AIBU to expect my ex to pay child support - he thinks he shouldn't need to

(57 Posts)
glitternanny Sun 05-May-13 19:50:37

Does anyone have experience of ex partners arguing over maintenance

Yesterday my ex informed me he couldn't afford to pay maintenance (£140pm) - and wants it scrapped/reduced. He's spoken to the CAB and they've told him that he doesn't need to pay anything, and a court would agree with him. I told him to let me know what he thought was reasonable amount but that I would be speaking to the CAB and getting legal advice.

He then posted on FB that he needed some advice - whether to be an arsehole or not - not quite sure what his decision is.

He pays me £140 a month on maintenance - and another £360 in money he owed me (cant transfer to his name) He's due to pay me on Friday when he gets paid. This is the amount the CSA says i should have given the amount of nights he has him.

Our access at the moment relates to his shifts - he works 4 nights, has our LB 2 nights normally - he has 2 more days off and then works 4 days and has him 3 nights. When he has overtime (2/3/4 a month) I have our LB instead - can be anything upto 2 extra days depend on whether its an extra night or an extra day

I need to try and speak to CAB on Tuesday and child options I think my friend suggested and maybe a solicitor if I need to sad

any thoughts/suggestions welcome

;( I can cope with no maintenance until september when my hours change then I'm screwed and if he decides to pay me nothing then I'll probably have to either rent out or sell my flat and move sad

HollyBerryBush Sun 05-May-13 19:52:26

Go through the CSA.

fengirl1 Sun 05-May-13 19:53:57

Why should you manage with no maintenance? It sounds like you're already doing this through the CSA, so if he stops paying you just ask them to take it direct from his wages (if that hasn't changed recently). Give them a ring.

finickypinickity Sun 05-May-13 19:57:44

Do you mean you have outstanding debts from your relationship that are in your name which is what he pays the 360 pcm for and the 140 is separate for maintenance?

MySonIsDrivingMeCrazy Sun 05-May-13 20:00:31

Definitely go through the CSA.

The financial sacrifices of parenting should be a equalised a little - that is not unreasonable.

deleted203 Sun 05-May-13 20:01:51

You need to contact the CSA - it's not his decision on what he pays; they assess the child's needs and his income and tell him what he has to pay.

However...speaking from looooong experience, the CSA are shit. My ex never paid anything for about 10 years. Then when 3 DCs were mid teens he coughed up £30 a week for them (total) for about 18 months as CSA said that was all he could afford on his income. And now (again) he pays nothing for the last child still left in education. This is a man with an income of £62,000 a year and no mortgage on his property.

I have no idea how they work. Suffice to say they don't in my opinion.

glitternanny Sun 05-May-13 20:02:07

its not done through the CSA at the moment

glitternanny Sun 05-May-13 20:03:14

yes finickypinickity that's right - £140 is CM and the rest is money for debts he owes me

meglet Sun 05-May-13 20:06:16

Go to the CSA. He's messing you around and he knows it.

FWIW I've not had a single problem with the CSA in 3.6yrs since I started the case. First phone call was at the end of Oct and first payment came through just before Xmas.

finickypinickity Sun 05-May-13 20:07:16

Have you got a formal written agreement regarding the money he owes you which make him responsible legally?

Sorry to ask questions but if you are in the same position i was with ex then its a really tricky one when it comes to the CSA as they are not interested in anything other than the standard calculation.

glitternanny Sun 05-May-13 20:08:17

No i have nothing written formally _ I have a screen print of a text he sent me detailing what he needs to pay me for debts.

finickypinickity Sun 05-May-13 20:17:20

I can only outline the mess i got myself in by consolidating Ex's debt into a loan in my name as he couldnt get credit. When we split he paid part of what he owed for the monthly payments of the loan and a small amount of maintenance alongside.

He then refused to pay the loan because it was in my name so i went to the CSA who would only calculate his payment on his earnings which when he chucked his job in was nothing because he lived with another woman who supported himangry

I would have had to take legal advice and go through some sort of legal process to try and reclaim the loan amount with no guarentees i would have won. I dimly signed the loan agreement not realising he was cheating.

I ended up with no maintenance and worse still, no payments for the consolidation loan in my name. I'm still paying it 8 years later which shows how huge the loan was! Fuckwit has never paid me a penny in maintenance either.

Lesson learnt.... I hope you arnt in the same situationsad

fabinacab Sun 05-May-13 20:20:57

Please dont get me started on this ex hasn't paid a penny for twoyrs for his three kids.he gets a nice discount for his new wifes kids, who she gets maintenance for from their father.hes not allowed to see them, various reasons so thinks he dosent need to pay.csa are fighting a loosing battle.

If he works he should pay, don't waste money on a solicitor, go to CSA.

Warning though they have a huge backlog, so it may take time angry

Fab - why are csa not taking it direct from his salary. I presume he works?

fabinacab Mon 06-May-13 05:43:20

Because apparently he has several sources of income so a detachment of earnings wont work so im told.they are now depending on him to pay direct to them, if he dosent then it goes back to criminal compliance again and they will consider court action. But im not hopeful because ive heard all this before. He will make one payment if any then change his address or circumstances for the 7 th time.part of me dosent even want his bloody money but why should the kids suffer?

RedHelenB Mon 06-May-13 07:04:24

Glitternanny - any CSA or court directed maintenance comes before his debts so CAB obviously haven't been consulted!! As to the debt he owes you, he 's right in that if he is asking other creditors to take less, you should get hte same proportion otherwise he is favouring one creditor over another.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 06-May-13 07:07:09

You need to get a solicitor onto the debt agreement fairly quickly. CSA for the maintenance payments. If he's trying to wriggle out of paying for his children, his next step is going to be letting you down on the money he owes. Get advice about that so that you can sue if he breaches the agreement.

DeskPlanner Mon 06-May-13 07:32:38

Go through the CSA. People should pay for their children.

TigerSwallowTail Mon 06-May-13 08:19:57

CSA work on how many nights a year a NPR has a child, how many does ex normally have dc? If he was paying the same amount as the CSA calculator said then you should just have him pay through the CSA, you don't need to chase the money from him and you'll be getting the same amount anyway.

fabinacab Mon 06-May-13 08:46:58

Unless you have a consent order with a divorce or seperation under 1 yr old you can longer take somebody ro court for non payment child maintenance. I saw a solicitor myself about six weeks ago.the law haa changed and if you cant agree on a private arrangement it has to ge csa.

TigerSwallowTail Mon 06-May-13 08:52:17

fab are you saying you can or can't take someone to court over maintenance? Your post isn't clear.

If you can't take someone to court over maintenance, does this apply to the CSA too, so a NPR would never have to go to court for non payment even if it was the CSA trying to take them?

niceguy2 Mon 06-May-13 09:00:19

How much of the debt is outstanding? In other words how long will he be expected to pay you £360 a month for his previous debts? I assume from the way you've said you can't transfer into his name then that this debt is in your name but he used the money?

I wouldn't automatically go to the CSA. Problem is if you go to the CSA he will likely throw his toys out of his pram and as others have said, may well just give you the maintenance due and nothing else.

The debt (assuming it is in your name) will be difficult to enforce since you have little evidence and it is in your name. Not to mention costly.

All the while you will have your own bills to pay and much less coming in.

Your ex is probably feeling the pinch from having to pay you a total of £500 a month which unless he is a high earner is likely to feel quite painful for him. Whilst he is totally responsible and is what he SHOULD do. What people actually do is often totally different.

And what he should pay you won't put food on the table. Only what he does, will.

So if I were in your shoes, I'd speak nicely to him first, nod all sympathetically (even if you want to punch him in the mouth) and see if he is agreeable to anything else? I don't know what your situation is like but is he willing to have your son a little more? Or maybe can you reduce debt payments over a longer period or maybe pay more over less? I'd definitely show some sympathy of his 'situation' before involving the CSA. The latter tends to draw battle lines and right now you need his money to make ends meet but you are in a weak position.

ecclesvet Mon 06-May-13 11:33:21

"Our access at the moment relates to his shifts - he works 4 nights, has our LB 2 nights normally - he has 2 more days off and then works 4 days and has him 3 nights. When he has overtime (2/3/4 a month) I have our LB instead - can be anything upto 2 extra days depend on whether its an extra night or an extra day"

So he has him 5 nights out of 10? Is that right?

mumandboys123 Mon 06-May-13 11:42:35

tiger the issue with maintenance and the courts is quite complex but essentially, the CSA has legal jurisdiction over child maintenance. As a result, once a case is open, it's not possible to use the courts as a person in your own right to obtain an order for child maintenance. The CSA can, however, use the court system to push through payments of maintenance.

It is still possible to not use the CSA and have an agreement for child maintenance written into an order following divorce. However, the child maintenance bit of it will only 'hold' for 12 months. At that point, either parent can go to the CSA and the CSA will take on the case. If neither parent goes to the CSA, then the NRP has to pay until either the order is changed to say they don't have to pay or they drop dead. If you have such an order and the CSA are not involved, it is possible to chase arrears yourself through the courts. However, it is not possible for the CSA to chase arrears that accrued prior to them taking over the case.

Hope that clears things up!

OP - no, it's not unreasonable to expect an ex to pay maintenance for their children. The CSA is your only option if he won't pay.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 11:48:34

If the sum he pays is based on what the csa would expect him to pay taking into account the reduction for contact then don't even get into it with him.

Child maintenance is a different issue to debt repayments. And unless he has lost his job then he has not taking advice regarding this from the cab he is either lying or is misinterpreting what they have said.

Dont even get into it with him just use the csa ( don't bother if he's self employed) then tackle the debt as a totally separate issue but be prepared for him to try and claim the debt payments are actually child maintenance and go back on his agreement.

1Catherine1 Mon 06-May-13 12:07:43

I think niceguy2 has a very good point. Unless you want to get screwed for the money he owes you, it would be best to play nice and sympathetic and agree to reducing some payments (for his loan - over a longer period) in exchange for something signed. I would seek legal advice though.

I only say this as I have also fallen victim to an ex using my overdrafts and spending my student loans to start up his business and then after we split said that he did no such thing. I spoke to CAB who told me that it wasn't worth pursuing because the cost of the case was about equal to what he owed me and the chance of winning wasn't great. 10 years later, I'm still paying for the student loan I was pushed into taking out.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Mon 06-May-13 12:15:53

I get the feeling there is a bit of 'muddied waters' here with regard to the money your ex is paying you, and the advice he's had from CAB. I suspect they have told him he doesn't have to pay you the debt, if its a loan in your name with no tangible link to him at all. He's possibly asked them about both the debt and maintenance and has come up with a confused inaccurate conclusion. The maintenance you can sort thru CSA but the debt? That could be a whole lot more difficult to resolve especially if he isn't legally liable for that debt. I've been in a similar situation re debt/maintenance/ex and while the maintenance is now paid via CSA the debt I've had to write off as I couldn't force him to pay it back. If there is anyway to enforce the debt, get advice as someone else has said. It sounds messy and unsustainable long term for him to pay £500 p/m even if he does owe you for the debt, if he can't afford it.

fabinacab Mon 06-May-13 12:42:40

The csa can take someone to court for maintenance but joe public cant now unless there has been a default on a consent order at time of seperation or divorce and its under a year old.we got referred back to the csa.

fabinacab Mon 06-May-13 12:49:35

The law has recently changed because I was going to close the csa case and take my ex to court.the solicitor said I could not.courts do not deal with it now .unless as previously stated it was within a divorce.if there any solicitor s on here that know different I would be glad to know because im owed 5 grand so far.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 12:55:58

If those built up whilst because of a csa none payment then they can and should enforce it.

fabinacab Mon 06-May-13 14:18:02

Yes they should , but he has no assests, hes put his vehicle in someone elses name, and will work cash in hand to avoid payment.its a no win situation.

1Catherine1 Mon 06-May-13 14:29:41

Then Fabinacab, he has to live with being officially a complete arsehole. I wonder if he intends to do this forever? What a life to live... "I will never have anything or work an honest day in my life just to avoid paying a penny to my ex".. There are many words to describe men like him, I'm sure you've used most of them.

Out of curiosity, when you child/children grow up and he hasn't paid you this money, does he still owe it to you ans will the CSA still try to take it?

fabinacab Mon 06-May-13 14:47:53

Yes the debt is still there even when they finish education.he will always owe it.the latest calculation I had on his earnings was £63 a week for our 3 kids, but he gets £80 discount for her three. Its disgusting , but like my mum said , I didnt get much from him when we were married so nothings changed.his priorities will always be alcohol, drugs and other women. I pity his wife in a way, but then as a long standing friend of ours she knew what she was getting into.

TheRealFellatio Mon 06-May-13 14:52:26

am no expert on htese things but as far as I can tell from what you've said so far, he has pretty much 50:50 care so I guess the CSA are telling him he does not need to pay you money for the child's keep if you both keep him equally?

mummyddoll Mon 06-May-13 15:04:33

Hi sorry always just lurked but felt i should comment as going through a similar thing unfortunately I have been going thru csa for 7 years & as ex dp was self employed & lied through his teeth regularly he managed to mess me & csa around all those years however th csa has recently been taken over by dept work & pensions & all of a sudden I hv regular payments all so far so good smileI would def contact csa let them deal with it & make sure you have proof of debts he is paying as he could use proof of bank transfer but say it was for cs,been here also! good luck grin

OpheliasWeepingWillow Mon 06-May-13 15:15:52


Ignore all else. He's a prat.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 06-May-13 16:59:53


Even with a 50:50 the csa will still normally make a assessment. Its just the usual assessment with the largest contact deduction taken out.

glitternanny Tue 07-May-13 21:33:08

I spoke to them - I am entitled to something - he has to have our boy for 176+ nights a month for it to qualify as shared care - and yes they'd still ask for a token amount.

Cut a long story short I'm entitled for £117 a month - so less than I was getting but much better than nothing at all.

So i emailed him that and he said 'that's fine' am sure he wasn't expecting to get an extra £23 a month - not gonna make that much difference to him really

He's since asked for a list of other bills he's paying me for - my answer was 'nothing else has changed' which is true - his car, his share of the loan, his mobile/internet etc. Dunno what he wanted that for....

1Catherine1 Wed 08-May-13 06:55:09

I think he's about to try and swindle you out of that money owed too. Depending on what the total amount of that remaining debt is, I would be seeking legal advice soon.

Perhaps he should try to get a loan to pay you back, would be less than ideal for him but he could spread the cost over a longer period of time and you would be 100% paid back.

StuntGirl Wed 08-May-13 08:03:49

Go to CSA.

BillMasen Wed 08-May-13 09:11:49

Just a quick enquiry. Does everyone feel its fair that there are still payments due even though care is 50:50 (and all associated costs like food, clothes etc are also split)? I'm in a similar position (however paying the CSA calculated amount with no argument at all). It just feels a touch inequitable.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 08-May-13 09:24:28

fab do we have the same ex grin mine just goes SE or gets jobs paying cash in hand if the csa catch up with him.

I've had less than two years payment since we split up when ds was 4, he's 18 now. In the end I just had to let it go, it was causing me too much anger and resentment.

Op I'd see if you can get something in writing. What exactly is he paying you for? You mention car, mobile Internet and loan? Are all these things in your name?

glitternanny Wed 08-May-13 09:37:38

yes everything is in my name idiot tho his car is too and he's been told if he stops paying me ill take the car

he can't get finance

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 08-May-13 09:43:10

I guess at least if he does stop paying you you can take car/ mobile Internet back (cancel the Internet as soon as you can!)

I did the same, took out a loan for a car. I got stuck with the car in the end, can't even drive and it sold for a lot less than I took out

1Catherine1 Wed 08-May-13 10:30:45

BillMasen - I think it all depends on the circumstances. For instance, if my DH and I were to split (Which we are not considering but just for example). I would expect him to take our DD 50:50 of the time. He simply loves her to pieces but works shifts so would take her in a similar fashion as the OP has described.

I've thought much about your question, and wrote a very long detailed answer - then decided it was far too personal so have simplified it. IMO as long as the child has a main home and a second home, then there are some things the RP will pay for and the NRP won't even think about. Days the child is off sick for one - it will be the RP who ends up losing a days pay, in preference to the NRP. Clothing essentials, rather than luxuries is another. So child maintenance should be paid - some months the NRP will overpay, and other months the NRP will underpay but eventually it should even out. Feel free to disagree with me, politely of course.

If it could be balanced so a child has no main home or second home, and two RP (albeit in different homes) and no NRP, then no child maintenance should be paid, but I struggle to see how that would work though.

BillMasen Wed 08-May-13 10:41:11

catherine thanks. Not so much a disagreement, more a clarification smile. Say neither parent was working for a while, care was exactly 50:50 and kids were not at school. I don't see what costs the RP has that the NRP does not.

From my pov it looks like its all semantics around there being technically a NRP.

Please don't take this as a whine about paying for kids, it's not. It's a small whine about the starting assumption that NRPs (dads) need to be forced to pay RPs (mums).

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 08-May-13 10:57:11

It's a tricky one I guess, if everything is split 50/50 (which would be difficult) what happens if one parent is earning less, is this because they stayed at home with the dc when they were younger, did this hinder their progression at work? Is the other person doing well because they didn't have to worry about childcare as there was a sahp around.

BillMasen Wed 08-May-13 10:59:26

moomins that would be a separate debate about whether maintenance is due to the parent. Not about what is needed for the children.

That's a whole new thread....

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 08-May-13 11:20:53

Well that depends, if you were never married and not entitled to maintenance yourself and the dc spend half the week living in a 4 bed detached house in a nice area and the other half in a 2 bed flat in a not so nice area then maybe extra child support should be paid.

1Catherine1 Wed 08-May-13 12:01:10

Your situation is very contrived. Given your situation, where you have managed a perfect balance with no RP/NRP situation, then I agree no child maintenance should be paid. However, this would only stand true where both parents did an equal share of buying the boring stuff. The non luxury clothes, as mentioned above - socks, knickers, multipack t-shirts, the real day to day stuff. I love my DH, but I know it wouldn't occur to him to buy these.

I suppose a situation could occur (my aunt and her ex-husband were that petty they actually did this), where the child could have 2 completely separate lives that never interact - where both houses had equally dedicated rooms and complete set of clothes (boring stuff and all), and the children were not to take either from the other. The set of clothes they arrived in would be the same one they would leave in when they went to the other house. The boys (my cousins) had 2 x-boxes (it was a while back) and a copy of their favourite game at both houses. This all came about due to their DF refusing to pay child maintenance. Personally, I thought it was a ridiculous set up. But hey - No RP/NRP. Kids hated it too, especially when they got a new game at dad's but had to wait for mum to get it or wait 3/4 days to play it again.

BillMasen Wed 08-May-13 12:29:35

Agreed catherine, that's too much and makes no sense in the real world. And I take moomins point about inequality of living standards too.

I suppose it's just this assumption that no matter what I as a NRP pays for or buys, there is always going to be more paid to the RP. Even if the standard of living is unequally biased (not in my favour I add)

We have 50/50 residency for DSD. She does have a complete set of clothes, toys etc in both homes but it's no biggie if something goes to the other home unless it ends up with both at one home and none at the other eg school shoes IYSWIM.

Nobody pays any maintenance as we have equal costs. I would imagine our financial situations are similar, although DH probably earns a bit more than his ex, we have 4 DC at our house whereas it's just DSD and her mum there.

Sorry I posted too soon.

The situation seems to work well for everyone, DSD is happy with 2 homes. When she was younger and DH was the NRP he paid maintenance, it was never an issue.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 08-May-13 12:50:12

bill it can work out unfair for NRP, the same as it can for the RP. I guess it would cost too much for them to look at individual cases in tiny detail.

I'm in a better financial position than exh so I take less maintenance than I would get if it were to go through the CSA. I know that if I didn't my ex couldn't afford to do some of the 1-1 things he does with ds2, which he really enjoys.

Some people will say he shouldn't have had another dc if it means he can't do the things with ds2 without me dropping the maintenance but I don't see it that way.

We don't have a 50/50 arrangement though

needaholidaynow Wed 08-May-13 12:58:00

MsInga That is the same with my DP and his ex. They have DSD 50/50, so share the costs of bringing her up. Nobody is doing more than the other. They both have a house to run and all that comes with that, plus everything DSD needs such as clothes, school dinners, uniform, and any thing else big they share the costs for. It's not just his ex that foots the bill at all.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 08-May-13 19:27:58

I think with 50-50 it very much matters whose responsibility things like school costs are or childcare or with a baby stuff like prams.

I know a nrp who claims he's 50/50 but in reality his ex funds everything is even expected to provide food whilst at dads, he works any child related things around his work but mum needs to work her work around the children its very subtle differences that do matter.

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