CSA and informal arrangement

(42 Posts)
rodders667 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:23:27

hello. I've been separated from my ex for two and a half years, and divorced for a year and a half. during that time we have made informal arrangements regarding maintenance payments. The figures have been based on the csa calculations and have been paid on time with no problems.

now my ex has decided she would rather use the CSA. The CSA have been in touch and are sendin me paperwork.

I have no real issue with any of this, but should I continue making informal payments whilst the CSA sort everything out, or could I end up paying twice if I don't stop payments?

Collaborate Sun 13-Jan-13 22:32:58

Work out what you think you'll have to pay and pay that. Provided its all going to your ex you shouldn't have to pay twice.

CabbageLeaves Sun 13-Jan-13 22:36:08

Keep evidence of payments!

CabbageLeaves Sun 13-Jan-13 22:36:33

Have you asked her why?

rodders667 Mon 14-Jan-13 08:40:01

I've been paying by standing order, so I should have evidence of payments.

I haven't asked her why, but I think it's got something to do with me moving in with my new partner. She's been with her current partner for over a year, is pregnant, and should be looking forward to a happy future. Unfortunately she doesn't want to afford me the same privilege.

Collaborate Mon 14-Jan-13 08:52:40

Why should her going to the CSA be such a problem unless you were paying under the odds before?

rodders667 Mon 14-Jan-13 09:23:20

Collaborate - Thanks for your insightful comment. However I did state I don't have a problem with it.

Collaborate Mon 14-Jan-13 09:34:53

The suggestion in your 8.40 post was that she'd be denying you a happy future by going to the CSA. She isn't of course.

In fact she's the one who might lose out as if she elects to have you pay the CSA it will take a couple of weeks before they pass the payments on to her.

smokinaces Mon 14-Jan-13 09:39:14

Maybe someone has told her your new partners income will be calculated in what she will get. Which isnt true any more. It was up until about eight years ago. Now all that affects is your income and any future children you have. Even if you remarry.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 09:39:21

OP you'd be as well stopping the informal payments u till you're assessed, otherwise they will sting you for arrears. Even if you have evidence of payment you'd have to fight tooth and mail to get arrears removed, and even then it's not certain

DoingItForMyself Mon 14-Jan-13 09:44:58

So the question is, should you stop contributing towards your children's upbringing because your ex wants things to be done on a formal basis so she knows where she stands in the future and isn't reliant on your goodwill?

Perhaps you should ask yourself, do you think that stopping payments now, (which you have both agreed to and which you have been making regularly) will make things run more smoothly or is it likely to inflame the situation?

You know the answer, but if you want to punish her for trying to protect herself and her children financially, knock yourself out. Otherwise, accept the situation and do all you can to sort it out amicably for the sake of your children.

rodders667 Mon 14-Jan-13 09:55:01

Collaborate - My ex is under the impression, for an unknown reason, that using the CSA will somehow harm me. I am slightly miffed as I have always paid on time and at the same level or more as the CSA would suggest. Isn't it a waste of the service if the need isn't there? Isn't it casting aspersions on my character?

I don't want my ex to be in hardship by me not paying until the assessment is complete, but at the same time I don't want to pay twice.

rodders667 Mon 14-Jan-13 10:01:12

DoingItForMyself - What a massively uninformed response! Obviously I don't know the answer, otherwise I wouldn't have asked!! Maybe you could post a question about how to deal with your aggression?

Only 1 month ago did I send a signed letter to her for the purposes of a mortgage approval outlining the maintenance payments I make. There is no reason for my ex to think I would stop payments, and there is no way I would stop them. Her motive is to punish me, when in fact financially it will make no difference to me, but if I have to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds in over payments that could have a very severe impact on my ability to pay bills, etc.

Mrcrumpswife Mon 14-Jan-13 10:01:51

Hi, i can only give advice based on our experience but I would stop all informal payments now as it can be a nightmare getting the CSA to recognise those payments when they calculate your arrears from the date she made the claim, even if you have proof. You would be far better off banking what you think you should be paying and then doing a lump sum when they finalise your annual payment schedule.

The CSA really are crap at times so write everything down and always ask who you are speaking to and make a note of date/time and person.

InNeatCognac Mon 14-Jan-13 10:06:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:08:23

This is exactly the sort of time wasting case that ties up CSA resources chasing reliable payers. The sort that most posters on mumsnet deny exist.

InNeatCognac Mon 14-Jan-13 10:09:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:12:58

"Why do you think they will take hundreds or thousands in overpayments?"

The CSA are well known for doing this. My DH was stung for just under £2k when his ex denied he'd been making voluntary payments pending finalisation of the figures from the CSA. Yes, she lied to a government agency and they ignored the proof my DH had of the payments.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:14:38

Its time wasting because the CSA has finite resources - instead of chasing the non payers, they instead focus on the easy cases, i.e. the voluntary payers. Its an easy way for them to get their internal stats to look better. Meanwhile a load of pwc's will be receiving nothing because the CSA resources are tied up elsewhere needlessly

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:15:29

"Why is it timewasting? The CSA provides a service, anyone is entitled to use it"

And everyone is wondering why they're going to start charging hmm

Mrcrumpswife Mon 14-Jan-13 10:17:44

I absolutely agree with allnewtaketwo having been in the same position. The advisor would only base the assessment on what the payments were from the date Ex claimed and refused to reassess deducting the payments made during that period. The most frustrating thing was that they wanted the entire arrears over 3 months payments even though we were paying twice.

Be careful.

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 10:17:47

dont pay her save the money - the CSA will date from the date of claim and trying to explain anything to them is a nightmare.

also we pay by Standing Order rather than DD - that way we control any changes they make.

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 10:18:44

save as in to hand over to CSA - not to save for yourself.

EMS23 Mon 14-Jan-13 10:24:45

OP I can't help with the question on back payments etc but two things:

1. Whilst its annoying right now when you've been a reliable payer all along, try to go forward with good humour. My DH has an informal arrangement with his ex and in many ways I wish it had been formalised at some point. In some ways, it can make life easier and now that you both have new partners, either of you can just refer to the CSA agreement in case of any 'discussions'. A formal agreement could protect you as much as your ex.

2. If you stop payments for a while, how will your ex make up that gap in her income, even in the short term. If I was receiving a regular income and it suddenly stopped I'd struggle to cover expenses and its not really fair on her or your DC('s) to do that IMHO.

Also, it's not unusual for people to feel the need to protect themselves when a new partner comes on the scene. Despite being with my DH (then DP) for 3 yrs before we moved in together, when we did, his ex asked for all sorts of assurances on paper about financial stuff.
My DH did the same when his ex eventually got married too.

OwlLady Mon 14-Jan-13 10:26:07

I agree with allnewtaketwo, that has been my experience as well but I don't think rodders should stop payments either confused I just don't understand why someone would choose to use them if there was an amicable agreement anyway

InNeatCognac Mon 14-Jan-13 10:27:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:27:42

"If you stop payments for a while, how will your ex make up that gap in her income, even in the short term"

Well she is an adult with choices though. She has exercise her choice to go to a government agency to formalise payments she was reliably and regularly receiving. Fine. But every choice has repercussions. She wanted to protect herself - fine, but the OP also needs to protect himself. The impact of that (sensible) choice is that the ex will temporarily have a cashflow shortfall.

Collaborate Mon 14-Jan-13 10:34:40

Please ignore those telling you to stop paying for now. They are wrong. Provided you're paying by direct bank transfer they will accept a bank statement as evidence of payment. You won't have to pay twice.

ThingummyBob Mon 14-Jan-13 10:36:20

OP, I would definitely advise you to stop any informal payments from the date of the CSA claim start.

I receive maintenance through CSA (my first ex is a refuser hmm) and at no point did anyone ask me if he had made any payments informally (he hadn't)

I have a friend who received payment twice when her ex's new partner insisted on him using CSA, luckily for him she paid him back all of the 'paid twice' bits. No one was going to make her do that though iyswm?

Try and keep it nice though and let her know what you are doing and why. If she has instigated using them she will have to bite the bullett and wait for the first lot to come from CSA I guess. I tend to agree that the CSA is an already overstretched service and wouldn't dream of approaching them unless necessary. My second Ex blush and I have a private agreement and I can't see any reason why we would need to change as we are on friendly terms.

EMS23 Mon 14-Jan-13 10:41:42

Bloody hell, I didn't realise they could make you pay twice even if you can evidence having made payments bank to bank!!

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:42:45

"considering he pays you next to nothing for child support"

Where did that assertion come from? confused Clearly I have no idea of his salary. Say he's on £30k. He gets max 25% deduction for the other children, so his monthly maintenance payment would be circa £307pm. Hardly next to nothing. And don't forget the tax credits the OP receives will disregard this payment, so will be generous.

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:43:34

Sorry posted on wrong thread blush

OwlLady Mon 14-Jan-13 10:43:36

Can you not ring the CSA and ask if you can make payments to them, for the same amount you do normally, with immediate effect?

rodders667 Mon 14-Jan-13 10:48:04

OwlLady, I'm not sure I'll be able to do that as the DWP haven't got me as a 'client' as yet.

Again, I don't want to create any shortfall in my ex wife's income, the well being of my son is my absolute priority, but I can't afford to pay double.

I think I'll be best to wait until the DWP contact me again and ask them their advice?

allnewtaketwo Mon 14-Jan-13 10:49:54

OP don't expect them to give you a reliable answer though. The answers given often vary from call to call, and them telling you something now doesn't mean they won't go back on their word and sting you anyway

Mrcrumpswife Mon 14-Jan-13 10:50:53

If you ask for their advice then make sure you ask for confirmation in writing of what you have discussed. I can all but guarentee they will refuse to put it in writing as thats not what they do!! At least it will show you how they will change the rules as they process your claim and the possibility of you being billed twice.

Mrcrumpswife Mon 14-Jan-13 10:52:46

allnewtaketwo you have obviously been stung in exactly the same way as us!

OwlLady Mon 14-Jan-13 10:52:56

I agree whatever you agree with them you need to take names and follow up with paperwork. If you are unhappy with the response you get when you ring up then ask to speak to someone else or ring back and get someone else. Do ring them and try and sort it though. I can't see why you cannot pay them direct with immediate effect but this is the csa

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 12:15:18

My dealings with the CSA tell me they are useless - never give same advice twice.

I wouldn't pay a peany informally once they got involved.

CabbageLeaves Mon 14-Jan-13 18:32:57

I agree with all those who says this is time wasting and could be seen as agravating unless you're not telling us something else. FWIW I believe your posts.

I think the suggestion of using CSA may have come from mortgage situation.

I am forced to use them (or get zilch) and find they are inefficient and hold the money back....not interested in chasing anything and it must cost a fortune to administer

Perhaps she thinks you have more income than you do.

Won't she lose a % of the maintenance to the CSA with the new charges? Not sure how all that works, or when it starts. Also there is talk of the maintenance being calculated on GROSS income, but the % may be less.

Give her a call, she may have the incorrect info about a lot of things that will make her nervous. I remember when we moved, DHs xW called the CSA even though we happily had a private arrangement with her. Her reason? Even thought we'd never given her any reason to believe so, she thought we'd stop paying confused. It was sorted amicably with a phone call between the x-spouses.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Thu 14-Mar-13 04:08:29

OP, if I were in your position, I'd speak with EXP telling her that for now, you will be saving your regular payment until CSA have come through with a formal agreement/ amount. When this is settled, and if they haven't already taken that amount, you will, of course pay it as 'back payment'.

There is nothing wrong in protecting yourself short-term.

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