying for my partner's child to eat**

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 22:30:08

and as i've said many times, we aren't talking about your situation as you have 50/50 agreement and CS isn't necessary! we are talking about a situation where the child spends majority of time with 1 parent so the other has to pay CS!

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 22:31:01

you dont seem to be getting what i'm saying because you are thinking of it fro the situation you are in (50/50-no CS paid)

ReallyTired Tue 01-Jan-13 22:35:05

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass

I am not suggesting you get rid of your existing child. I am suggesting that you have no further children. I assume that you were aware that your partner had a child before you got together.

Your partner needs to fund existing children whether they live with him or not. If you are supporting your partner then I feel that your family needs to contribute to support the other child. Your partner cannot live on air and either can a child.

Under my scheme your partner would be put in jail if he failed to make a certain level of contribution. (say £50 a month) A SAHM parent does not have zero income. It would be up to him to find that minimum contribution somehow if he is not working.

Prehaps the state should find some additional workfare for him to do if he is having real trouble finding the money. Ie. 10 hours a week community service cleaning up dog shit in return for the state paying.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 22:36:27

Okay then, of a full time £700.00 wage from an apprenticeship, how much do you suppose I would have to pay if the contact arrangements were different? Bearing in mind we pay full rent, council tax and all of the other necessary bills, which basically leaves us with not that much really? We get a bit of tax credits.

Would £20.00 a week do? Or is that a pittance? Because I'm now trying to establish just how much you would expect someone in my position to be paying.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 22:41:57

ReallyTired, I'm not even going to take you on with that dog shit comment, other than snigger at it.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 22:42:20

i couldn't honestly tell you what would be appropriate. that's why i suggest the Govt work out a national minimum figure for what should be paid in CS teh same way they're able to work out the cost of living, they should be able to work out the cost of raising a child and average it out across the country so that anyone having children will know that no matter what their circunstances they have to pay £X amount per week/month for their child instead of being able to say "oh well i'm not working so i dont have to pay anything as 15% of nothing is nothing"

borninastorm Tue 01-Jan-13 22:46:59

We are talking about children here, little helpless people who we have brought into this world and who rely on us, their parents, for everything. The children did nothing to cause the breakdown of the relationship, they just want and need to be looked after and loved by the adults who created them.

If you are willing to bring a child into this world then you should be willing to pay for and provide for that child.

Children are not created by women alone and should not be provided for by women alone. And women should not be stigmatised for raising children alone. Men should be stigmatised for not supporting their children.

If you get into a relationship with an NRP don't let him hide his wages behind you, don't help him to not provide for his child. He's happily not provided for one child, he could just as easily and happily not provide for the children you have together should your relationship break down for whatever reason.

And please consider the emotional damage the financial (and often emotional) denial by men of their children does to these children.

I honestly cannot believe that we live in a society that enables men to not provide for children they created. It is appalling and every single man who does not help raise his child, financially and emotionally, should be ashamed. And if you live with a man who does this you should be ashamed of yourself and him.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 22:51:54

Well why don't you put the idea across then, if of course you haven't already done so. Why don't you also tell the govt to start getting the CSA to pursue new partners for CM? I'm really interested to know how they'd go about doing that.

ReallyTired, I am 2 months away from giving birth to mine and OH's second child. He lost his job when I was 5 months pregnant. Not ideal to be having another baby whilst he's out of work, but how were we to know that circumstances were going to change?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 01-Jan-13 22:54:05

borninastorm, I'm assuming your post doesn't apply to me?

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 22:55:52

well said bornina. although i would like to add that women are doing this aswell as men.

that's why i think it should be possible for the Govt to insist the person financially supporting the non working/non benefit claiming NRP should be liable for the CS. i think it would make ALOT of people think twice before moving in with a person who doesn't pay for their children if they thought they would have to pay for it themselves. i also think it would make it harder for people not to pay CS unless they were lucky enough to meet someone who was more than happy to pay for their children. and NRPs who didn't pay would hopefully end up thinking it's too much hard work trying to say i have no money (if they were having to prove how they were surviving) and would just either come clean and pay or claim benefits and pay.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 22:58:37

it isn't on their radar at all sowhat. if there was likely to be a genuine effort by the Govt to focus on solutions to this problem i would definitely get involved and put it forward but at the minute it just isn't being considered at all. they're more interested in washing their hands of the responsibility of making NRPs pay by actually charging the parents who are just trying to get what they are owed from non compliant NRPs.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:00:35

i don't think born's post applies to parents who are paying for their dcs sowhat your DH has his dd half of the week and is paying his share.

borninastorm Tue 01-Jan-13 23:04:47

sowhat as you and your DP share custody of the SC then it doesnt apply to you.

booy I do appreciate that women do it too and should have put that in my post. Sorry.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 23:09:13

Boohoo I ment if your not the parent of the child and don't live in the child's household.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:17:13

you're still the parent's partner and have combined incomes with them. child maintenance is an expense of your partner's, just like the others. you dont get to cancel it. when you combine finances with a partner and are agreeing to support them financially if they lose a job then that includes their obligation to their children.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:20:30

it all comes back to this idea some people seem to have that paying for children is optional. "well i'll pay what i can, if i'm not working that means nothing" people who think like this need to change their thinking and realise that children cost the same no matter what you are earning or not earning and you just have to find a way to pay it.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 23:23:23

Fwiw.

I would not enter into a relationship with a bloke who had children and gave me any cause to believe that he felt he shouldn't have to pay towards there upkeep. If I became aware that he had cease to pay maintainance that would be a good enough reason for me to kick him out,and if he tried to lie about his income to reduce his lability I would also dump him.

My last husband tried to use my children that he had no financial responsibility towards( we did not share finances) to reduce his lability towards his own child,I politely asked him not to he went behind my back and did it anyway so I provided evidence to the csa that he had no responsibility towards them and requested they not be used to reduce his payments, the csa were gobsmacked that I requested it. Hopefully our divorce will be final soon.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:33:14

same here sock. unfortunately many will which is why i think it should be made an undesirable choice. perhaps if they thought it would actually cost them their own money to harbour a neglectful parent they would be more inclined to think twice and maybe realise that the money has to come from somewhere, as some seem to think it magics itself out of thin air of a NRP doesn't pay it.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 23:33:48

And I would pay someone's maintainance for them I have been fairly open on threads like this in the past about the fact that I am currently paying towards a child of my late husband and the child of my ex ( who I also have a child with) but no way should I have to.

The csa used to take partners income into account when assessing the nrp's disposable income and what could be disallowed from there income. But quite rightly they stopped it because it was unfair.

I would rather be buggered by a rusty pitchfork than take money from someone who was not my child's actual parent. But then I'm of the mindset that nrp's partners are nothing at all to do with my children.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 23:35:08

I would have thought the knowledge they will also do it to them if they breakup should be enough to do it grin

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:37:49

you would imagine so but sadly it doesn't seem to be. some people are very good at lying and others are very good at lying to themselves and saying "it wont happen to me, he/she loves me. EX was a psycho"

LadyMaryChristmas Tue 01-Jan-13 23:40:19

I wouldn't accept money from the ex's new wife (I doubt very much she'd offer as she seems to be colluding with him at the moment hmm). I'm no longer going to rely upon him for anything, I can support ds myself. I am, however, going to drag him through the courts (it's the principle of it rather than any need) and any maintenance is going to be put into a bank account for ds's university course. Does this sound fair?

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 01-Jan-13 23:44:18

Yes.

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:46:17

surely it would still be from him though as they have combined their finances?

when EXp and i were together all money went into 1 pot. if he wanted to buy himself a t-shirt it came out of money we had both earned and when i wasn't working i was looking after our dcs so still contributing (by negating the need for childcare costs for him while he worked) and considered the money he earned as both of ours.

LadyMaryChristmas Tue 01-Jan-13 23:46:33

It makes me wonder what goes through the NRP's heads. How can they care so little? sad

Booyhoo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:54:23

i think those that dont pay it must really think it isn't necessary. i think they must look at it as 'extra' money for the PWC rather than essential for feeding/clothing the dcs.

my EXp for example, informed me in january that he was reducing his monthly payment by £50/month as he was buying a house, then again he reduced it in may because he was buying an engagement ring for new fiancee and then again in october as he was buying a new car. it is well below the CSA recommnded minimum. (i have now gone through CSA to try and get it back-waiting to hear back from them) he obvioulsy just sees it as optional money that he is giving to me if he feels like it rather than seeing it as food for the dcs. he must do otherwise how could he cope with his conscience?

LadyMaryChristmas Wed 02-Jan-13 00:08:32

Ds's was reduced (briefly) so that he could pay for his wedding. hmm He's been ignoring me since May (when he stopped paying). He won't answer my calls or return my emails. He lives in Ireland so I can't visit (not that I'd want to). My solicitor is sending a letter, I have to go through the courts myself as legal aid doesn't cover this apparently. The CSA won't help as he's not in the UK. His sister is usually supportive so I emailed her to tell her how broke we were, I was fobbed off with all sort of excuses from the exchange rate to the threat of redundancy he's been under for 4 years. He's a class A tosser. The only reason why he stopped paying was because ds said he didn't want to spend a day with him. Ds hasn't spent more than an hour with his father for over 10 years, the last time he saw ds (see's ds for an hour every 18 months) he shouted and swore in ds's face. It's just another way to control me. I can't see what else to do.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 00:19:29

If your in a partnership and combine finances then in all fairness something's should be removed before the money goes into the pot.

Like taxes and child maintainance if there are any none resident children taxes are made easier because if your employed they are done at source

Booyhoo Wed 02-Jan-13 00:30:25

but tax doesn't go into the pot anyway sock it's taken before you get your salary in your account.
sorry i'm a bit confused as to what you mean by that last post.

charlearose Wed 02-Jan-13 01:00:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Booyhoo Wed 02-Jan-13 01:07:23

if it wors for both parties then no need to change it. it would be great if all separated parents could come to an agreement between themselves that both are happy with but unfortunately lots cant for many reasons.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 01:10:31

What I ment was we accept tax is taken before it gets to the pot, and IMHO we should also accept that cm should be paid before it gets as far as the pot.

That way less second partners would feel fleeced by there partner paying cm.

Because like it or not there are a shit load of partners who view it as being taken off them for children who are not there's or would pressure for it to be defaulted on.

If it were at source deduction or treated as such by the person liable for the payment it wouldn't even be a consideration when budget planning as it wouldn't be part of the budget.

I'm probably making no sense at all but I know what I mean grin

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 01:14:59

And I'm another one who thinks that if it works for both parents then its brilliant.

That is the arrangement my ex and I made but sadly it only worked for him as he would just point blank refuse to buy anything for our child to the point of screaming at me in the street over a pair of school trousers that our child grew out of.

charlearose Wed 02-Jan-13 01:21:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Booyhoo Wed 02-Jan-13 01:26:25

ah yes i see what you mean. i support the idea of it being deducted at source like tax, but i think if they are to do that (yeah right) then they need to implement something that would mean payment would still be made if NRP became unemployed, so they would be entitled to their benefits but the CS amount would be deducted before payment was made to claimant. does that make sense? there would still be the problem of those who say they aren't working but dont claim benefits though. not sure how you would get round that one.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 01:33:39

Yes that's exactly what I ment.

With benefits they already do deduct the fiver a week automatically at source ( due to go up to a tenner a week when the new rules come in) it may be that the pwc has to request it but I never had to my fiver came straight out of my ex's army pension. ( treated as a benefit even tho he has loads of other income).

Booyhoo Wed 02-Jan-13 01:36:15

ah right. i didn't know that it came straight out.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 02:22:45

Can I also throw out a random thing.

If your ex pays and you chose to save it for kids when they are adults I hope you make it clear its a gift from you not your ex.

It's your money to contribute towards what you spend on bringing up your child however you see fit.

BoffinMum Wed 02-Jan-13 08:28:21

I think non payers see the money as a gift to the ex, not maintenance for the children.

I am quite shocked someone would reduce payments in order to buy an engagement ring though. What planet are they on????? They probably need sending off to budget boot camp and made to assess their earning power and priorities.

sashh Wed 02-Jan-13 08:40:14

Iactuallydothinkso

If you have a court order (assuming you do if bailiffs have been sent round) and he owes more then £750 then you can bypass the bailifs and apply for your ex to be made bankrupt.

If you are on a low income it won't even cost you anything.

You can also get the court to order him to appear and explain his financed to the court.

izzyhasanewchangeling Wed 02-Jan-13 10:35:27

I like the idea of it being deducted at source - we then wouldn't have been subjected to youngest sc begging US not to take money from her mum for older SC.

And then when older SC grown DH would have had maint for younger sc taken.

Only issue in complex cases like ours is potentially if DH had had younger scs maintenance deducted but ex did not Have older scs deducted.

There is I think no one size fits all solution.

I also take issue with the way final settlements can be over ridden - so a friend of mine signed over fmh and got loan so it was completely mortgage free.

This was to be instead of ongoing maintenance plus about a 35% contact pattern with each parent covering costs and half school expenses. this worked for about 5 years until a row over something trivial got blown out of proportion when ex went to csa and the £100, 000 plus settlement on divorce was ignored by csa.

Life isn't black and white all the time - its such a complex and emotive area.

TinksMama Wed 02-Jan-13 10:50:16

My DSD is 11yo now and her mother has stopped making any financial contribution. She's just decided to go to uni (rather than getting an actual JOB, but she hasn't had one of those since 2001 so why change now) as the status of being a student will have some effect on whether her benefits are cut when her youngest child turns 7 next year.

But, basically, she gets financial aid from uni as she is a "single mum" (she's been dating someone for over a year but benefits agency aren't interested in pursuing it) and because she doesn't technically have an income she has no financial obligation to pay anything for her child.

We has told us that she is much better off being at uni as she can have an overdraft and there are financial benefits to it but says that because CSA have said she doesn't have to pay she won't pay a single penny.

It's not just fathers out there who don't pay. And it's not just the big earners who refuse to pay either.

Ooh I feel so angry, need another coffee to calm down!

bigkidsdidit Wed 02-Jan-13 11:04:26

this should be a big MN campaign before the next election.

I am happily married to DS's dad but my own dad left my SAH mother when she had been at home for 10 years and evaded paying maintenance for years. It is a hugely important issue

mumandboys123 Wed 02-Jan-13 11:06:05

tinksmama - I have been a student as a single parent and it isn't financially lucrative. She will get money on top of her student loans to help with living expenses but that's it - it doesn't amount to much, believe me. If she's doing it to avoid maintenance then life won't be any better for her than if she had worked in a minimum wage job and paid maintenance - probably worse.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 12:13:18

Tinks, her having a partner would make no difference to any maintainance liabilities.

And if she's on benefits the change now happens when the youngest is 5 not 7 ( they switch from is to Jsa)

If she receives any personal benefit income then she's liable for the £5 pw student or not.

It may be worth another call to the csa.

flow4 Wed 02-Jan-13 13:15:12

sashh one of the biggest problems with the CSA (IMO) is that non-married parents do not have the right/power to pursue a NRP through the courts for maintenance: only the CSA has the power to do that on their behalf, and generally they don't bother.

So - just to spell it out and be absolutely clear because I don't think most people realise this - because we were not married, I cannot take my DS's dad to court for maintenance, I can only ask the CSA to do it for me. He owes me over £25,000 in unpaid arrears, but I cannot pursue this: only the CSA can. I can't ask the court to send bailiffs, or take out an attachment of earnings; only the CSA can. I have no right to take any direct legal action against my DS's dad.

It took the CSA over a decade to do anything, and they weren't successful in anything they did, so I have had nothing. And there is nothing I can do about it. This is why so many parents are so frustrated. angry sad

ivykaty44 Thu 03-Jan-13 12:07:31

flow - are you sure that you can't go to court to seek maintenance for your children due to not having been married to your spouse?

As you used to be able to take a man to court for maintenance even if you were not married - what happened to change this?

ChocHobNob Thu 03-Jan-13 15:53:56

Why can't they get any money off of him Flow? Is it down to their incompetence? Have you contacted a local MP to try and push them to do more.

flow4 Thu 03-Jan-13 17:01:06

ivyk - Yes, sadly I am sure. The 1991 Child Support Act that created the CSA also took away an unmarried parent's right to pursue the NRP for maintainance through the courts; it is only possible to make a private arrangement or go through the CSA sad
(Here are a couple of sources for anyone who's interested: a and b )

Choc - Yes, initially it was entirely down to the incompetence of the CSA. When they had failed to take any action - and had not even made an assessment so he was not actually liable to pay anything and I had therefore lost thousands - they acknowledged their fault and paid me maximum compensation. However, this was a paltry £400, which represented around 10% of what I had lost. Yes, I contacted my MP; but there was nothing more they could do, since I had already had maximum compensation.

After this, the CSA made an assessment and began to take some action, but slowly and incompetently. It became clear that DS's father had no intention to pay anyway. He left two jobs at the point the CSA contacted his employer. Finally, around 10 years after I had first contacted the CSA, he left the UK to work abroad in a country where there is no 'reciprocal arrangement' so he cannot be pursued there. He has now been there for about 4 years. All in all, it is about 14-15 years since I first made a claim for maintenance, and I have not received a single penny.

Last time I checked, he owed around £25K in assessed arrears, but that was a few years ago. Tbh I stopped asking, because I found it so incredibly frustrating to be told again and again that he had paid nothing and there was nothing I could do. sad angry

We have done OK. We (well, I!) 'cut our cloth according to our means' and we live modestly but quite comfortably. I work and I own my own house. I am proud to support my children by myself... But as DS1 has started to talk about perhaps going to university, I have started to think about the fact that I will not be able to help him out much, and that that £25K we haven't had - and will probably never get - would have gone a long way towards paying his fees... sad

The CSA is not fit for purpose. Frankly, given the appalling way in which so many families have been let down, I think someone's head should roll. But whoever is in charge will probably get a knighthood instead. hmm

ivykaty44 Thu 03-Jan-13 17:22:47

Thanks flow for that - the cases I was thinking about were before 1991 so this of course makes sense. I knew married spouse could claim but it never dawned on me the rules were then different for unmarried spouses sad

ChocHobNob Thu 03-Jan-13 17:32:28

Why was the "maximum compensation" only £400. If they admitted liability and were at fault for not contacting him to conduct the assessment, they should have been liable for the whole loss to you.

It's a very small consolation, but that debt will always be owed and you can make a claim to his estate when he dies.

flow4 Thu 03-Jan-13 22:34:01

He is very, very unlikely to have any estate when he dies Choc - so I reckon the money is lost forever.

I got the compensation a long time ago (about a decade) so I can't remember why the max was £400, but it was. It was a statutory maximum liability as I remember - i.e. the CSA regulations said no more could be claimed. There was no assessment made, so no way of working out how much DS's dad would have been liable for, and therefore how much I had lost, perhaps...?

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 06-Jan-13 17:34:35

So, how do you start a petition?

ChocHobNob Sun 06-Jan-13 18:22:41

What would you start a petition for though? It already is a criminal offence to not pay child support when the CSA have assessed and ordered it. They have the powers to take you to court, to take your driving licence and passport off of you and to withdraw money from bank accounts without permission.

The problem isn't that the ability to do all of those things aren't there, it's that the CSA don't do it!

But they are making changes. For example they are bringing in the Gross Income Scheme which means assessments are made on last year's end of year income figures provided by HMRC, so there will be no need to request income details from the Non Resident Parent ... hopefully speeding up assessments and speeding up payments starting. They will get the figures, do the assessment, ask for payment and if nothing take it directly from the employers of PAYE workers.

It wont tackle those who leave the country. But if they go to a country covered by REMO there are means to try and claim child maintenance. If not though, that needs tackling.

It wont tackle self employed, who cook the books. That needs tackling.

It wont tackle those who have no income. But then you cannot take money from people who have none. But that is another argument, one where it needs to be argued that parents SHOULD be made to work to support their children when they can ... not that it should be against the law, because it already is.

A petition to make it a criminal offence to not pay child support would be fruitless because it already is.

flow4 Sun 06-Jan-13 19:40:53

Info about how to start an online petition here, LadyMary: epetitions.direct.gov.uk/how-it-works

But Choc is right: the wording of any petition is crucial: it won't get approved if you ask for something that already exists, and it won't get support if it isn't crystal-clear to everyone who reads it.

However, Choc, you're wrong about non-payment being a criminal offence already: it isn't, it's a civil offence...

ChocHobNob Sun 06-Jan-13 20:39:46

Sorry, yes it is a civil offence. But an offence none the less. One which can result in seizure of assets, seizure of driving licences and passports and in extreme cases imprisonment.

Which is what the OP said they wanted, for non payers to be imprisoned. They already can be if the CSA try to take it that far.

So a petition wouldn't work on those grounds.

flow4 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:49:46

I personally would like to see the CSA itself liable to pay any maintainance they fail to recover! But I know there is not a snowball's chance in hell of that happening... hmm

ChocHobNob Sun 06-Jan-13 20:51:48

Good in theory, only that money would have to come from the tax payer.

flow4 Sun 06-Jan-13 20:54:43

I know, I know... :-(

But it does seem unfair that the CSA can fail to take any action at all for a decade (in my own case), so that I lost tens of thousands of pounds... And yet only have to give me £400 in compensation. I would like to have some way of, um, focussing their minds on doing their feckin' job!

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 06-Jan-13 20:57:28

I'm thinking about this. It should be a criminal offence rather than a civil one as it is, technically, abuse. To with hold money like this is detrimental to a child's welfare and forces that child into poverty, so it should have the same criminal penalties as other types of abuse. If they leave the UK and stop paying they should be brought back.

The problem I have is that ds's father isn't in the UK so I have to go through REMO. I can't get any help with this as he's out of the UK jurisdiction and legal aid doesn't cover it. He's using all sorts of excuses not to pay, the latest is that he doesn't feel appreciated hmm (I've raised ds from birth by myself and have never had so much as a mother's day card from him, nor do I expect one). He's refused to contact ds until ds apologises for correcting his grammar and asking about his maintenance (ds is 13, I can't hide this from him now). Ds has apologised, but he's still not paying or contacting him.

ChocHobNob Sun 06-Jan-13 21:02:14

There are the same penalties. Fines, imprisonment etc. In fact there are more penalties than those for abuse when you factor in seizure of assets, the force of sale of their houses and removing their passports.

It is also a criminal offence to provide incorrect information to the CSA.

There are two issues. The CSA not doing what they can. Those non paying parents (not always Dads) who find a way around paying.

flow4 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:07:56

My DS's dad has gone to live in a country where there is no reciprocal arrangement, so we're stuffed... He wrote to me to tell me I had 'forced' him out of the country by involving the CSA. hmm angry

Not paying for your TV licence is a criminal offence, but not paying for your child is just a civil one... Jus' sayin'...

LadyMaryChristmas Sun 06-Jan-13 21:10:53

I agree with that. The threads on here do show that the CSA is incompetent. The penalties only take effect once a court order has been breached. If a court order hasn't been granted in the first place then any punishments are irrelevant.

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