CSA reform - single parents to pay to use service - to be very angry!!

(393 Posts)
timefliesby Wed 19-Mar-14 14:31:01


So, the government is closing all existing child maintenance cases over the next three years and washing its hands of the £3.5 billion it has FAILED to collect on behalf of single parents. They say they'd like to give separated parents "the chance to come to a private arrangement" or failing that, all those single parents - you know, the ones that aren't getting anything for their children - to PAY to use the CSA. Yes that's right...pay to use the service which has FAILED to collect £3.5 billion owed. But just to hoodwink you into thinking you're getting a new service they'll rebrand it the CMS (wonder how much that's costing?).

Here's a revolutionary thought...the parents that are on friendly enough terms to agree a private arrangement have got a private arrangement already. Which harebrained, ignorant, idiot sat and looked at it and went "I know...we'll just get them to agree it between themselves"...no matter that some of them may have escaped just about with their limbs in place or endured years of control freak behaviour from the non-resident parent.


It used to be with the jurisdiction of the courts, because the only language these non-resident parents actually understand is "the bailiffs are going to be sent in" or "you will be going to prison.. if you don't adequately contribute to your children's upkeep."

Then the CSA came along and children suffered for it...now it's the CMS which is basically just the government's excuse to wash their hands of the whole debacle because which cash strapped, single parent can afford to pay for a service that fails to actually secure them any financial contribution towards their children???

Oh and the £3.5 billion is much lower than the figure would be had they actually made a maintenance decision on all those self employed fathers claiming they live on £600 a month whilst owning several companies...


JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Wed 19-Mar-14 14:35:47

jesus wept

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Wed 19-Mar-14 14:42:15

I'm sorry but I am speechless about this. These 'people' who have been avoiding paying for their children for months and even years need to be dealt with by the courts. My understanding is that people fact prison sentences in America for avoiding their child support payments. I know of a number of women, myself included, who are working and paying for their children alone, while these so called 'fathers' do everything possible to avoid paying. In my case he has not worked this year but as he is classed as employed - albeit on a zero hours contract - nothing can be done to find out how he has enough money to eat yet doesnt work. My friend has an ex who has let his house be repossessed rather than allow a charge to be put on it for the thousands of pounds of arrears he owes. does the government think that charging single parents, who have faced their responsibilities and are paying for their kids, for this 'service' is the way forward. No they should be looking to recoup their costs from the non resident parent by any means necessary!

ItsSpringBaby Wed 19-Mar-14 14:49:26

I've heard about this and I just cannot understand the logic behind it AT ALL.

timefliesby Wed 19-Mar-14 17:26:04

I'm amazed there's not more of an outcry about it.
I wonder whether it would be quite so hush if it were mainly resident fathers awaiting payment from non-resident mothers...rather than the other way around.

pointythings Wed 19-Mar-14 21:25:11

We need to go to the American system, fast. I know that putting these men in jail doesn't get their children any money but it will bloody well make them think again. (I do hope they do it to non-paying women too, btw).

Successive governments have completely failed to address this problem, they're all as bad as each other.

FrontForward Wed 19-Mar-14 21:33:25

Well said OP

I think the CSA has realised its inability to recover monies from NRPs who are determined to evade paying for their children so the govt has, as you say washed its hands of the whole problem. Rather than admitting it, they have rebranded and come up with a scheme guaranteed to have poor take up so they can claim they are successful with the small number that do sign up

It's disgraceful how many RPs bring up children unsupported

Meglet Wed 19-Mar-14 21:33:48

I have been fighting this for 3yrs now. I've written to my MP several times and the Lords (some of whom were great and opposed the plans).

Now it has gone through I am sick with fear what will happen when they ask absent, abusive XP to pay more. We will be at risk again.

I'm in the process of drafting a letter to the CSA saying that as a victim of domestic abuse they must not contact XP asking him to make a private collaborative agreement, neither can they raise his payments by 20%, or whatever they are suggesting. Instead I am going to ask if people like me can have the opportunity to have all the CSA charges taken out of our payments and the NRP not have to pay more money. It means I will lose approx 25% of my maintenance, but we will be safe from XP because he won't start kicking off about giving us more money.

I hope there's a special place in hell for the Tories who pushed this nasty idea though angry.

bunchoffives Wed 19-Mar-14 22:46:40

I wonder where RPs stand in law?

Could you instigate a small claims court case each year? Invoice NRP for 50% of costs re child.

I'd love to put together such an invoice and send it the follow it up when it was unpaid through the court.

CSA are an uncomfortable failure for the Tories who touted it as a panacea to the increasing breakdown of marriage and lone parents in the 80s.

Now 40% of marriages end in divorce according the ONS figures out last week. That's a lot of unhappy voters Cameron you idiot

Blondieminx Wed 19-Mar-14 22:56:43


That is the most batshit stupid idea to come out of this government in ages. Do they not twig that a good way of reducing the amount paid out to women left quite literally holding the baby when the feckless fathers feck off, would be to ensure that men who have contributed genetically to a child also contribute financially?

Can you imagine HMRC writing off that amount cos it was too much hassle? So why is it ok to leave RP's short changed? Just appalling angryangryangry

niceguy2 Wed 19-Mar-14 23:04:37

These proposals have been around for quite some time now.

To be fair the CSA has been an abject failure from day 1. Yes it was set up by the Tories but Labour didn't manage to get it any better either. The CMEC was supposed to be a reboot but ultimately it's failed.

Now we can pick over why it's been such a waste of time & energy but ultimately it boils down to one thing. Too many NRP's have been allowed to get away with non-payment.

Why do most of us pay tax? Because we've no choice. We'd get found out, fined to within an inch of our lives before probably being thrown in prison.

That deterrence doesn't exist for non-payers. In fact I'm sorry but too many women have been complicit too. Let's face it, how many of these feckless fathers leave a trail of devastation in their wake yet there seems to be no shortage of women willing to shag them. If non payment of child maintenance was as socially acceptable as drink driving then I think we'd find more paying. Once the guys started to lose all their mates and no woman would shag them, they'd soon think twice.

Ok, with all that said and done, what do I think about charging for the use of the CSA.

Personally I think it just shows how out of touch this Tory government has been. Even Thatcher who was arguably more free market and right wing didn't charge for the CSA. But this bunch of muppets thinks it's a good idea!?!?!

The real answer is to start breaking a few eggs in order to make an omelette. Attach deduction of earnings orders to payroll via the tax code. So if they move jobs, the deduction moves with them. They can't easily escape then unless they fancy a lifetime of cash in hand. £5 per week for benefits? Bollocks. Apply the same formula. 15% for one child, 20% for two etc. Just because you are on benefits doesn't negate the principle.

Persistent avoider? Arrest warrant, police round them up and then how about a few weeks at her majesty's pleasure? That should make the majority think twice. It's called deterrence! People don't fuck with the taxman because the perception it won't end well for you. The same fear should apply for the CSA.

But ultimately like I said, society attitudes need to change. The govt can't do this alone. For every feckless man who avoids his responsibilities there's a mum/dad who didn't instil responsibility into him. A woman who thinks she can change him and she's different than the last one he left. And friends who conveniently ignore the fact he's not providing for his child(ren).

pointythings Wed 19-Mar-14 23:10:49

Everything niceguy2 just said. wine

FrontForward Wed 19-Mar-14 23:26:35

I take issue with the implication that I'm partly to blame for a non paying father. I was married 23 yrs and didn't think I could change him as when I married him there was no need to. I haven't been complicit and shagging lots of non paying fathers...

Divorce happens to ordinary people you know. I didn't marry a no hoper abuser who'd been through a stack of women before me. That stereotype is offensive. We were an ordinary happy couple for many years.

Divorce changes people. Some previously civilised individuals become bitter and nasty and determined to take revenge. Paying child maintenance is a bitter pill to swallow when you want to hurt someone. It is however in my view not optional. It's not a decision you should be able to take to wreak revenge on an ex partner.

The fact that I am bringing up 3 children alone both practically and financially is not my fault. The fact that he can opt out is shocking.

The culture is wrong. The fact that single mothers are assumed to be feckless women picking equally feckless men and shagging a sequence of them is part of that culture.

Meglet Thu 20-Mar-14 06:54:06

I do have a paying NRP, never had a problem with the CSA actually. It's just he will start letting my car tyres down - threatening us when they raise his payment. The money the CSA are going to get out of us will be dwarfed by the cost to the police and our safety.

Luckily we'll be one of the last cases they close and reopen under the new system so I have time to make my case for taking all of the money off of me. If I could I'd shut down the whole thing but XP would then think I was in a new relationship and flare up again.

The changes have put victims of abuse in the firing line. It won't be the CSA or the tories who get the abuse, it will be us.

TickleMyTitsTillFriday Thu 20-Mar-14 07:07:33

I can't believe this has actually gone through. I signed all the petitions.

My ex owes me about £4000 and they finally took him to court for a liability order so the bailliffs could go round (wish I had been a fly on the wall for that one!) But I only got to that point after daily phone calls and involving my MP 5 times.

The answer to the CSA is for them to have proper case management so that these useless cunts are FORCED to pay.

I will have to pay for it as there is no way my ex will do it without the threat of bailliffs, losing his driving licence or prison.

See, they do have the powers, they just don't have the case management skills.

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 07:08:14

Thanks for the responses above. Has no one else got anything else to say about the government writing off the £3.5k billion owed to single parents? About the hours, weeks, years these women have played detective on behalf of the CSA to secure financial contributions for their children just to be told "sorry, we give up". If no on else has anything to say, I'm taking it to MNHQ. This should be national news, a main story. Etc. do single mothers not matter?

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 07:18:36

Oh just seen this has gone from four to sixteen replies over night. Good there are people as angry as me out there!! Let's do something about it. The CSA is a joke when it comes to protection from these idiots. Instead I making a decision, they send him a copy of everything I send them (for his opinion) so that he can hurl some more of his vile abuse my way. I'd like to know when my case is due for closure seeing as I've yet to receive a penny...think I'll ring them today. I'm going to try get this more media exposure so they can't quietly close our cases and make us go away...

Blondieminx Thu 20-Mar-14 07:25:56

I really do think this is something MNHQ should do a campaign on.

Niceguy2 has it right, maintenance should be tied in with the tax code do it can't be avoided as easily, and the CSA should go after feckless fathers more aggressively so there are consequences e.g. Prison for avoiding maintenance.

The individual cases may be small amounts but they all add up and £3.5m is a lot of money - how many policemen and healthcare workers would that pay for?

Meglet Thu 20-Mar-14 07:38:50

time IIRC they are planning to close and reopen cases starting with older children first (presumably because the RP will just give up for the sake of a couple of years of maintenance and never reopen it) then working their way through to families with younger children.

I have campaigned in every way possible about this, done everything gingerbread asked, written letters to MP's and Lords. Loads of charities opposed the idea and The Lords did actually block the plans (maybe 18 months ago?) But the Tories pushed it through. Cunts.

FrogbyAnotherName Thu 20-Mar-14 07:55:09

I really do think this is something MNHQ should do a campaign on

It's way to late for that. Legislation was passed over a year ago, new cases have been assessed under the "new rules" for some time and the implementation of the timetable for closing old cases is months behind schedule.

If MNHQ wanted to campaign against it, the time to do that was when the legislation was being debated in the Houses of Parliament.

It was widely discussed at the time in public forum by parenting charities, political commentators and the media - I'm not sure by this has come as a surprise to anyone who will be affected?

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Thu 20-Mar-14 08:06:45

niceguy I agree with you completely. I would even vote for you at the next election.

I didn't read your comment as saying that rp are enabling these men by shagging them. Anyone's marriage can breakdown and then you can see a different side to the person you used to love. In my case the ex has remarried and had more kids with a woman who knows he hardly pays for or sees his kids. She doesn't care. I would be ashamed to have a dh who completely ignores his kids and his responsibilities. It should be socially unacceptable and a criminal act to flout the law like this. Luckily I have remarried too and dh is happy to raise and pay for his step sons

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 10:18:47

Niceguy2 I agree with others that us single mothers come from all walks of life, situations and circumstances. Having said that, I get your point. I was amazed that my ex partner's family appeared complicit with his decision not to support us. Happily allowing him to look down on us from his castle whilst we moved in with my mother. As for his new victim girlfriend, unfortunately, these men don't come with a warning sign around their neck. If she knew it all...I can't imagine she'd be with him.

Bunchoffives great idea, I wonder if it would work?

Frogbyanothername yes and I signed Gingerbread's campaign and wrote to my MP. Reform has taken many different formats over the years, none of which have worked. They said that the vote should be "male persons" in 1932 and it took 97 years for reform/women to get the vote. Just because it's gone through for now doesn't mean it is over...

Meglet quelle surpise! This just confirms the theory that the CMS is a cover to wash their hands of us..

Blondiemix £3.5 BILLION not million! And that was in 2006, so it's probably more now...

This is an interesting article on the history. It suggests we have come full circle but have we? My ex took me to court for residency. Had the CSA not existed, the courts could have ruled on maintenance payments at the same time as they granted me residency...but I was told that I HAD to go through the CSA. So what would happen under the new system? Would I be allowed to have it decided by the courts or would I be told to go and pay for the new CMS? The fact is, as many people have stated above, legal rulings are the only thing these NRPs understand. www.discoversociety.org/policy-briefing-agency-and-the-child-support-agency/

LadyMaryLikesCake Thu 20-Mar-14 10:27:55

You know why they are doing this? 10 years ago (ish, don't quote me on this) maintenance used to be used when they calculated benefits, housing benefit and so forth as it was classed as income. The Labour Gov thought this was unfair so ruled that child maintenance payments could no longer be used in this way and it's cost billions.

All parents, whether male or female, who refuse to contribute towards their child's upkeep should be charged with child neglect. If the RP didn't feed or clothe their child then this is what would happen to them, so why allow the NRP to do this?

My ex is now no longer in the UK so I had to take him to court when he stopped paying as the CSA no longer have jurisdiction. It didn't cost me anything other than time.

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 10:32:44

Lords warn child maintenance charges are ‘unjustified in principle’ http://www.gingerbread.org.uk/news/236/maintenance-charges-unjustified

timefliesby Thu 20-Mar-14 11:24:50

I found this thread that MNHQ started in 2012 www.mumsnet.com/Talk/parenting/a1546160-Changes-to-child-maintenance-system-looking-for-Mumsnetters-responses-to-a-government-consultation

I have asked them to report back on the changes, help in clarifying the situation and take up the cause.

I have also written to my MP once again...

niceguy2 Fri 21-Mar-14 12:35:20

I get that single parents come from all walks of life. I've been the resident parent for 10 years until i married my wife last year. So I've experienced more than most men how single mums must have it.

My point though is that quite often women dismiss the warning signs. So often the situation is that the guy has kids from an ex partner but doesn't see them. Nor does he pay maintenance. Nor has he lifted a finger to fight for them in court. The stock answer will be "My ex is a psycho and won't let me see the kids". This will often be just accepted and he'll even get sympathy! No. Courts are so pro-contact that unless you are a real danger to your kids you'll get some contact. And as for "I can't afford to take my ex to court" that's bollocks. I'd beg/borrow/go without food and represent myself before just walking off.

Of course there will be those who did everything right and shit still happens. That's where the rest of society and their family/friends should step in. They should be there saying "WTF...you can't just walk off and not pay for your kids! Get your arse to the bank and set up a direct debit. No son/friend of mine is going to be a feckless arsehole!" But people don't. It's accepted that if your mate is pissed in the pub that you can take his car keys off him. Yet somehow it's not to tell him to live up to his parental responsibilities. Weird.

In my wife's home country they do tie maintenance to the tax code. The govt pays the maintenance then recoups the money via tax. It follows you even into retirement so you can't even duck & dive until you retire. They'd just take it out of your pension. It's such a simple idea I don't understand why it's not implemented here.

JaneinReading Fri 21-Mar-14 13:33:01

They used to here. Those paying maintenance could deduct it from their income for tax purposes and got tax relief on it. It worked pretty well but we decided a long whilst back to abolish that system.

What is unfair about the new changes in my view is I think those owed the money cannot take back the debt from the CSA and sue the non payer over it. Instead it is written off. That seems to be as if A owed B money and C the state suddenly decides to write the debt off - an abuse or process, breach of human rights, confiscation. Surely they could provide that instead the debt moves back to the parent who then can sue if they are within the 6 years or whatever you are allowed to sue in or the parent could sell the sum owing to a debt collection firm for 50% of its face value or whatever it is deemed worth?

My ex pays nothing but that is because our court order says he need not (as I earn a lot more). Even so you would have thought he might choose to pay something and at least have regular contact.

FrogbyAnotherName Fri 21-Mar-14 15:31:44

OP, can you post a link to the latest government documents that say the debts/arrears will be written off when cases are closed?

Back in 2013, the "Arrears and Compliance Strategy" clearly stated that arrears wouldn't be written off - is this another u-turn?

Isn't it rather foolish to publicise it anyway? What's to stop NRP ceasing payments now, knowing that arrears won't be chased?

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 22-Mar-14 17:29:34

One of my closest friends recently sold her house the one she spent her entire adult life paying for,her ex husband who has not clapped eyes on her or his children for 15 years had to receive a cheque from her for tens of thousands (think around 60k)

He owes her 15 years worth of CSA assessed unpaid maintenance of over half the amount she had to pay him.

She was not allowed to offset his proven undisputed debt against her payment to him. When the CSA were informed that further enforcement attempts may be a good idea they were not interested and actually stated that they wouldn't take that into consideration.

I handed the CSA company accounts proving the high income of the company I gave my ex,they were not interested apparently someone can claim they only have £65 pw for a 70 hour week without any benefits being claimed because they gave the company to their girlfriend and that's what she pays him and ofcourse not forgetting that he rents office space from her in a building he (not her) owns and that's a legit business expense.
Yet they were very quick to listen to him when he first claimed we had 50-50 then that he was the RP (we have never had more than EOW and for several years he's been prohibited by court order from even contacting dc so certainly not a RP

Would I pay for a service like that? Nope.

It's like they have only given two options ask for nothing or pay for this. No further option of using the courts nothing other than get agreement or get charged.surely if you could get agreement and count on payment you wouldn't have needed the CSA in the first place.

FrogbyAnotherName Sat 22-Mar-14 17:42:08

surely if you could get agreement and count on payment you wouldn't have needed the CSA in the first place.

Unfortunately, that's not always true. There are a minority of Parents (resident and NR) who have gone running to the CSA over the years without even trying to discuss the issue of CM with the other parent.

My exH (NRP) did it because he was advised to by his debt advisor. DHs exW (RP) did it when she was faced with an appointment for mediation. These parents, who cause the CSA to incur expense despite the RP being willing to receive direct payments, or the NRP being willing to pay directly, have contributed to the reasons why the system is considered poor value for money and has been overhauled.

Meglet Sat 22-Mar-14 18:01:53

The only parents I know who receive maintenance have gone through the CSA. It must be a minority who do it out of spite.

It's just the Tories way of penalising single parents. Whatever happens these changes will make us worse off.

moldingsunbeams Sat 22-Mar-14 18:17:23

Exh works cash in hand while claiming benefits, he has had 7k recently given him plus a 1k tax rebate, he contributes nothing but if he did he would pay £5 a week, so I would basically get half of her weekly dinner money costs sad. The whole system is a joke!

Owllady Sat 22-Mar-14 18:29:11

I do realise I am going to upset people with this post
My husband has finally finished paying through the csa fir his dd, who is now an adult and their incompetence over the years has been astounding. He always paid but they treated him with utter contempt. His ex used to open and close the case, disagree with calculations etc. It would go to family court again blah blah blah.
It was agreed in their divorce that she would have the house car part of his wages as maintenance and it was never enough, so she went to the csa and from a third person (who dealt with them too as they took money out of my wages also - as a second wife) they made the situation worse. It fuelled anger, it was used as a weapon.
The person who suffered the most was my sd and she deserved much better than that and I am angry with all of them tbh. Mum, dad, csa.
There HAS to be a better way than how it has been done in the past.
Fathers are legally responsible financially for their children (as are mothers) there has to be a much more straightforward way of making them contribute towards living, breathing human beings

Meglet Sat 22-Mar-14 19:05:47

There might be a better way of providing a better CSA system but to ruin it for those of us who have no problem with it isn't acceptable. Or safe for those of us who have experienced abuse.

I can't even say to hell with it and close the case because XP would think I was in a new relationship and come after us (we've not moved house). This is dangerous, abusive men we're talking about.

FrogbyAnotherName Sat 22-Mar-14 19:26:20

meglet cases involving Victims of DV won't incur a charge for using the new system.

That was agreed as one of the first principles - and hasn't changed afaik?!?

Sounds like there's some media scaremongering going on - I can't find anything published by Government to suggest that arrears are going to be written off, or that victims of DV will be expected to negotiate directly with their abuser.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 22-Mar-14 19:54:46

Frogs, your ex would have had to,because it used to be the case (not sure if it still is) that any payments made for CM were not protected from your income for any debt collection unless court or CSA ordered.

If you have a ex whose willing what s the point of using the CSA? If you are going to get more money then they should have offered more in the first place.
It serves no useful purpose to go via a third party if you don't need to,not even mischief related ones.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 22-Mar-14 20:03:16


Yes the CSA make massive cock ups but unless this all happened before 2003 then it's not quite right.

They stopped being able to even consider a partners income under the second set of rules (2003) if it was under the old rules and she closed then reopened then it would have changed from the old to the new.

Once you have opened a CSA case you cannot then go back to court for CM because you are not allowed to even if you had an existing order (you cannot open a CSA case if the order is under 12 months old).

You may have a massive case for complaint and refund and that may be worth checking out very quickly

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 22-Mar-14 20:05:18

I'm quite concerned about how one will be expected to prove abuse, if they are going to go down the same road as the LA has then shed loads of victims are screwed

Meglet Sat 22-Mar-14 21:24:41

frogby the initial charge is irrelevant. XP will still be required to pay approx �50 more a month. He won't agree to this and we will be at risk again. I don't want him to pay �50 more a month because I don't want him screaming at me and the dc's.

As it stands I don't have a choice, although I am going to beg the CSA to not make him pay more and just take �50 out of my payment. They get their blood money, XP knows no different and me and the dc's will be safe.

FrogbyAnotherName Sat 22-Mar-14 23:48:09

It serves no useful purpose to go via a third party if you don't need to,not even mischief related ones.

Well. That depends on what you class as useful, really, doesn't it? Even here on MN "going to the CSA" is considered to be the ultimate threat by some posters.

I don't disagree - it doesn't achieve anything for the DCs, but it provides emotional satisfaction to some.

sock Yes, that's why my ex went to the CSA - but the outcome was the same; the CSA incurred an administrative charge for a CM arrangement that could have been made privately between parents

FrogbyAnotherName Sat 22-Mar-14 23:55:25

meglet there are other options open to you - depriving your DCs of that financial support seems a very unfair punishment for their fathers abusive and illegal behaviour.

Do you have contact with a police domestic violence officer who you could discuss your concerns with?

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 23-Mar-14 00:59:50

It's only a threat if your really daft (if you don't need it)

It's a bit "I'm going to the CSA"

Ex "hmm ok then but I'm already giving you exactly/ more than what they would tell me to"

MrsYoungSalvoMontalbano Sun 23-Mar-14 07:27:48

This is mixing up two separate issues. If a NRP is violent, lets down car tyres etc then the police should be called, in the same way as you would if a stranger did this! Otherwise yes it is being complicit with the perpetrator, as well as being a damaging example to the DC.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 23-Mar-14 08:31:26

sock Personally, I agree with you, but, because many don't, it does result in a significantly higher administration cost for the CSA because of those really daft RP.
There are regular threads on the Step board where RP have applied to the CSA because they believe that they are entitled to more then the NRP is paying (often believing they are entitled to a portion of the stepparents income as well) only to have the assessment return a significantly lower amount of CM that they are receiving from the NRP directly. As you say, really daft, but costly for the CSA and ultimately the tax payer. Maybe an application fee will put those vexatious applicants off - a classic example of how the daft minority ruin it for the rest.

Meglet Sun 23-Mar-14 08:36:38

I have always called the police on XP in the past (I have crime numbers) and will do so the moment he apprears again. But the police aren't going to pay for damage to my property, or cover any time I have to take off work. Losing £50 a month to keep us safe is a no-brainer, the children won't be deprived of anything. They will be deprived and distressed if XP starts smashing on the door or trying to see them out of spite. I'm not having their lives ruined by him making contact.

The CSA are stirring up trouble with abusive ex-parents. They are not the women and children at risk when the NRP kicks off again.

Meglet Sun 23-Mar-14 08:42:16

Ah yes, put off those vexatious applicants off hmm. Never mind the collateral damage caused to victims of abuse. FFS.

MrsYoungSalvoMontalbano Sun 23-Mar-14 08:42:21

ok, so effectively you're paying protection money - terrible example to the DC!

Meglet Sun 23-Mar-14 08:48:41

Why is it a terrible example? They won't go without and the law can only do so much to keep us safe.

What would be worse would be to roll over, accept the lower charges and wait for our lives to be pulled apart.

Obviously you have are very lucky, and naïve from the sound of it, if you have never dealt with a abusive partner.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 23-Mar-14 08:57:45

Do we have any figures for vexatious applications (not including mistaken NRP)?

IME you have to be very careful taking a newer partners word as absolutely gospel (not because they lie) but they often tend to believe that the type of NRP who can't be trusted is a wonderful dad whose being unfairly hounded, anybody doing a quick google or check would know partners haven't been taken into account for over 10 years.

(Could be biased as I work with a vulnerable group of people but)my experience is I know of one just one bloke whose paying more plenty who think they are and shed loads who openly boast about lying to reduce payments.

The figures would interest me be obviously we all tend to consider more the situation we are more familiar with.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 23-Mar-14 09:03:06


Be a love and stop insulting meglet. You clearly have an extremely limited knowledge base surrounding safeguarding when DV is involved.

Meglet is in a much better position that you are to asses her own safety,plenty of victims are in exactly the same situation, even in the days when the CSA was obligatory for certain RP's those in her situation were exempt.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 23-Mar-14 09:13:34

anybody doing a quick google or check would know partners haven't been taken into account for over 10 years.

I know - bonkers, isn't it? As you say - some RP are really daft and don't think through the consequences of their choice. I doubt an application charge will make much difference to be honest - given the same really daft RP will often pay for a court application for vexatious/malicious reasons.

I think it's fair to say that there is as much anecdotal evidence about vexatious RP applicants as there is about non-paying NRP; when it comes to statistics, the evidence is harder to interpret -there was a thread a few months back examining the various studies and what became clear is that there has never been a simple way of extracting the data.

meglet The problem you have is that the stated purpose of the CM agency is not to protect victims, so it won't be considered a factor when value for money is being assessed - there are other government funded agencies to protect you and your family - the government expect you to use them, not rely on a loophole in a scheme designed to achieve something different.

MrsYoungSalvoMontalbano Sun 23-Mar-14 09:50:51

Froglet - precisely - Meglet is mixing up two separate issues, which helps no-one.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 23-Mar-14 10:02:25

The domestic violence exemption was not a loophole.

It was an actual rule that was intentionally put there as a result of intense lobbying and consultation with refuge woman's aid and intervention partnerships.

Viviennemary Sun 23-Mar-14 10:14:04

The CSA gets a really bad name. Perhaps if there was a new agency run in a different way things could even improve. Or is that being to optimistic.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 23-Mar-14 10:15:31

sock that rule to protect DA victims was removed when the now-outgoing system was introduced though, wasn't it?
The 2003 rules don't have 'special clauses' to protect DA victims, or do they? I'm not fully familiar with them, but WA never mentioned it to me when I was divorcing my ex.

If there is no current protection, then The change to the 2012 rules isn't removing protection that currently exists. It is a change that will, in a minority of cases, create additional risk for victims of DA - which the government believes other services/agencies they fund can protect against. I'm not saying that is right - but, when the fundamental principle is value for money, I can understand why it's happened.

Owllady Sun 23-Mar-14 13:01:38

Needs, it was old scheme 90s onwards
I am not interested in complaining or getting a refund. I am relieved it's over

I was by no means suggesting those of you who use it, shouldn't. I can't believe they let people get away without paying. It's infuriating

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 23-Mar-14 16:38:09

They currently have one bit of protection and that's the very basic none disclosure of address and during a variation some bits of information disclosed to them can be protected from disclosure to the other party.

I have not looked into the new rules enough to work out if those are still there.

The none obligation thing was removed because it was no longer needed as the 2003 system made it not obligatory for any RP also using the DWP.

I can understand what meglet is talking about she's had however long receiving maintenance quite likely had a massive struggle to get it that probably included abuse and harassment and she knows any changes to that are going to kick it all off again especially changes that involve him paying any more money.

I can also understand why she wants to avoid the grief nobody would willingly place themselves and their children in the middle of a shit storm and not wanting to do so is good parenting.

Are we now sending a message that we only care about feckless shitty NRP's contributing towards their children if it does not cost the tax payer,that if you want to force them to pay or more realistically just to because there is nothing to suggest the service will be any better than the current one then you have to pay as well, will they refund if they are as bad at collecting as the current service?

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 23-Mar-14 16:39:20

Oh and fwiw the funding to the services intended to support victims has dropped lots.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 23-Mar-14 16:59:52

I know sock - there really is no easy answer. The CSA costs have spiralled out of control partly because separated parents "can't be bothered'" to make the effort to discuss things for their DCs, or they have been used for malicious/vexatious reasons, or (as in my case) a different piece of legislation requires it. As a result, genuine cases are not only going to be affected when they change the system, but they have never been given the priority they deserve because the service is just spread too thinly.

How else can you encourage separated parents (who have no good reasons not to co-operate) to sort things out for themselves rather than rely on state funded services? In many cases, the reality of mediation is far less traumatic than anticipated, but literally thousands of parents avoid/refuse to talk to their DCs other parent for no other reason then they can't stand the sight of each other and don't want to sit in a room with them. How can you pursuade separated mums to "put their big girls panties on" or single dads to "grow a backbone'" so that the system isn't abused by many, and it can then be tailored to meet the needs of victims like meglet who is having to choose whether to deprive her DCs of financial support in order to protect them from their Dads behaviour?

NeedsAsockamnesty Sun 23-Mar-14 17:40:05

We could start by challenging attitudes and making it a cut and dried thing that as a minimum a absent parent is expected to pay the % on time no excuses no needing to be asked,it should just be the done thing.
Change the view that enforcing this is a punishment or somehow being spiteful.

Anybody that could prove no need to use so correct on time payments then charge the RP if not put all the charges on the head of the none paying parent.

FrogbyAnotherName Sun 23-Mar-14 19:06:45

Anybody that could prove no need to use so correct on time payments then charge the RP if not put all the charges on the head of the none paying parent.

I like that idea - no automatic right for the RP to apply on separation, the parents have to try and cooperate (unless there is evidence of DV or other risk), and then if the NRP doesn't pay, the charge for administering is levied at the NRP.

If a RP applies claiming payment is not being made, and the NRP can prove that they have been making regular payments, the RP get charged.

It will require NRP to maintain accurate financial records (not a bad thing) and eliminate the ability for RP to demand cash, but yup - I think re-distributing the charges dependent on whom is at fault would be effective for some.
I doubt any system will eliminate the non-payers or those determined to make their ex's life difficult (both RP and NRP) but at least charging should lead to a few more scooperative parenting successes.

timefliesby Thu 10-Apr-14 21:03:05

Thank you to whoever pointed me in the direction of the "arrears and compliance strategy 2012-2017" which I have now read. You are right, the government are saying that arrears for most cases will still be chased (except it appears for those outstanding for several years where the children are now grown up.)
I am however still skeptical. I rang the CSA and asked how the arrears would be chased. Would the resident parent have to sign up to the new system and pay their £20 in order for their case to remain a priority? They didn't know. Would the 4% charge on payments be payable on outstanding debts? They didn't know. I am afraid I think they are hoping many people just won't bother getting their case re-opened and the problem will just quietly go away...
I am seeing my MP tomorrow. To ask that these sorts of questions are answered, to make the point that the charges are unjust and to highlight my own case, which has been trundling along in a farcical manner for some time now. If anyone else has any good points to make which I can highlight...speak now....
Thank you.

timefliesby Thu 10-Apr-14 21:11:59

Oh and it was interesting to hear that those who had been in touch with domestic abuse support groups were supposed to be handled differently by the CSA. I was told that EVERYTHING I forwarded them would be forwarded to him and I agreed because one day the kids and I would like to live in our own home again.
Well, we don't have our own home but I have had lots more vile abuse as a direct result of the CSA forwarding everything I tell them to him. Not once did they ask me if I had been subjected to domestic abuse. They are incompetent through and through.

WanderingAway Sat 12-Apr-14 23:00:28

I have never been told that everything i tell the csa will be forwarded to my exh. Does that happen in every case?

timefliesby Tue 15-Apr-14 08:46:05

WanderingAway best to check with them but they actually forward copies of everything I send them to him. I sent a copy of the company pay roll bank account (which I was on legitimately in my previous role as a company director). Caused me no end of grief and threats as he had forgotten I had access.

babybarrister Wed 21-May-14 11:33:50

A few comments from a family lawyer:

1.most civil law systems [we are a common law system] send non paying parents to prison and fast - have a google of Spain, France etc etc

2. whilst Meglet's case is very concerning, this is in the minority. Obviously if the receiving party does not want to increase CSA then they should be allowed not to

3. I cannot understand why there should be any charge at all for using the service - if you are on low income there is no charge for using the courts as an example. I do think though that once the assessment is made that there should be financial penalties for non payment and also for holding up the assessment by not providing documentation etc

4. There is certainly a real issue about not being to set off CSA Arrears against monies owed in divorce proceedings or in relation to interests in property in the case of cohabitees - the Law Commission is meant to be considering this issue I think in terms of enforcement of family orders - write to them now please!

5. I totally agree with niceguy - social attitudes need to change - future partners SHOULD be asking the question as to what support is being given to kids with another partner and this issue should be setting alarm bells ringing. It should not be a badge of honour to declare that you have screwed over your ex ....

6. Sadly the time for anyone to campaign has now passed - the lawyers on MN warned people about this change and about legal aid cuts but there was v little interest ....the legislation is now here

babybarrister Wed 21-May-14 11:36:23

also one further point, I cannot understand how any application to the CSA could be vexatious - everyone has an income which can be considered and if nothing is being paid then how is that vexatious?

FreckledLeopard Wed 21-May-14 11:39:35

I was listening to the debate on Radio 4 this morning and getting irate. Of course it would be nice to be able to come to an agreement about maintenance with DD's father between ourselves. Problem is, given he denied paternity, refused to have anything to do with us and has only met DD twice (after taking 13 years to get his head around the idea that he has a child), I'm not sure that coming to a mutual arrangement would be possible.

As it is, the CSA have been involved on several occasions yet he's never paid a penny for his daughter. I have given up.

Having said that, if the new system somehow did manage to extract maintenance from him (according to chap on radio this morning, the system will link directly to HMRC, and if the agency can't get money then no-one is financially penalised) then I wouldn't mind paying £20. But if it's the same crap, inept and useless system, but now they want us to pay for it, then it's even worse than before.

I wish that they would jail non-paying parents. Might give them the shock they need to get off their arses and take responsibility. I doubt it though...

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 21-May-14 12:30:56

The CSA was useless.

But this, this move is terrible, disgusting. They might as well give feckless parents a handshake and a pat on the back.

MaliceInWonderland78 Wed 21-May-14 12:34:34

I'm gonig to take a slightly different view here. I should point out that I beleive every parent should be required to support their children, both financially and emotionally.

It's been clear for some time that the CSA was unfit for purpose. It was ineffective, and one imagines, quite expensive to run.

My issue is that we live in a welfare state, whereby single parents are given money by the State with which to raise their children. I'm not saying that the amount is enough, though I have a family member who manages quite well, but rather I note that the money which would be collected by the CSA is totally disregarded in terms of claculating the RP's income. Which menas that a woman (and it usually is the woman) who lives on benefits and has a partner who pays is materially better off than a woman who lives on benefits and has a partner who doesn't pay. In those circumstances, surely the State should recover the costs from the NRPs? As things stood, the taxpayer in many instances was paying to raise some feckless idiots kids, and then spending more money unsuccessfully trying to get money out of those that wouldn't pay.

The above wouldn't apply to working parents of course. In those circumstances the NRP should be forced to pay up and meet the appropriate costs.

Lottieandmia Wed 21-May-14 12:36:26

The problem with private arrangements is that even when the NRP starts out with good intentions, they often just decide to stop paying one day, which is what happened to me and the NRP didn't inform me and this was money I was relying on. So when the new system starts I will still be using it because I cannot afford for a sudden opt out like before.

The thing that pisses me off which they don't publicise is that the amount they take off the NRP in maintenance is going to be less than it is now....to make room for them to take 20% fees from the NRP.

Why is this government taxing children? And taxing money that has already been taxed? I expect the stupid Tories would say that families should stay together, no matter what. After all they hate lone parents.

Lottieandmia Wed 21-May-14 12:37:33

By the way, I have not found the CSA to be useless in my case, except at one part of the process. I complained and it was sorted out immediately. It depends on the case worker you get.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 13:18:51


They tried doing it that way when they first set up the CSA,it had the result of plunging huge amounts of lone parents into serious poverty some ending up with around £4/5 a week in benefits and not receiving the CM they were meant to. So putting them significantly below benefit levels of income.

Also my personal opinion on the matter is if one parent works why shouldn't their child's lifestyle be lifted above benefit levels,why should they only be entitled to benefit level financial support when they have a parent with the financial means to change that.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 13:31:32


I haven't had time to go through all the new docs/rules ect as I've been manically trying to up my knowledge of UC.

Would you mind giving me the low down on self employed NRP's when a oddly considered means tested benefit that is not actually means tested benefit like a army disablement pension is in payment, the self employment is not disputed just the standard I only earn 2p a week yet drive a Aston Martin thing happens.

What the process is,is there a variation,would it be possible to apply for CM and a variation or departure at exactly the same time.

If you have a current award via CSA that say took 5/6 years to get any payment at all and is now in payment with a variation applied whats the chance of your CM being reduced by the new system.

HowardTJMoon Wed 21-May-14 13:45:48

I note that the money which would be collected by the CSA is totally disregarded in terms of claculating the RP's income.

Do you know why that is? It's because non-res parents are so often unreliable about voluntarily paying maintenance. When they did link benefits to child maintenance payments it cost so much to keep adjusting the benefits to take account of the non-res parent's failure to pay that it ended up costing the government more than it would to just make it a flat-rate for everyone.

The biggest problem with child maintenance payments in the UK is the large number of non-res parents who believe they have no obligation to pay child maintenance. The longer that it is made easy for them to get away with this the longer there will be these problems.

In the US dead-beat non-res parents can, and do, have all sorts of sanctions applied against them up to and including jail time. Here? The CSA is writing off £3.5billion in unpaid maintenance because it's just too much effort to obtain. And, remember, that's only where there has been a determination that maintenance is due but it hasn't been paid. It doesn't include all the situations where the non-res parent has fiddled their apparent income to make it look like they shouldn't be paying as much as they really should.

deakymom Wed 21-May-14 14:25:13

they even charge you if you have to send the bailiffs in to the nrp honestly it would be cheaper to let him get away with it or hire a dodgy man to break his legs

nomorequotes Wed 21-May-14 14:25:31

It should be wound into the neglect laws which are currently incredible sexist towards women.

If a woman does not feed her kids or provide them with nappies there is a neglect charge yet a man can sit IN HER HOME eating M+S ready meals and refusing to pay for her food or HIS OWN CHILDRENS upbringing because 'the child benefit pays for it' and it is not neglect.

It needs to be. You make a child? You raise it, you don't want to make a child put a fucking condom on. End of story.

The neglect laws should cover financial neglect of both resident and non-resident parents. I am sick of hearing about women who have to beg scraps of money from their OH's for food for them and their kids. Hold these men accountable.

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 14:27:19

You know why they are doing this? 10 years ago (ish, don't quote me on this) maintenance used to be used when they calculated benefits, housing benefit and so forth as it was classed as income. The Labour Gov thought this was unfair so ruled that child maintenance payments could no longer be used in this way and it's cost billions

That isn't true. [that it's cost billions] As others have said, the above rule came about because single parents who would have income support adjusted to reflect CM payments, then wouldn't get that CM from the NRP, so would be left short.

Only 38% of single parents receive CM from their childs other parent.

The majority of single parents work [that is influenced by the age of their youngest child and goes up as the childrens age goes up] despite what some would have you believe.

The issue is those NRPs that don't pay anything.

I agree with Niceguy that it needs to become socially unacceptable for NRPs to not support their children, but agree also that it can be hard to know the truth, though there are some pretty obvious pointers IMO!

MaliceInWonderland78 Wed 21-May-14 14:30:13

Howard I should have made it clear, I beleive that the State should provide benefit to single parents - in order to ensure that regular payments are made, but then the State should also recover the cost from the NRP -and retain it for the public purse. What I'm against is the taxpayer paying to bring up somebody's children, and then the individual concerned merely 'topping up' the benefit.

I pay 100% of the costs in raising my children.

I also 100% believe that there needs to be a change in public perception. Trusting most people to make their own arragnements is a good start.

This doesn't effect me but I'm bloody angry for every one of you that it does. Shame on this government.

MaliceInWonderland78 Wed 21-May-14 14:36:35

Hold tight, I'm not sure this is the Government's fault. I'm struggling to see how anyone is materially worse off. I think the charges are reasonable. It's just a shame that they're necessary.

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 14:37:08

A woman I used to work with split from her fiance, they had a young baby. She was on income support prior to returning to work when her child was about 2?

Her EX agreed to give her £30 a week CM. She notified the benefits agency, they paid her £30 a week income support, it was originally £60, but they -£30 because of the CM.

She also got around £20 in child benefit [give or take-this was a while ago!]

So, she was living on about £80 a week, which was tight, but that's what it was. Except for the weeks when her EX was being an arse and didn't pay the CM.

£30 doesn't seem much, but going without that and only having £50 was the difference between eating/ heating on and not.

That is why the then gov decided to disregard CM in benefit calculations.

timefliesby Wed 21-May-14 14:37:13

NeedsAsockamnesty I don't know the answer to that I'm afraid. My understanding is that we are all categorised differently. I've been told my case is staying with CSA for the time being. Your best bet is to ring the CSA and find out how you've been categorised and whether they are moving you over to the new system anytime soon. You'll need your national insurance number but you probably already know that. Contact numbers for ease https://www.gov.uk/child-support-agency

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 14:40:46

What I'm against is the taxpayer paying to bring up somebody's children, and then the individual concerned merely 'topping up' the benefit

I would like to find some statistics that show how many RPs on benefits actually get any CM, or if they do, whether it is more than a 'zero calculation' ETC

I doubt it is the fortunes some might be imagining.

MaliceInWonderland78 Wed 21-May-14 14:47:13

Amber I don't know (though I know of two people personally). The point I was trying to make is that the govertment (rather than the resident parent) should go after the NRPs that refuse to pay - whether or not the RP (if they're on benefits) was minded to lodge a claim.

one young lady I work with has been told by her ex-partner to accept a lower amount (which he does pay) or try her luck with the CSA which he'd do his level best to avoid paying

Damnautocorrect Wed 21-May-14 14:47:15

I want to see the breakdown of their costs etc to see that we are getting 'value for money' for the 20% charge (heard there's also a 4% charge to the resident parent but I'm not sure)
I'm truly disgusted by this, the reason the csa was struggling was partly because people couldn't agree so it's over subscribed. All that will happen is further bullying by the nrp and ultimately even less money for the children.
Awful awful awful

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 14:51:03

The point I was trying to make is that the govertment (rather than the resident parent) should go after the NRPs that refuse to pay - whether or not the RP (if they're on benefits) was minded to lodge a claim

That is what happens, unless the RP specifically request they don't because of DV concerns. [ I think some posters have mentioned that already?] If you make a claim for income support as a single parent, there is a section of the form that covers CSA/CM claim

MaliceInWonderland78 Wed 21-May-14 14:54:27

Yes, but I think the money should go to the State, not the RP. The State is then sort of acting as guarantor.

timefliesby Wed 21-May-14 14:54:46

Amberleaf Gingerbread has all sorts of statistics...like these.

Child maintenance

Only two-fifths (38 per cent) of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent (31)
For all those with an agreement for child maintenance (both through the CSA and private arrangement) the median weekly amount received is £46 per family (32)
The average amount of child maintenance liable to be paid through the CSA is currently £33.50 per week (£22.50 if all cases with a weekly assessment of zero are included in the average). (33) Among parents with care in receipt of income-related benefits, the average amount is £23 (excluding cases with a weekly assessment of zero) (34)
Of single parents receiving child maintenance through the CSA, 40 per cent receive less than £10 per week, 38 per cent receive between £10 and £50 per week and 22 per cent receive more than £50 per week (35)

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 15:01:20

timeflies, yes Ive seen those and think I delved deeper from the sources those stats come from on other threads about this sort of thing. [not got the time to right now though!]

I'll try to find something specific to RPs on benefits later.

bibliomania Wed 21-May-14 15:09:56

I'm a RP. The NRP has never paid a penny. I went to CSA nearly year ago and they haven't managed to get anything.

If I were to pay �20 for this service, am I then a consumer of the service and protected by consumer legislation? Do I have a legal complaint if the CSA does not provide the service I have paid for?

timefliesby Wed 21-May-14 15:32:56

This topic on The Today Programme can be listened to here www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b043x86b
You need to scroll to 1:33:20

sarahbell13 Wed 21-May-14 15:39:20

Outrageous... iv been fighting 2 years to get anything cos he keeps avoiding their phone calls and cancelling direct debits as soon as one is set up. He didnt turn up to court so how do you expect I make an amicable agreement. No contact details. When I asked for money in cash 2 years ago when he first started contact centre he said no chance ill pay through csa. He knew full well he wouldn't have to pay anything. He saw him on and off for a year. Whilst I had to pay for my solicitor he got it free. So thats more money I wasted when it could of been spent on my child. If I have to pay im gonna have to give up. How is that fair!!

Owllady Wed 21-May-14 15:46:05

I agree with nice guy2 too

timefliesby Wed 21-May-14 15:50:46

bibliomania they are getting around that by saying the £20 is to set up your claim and calculate the payments. Then you can choose to take the arrangement private (which is free). The 4% and 20% kick in only if the NRP doesn't pay and the CSA have to chase. These were called "collection charges" on The Today Programme. What I want to know is what happens if the NRP says "yes I'll pay"...so case is closed with CSA and then the NRP doesn't actually pay. Does the RP pay £20 again to re-open the case to get the CSA to chase them or can the RP just go back to the CSA and say "enforce this"...

D1234 Wed 21-May-14 15:51:46

It's stupid it's bad enough when an ex knows they've got away with paying hardly anything to they're own child's up bringing as there's nothing to stop them this will give them even more of a chance of not paying anything

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 16:16:13

Nearly every time I have called the CSA I have had someone say that they know the system is broken and it annoys them. I have had some very helpful advice and some not so helpful advice (where the operator sounded like she had heard it so many times and just knew there was no point talking about it as nothing would be done) but definately a general feeling that they sympathise but are powerless to help.

This is not what you want from a free service, let alone having to pay for it.
If we are to pay for it, are they going to change anything? Actually use the money to go after the NRP for false declarations of earnings? Pay for someone to repossess that shiny Audi the NRP just bought on minimum wage? Pay out for a bit of digging with Companies House? I think we should have some kind of feedback as to what our £ will entitle us to.

The main trouble here is the perception of single parent's as an underclass, usually because they have little money. It should be patently obvious that the reason they have little money is usually the NRP doing a runner and hiding their salary. I am always confused as to why politicians don't wake up and scoop up the single parent 'underclass' as a campaign to show figures on how it lifts people out of poverty whilst reclaiming tax from NRP by reforming CSA and using their powers to prosecute - it seems like an obvious win-win. It seems that people are happy to ignore, until it happens to them. Sadly then their voice isn't perceived as important any more.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 16:30:07

I agree that in most cases it should be easy for a single mother to get money for her child from the father.

However, a friend of mine may or may not have a son. His ex split with him before he was born, she'd been cheating for most of the relationship. She let him see the baby occasionally if he came to her house to do so, until when he was about 18 months old when my friend got a new girlfriend (I can't see an issue, she's a nursery nurse!, and the girlfriend didn't have to be present for him to see the child) , subsequently she refused to let him see the little boy who is now nearly 3. She regularly changes her number, so she can call him when she wants to but he can't call her as her number keeps changing so arranging contact is nearly impossible, particularly as when he can get through to her and she says yes and agrees to meet him somewhere, she always cancels at the last minute. He hasn't seen the boy once in nearly a year and a half. She frequently changes her mind on whether or not he is his and refused money per month when he offered it, preferring to go to CSA who said he had to pay 40% of his low income (approx £200 a week) despite her having refused to put him on the birth certificate, including arrears (out of his control, he moved house when they were first sending letters and didn't know about it until they found his new address). He was told to contest it he had to pay several hundreds of pounds for a DNA test.
Why should he have to pay when she refused money off him so that CSA would sting him, she won't let him see the child and it's not even certain that he's the father?

We also have our own case, where dp got custody of my dsd last year, his ex was unhappy about ss moving her from her, so made a CSA claim when she found out it was going to happen, when there had been a private arrangement between him and her, and between him and his other ex for his other 2 children. CSA contacted the other ex who jumped at the opportunity to join in and said she would like to make a claim too. They sent him an amount to pay based on a week he covered for someone else and earned £80 extra, so were trying to overcharge him massively, and they put the amount up when they found out dsd 3 lives with us- this nearly crippled us as I'm a student nurse and so only get a small bursary- we didn't qualify for benefits like housing benefit , yet what we had barely covered rent, bills and food and dp had to pay to travel to work which was also not taken into consideration- how they expected him to to support and house a child on the amount he was left with I don't know (they didn't know I existed so for all they knew he could have been left with only £120- 140 a week plus I think it was £150 tax credits a week) Our rent is £825 and bills come to nearly £300 a month as we have storage heaters and barely any insulation. (and no we don't have unnecessaries, we don't even plug in our TV to the airial to avoid needing a licence and don't have a car etc)

He got made redundant (they were kind and didn't fire him because he hadn't been there long enough for redundancy pay) because he missed work a lot with stress and not being able to afford the transport and DSD often needed him home due to problems she has. So for the past few months he's been on carers allowance as DSD who lives with us has a disability. But he's desperate to go back to work, but apart from how difficult it is to find something that would mean he could be home when DSD needs him, he is terrified of CSA trying to take so much that we can barely manage- we scraped by due to my bursary... DSD who lives with us, mum doesn't pay any maintenance either due to not working, so we don't have any money from her either. We can manage much better and have some extra money to buy DSD1 and 2 school stuff and clothes to contribute now as we get housing benefit now, we offered her this in cash instead but she said no she's going through CSA.

DSD 1 and 2s Mum can't possibly need the amount CSA said, she and her husband (him and his kids live with them and their mums other kids too) have gone on two weekends away already this year. That's a pipe dream for us!

What he want's is to be able to afford to pay a reasonable amount, whilst working, without DSD 3 suffering and going without the basics because she lives with us and he has to pay for the other kids, who are always complaining of being bored down the pub while Mum and husband go drinking every Sunday... nice to know our money was funding their habits while DSD had holes in her clothes and not enough for dinner!

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 16:31:28

(Just to add as all this was going on when dsd 3 moved in with us, so we had to wait for child benefit and tax credits to come through while the claim was processed, so for a while we didn't have those either!)

bibliomania Wed 21-May-14 16:36:55

Thanks for the clarification, time. They basically just want RPs to shut up and go away, don't they?

I find it strange that they haven't thought about privatising maintenance collection. What's the logic of privatising child protection (or considering it) and not this? I'm not generally in favour of privatising government services, but I could see a certain logic in this. I wouldn't mind a private company charging my ex penalty fees for collecting the maintenance from him, provided I got it.

Lisa3578 Wed 21-May-14 16:48:06

the CSA are rubbish and biased towards the RP. being a NRP I have a court order in place that gives my children time with me, overnight stays, I contacted the CSA and informed them that I had a court order in place and would send them a copy, their reply was that they had to get the RP to confirm this!!!!!!! that said, the RP breached order and not allowing NRP overnight stays because it would leave the RP about £7-10 a week worse off while the kids are with the NRP.

Saying that the 'father' should have to pay the 20% fee is totally unfair if the father has made a reasonable suggested contribution in maintenance. Most reasonable people can agree a what is fair, the CSA was introduced to intervine when it came to greedy mothers and fathers refusing to pay. I can see there is no change at all when 1 party is unfair, it seems the father will be left with the 20% bill whether its greedy mother or avoiding father.

in the cases where the 'child maintenance' is not going towards maintaining the child (booze, fags and alike), then there needs to be a system of accountability or an electronic system where both parents can see where monies have been spent (rent, utility bills) and that that money has been spent of 'maintaining' the childs needs.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 16:53:19

I agree that in most cases it should be easy for a single mother to get money for her child from the father.

why 'single mother'?

this is not an issue that only affects 'single mothers', is it?

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 16:55:01

if the father has made a reasonable suggested contribution in maintenance.

what does 'reasonable' mean? it means different things to different people. The bottom line is legally enforceable. No parent should be forced to accept less than that, surely?

Lisa3578 Wed 21-May-14 16:56:55

Niceguy2, you have a point.

Might I point out that some (not all mothers) who are on benefits and have 3 kids to 5 different guys, their families are probably of the same mindset in getting something for nothing, so this will be 'socially acceptable' for them in the point of view of family/friends.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 16:57:19

in the cases where the 'child maintenance' is not going towards maintaining the child (booze, fags and alike), then there needs to be a system of accountability or an electronic system where both parents can see where monies have been spent (rent, utility bills) and that that money has been spent of 'maintaining' the childs needs.

Yes, dear. Of course. Should I also be accountable to my boss as to how my wages are spent? The suggestion that maintenance is 'only' spent on booze and fags is a ridiculous one and, should 'accountability' be enforced, one that is 100% easily circumvented. How are you going to prove that the bottle of wine I drank last week came from 'your' money and not mine?!

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 21-May-14 16:59:08

I don't know about biased but Ime utterly incompetent.

What I also felt was that they only bothered with easy targets - DH, a good payer, was on their books for years, bank missed one payment, as soon as he was alerted he sorted it out, yet he was hounded for months and months, v aggressively.

But if you say you're not earning or are self employed the csa would leave you alone.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 16:59:59

I seem to be on a roll....

I am not sure why PWC believe that they shouldn't have to pay for this service. It is not the tax payer's fault that we had children with a feckless man (or woman). My own experience with the CSA isn't a great one and it took 5 years before I got any money from them (or rather, my ex) but frankly, they saved me a fortune in sanity and legal feels which is what the alternative would be. I would not have been able to pursue it as far as they did because I couldn't have managed the stress on top of everything else. They are most welcome to a small percentage of what they have finally secured for me.

Lisa3578 Wed 21-May-14 17:00:27


the CSA used to state that 15% for 1 child, 20% for 2 etc is a baseline, some RP accept that and some are out for all they can get. This works with some NRP who are willing to pay the baseline and there are some who avoid it.

There are some NRP who work hard and ensure that their children have maintenance, but there is nothing to stop the RP going out there and getting a job!

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:02:37

self employed the csa would leave you alone.

that's not true. Their hands are tied but they will pursue the self employed - took 5 years for me but they got there in the end.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 17:03:13

Fed up why are you nit picking, I wasn't specifically wording, I didn't even notice I wrote single mothers. If I have to conform to the correct term police then read single mothers as 'resident parents'...

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 21-May-14 17:04:24

So you're skint and your kids parent won't pay, and you, the responsible one have to pay to get them to pay? Why not the feckless have to pay back for the service once completed? Why not make them pay an additional fee for every month the rp has to wait?

Lisa3578 Wed 21-May-14 17:05:43

quite frankly all the systems the government introduces are sh1te. there are ways for all parties to exploit it and I cant see that charging a party 20% will make things better, in fact it will make them worse.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:14:42

they do have to pay, John. Why do you think they don't? Far more than the PWC is having to pay - their bill is bumped up by 20%.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:15:27

because it is an issue that doesn't only affect single parents? because being a resident parent doesn't necessarily make you a single parent (or indeed, vice versa). Because I feel it's a valid point to make?

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:17:13

There are some NRP who work hard and ensure that their children have maintenance, but there is nothing to stop the RP going out there and getting a job!

ah yes, that old chesnut. All PWC should just go out and get jobs and that would solve the issue, wouldn't it? Do fuck off.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 21-May-14 17:17:16

Expecting the service for free was always wrong. If you wish to go via this route then a charge for the service is not unreasonable. When CM could be deducted from benefits it was recouping money so didnt need paying for.

Some use the CSA wisely but many use it as a weapon to threaten others with when they cant get their own way.

Some will have been married for a long time but there are thousands of women who have children in short term relationships, one night stands, an "accident" to trap the man etc with little thought as to the financial support they can offer a child. Many NRP dont pay but many PWC opt out of working and financially supporting children too yet its only wrong when its the NRP not paying.

I dont get the uproar, dont use the service if you dont want to pay for iy and use it if you do. If it encourages adults to behave like adults after a split and not use the children as pawns all the better.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 21-May-14 17:17:28

I thought all historic claims were not to be collected unless the rp coughed up?

(And then they still will not be collected.)

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 17:19:51


The % they ask for are perfectly reasonable.

Your dsd living with you should make the amount he pays go down not up. Her having a disability should also reduce the amount he pays (the NRP can reduce payments if a disabled child resides with him the RP cannot get increased payments if the child claimed for is disabled).you might want to look into that.

Your friend, well he has exactly the same options to deal with contact as everybody else does,why make excuses for him? Contact and CM are not linked. If the child is not his then they refund the cost of the DNA test and everything he has paid.

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 17:20:43

Having just read the first part of your post there alita I think that your 'friend' may have spun you some lines there. It is very common for the father to deny paternity. The DNA test is there for him to prove he is not and therefore take him out of the maintenance equation - ergo if a man pays it it is likely he really believes he is not the father. Many men know they have made out their ex was cheating purely to garner sympathy when the man decides to do a runner. You simply cannot rely on a man's word to pay maintenance as many have found to their cost, which is why the CSA is so vital for single parents. My ex offered money but had already buggered about with amounts and not done it regularly, was having contact sporadically and was frequently hours late. It was not a stable situation and with a child you need to know maintenance is regular and not at the discretion of whether they 'feel like' paying it.
It is also not a pay per view system and your friend should not be begrudging paying for his child. Contact can be sought through the Court fairly easily for NRP and most times (unless ex has very extreme records of violence, and even in some of those cases) it is always granted. Basically if he really wanted contact this could be set up for him.
Sadly you could have described me in that first para - well, my ex's spin on what happened to us. My version is of course wildly different.
Many of us on the Lone Parents boards have been branded mental/money grabbing/difficult and it is part of this branding by the NRP to anyone who will listen which makes the single parent's plight so hard. They have the money for legal fees and influence, and often the single parent does not. Nor does the single parent usually have time or energy after looking after NRP's kids to fight for their rights.

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 17:21:09

He was told to contest it he had to pay several hundreds of pounds for a DNA test

If he couldn't afford the DNA test, he wouldn't have to pay it upfront. He could still have the test done.

Why should he have to pay when she refused money off him so that CSA would sting him, she won't let him see the child and it's not even certain that he's the father?

If he had the DNA test and was found not to be the childs father, he would either be reimbursed the test fee, or if he'd not been able to afford it and it was paid initially by the CSA, he wouldn't be liable for the costs.

The rest of that all sounds a bit 'he said, she said'

^CSA contacted the other ex who jumped at the opportunity to join in and said she would like to make a claim too.

Why did she jump at the opportunity if they had a private arrangement that was working?

They sent him an amount to pay based on a week he covered for someone else and earned £80 extra, so were trying to overcharge him massively, and they put the amount up when they found out dsd 3 lives with us

Surely the amount would be reduced if he had a child that lived with him?

Lisa3578 Wed 21-May-14 17:21:33

"ah yes, that old chesnut. All PWC should just go out and get jobs and that would solve the issue, wouldn't it? Do fuck off"

well if theres nothing stopping why shouldn't you go out and get yourself a job to support your own children?? Why should the state pay when you have decided that you want children? using expletives is not a very productive comment!

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:23:28

I have a letter from Maria Miller (although she's gone now, I guess!) via my MP which very clearly states that every effort will be made to collect historic arrears, even when the case is moved over to the new system. I am not aware of any suggestion otherwise. Of course, how hard they try is a different issue but not every NRP has 'stuff' that can be used against them - I finally got maintenance at the point they were 3 days from repossessing my ex's home but obviously, not every NRP has a house (or if they do, care about whether it's repossessed for not).

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:25:40

well if theres nothing stopping why shouldn't you go out and get yourself a job to support your own children?? Why should the state pay when you have decided that you want children? using expletives is not a very productive comment!

why do you assume every PWC who claims maintenance through the CSA doesn't work?

Lisa3578 Wed 21-May-14 17:27:05

I am not assuming that at all. it was a viable general question.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 21-May-14 17:27:16

The op says that the 3.5 billion debts they failed to collect will be wiped out, I think.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:30:03

I guess it remains to be seen, John. I will do everything I can do make sure my ex doesn't get let off his considerable arrears. Our children are young, there is a long way to go. It shouldn't be wiped out just 'cos he's manipulated the system. As I said, I have a letter from Westminster saying this isn't the case...watch this space?!

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 17:30:28

It is sounding very much as though many people are still under the false idea that single mothers are teens mainly on benefits. IIRC over half are in their mid 30's and most of us would work if childcare fees didn't cancel out our wages. Myself, there is no point in working to pay nursery fees until she is 3 and gets 15hrs free. I intend to do this. I am not on benefits either.
I also like the assumption that women are out to 'trap' men, not than men shagged around fecklessly and therefore it is 50% of their responsibility.

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 17:33:20

So Lisa seeing as I am not on benefits, am I now too well off to be entitled to maintenance for DD?
Single mothers can't win whatever we do. We work = never see kids and always tired so bad mum. We don't work = feckless, lazy and entitled so no need for father to pay for his own child.

JohnFarleysRuskin Wed 21-May-14 17:33:49

Another thing that really annoyed me about the csa, was that their letters were riddled with mistakes.

If you're going to demand every bit of financial info from someone from the last five years (twice because of another racking mix up) at least bloody spell correctly.


fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:36:23

I am not assuming that at all. it was a viable general question

no, it's not a 'viable general question'. Whether I work or not has no bearing whatsoever on my ex's financial (emotional, practical...) responsibility towards our children. As it happens, I manage pretty well. But that doesn't mean that my ex should walk away scott free. My childcare bill alone comes in at over £800 a month. Why shouldn't he be making a fair contribution towards that (let alone put some food in his children's mouths and clothes on their backs or give them a warm house to live in), regardless of the fact I can afford it without his support? Similarly, if I find myself unable to work tomorrow, my ex still needs to be making a contribution, regardless of whether or not the State will make sure we're not on the streets. My working status (or not) has fuck all to do with anything, frankly.

Lisa3578 Wed 21-May-14 17:38:05

I totally agree that child care costs are far to high and wipe wages out. Child care should be free or heavily subsidised that it allows single mothers/married mothers/ mothers in relationships to go out and work.

as said, there are a lot of people out there who sponge off the state by having children and because they are too lazy to work, and there are fathers out there who shag around and want nothing to do with their child and have no responsibility towards them.

the point is not to tar everyone with the same brush which is what a lot of people do. "Single mothers are all on benefits etc and single feckless fathers should be jailed for avoiding maintenance" because this is not always the case.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 17:40:40

Yes, it's all about the feckless....sigh. You miss the point. Big time. Never mind.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 17:42:41

Neither is being offensive about lone parents lisa how exactly is it greedy to want the minimum amount they should be paying if assessed? Incidentally how does one obtain 3 children by 5 men?

Last time I checked according to gingerbread more single parents are in work than not.

happymummy you jump on these threads all the time saying exactly the same things about pwc implying they are feckless neglectful and then throw in a fair amount of benefit assumptions.

Do you imagine that the only people who have issues getting the other parent to face up to responsibilities are those who sleep with people they don't know and that they must be on very low incomes irresponsible immature child abusers?

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 21-May-14 17:44:33

Fucking hell!! Lots of people really really eager to come along and point out that not all NRP's are like that shock

Nice to know that the owners of such comments as -

I think it's fair to say that there is as much anecdotal evidence about vexatious RP applicants as there is about non-paying NRP


Might I point out that some (not all mothers) who are on benefits and have 3 kids to 5 different guys, their families are probably of the same mindset in getting something for nothing, so this will be 'socially acceptable' for them in the point of view of family/friends


in the cases where the 'child maintenance' is not going towards maintaining the child (booze, fags and alike), then there needs to be a system of accountability or an electronic system where both parents can see where monies have been spent (rent, utility bills) and that that money has been spent of 'maintaining' the childs needs.

are all out in force today to really, really, really make the important points they have wink

I mean a discussion about CSA reform should really be all about the poor NRP's who do nothing but play fair yet still get bad press hmm

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 17:46:02

There are some figures for you here Lisa actually 57% of us work

As I said I don't but will when DD is 3. That is worth adding to the figures - how many of those non-working can't work due to child care costs. How many would work if NRP paid the percentage they were meant to? How much tax does that give back to the system.

Remember 3/5 single parents get NO maintenance at all.

I get £5 per week from DD's dad who is on around £60k working for his old company diverting wages through his own company mysteriously set up when CSA caught up to him and is now claiming to earn below minimum wage. It's a common lie, but CSA can't prove it [long story I won't go into] despite telling me they see this every day and are relatively powerless to collect.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 17:51:24


It is almost impossible to have any type of discussion on here about the ones who do everything they can to avoid or minimise payment commit fraud and stuff like that without a few posters jumping in with

But your all malicious greedy slags who are using the CSA to punish the NRP. Yet nobody but nobody has ever been able to explain exactly why paying the % required on time is a punishment

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 17:51:25
Happybeard Wed 21-May-14 17:52:24

What's the bit about paying CM for stepchildren???? As in, towards your step children if you leave their biological parent, or as in pay the RP of your stepchildren maintenance?

Either way I can't understand under what circumstances that would be ruled.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 17:54:31

You've lost me there happybeard

Happybeard Wed 21-May-14 17:55:16

lioninthesun that is hilarious!

Happybeard Wed 21-May-14 17:57:10

Sorry sock, here:

What child maintenance payments can a court order?
The court (or the sheriff in Scotland) still has powers to make orders for:
Payment of school fees
Child maintenance for stepchildren or disabled children
Child maintenance for those who are in further education and certain other specific situations

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 17:58:01

firstly I was close to both my friend and his ex until recently when I got fed up of her disgusting behaviour, she personally told me she was enjoying messing his life up... she knows he can't afford maintenance as well as court fees and the dna test.

Secondly in my situation we weren't offered a disability reduction, I wonder why!! and it definitely did go up when she moved in with us which I thought was mental, it might be because it was then that they reassessed us and dp had recently done the week when he covered the friends shift and earned more. Dsd 1 and 2s mum seems to delight in making dps life difficult and I have no idea why, lots has gone on with the kids and things she's doing which sickens me.

I don't see why so many people think that a woman can't possibly be using her kids to get at the father or has to be doing right by their kids, I know it's the minority but there are real psychos out there!

whether or not contact should be relevant to payments should be relative. There are many cases where, like my friend, the mother refuses to put the father on the birth certificate, so he has no parental rights, yet then claims csa, she could say the most wealthy man she slept with around that time was the father If she wanted to, even if she knew he wasn't! She could put the child up for adoption and he wouldn't have to be consulted first!

nahidontthinkso Wed 21-May-14 17:58:03

Completely unfair to charge to set up a claim when nothing may come of it.

I set up a claim with CSA in 2006. XP avoided them by working cash in hand, self employed, job hopping and giving false addresses for years. They couldn't get a penny out of him. He racked up £4500+ in arrears.

Last year he got in touch with me via FB as the CSA had found him and wanted to take £300 a month of him in current payments and arrears. He earns just over £1000 per month. He was crapping himself and offered to start paying current payments direct to me because he also knew these new costs were coming in this year and said he couldn't afford to live if they took that much off him per month.

We have now switched to maintenance direct. He pays me £187 per month direct from his employer and i have had to write off the £4500+ in arrears otherwise he would have quit his job again and i would have got nothing.

Our child has a disability and them arrears could have made a huge difference had the CSA been of any use and actually got them for me.
I would have been completely peeved if i had to pay to set up a claim for nothing. It costs enough to ring them on there 0845 number and sit on hold for ages before they can be bothered to answer and then wait for them to try and find somebody who knows what is going on!

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 21-May-14 18:03:57

Of course NRP should pay but so should the PWC. The amount of PWC who slate the NRP for not paying when they dont either is outstanding.

The old nugget of "childcare costs" gets trotted out as an excuse so many times. Childcare costs can be googled in seconds and surely financial plannng is done before getting pregnant. It takes seconds to calculate how many children you can afford childcare for both current circumstances and for one salary alone. No relationship is cast iron guaranteed.

gatofeliz Wed 21-May-14 18:06:27

I understand why they are now charging but theres a limit to what services you should be charged for.

No one on here has mentioned the additional charges which could potentially build up.

*The new Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will start charging a "£50-£300 finding fee" to locate an ex-partner who has fallen behind on child support payments, it has emerged.

The Department for Work and Pensions is introducing sweeping reforms to the previously free CSA, including turning it into the CMS.

Other charges include:

A £50 charge if the CMS has to arrange a deduction from an employer.
A further £50 if they have to take a late child support payment out of a bank account.
Taking a former partner to court will now cost £300*

WTF! Who is footing the bill for this or is ITV web page wrong. No one else has mentioned it confused


FrontForward Wed 21-May-14 18:09:02

Lisa3578 I'm sorry you have such a poor view of women regarding them as feckless women procuring children off multiple men to stack up the child maintenance they can claim...as a totally vexatious act. Either you are a new wife begrudging your partner paying for his children or a man pretending to be a woman. Either way your purpose shows through as most of your comments are inaccurate

Whoever wrote this: Whether I work or not has no bearing whatsoever on my ex's financial (emotional, practical...) responsibility towards our children has it right ...and you can replace 'whether I work' with almost any other status since it's not about responsibility belonging only to the RP with the NRP offering a token gesture if he/she feels it's justified.

When you have children it's a commitment. You commit to provide for that child and do so alongside a partner. Whatever happens in the parents relationship, that commitment should stand. Too often, money and access are used by either side as a weapon to beat the ex with regardless of the collateral damage to their child(ren)

It's a great shame and should be a source of shame that NRP seek to evade a responsibility to a child because they believe the ex might also benefit. Shame on you

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 18:12:25

oh here I am with the expletives again...fuck off, love. Seriously. Take some time to understand how life actually works for some people.

I am a parent who did it all 'right'. Educated to Masters level. Travelled the world. Married at 30. Waited 6 years into the relationship before having children. Own business. Decent, caring guy. No signs of abuse. And them wham, out of nowhere, he's been having an affair and walks out leaving me pregnant with 2 toddlers. I won't go into my personal financial details but i can assure you, like many, working at minimum wage or even considerably above wouldn't be financially viable for me as a single parent. The figures don't add up. Yeah, sure, on paper I'd have more than on benefits. But I'd also have more outgoings. It doesn't work. That's the reality for many people and unless children are very young, there is no right to education or training or the opportunity to re-train because you have to be job seeking to get the benefits. There is a benefits trap - whether or not people want to believe it - and it disproportionately affects single parents and particularly single parents who have an ex who makes no contribution. And I know plenty of single parents - not one of them has children by more than one father, none of them had children out of marriage and none of them had children under the age of 25. Shit happens and unfortunately, it can be very, very hard to navigate around it. I don't say it often, but I sincerely hope shit happens to you.

EffectiveCommunication Wed 21-May-14 18:12:41

I think the second wives who support absent preants who get up to these tricks are a disgrace to the sisterhood.

Milmingebag Wed 21-May-14 18:12:49

My ex husband owes £60,000 + in child maintainance arrears and despite there being liability orders in place,because he is self employed,they claim they are unable to get any of the money owed.

I have asked my MP to be involved (again) and find out why his driving licence hasn't being removed or imprisonment considered because all other avenues have apparently been exhausted.... I await a response.

Firstly I want to say that the onus to pay for the CSA should be on the NRP who is evading meeting their financial obligations.

Secondly, it is time that NRPs who routinely evade paying child support to be prosecuted through the courts for child neglect.

It isn't okay not to pay towards the food,shelter and clothing of your child/ren just because you don't live with the child/children that you have equal responsibility for. It is neglect.

I think this is ,primarily,a feminist battle and needs highlighting as such. Most non-paying NRP's are men. Women's careers/standard of living/long term prospects are severely compromised as a consequence of these repeated failures to insure that these basic responsibilities are met and the burden of care,shared. When it comes to women and children in this society we are still second class citizens.

My eldest child is disabled. My ex husband has refused to either share the care ( he doesn't even bother to see them for minimal access)or meet any child maintainance obligations. He is guilty of child neglect but nobody is doing anything about it.

I have given up my career as a consequence ( my long term prospects have been demolished) in order to do his share as well as mine because I have had no other choice.

If I refused to care for and meet my children's basic needs I would be imprisoned. This blatant inequality needs to be campaigned against on behalf of all the women and children who have been repeatedly let down by this sham of an organisation.

Interestingly enough there is a more robust response to those who evade council tax than those who fail to support their children.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 18:14:35

I also disagree entirely with people saying that all rps should be paying for their kids by working not relying on benefits... what do you expect a single mum of say a 3 year old and a child 1 or under to do with her kids if her relationships breaks down and she is the sole carer during the week and maybe eow? she could maybe work eow but there aren't many jobs that would accept you eow... Child care is extremely expensive and would most likely wipe out her wages... I would question why a mother of a 15 and a 17 year old with no health problems couldn't work, but surely most single mums who don't work, can't?

FrontForward Wed 21-May-14 18:15:27

The CSA have just put into place a system which will fail everyone but minimise their costs whilst doing so.

RP struggling to get NRP to pay will be forced to give up as they won't be able to afford the system.

This will cause more poverty for women and children Well done govt

EffectiveCommunication Wed 21-May-14 18:15:47

I totally agree it is child abuse, a resident parent doing the same as a non paying non resident parent would be prosecuted for neglect. If a non resident parent can be fined for non attendance at school, and not receiving an education, then why are they not held responsible for other things?

Happybeard Wed 21-May-14 18:16:16

Happyoneofmum: who decides to have a child based on whether they could afford to care for the child if they split up and their partner didn't pay CM? confused that's bizzare. Barely anyone would have any children if that were the case.

I agree re RPs paying though. DH's ex loves to bemoan his "measly" salary and "pathetic" CM contributions when all the while she's sat around on her arse all day contributing zero financially with one teen who spends half her time here.

There's a lot of anecdotal from both sides but move all of the "not all men" and "some RPs" etc. off the table and in essence there is only one way to solve this problem and that is to make CM just like a tax. Absolutely no reason why one government department can't talk to the other and draw money from earnings. For those self employed they could pay based on an estimate and then pay the balance at the same time as they pay their tax return and if they don't pay, lock em up.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 21-May-14 18:19:37


Of course NRP should pay but so should the PWC. The amount of PWC who slate the NRP for not paying when they dont either is outstanding

for instance

just doesn't make sense hmm Who is paying for all these children then? Even with the highest numbers for people on benefits then there are still surely over a million children in lone parent families receiving no state support and no maintenance.... a point worthy of discussion no?

Alita I take nothing away from your tale. I believe you.

Not really appropriate for this discussion though is it?

Do you genuinely think that your tale of one NAMALT (thanks lion grin that's exactly what I meant) means there is no problem? In general? At all?


alita7 Wed 21-May-14 18:20:50

I do have some words of warning though... If your ex goes to prison for not paying then the state pays for his living costs while hes not paying you and he then has a criminal record so his chances of a good job decrease... so then it's more likely that you'll never see the money because he may never be able to get a job to pay for it!

BomChickaMeowMeow Wed 21-May-14 18:21:55

So which private business will profit from this? Capita? G4S? ATOS?

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 21-May-14 18:24:04

I'll have a fiver on crapita bomchicka grin

NatashaBee Wed 21-May-14 18:25:00

The CSA are useless. There are a number of enforcement measures they can take, including taking driving licenses, but I have yet to hear of them ever actually using them.

enforcement measures

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 18:25:10

Ultimately it is unfair to make the PWC pay for the CSA [or whatever it will be called] to collect CM when they as an organisation are so utterly toothless when it comes down to it and there are no moves to make the system more like that of other countries where real and harsh penalties apply if a RP won't pay up.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 21-May-14 18:25:13

Havent read the thread.

I knew this was coming but it actually disgusts me. There is no logic other than money saving/making for the Govt.

Children will suffer.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 18:27:44

ipanema I see what you're saying, but I think the point I was making was that there are nrps who do everything they can not to pay when they can afford to, there are nrps who pay as much as they can, there are nrps unfairly charged more than they can afford due to their situation, there are rps who exploit the system and mess the nrp around, there are nrps who also shag around etc, the are rps who fiddle things and claim that their children don't spend nights with the nrp when they do or get greedy and deny private arrangements exist, there are rps who refuse contact and nrps who don't bother. There's so many different scenarios I can't imagine how to make the system fair!

But in my case my dp is a nrp and an rp (none of the kids are mine, the step mums) and so I see both sides!

FrontForward Wed 21-May-14 18:27:46

Lots of arguments on here for why
1) women should go out to work (magic childcare and magic child friendly jobs)
2) women should fund all child related costs them self (after all they chose to have children so must have planned for this?)
3) women shouldn't have children from different fathers (presumably the men have no responsibility in this)
4) women should accept any amount that the father considers 'reasonable'

What about the very simple... Both parents must take responsibility for providing for a child. If you want the mother to work then I suggest you pay 50% of the childcare bill. I'm dam sure this will be far more than 95% of men pay per month

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 21-May-14 18:29:32

So its neglectful not to pay for your childs shelter, clothes and food if you are a NRP not paying maintainance but not neglect of you are the PWC not working so paying nothing either hmm

Thousands of women work and use childcare. If on a low wage the state even pay most of it as its seen as beneficial. There is no excuse to not work and provide for a child/children you chose to have. Nobody is forced to become a parent.

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 18:37:45

happymummyofone has a benefit bashing agenda, so bear that in mind when deciphering her posts

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 21-May-14 18:39:31

Yes agenda, was going to respond but have seen exactly the same line from her at least twice before. She doesnt get it and doesnt want to so no point responding.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 18:40:27

yes, there is every 'excuse' not to work because the figures don't add up. No one should have to pay to go to work - but if I worked at minimum wage and paid an average rent for this area, I would be worse off working than I would be on benefits. More money through my bank account every month but far bigger outgoings. Why is that hard for you to understand?

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 21-May-14 18:41:59

Quite wrong there Amber but dont let it stop you hmm. We should have a welfare state to protect our elderly, sick and disabled if they cannot do any form of work. Its what it was set up to do. I dont think it should pay as somebody wont work or wants to work few hours. Thats wrong and I am quite entitled to my opinion as you are yours.

Slating NRP for not paying when the PWC isnt either is very two faced.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 18:44:41

so only the children of a working PWC deserve the support of their NRP?

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 18:51:16

Your posting history proves otherwise happymummyofone.

We should have a welfare state to protect our elderly, sick and disabled if they cannot do any form of work. Its what it was set up to do

The welfare state was based on full employment. If like now and over many years that isn't possible, the welfare state is there so that no one has to live in poverty.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 21-May-14 18:52:30

So start a thread about that then happymummy hmm

We are discussing the changes to the CSA and how it will impact on PWC with non compliant NRPs to deal with.

HappyMummyOfOne Wed 21-May-14 18:54:39

Ok Amber, show me one post where i have said the elderly or disabled ( where no work is possible) dont deserve benefits.

The children deserve financial support from both parents. They fare less well in life if raised on benefits so why so many choose not to work is beyond me knowing the effects it has.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 18:55:51

what really must be considered and correct me If it's already being considered, is that the rp is paying for there own home and bills too as well as the child's.

Where I live (don't know about anywhere else) it costs a minimum of £550 for a 1 bed flat and a minimum of 750 for a 2 bed. so it costs an extra 200 approx for a rp to house a child or maybe 2 as well as themselves but the nrp does still need to be able to afford a place for themselves to live too! If the rp has a council house then the nrp may be paying more for the smaller place.
obviously the nrp should have to pay but I have heard some people who seem to think that the nrp should pay enough to cover all the living costs! I just think it is important that the nrp can still afford their rent and food!
If dp had been a nrp with no kids and was single he'd of had £500 a month left after maintenance with no eligibility for benefits!

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 18:58:05

Of course NRP should pay but so should the PWC. The amount of PWC who slate the NRP for not paying when they dont either is outstanding

I am a pwc if I do not make sure my children are appropriately looked after then my children would be removed from my care using the existing neglect and child protection laws exactly the same as any other PWC

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 19:05:16

Ok Amber, show me one post where i have said the elderly or disabled ( where no work is possible) dont deserve benefits

The children deserve financial support from both parents. They fare less well in life if raised on benefits so why so many choose not to work is beyond me knowing the effects it has

I know it is, that is why I won't bother to explain it to you.

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 19:07:08

alita7 that is where the new girlfriends come in handy.

stooshe Wed 21-May-14 19:09:08

The females on here (I cannot bring myself to call them "women") on here throwing shade after women who want maintenance for the children that they didn't create alone, need a box!
Mind you, the amount of shady females who get with reprobates who slag off their kids' mums, get pregnant for somebody who is evidently not father material is mind boggling.
I'm not burning any bras around here, but a message to those females:
Never feel validated when a male slags off an ex who has his children, who he doesn't make an adult to support. It'll be your turn next!
Rant over, back to thread.

messandmayhem Wed 21-May-14 19:12:32

I called CMS recently. Requested the pay and collect service which will soon attract the charges. Im happy to pay 4% to have no contact with the man who is abusive to me and my kids. They set it up, but said when the charges start he can opt to go to direct pay, where we have to arrange payments between us. So ill have to have contact. Then he will be saying hes short this month, and expect me to be fine with that, and if i report him missing payments or sending payments short of what they should be they can force him to use the service with charges but ill get a whole load of abuse for it. All this while the police and domestic violence services i use are urging zero contact, and possibly seeking non molestation orders and persuing a prosecution for the harrasment he has subjected me to.

Im a victim of abuse ffs, i cannot reach any sort of arrangement with the man who still seeks to use any opportunity to cause me stress and fear.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 19:15:13

Secondly in my situation we weren't offered a disability reduction, I wonder why

I expect that's because you did not read all the paperwork they sent you or look on the gov website because if you had then you would have known to apply for it

stooshe Wed 21-May-14 19:29:03

This thread confirms for me that females hate females (in the name of men) more than men could ever. I care not if a residential parent is working or not. They have the main responsibility for the child anyway. Why do the superior in this thread choose to slag them off and not the male shit house (who probably has an understanding enabler in the wings such as some I won't personally call out here) who ties himself in knots so as not to pay a red cent towards any children that he has created?

Nobody has children planning on what they can afford if a partnership breaks down. Bloody hell, talk about taking all the wonderment and joy out of life!
New girlfriends of men who do not pay towards their children welfare.... why in the hell are you with a regressed adult who has no impetus or zeal? What joy are you lacking in your souls that you want to yoke yourself to somebody who can't get shit done and complains when simple action and empathy will do? Why are your lives so dry that you get a high chest by battling for wutless men? Why do you feel that these men shouldn't contribute ('cos that's what you are really saying, if you cut through the "he's a victim" bullshit)? Why do you have children for men who are in "mix up" with an ex with children who he can't financially contribute to, yet you expect YOUR kids ('cos he lives with you) to not suffer?
I really fell like cussing some bad words after your kind.

flameprincess Wed 21-May-14 19:30:51

To the poster who said the CM went up because of her DSD moving in with her, this simply cannot be true. It most definitely went up for another reason - they reduce calculations by a certain percentage for a Relevant Other Child in the household.
The only way this will have increased is if your DP is the primary earner in the household and you receive Child Tax Credit as a couple for her, and told them this. Yes they can use this as income.

As for those with NRPs who are self employed - the CSA use information provided to them from HMRC. Unfortunately if HMRC have been idiotic enough to accept that the NRP earns and lives on lets say the £4 a week he/she is declaring, then the CSA cannot dispute this. In which case it should be HMRC you are angry at. They should be exorcising their powers against tax evasion but are equally incompetent.

Has anyone here reported their ex partner for tax evasion and had a result?

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 19:36:42

I'm not convinced new partners always know....my ex was (is) a con man. He was bloody good at it. He fooled me for many years and I'm not daft (you obviously only have my word for that, but I'm sure you know what I mean!). I am pretty sure that his current relationship is a house of cards but that he risks it because there's plenty more women where she came from if she works it all out (several have already). I would be pretty sure my ex never tells anyone at all that he doesn't pay maintenance. I am equally sure that he tells people he's superdad and pays way over the odds....why would anyone have reason to think otherwise? it's hardly good dating etiquette to demand to see the bank transfers/receipts, is it?!

I shout a lot on here when I hear stories that for me don't quite add up but I know that when you're in the thick of a relationship, you can't necessarily see the obvious (or the not so obvious) because you don't want to. One of the reasons I steer clear of new relationships is knowing there are 'victims' like my ex out there..I just don't know how I'd trust what was said was true.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 19:41:35

flame I reported to hmrc using evidence legally obtained using a accountant and private detective both specialists in tax/benefit fraud (both also employed by hmrc ) proving without a doubt how and how much. They smiled at me and were perfectly polite but nothing came of it,it did not even instigate their own investigation.

happybeard the courts have pretty much always had the power to order CM for step children because the courts treat them as children of the family during divorce

Owllady Wed 21-May-14 19:46:06

It's extremely difficult as a nrp to get a variation on the basis a disabled child lives with you.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 19:48:00

Quite wrong there Amber but dont let it stop you . We should have a welfare state to protect our elderly, sick and disabled if they cannot do any form of work. Its what it was set up to do. I dont think it should pay as somebody wont work or wants to work few hours. Thats wrong and I am quite entitled to my opinion as you are yours

What on earth has your attitude towards benefits got to do with CM?

Are you saying that only benefit free lone parent households are entitled to expect any financial contribution from the NRP?

Or ones who obtain no practical or financial support from family?

Or that households where the children are having their needs met are guilty of neglect if any income comes from benefits?

Happybeard Wed 21-May-14 19:49:09

Sock, I'm being really thick. So, if my DH and I divorced, he could be ordered to pay me CM for my dd, his step daughter?

Milmingebag Wed 21-May-14 19:50:02

The culture surrounding this idea is all wrong. Why should the person already doing the lion's share also be expected on top of everything else to pay to have the NRP meet his/her financial obligations? I mean this is really fucked up thinking.

If there is a need to involve an agency to collect child maintainance then the responsibility to pay for it should lay with the person who has to meet their contribution via the agency.

This is another strike against women/children though isn't it and that is the point. What should be happening is enforcement should be given more teeth and penalties for non-compliance made steeper.

Instead we have the creation of a situation where the very poorest are even further away from getting what their children are entitled to. They are being asked to contribute to an ineffective system of collection with very poor outcomes.

I actually think that childcare and costs should be split 50/50 between both parents. If one party is unable to meet their 50% of their responsibilities then the other party should be paid and compensated accordingly -pension loss, extra housing costs, loss of earnings and basic child maintainance all factored in etc

Until that is the norm we will never have equality.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 19:58:00

No it is not owl its one of the easiest variations to get,pretty much all you have to do is show that any disability related income is being used correctly that the child does have a disability and they incur further costs as a result of that.

My estranged husband was able to do it despite me writing and informing them he not only had no financial liability towards my children nor did he have any practical lability towards them and that I had not given him consent to read/take/use any of their medical information for any reason.

He obtained it by stealing copies of diagnostic reports and sending them off and it took him less than 8 weeks after applying to get the letter.when I found out and made him leave they did not even make him pay it back to his ex. I felt so guilty I paid her until the CSA got around to resolving it

AskBasil Wed 21-May-14 20:00:53

I wish MNHQ would do a campaign on this.

It is a direct attack on women and children.

3/5 of lone parents don't receive any maintenance at all. The majority. Because financial abuse of their own children by men, is acceptable.

All you arseholes who spout misogynistic crap about feckless hooers popping out sprogs and living off men, just hope your DH doesn't have an affair and leave you because you're one affair away from being stigmatised the way you stigmatise other women.

Is that why you do it? Fear? Or just general asshattery?

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 20:03:26

Stooshe what about the men who are left by women who 'run away' with the child and won't let them "make them adults to support". You can't assume every man who had kids with someone he slags off is in the wrong! She may well deserve to be slagged off out of the kids ear shot!

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 20:04:46

Sock, I'm being really thick. So, if my DH and I divorced, he could be ordered to pay me CM for my dd, his step daughter?

In theory yes but only if you asked for it, exactly as he could request and obtain a contact order

Owllady Wed 21-May-14 20:06:24

Sorry, but it is not that straightforward if you are just a normal person paying your way and not clued up on the legalities of it. You might know how the system works, most people trust the people who work in their jobs to advise properly on what is actually happening.

I don't really think justifying the costs of your disabled child, having it dragged out for months and then having yo go to court twice to get a variation is straightforward either. Especially after 3 months the whole thing starts again.

I also think though variations should work both ways and nrp should pay MORE for their children who are disabled. Than again I think men should be made financially responsible if a severely disabled 'child's whilst they still earn anyway, no matter that child's age

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 20:11:35

It really was that straight forward for him no court hearing no tribunal no nothing,and IMO he's not switched on about the system, perhaps it was easier as my children are considered to be significantly disabled so no need to prove additional cost (just a guess)

Milmingebag Wed 21-May-14 20:12:48

I totally agree with you AskBasil except I would add that women AND children are being financially abused.

I want a campaign too. Mumsnet should be all about championing the rights of women as parents and their children.

Insanityme Wed 21-May-14 20:13:19

Sorry, have just found this thread...
There was a post further up (am sorry I can't recall the username of the person posting..) who said that the fees would be taken out of the child's maintenance payments.. Is this true? I was of the understanding that the fees would be on top, or otherwise isn't the child being 'taxed' for receiving maintenance??! In my book that's utterly disgusting. Why introduce fees if they are so concerned about people being able to afford them..??


Owllady Wed 21-May-14 20:39:19

Needasock, the resident child with the nrp was very disabled child (and a biological one) and it was extremely difficult, mp got involved in the end

Which I suppose shows the csa wasn't/isn't fair sad

NatashaBee Wed 21-May-14 20:41:41

There was another thread about it too Insanityme. The maintenance the OP of that thread received, had had bailiffs fees deducted from it as the NRP hadn't paid willingly.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 20:48:36

Tbh I haven't heard of many cases of the csa being fair. The whole system needs a reform. Circumstances should be more closely looked at too.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 20:49:05

owl then yes a example of inconsistency

Missteacake Wed 21-May-14 20:57:52

I'm sure there are many NRP out there who do not pay have no intention of paying but there are equally many who wish to pay and do. Why are all fathers feckless in the same way all single mothers are benefit hungry scroungers! The CSA did not work for those mothers who never received payment or for those easy target fathers who were hounded when they had fully declared their income. There are countless posts above that prove the CSA doesn't work. My DH pays CM and has for 14 years his EW has made it difficult every step of the way. She has denied contact, been to court three times costing us thousands yet it's quite happy to collect the money every month. She insisted going through the CSA even when DH said he would pay her more privately and he hadn't defaulted before. She has made every effort to harm my DH even at the expense of her own child so whilst I feel greatly for women who receive no support from father don't tar everyone with same brush. Some fathers will do anything to support their children we still pay now even though my DH son is 19 so has left education and my DH hasn't seen him in 5 years we couldn't afford to go back to court again as we now have a child so we only have one income. The courts are as useless with contact as the CSA are with payment. If a father is consistently maintaining payment why should he have to pay 20% extra just because RP wants to play games. I'm sure by the way my case is in the minority before everyone starts trolling me I understand some fathers don't pay but some do.

happybubblebrain Wed 21-May-14 20:59:09

It is obvious that this government hates women and children. Things will get much worse if they stay in power (think massive cuts to benefits, tax credits, employment chances etc). All we can do is vote them out, vote tactically - vote Labour.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 21:07:06

I think if the nrp is refusing to pay/ found to be paying too little they should pay the fees.
If the rp goes to csa when they are already being paid, on time and when agreed and the nrp has been found to be paying pretty much the right amount then the rp should pay the fees.
Not sure what to do if you're ex is tax evading though.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 21:08:23

Happy look up the green party, the 3 main companies have proved themselves to be inadequate!

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 21:14:16

Surely the system would work better if CSA get £ for all charges once they have found NRP? As long as they have that target in sight to pay the costs they may actually do the work!

Anyone still arguing about whether NRP should pay maintenance needs to have their head examined - if you think men should have less responsibility for their child than women I don't think MN is for you.

HappyMum you fail to understand that when NRP leaves the nest the nest still has to be paid for. You can downsize all you like but if you have, say 3 kids you still need a certain number of bedrooms. Kids may already be in school which means if you have to move out of family home you are limited to area. All costs for utilities/car/insurance/food/clothes are now on you. You must be joking if all couples females I think you mean seriously consider this happening before getting pregnant and work it all out in advance hmm

I understood these fees are on top which would make more sense. Exp has already paid nearly as much in fees and extras to CSA for being such a PITA for them - hanging up on them for months on end/pretending to leave the country/not responding to letters/taking us to court to avoid maintenance/claiming jobseekers illegally for 6 months while earning/setting up own business to go self employed/cancelling his direct debit - all of which incur a cost as they have to contact him every time to figure out what game he is playing now. It saddens me he is happy to pay these extra charges but apparently can only afford £5 a week for his child. Ignores cost of his recent holidays and many expenses paid business trips and an internet showing him winning awards for his role at work on a blockbuster film and Audi and house in London and engagement ring for new fiancée and tries not to make it personal

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 21-May-14 21:30:29

Missteacake if your DSS is 19 then why hasnt DH arranged his own contact with him for the last 3 years? It wouldnt hve required any involvement or agreement from his EXW, especially not since DSS turned 18.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 21:30:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 21-May-14 21:34:51

If a father is consistently maintaining payment why should he have to pay 20% extra just because RP wants to play games

He won't have to will he? He'll just pay in a private agreement confused He'll be charged only if found to be not paying and therefore newly reformed CSA or whatever will be involved, from how I understand it.

I'm sure by the way my case is in the minority before everyone starts trolling me I understand some fathers don't pay but some do

Phew, good job you mentioned that, I mean I thought every single person's experience was the same til you pointed that out wink

TheGirlFromIpanema Wed 21-May-14 21:37:37

and yes, LOL at desperate father being denied contact to his 19 year old son by the scheming grasping ex.


Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 21:37:51

alita yes, but that is why the CSA asks for only 20% of earnings; it still leaves 80% of his earnings to live on. Considering men earn far more than women in this country that is usually more than the woman earns when working anyway! The fact that a lot of NRP think this is unfair is where society needs to come in on the side of the child and not pat the NRP on the back for not paying for their child. It is in essence the rest of the country having to pick up the maintenance cheat's childcare bill! Why aren't more people annoyed about THAT rather than banging on at single mothers?

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 21:41:25

Just read your last para atila and a little confused... You would rather be the single mother of child/ren with no money, than not have the kids to look after or pay for an have all of the extra money and time for holidays and nights out? FWIW my ex could afford a mortgage on his own salary, but as it happens his fiancée also earns a high wage - hence they have double the money and no child to worry about.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 21:48:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fedupbutfine Wed 21-May-14 21:51:39

I would rather be the rp with no maintenance than the nrp with loads of money

I don't claim to know the statistics on this, but I would hazard a guess that for the most part, is is women with children following the breakdown of a relationship (for whatever reason - it really isn't important), who struggle the most. It stands to reason - despite equal pay legislation, women are often paid less than their male peers and/or are in typically less well paid professions (caring professions in particular are not well paid). On top of that, women are more likely to have taken some time out of work when having children, thus reducing their year on year likelihood of pay increases and promotion compared with their (now ex) partner.

I am not aware of any kind of campaigning on behalf of fathers in relation to their relative financial position post-relationship breakdown. There is plenty in the news, however, about single parent families and how disadvantaged the children are as a result. That is not to say I don't recognise (or understand) your point - and I particularly see how unfair maintenance is for lower paid men generally but particularly for those who live in expensive areas (London, the South East) when they are trying to maintain their own home and a place for their children to stay with them.

You are naive to think that being a PWC means you have 'loads of money'. A minimum wage PWC with a couple of children may well have more coming in compared with a NRP minimum wage worker but the buck stops with the PWC in terms of the children. It isn't easy by any stretch of anyone's imagination.

Happybeard Wed 21-May-14 21:56:31

Thanks sock that's surprising. I'd be fairly annoyed if ex separated from his wife and she went for contact for Dd. Although I guess it would come out of his contact time rather than mine. Anyway, bit of a derail! Sorry, just surprised that steps are mentioned when in day to day life steps have no "rights".

timefliesby Wed 21-May-14 22:00:19

I should add...I did see my MP - Peter Luff. I brought up both my own case and the reforms. He knew nothing about the reforms. He did say "he would look into it"... he also said "all men are bastards, we all are"... patronising so and so

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 22:01:07

alita I don't think many WOMEN on here would rather not have their kids with them. We are meant to be the nuturing sex, dontcha know wink That's why we are expected to put up and shut up when the menfolk move on to pastures new. It is sadly usually men who don't stick to contact arrangements but no one picks up on the fact these men aren't bothered about seeing their kids at all. Exp was even asked by the Judge at Court to seriously consider a Contact Centre to see DD, but still refused.

I also agree with the poster who said any woman who gets with a man who already has kids either has to accept that he pays the rightful amount to them and deal with it, or expect the very same thing to happen to them later down the line. If women ignore the child and think the man is punishing his ex, when does that relationship end for him if he still has 'power' like that? In reality it is all too easy to ignore the child in these cases and think you are standing by your man attacking his ex. Sadly this should be showing you his true character. Be blind to it at your peril.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 22:04:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 22:06:48


Given that your ss is 19 no fees would have been paid for using the CSA so how exactly is using it harming your DH? How is it punishing him?

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 22:07:04

Anyway as AskBasil said upthread, I would love MN to do a campaign on this and NRP payments. If anything should have the support of all of the mummies (and daddies) in the land, it is to get a fair and reliable system for the parent left literally holding the baby.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 22:10:01


How exactly is the % they use stinging the NRP?

In what circumstances is paying the legally required minimum % stinging

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 22:14:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 22:18:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 22:20:53

atilia I am so sorry you are with a man who has children he can't afford. I'm also sad you had to use your own bursary to hook him out of the pile he has got himself into. Your situation seems complex as are there 3 other mothers he has previously left with children?
However CSA rarely punishes NRP beyond their means. They usually still can afford a packet of condoms...

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 22:26:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 22:27:40

*use contraception

AskBasil Wed 21-May-14 22:29:20

Why did it cost you your bursary to look after his children?

Why was it your job to look after his children and why was it your money? And why are you resenting the mother of his child(ren) for your choice in how you spent your bursary?

Your posts are a bit puzzling tbh.

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 22:37:29

Anyway it is very sexist to assume that just because he is a man he just left them with the kids! That's not at all what happened.
Sorry my sentence was poorly phrased - other women he has left, who have his children - would have made better sense. I wasn't being sexist, I was trying to understand the set-up.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 22:37:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NeedsAsockamnesty Wed 21-May-14 22:37:42

Needs it can go up to 40% or at least it could a few months ago!!!

That would only be accrued arrears,those things that happen when you don't pay

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 22:40:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lioninthesun Wed 21-May-14 22:40:58

In case I am still being unclear - he has had kids with 2 other women and is now with you.
<Tries to untie knots of own limbs>
I do feel we are deviating from the OP...

EllenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-May-14 22:43:35

alita7 requested for her post to be edited to remove some identifying RL information - to get it 100% right, we've withdrawn the post entirely and she should be back shortly to repost. G'night all.

SpecialAgentFreyPie Wed 21-May-14 22:47:01

I think the second wives who support absent preants who get up to these tricks are a disgrace to the sisterhood.

Totally agree Effective

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 22:56:30

[quoted post removed by MNHQ]

On the whole, when a seperated couple.parents of a child/children have an arrangement that works, they tend not to be the ones who seek help from the CSA.

[quoted post removed by MNHQ]

Extra money? it isn't extra money!

What is unfair, is that you were using your money when your partner should have been using his

Im sure you will disagree alita, but you are a prime example of a new[as opposed to the exes] partner believing everything their DP tells them and not seeing that maybe, your DP has been economical with the facts.

Just be very careful about having children with your DP.

alita7 Wed 21-May-14 23:12:04

I don't know exactly what's gone on in the past but I know what she says and does now... which is pretty much what he complains about having happened in the past.

And it felt like extra money when they were going off on holiday without the kids...

AmberLeaf Wed 21-May-14 23:22:13

No reason why she shouldn't go on holiday without her children. Or should she only 'expect' child maintenance if she is on the breadline?

I think you have the best of intentions, but you are IMO naive.

43percentburnt Thu 22-May-14 07:00:23

I could not be with a man who didn't pay maintenance and crawl over hot coals to see his children. I (especially in my job) see too many men who happily admit to not paying maintenance and too many new girlfriend/wives who excuse it. It amazes me how anyone could be involved with them.

Fundamentally our culture needs to change. Children are seen as a woman's issue and men use excuses not to pay. The holidays abroad, she has a nice car, she works full time etc.

The excuses about DNA and paternity, I was of the understanding that the Csa paid for the test and only billed you IF you were the father. If a man truly believes he isn't then surely get the Csa to do the test and they are free from the nasty evil ex forever and they don't have to pay Csa or for the test. Surely a win win for the man.

I have previously asked such a man how much he has in the children's savings account for the kids when they are adults, presumably he would save every penny of the maintenance to ensure the correct people received it and to stop the evil ex spending it on holidays to the Maldives and ferraris, unsurprisingly he hadn't saved a penny. Surely £200 a month saved for several years would be a wonderful help to his son or daughter at uni or buying their first house, and greatly appreciated.

I could not respect a partner who didn't pay/whined about paying for his children. I certainly would not respect my 'father' if he hadn't paid or saved maintenance.

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 07:39:59

Ooh she's having a holiday, how dare she. He shouldn't have to support his children if their mother can sometimes do something enjoyable that costs money, right?

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 07:43:52

Women accept men who are financially abusive to their children 43percent, because they don't recognise it as financial abuse and we are socialised to see the world from men's POV and to see other women as threats and as lesser beings than men.

Hence the resentment at other women having the temerity to afford holidays, shoes etc., if men fulfill the very basic parental duty of actually paying a bit of maintenance for their children. Which most of them don't. (3/5 of parents with care receive no maintenance, only 5% are widows so it's not because the fathers of their children are dead. It's because financial abuse by NRP's is normal.)

fedupbutfine Thu 22-May-14 07:45:56

oh yes...heard that a thousand times....she works, she has nice nails, she went on holiday twice last year....why should he have to pay for his children? Even better when they say...she works, she has nice nails, her new partner earns a fortune and they have two new cars on the driveway so why should we have less just to support his children?

And if it's not that, it's 'she should get off her fat arse and get a job'.


AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 07:50:24

Yep. Focus on her nails, so we don't have to focus on his parenting fail.

doziedoozie Thu 22-May-14 08:01:21

Surely better sharing of the DCs so that there is not always a RP and the other. If it was 50/50 there would be less need for payments.

Can a shared set up be insisted on, ie the one parent refuse to have them almost full time so NRP does more?

Most mothers probably feel it is best for the DCs to be with them but until that changes we won't know. The EOW arrangements prob encourage Disneydad behavior.

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 08:08:21

50/50 would work very well if parents live near each other and it could be arranged without disruption to the children. And it would be much more common if more men did 50% of parenting before the split, as family courts tend to simply re-confirm what current arrangements are, so that disruption to children is kept to a minimum.

If people want 50 50 care and control, they need to organise their parenting that way before they split up (and actually they'd probably be less likely to split up if they did that) because it's very unfair on children to completely change their caring arrangements in the wake of a relationship break-down.

Apart from which, lots of men would not do 50% of the care - they'd just dump it on their mothers or their new girlfriends. So much for equal parenting.

messandmayhem Thu 22-May-14 08:13:49

dooziedoozie the point is that vulnerable women and children are going to be put at risk of further abuse because of these changes. These arent cases where 50/50 is every going to happen, because frankly the NRP poses a risk to the safety of his children. Everyone I have spoken to since I left my husband has said that his behaviour indicates that he poses a medium risk to my kids if he is left alone with them. Thats his fault. He chose to abuse us.

basgetti Thu 22-May-14 08:17:24

in the cases where the 'child maintenance' is not going towards maintaining the child (booze, fags and alike), then there needs to be a system of accountability or an electronic system where both parents can see where monies have been spent (rent, utility bills) and that that money has been spent of 'maintaining' the childs needs.

Alita once you have your baby are you going to provide a breakdown of your expenditure to the mothers of his other children so that they know you aren't 'wasting' money that could go to their DC? What is the difference?

alita7 Thu 22-May-14 08:35:38

Basgetti that post is someone else's....

basgetti Thu 22-May-14 08:38:23

Apologies Alita, I misread it and got it mixed up with the big post where you criticised his ex's spending habits.

alita7 Thu 22-May-14 08:39:47

My point is that csa should have been looking at our circumstances, not deciding dsd 3 didn't matter and could go hungry because she lives with her dad. While the other kids didn't even have the money spent on them.
How could anyone justify one family being able to afford luxaries when the other was barely scraping by...
I don't care if she has holidays when dp and I can afford to look after dsd.

alita7 Thu 22-May-14 08:39:47

My point is that csa should have been looking at our circumstances, not deciding dsd 3 didn't matter and could go hungry because she lives with her dad. While the other kids didn't even have the money spent on them.
How could anyone justify one family being able to afford luxaries when the other was barely scraping by...
I don't care if she has holidays when dp and I can afford to look after dsd.

PoirotsMoustache Thu 22-May-14 08:57:15

"Of course NRP should pay but so should the PWC. The amount of PWC who slate the NRP for not paying when they dont either is outstanding."

Exactly. I mean, I don't pay a penny to put a roof over my DS's head. Or for council tax or water or gas or electricity or food or clothing or shoes or uniform or the occasional treat or haircuts or bus fares or toys or books or stationery or bedding or furniture.

Oh, wait....

basgetti Thu 22-May-14 08:57:53

They do take circumstances into account. They reduce maintenance payments in correlation with how often the NRP has them overnight, how many resident children the NRP has even if they are not theirs biologically, they can ask for a reduction in maintenance if they have a resident disabled child whilst a RP is not able to get an increase in maintenance for the same reasons. And presumably now that your DP is no longer working they will have assessed those circumstances too and adjusted the maintenance accordingly.

alita7 Thu 22-May-14 09:19:24

Basgetti what they didn't do was say oh look dp just got dsd 3 and child benefit and tax credits take a while to come through,... A reduced amount while we were waiting would have prevented a problem. I know it's not part of the policy but I think it should be looked at.
The over nights thing only works if the mum is willing to be honest, she told them he doesn't have them at least 52 nights a year, he definitely does, but they told us she said he doesn't... how do you prove it when there's no contact order?

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 09:27:16

ROFL at the childish idea that if someone is a PWC they're not paying for their children.

basgetti Thu 22-May-14 09:27:23

Child benefits and tax credits are the best way to ensure a child is resident, they shouldn't just reduce payments to children based on someone's word. Your situation way not have been resolved as smoothly or as quickly as you would like, but to be honest if you have quite a convoluted family life, with different mothers claiming and children changing residence effecting a different mother' claim, then it is going to take a little while to gather all the proof and ensure things are done properly.

2Kids2Cats1Dog Thu 22-May-14 09:30:13

My csa experience was a good one.

XP was paying a set amount each week, decided between us, but never increased in ten yrs and way below what it should have been.

I contacted csa as I had no details for his whereabouts. They had contacted him 3 times, got no response, went through his wages and doubled my maintenance all within a month.

I know ot everyone can say the same though.
This was 2 years ago btw.

alita7 Thu 22-May-14 09:40:05

Basgetti we'd made the application for those which is when they removed her from the csa claim. So they knew that, but they take at least 6 weeks to process so we didn't have the money. Meaning we had about £1000 between us, which didn't cover rent and bills. I'll also add that since he's been deemed as not having to pay he's been trying to convince her to take something off him privately again but she won't so we've done what we can by using the money to get the kids clothes and school stuff.

Anyway I am going to stop commenting now. My experience was that because dsd 3 lives with her dad, not her mum, she didn't matter and was less important than his other 2.

I hope all your kids get the money they deserve if your ex is avoiding paying etc and that any nrps on here get fair treatment in the future.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 09:55:10

2kids I had a goo experience to start too - they seemed very prepared to track him down despite all of his tempts to put them off and started off with the correct amount which was paid directly from his salary. A few months in though and he apparently left work due to stress (fault of CSA and me obviously!). His boss wrote to CSA and the Judge to confirm this. He claimed JSA for 6 months and only apparently stopped when I pointed out to CSA that his old company were still updating their webpages with him doing a slightly better job than before, having just flown him to NZ... He denied working for them but did say he had founded his own company and was self employed.
Apparently because he is not on his previous company's books no amount of photo's of him receiving awards or giving speeches under their company name or the fact he gives out his work email openly on the internet or the media blogs written by and about him which say he works for them in the promoted specialist role AS WELL as founding his own company don't make any difference! He is clearly living on below the minimum wage hmm

I'm sure his fiancée thinks they have done very nicely out of it. I doubt very much she thinks about his child other than whether she poses a threat to her! Women never seem to think the same thing could happen to them. Although I bet she has records of his finances just in case! She'd be even more of an idiot not to! grin

2Kids2Cats1Dog Thu 22-May-14 10:01:49

Lion, thats unbelievable!!

What have csa said about all that proof that he is obviously working?

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 10:10:55

Just that as he is not on their PAYE that is all they can look at. They gave me a Deed of Variation but nothing came of it. They did insist I contact HMRC and report him for abusing the JSA, but again nothing came of that.
I've given up to be honest. This is why I have found the system so frustrating, as he is being being blatant online to rub it in my face having paid for advice on how to cover his tracks. He can afford to after all!
For me the hardest bit is what to say to DD when she grows up. I used to be able to put some in her savings account but now we can't afford to save at all.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 10:16:51

Funnily enough I know I am very lucky - I own my own house and only have one child. I can scrape by.

But having this happen has massively opened my eyes to how easy it is for any NRP to do this. My ex isn't the brightest spark! His boss clearly advised him and is standing behind him to cover him, his fiancée thinks it is the right thing to do and even his parents aren't challenging him. Society things this is acceptable basically, and the law/system backs them up.

2Kids2Cats1Dog Thu 22-May-14 10:16:54

How bloody frustrating.
Doing it blatantly like that, its proof of his nastiness that his daughter may one day stumble upon herself, he must be stupid.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 10:20:39

He really doesn't care about her, sadly. When he took us to Court to again try to get out of maintenance (with his then g.f to witness) he said he had no intention of seeing her until she was 18 when he could "be the cool dad" - it's all about him. I agree that she more than likely won't think his deception and lack of contact make him 'cool' or possibly anyone she might want to get to know hmm

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 10:24:02

Sorry for all of the typos - had a huge flood in the house this morning (thankfully now under control - wonderful builders!) and am about to go and see a possible school for DD - been a hectic morning and an interesting 6am wake up call!!!

PleaseDontSpreadTheJamOnTheCar Thu 22-May-14 10:27:07

I don't want to be crass as I know that this is a sensitive subject for many of you but I just wanted to ask:

My husband and I went through a rough patch 2 years ago and he moved out for a bit. We worked it out in the end and all is well now (that hes learned to do things my way grin). At no point though was there any concern about money or the CSA though. We got married and decided together to have 2 children together.

I just wonder, with a lot of people here, how many of you who are fighting the CSA had that kind of background? Are these mostly from short relationships or were many of you married?

I ask only because now I'm starting to wonder how secure I really was. Or was I being naive?

Lion - you said your ex is engaged now. Were you married to him? Did he want to be a father and did you plan the child and life with him before conception? Or is the fact that it was unplanned the reason why he is being so horrible to his child?

None of my business of course. Just ignore me if you don't want to answer blush Just trying to work out whether I should be keeping copies of the accounts and whether all men can 'change' like this

racmun Thu 22-May-14 10:33:41

We're on the other side with a very spiteful and vindictive RP. We pay £800 maintenance every month - we've offered time and time to do it directly (provide payslips as evidence etc) but she has refused and chooses to do it via CSA.

Undoubtedely she will want to cost us as much as possibke and use the new service- surely we won't have to pay 20% extra because she wants to be a bitch

MaliceInWonderland78 Thu 22-May-14 10:35:42

Some interesting posts (and the usual horror stories) on this thread. One thing I'd ask though: Should it be the govenrment's responsibility to track down and extract money from NRPs? If the govenrmtnet is to provide such a service, shouldn't those who use it pay for it?

Clearly some people will need help, and the govenrment should make data available with regards income/earnings tax codes etc. but I think we need to properly consider what, as a society, we want the state to do for us. The more people that can make their own arrangements, the more resourse there is to crack the toughr nuts.

Absolutely in favour of heavier sanctions for NRPs (who don't play fairly) by the way.

enderwoman Thu 22-May-14 10:54:56

Child maintenance avoidance is surely more important to our society than tax or benefit fraud which central government funds?

Children need food, a roof over their heads.... There are many studies which explain how poverty affects life outcomes. Children should not be punished because their parents are not together.

Missteacake Thu 22-May-14 10:57:40

My DSS has been told by his mother after he rang my Dh when he turned 18 that he wasn't to contact him again or lose his RP! I'm sorry but some women will do anything to hurt EXP even at the expense of their own child! I do understand this is minority though and most women want the best for their children it's just important to understand you can be a t**t wether your a man or women.

Missteacake Thu 22-May-14 11:22:57

pleasedontspread you make an interesting point I can only say I feel totally secure that if anything was to happen with my DH I know he would do everything he can for our child as I've seen the lengths he has gone to for his first child! Not all NRP are feckless I'm also not some crazy women covering up for him letting him off his obligations and saying everything is ok I gave supported him to spend thousands in court fees to see his child. There is a theme on this thread that women are either hapless victims or scheming new partners wanting to screw over children. Not all cases are like this just because yours is don't make out it's everyone. I would like to say though I have the greatest of respect for women who raise their child alone it must be hell especially if the NRP doesn't help. My point is though that many NRP do care and that is not represented enough on this thread.

Lisa3578 Thu 22-May-14 11:31:46

what I will say is that I am a NRP, who pays CSA, has a court order stating that my children have over night stays with me, csa asked me how many and I told them, sent them a copy of the court order, csa had to confirm this with RP, then soon after overnight contact stopped because csa were going to reduce the amount of money. hmmm, go figure????

I have much respect for RP that work hard, I have much disrespect of NRP that avoid paying, the main crux of my views is that a lot (not all) RP use child as a means of battering ex's and a tool to obtain all the money they can get at the expense of their children.

bibliomania Thu 22-May-14 11:49:38

I could live with paying a fee if the CSA's collection rates improved significantly, so the pay-off was worth it.

The problem is that they're not making any provision for improving the service. The initial fee is simply a way of discouraging RPs from using it, especially those with low expectations of getting anything out of it. If the hard cases give up and go away, the CSA will cost less and its statistics will look better.

It's cynical political game-playing - they're not even pretending to act in the interests of the children.

2Kids2Cats1Dog Thu 22-May-14 12:03:43

malice in answer to your q about who should pay for chasing non payers - i do believe the cheapest and easiest way is the csa taking money out of wages. The government have all paye access that we dont have...if he/she is a wage earner, they pay, simple.

If a parent is so unreasonable that they try to get out of it, then surely this is the easiest way to get them to pay.

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 12:27:36

Malice the problem is, the majority of men do not want to pay for their children once they have divorced.

That is why the CSA was set up in the first place.

That is why even though it's been around for a good quarter of a century, the majority of parents with care still don't receive a penny in maintenance.

In the old days, people just shrugged and said it didn't matter, it was the women's fault for not managing to keep their man.

If the government is not responsible for insisting that men pay the debts they owe to their children, then that's the situation we will go back to.

Which of course, would suit the Tories just fine. The only reason they set up the CSA in the first place, was not because they were outraged by men not paying; it was because the majority of single parents at the time had to claim benefits as a result of not being able to work and not having maintenance. Now that most single parents are actually in paid employment, they don't need to worry about maintenance anymore.

MaliceInWonderland78 Thu 22-May-14 12:47:55

I agree with you 2kids I think the common theme for the persistent non payers is that a number of them are business owners or self-employed.

I'm in favour of other sanctions such as removing passports, driving licences, etc.

racmun Thu 22-May-14 13:27:09

Couldn't agree more Lisa - RP has kept nights (when she actually allowed access) below the threshold for a reduction.

Been to court and she ignores the court order.

Jux Thu 22-May-14 13:43:52

I think it's utterly bonkers that CM is means-tested. Which food shop is it that varies their prices according to each person's income? Which energy company lowers the cost of heating or hot water when a customer is on minimum wage? Which landlord lowers the rent because a parent has lost their job?

A child has to be housed, clothed and fed regardless of income. If you earn more then you get extra stuff, or save it, or get better quality stuff; you don't wander into a shop to buy food and they say it'll cost more because you can afford it!

The Gov should calculate a mean cost of providing at least the basics for any child - that includes rent, bills etc - and half of that's the minimum amount per child which should be paid; both parents share the cost of perpetuating their genes. The children don't lose daddy's genes just because he can't be arsed any more, do they?

If parents stay together, then they are each paying one way or another (OK, cocklodgers etc excepted, but the CMS wouldn't be being used in those circumstances anyway). Why are NRPs exempt from this? It is just stupid, favouring a group of people in this way, particularly as it is NOT seen as a commendable attitude.

(I do think that society does need to take a stronger line on it, but most people are at least a bit shocked/iffy about non-child-supporting NRP. Aren't they? Am I naive?)

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 22-May-14 14:04:02

Ive thought this for a long time and the more i hear the more i think it's what needs to happen but wont as it would need to be part of an overall drastic reform in benefits.

I think when every child is born and registered both parents should be automatically eligible to pay a set minimum amount directly from their wages or benefits into the account the Child Benefit gets paid into.

The Govt is capable of working out a figure everyone need to exist on JSA or income support or minimum wage and even child benefit so i think it's entirely possible to work out a national minimum amount required to raise a child weekly and then divide it by 2 making each parent responsible for half. This amount could be increased accordingly when either parent earns above a certain amount.

Taken like a PAYE would remove the need for CSA (or CMS) and would also remove the idea that children were one or other parent's responsibility. Both parents would be paying it from birth whether together or not.

I also think it should be a set amount per child and not reduceable (is that a word) if you have more children or take on step children. I think this would have a dramatic impact on the thought people put into having second families or blending families if they know they wont be able to reduce their support to their existing children.

If you have £100 a week and two children costing £30 (example) a week you will think twice about having more if you know it will be £15 per child and you wont get an increase in wages/benefits.

As i said- it would involve massive reforms in the tax and benefit system but i do think there is a fairer way to do this if only the people in power would invest in it.

racmun Thu 22-May-14 14:10:12

The reason it's done as a percentage of income is so that the child's lifestyle represents that of the parents.
If the NRP is a useless twat who doesn't work and has no income then the contribute very little in CM. If that parent was still living with the child their income would be nothing so the child would have a poor standard of living.
Some people can't really afford to have children when they're together let alone when they've separated and have 2 households to run.
How would you get the NRP to pay their half when they have no income?

NRP hiding their incomes/not paying is a different point from
Those NRP who have no income.

I suspect that quite a high percentage in the latter category contributed very little to their children when living with them so why would one expect any different once separated from them??

Missteacake Thu 22-May-14 14:22:00

After reading some of the things that people have put on here in response to my own personal experiences I'm bowing out of this thread. It's clear discussion is not welcome and it's all NRP basing. Sadly every man is feckless and every mother a saint don't bother sending your nasty little replies I won't be back to get upset about them. Good luck to those who really will affected by all this drama the children!

ConferencePear Thu 22-May-14 14:55:55

I think that this is an anti-woman anti-child piece of legislation.
I have a friend who the CSA has consistently failed over 10 years. Her ex-husband has changed his reasons for not paying over that time. At first it was that she would be welcome to return to him and he would make proper provision for the children. Then it was that the CSA had decided that he should pay too much. Another time it was because he didn't see why he should be contributing to her slimming course and so on.
As someone else said earlier on this thread he has taken lots of different ways of hiding his income including cash in hand, self employment, helpful bosses and so on.
She has worked hard and been able to give the children a reasonable standard of living - the point is that she shouldn't have had to do it without a reasonable contribution from her ex-husband.
His current CSA assessment for the two children is £5 per week which is a bad joke. Even on the previous CSA assessments he owes her many thousands of pounds. The idea that she should pay to get the CSA to do something which they have so spectacularly failed to do over years is ridiculous.
My friend has never used his lack of contribution to make contact difficult and he has regular access to them when he can be bothered.
Perhaps the government has fallen for its own stereotypical image of feckless single mothers instead of looking at the facts of the case.

JohnFarleysRuskin Thu 22-May-14 15:07:20

Surely it's like asking the victims of crime to pay for the police?

MaliceInWonderland78 Thu 22-May-14 15:35:01

John Not really. Unless you wanted to criminalise not paying child support which perhaps they should

fedupbutfine Thu 22-May-14 15:46:09

*We're on the other side with a very spiteful and vindictive RP. We pay £800 maintenance every month - we've offered time and time to do it directly (provide payslips as evidence etc) but she has refused and chooses to do it via CSA.

Undoubtedely she will want to cost us as much as possibke and use the new service- surely we won't have to pay 20% extra because she wants to be a bitch*

see...in a situation like this, there are a lot of questions that need to be asked. What is the history? You may well pay a sizeable amount but there are only three reasons for that:
a) your partner earns very well
b) your partner doesn't earn quite so well and has arrears so is paying them off which suggests non-compliance and/or a history of non payment at some point
c) your partner is paying arrears as a result of the CSA being a bit slow about things or some other issue related to poor administration.
If your partner earns well and the PWC has no reason to believe that payment will be made, then of course, she may well be being difficult. But even saying that, it is not unreasonable to want to know that the maintenance money will come in on time, every time. As it stands, the CSA is the only organisation that can help with that. If there is a history of non-payment then using the CSA is also reasonable. And if the CSA have previously been slow at assessing, well, that means the PWC will have gone a period of time without maintenance and will, inevitably, fear moving away from them because of potential problems if she has to go back to them. None of those things make her a 'bitch', do they? It's simple budgetry and household management.

If you haven't always been on the scene, what is the history? Do you have evidence of payment prior to you being on the scene? Has your partner at some point used the threat of non payment of maintenance as a means to get at his ex? If the answer is no, how are you so sure?

And no, you won't have to pay extra, providing that you make the payments on time, every time. It is only when you miss payments that the PWC will be able to ask the CSA to get involved. It is written into the new scheme that PWC shouldn't be able to get away with using the CSA as some kind of weapon.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 17:12:50

People seem to be missing the point that CSA 20% of annual wage is a MINIMUM requirement. Man in families usually contribute much more (assuming NRP is male in this case).

Everyone saying PAYE should be the way to go - yes, this is the first port of call when the NRP is being difficult - you get an order to get CSA paid directly from their employer.

Sadly the next stage for many is to pretend they quit their job and are now self employed/found their own business and then pay dividends to themselves and hide earnings that way. THEY ARE NOT ON THE PAYE SYSTEM ANY MORE. I just want to make it clear how easy this is for all men to do.

I would really like to see some figures of how many NRP are apparently budding entrepreneurs and have their own business/are self employed! Maybe these figures are helpful to the govt in some way, perhaps pretending we are thriving economically or full of investment opportunities? When really it is a sham company and merely being fed off the back of other larger companies who are committing tax evasion. That issue a bit harder and more expensive to sort out, so perhaps easier to pretend it isn't happening and go with the idea we are great at helping small start up companies! What a wonderful place to live! Funny how none of them go bankrupt within the first 5 years though hmm

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 17:13:49

*All men AND WOMEN can do this obviously, before we get another sexism derailment!

timefliesby Thu 22-May-14 17:43:53

Hello all, I haven't had time to catch up with all the replies yet but I did just take a sojourn over to The Gingerbread chat thread on the changes. I found out the following.
- That current cases in the CSA system will close between 2014 - 2018. - You will get a letter six months before your case is closed.
- Any outstanding arrears will still stand (but the CSA will be closed so what enforcement is in place to recoup these arrears?)
- RPs can choose to re-open their cases under the CMS whereby they can choose to carry over the arrears...BUT enforcement action won't be carried over (what does this mean? That arrears are carried over just to sit on account?).
I can't see any meaningful plans for enforcement at all. Anyone found anything on this? I will ask Gingerbread.
Also, the new system won't be any better for those chasing payment from self employed NRP. Yes, the new service gets a direct line to HMRC but they aren't planning to be any more proactive in investigating tax evaders than they are now. So that's me still screwed then sad !

(scroll down and choose CSA talk from dropdown) www.gingerbread.org.uk/content/711/Advice-Sessions?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Gingerbread&utm_campaign=4163950_Membership+monthly+enew+May+2014&utm_content=CSAOnlineinfosession&dm_i=KP,2H8XA,8Q97C5,90SRC,1

Then I looked into the new calculation by the CMS. It's a lower percentage taken but on gross salary instead of net. There's a good link here. It looks like although the calculation is changing, liabilities will remain roughly the same. www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed113401

racmun Thu 22-May-14 18:43:51


Yes dh earns ok which means the maintenance is that high. No arrears to pay off never been in arrears.

He was paying £1200 a month by agreement which wasn't enough she wanted more so went to the csa, and it went down. Dh continued paying £1200 whilst csa processed it and they adjusted it accordingly.

Dh has a schedule showing the payments made and he has never missed one. On one occasion csa cocked it up and didn't send money on to her- cue a flurry of nasty texts from her saying that she'll pull access.

I cannot imagine dh would threaten to not pay, why would he? It's his son and wants him to be looked after.

It seems to pain you to accept that some women do use the csa and the children as a weapon against their partners amd that dh must in sone way be to blame.
Dh does not begrudge the maintenance in anyway just the fact that the csa are involved who are a nightmare to deal with.

racmun Thu 22-May-14 18:45:42

Also between changing jobs dh was unempliyed for a week, csa calculated that he didn't have to pay maintenance that week. Dh didn't think this was fair so sent her a cheque for it, which she duly cashed!!

She is just a bitch

handcream Thu 22-May-14 19:11:08

There seem to be an awful lot of people who choose to have children and claim to have been with their partners for yrs before having children and then their partner leaves them, they slag them off on MNs, then blame the CSA for not sorting it all out.

Surely we do need to take some responsibility for our judgements. These men seem to have no issue with starting again with someone else and quickly having a second family so there are clearly some very naive women around.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 19:13:40

Erm, I am not sure why your DH having a week unpaid would mean his kids don't need food or money?
Your DH sounds like a much better man than most in the system - one of only 2 out of 5 willing to pay, and probably a tiny percentage ontop of that small figure who is willing to pay above the minimum amount.
I think the system is cracking under the weight of all of the NRP who mess it about and need chasing only to drop out of the PAYE system altogether.
FWIW I'd happily give half of the thousands he really owes me back to the system if they would just knuckle down and do some (not very labour intensive) work to show he is earning a proper wage.

Why aren't more politicians jumping on this? I think most women would value a party who has the brains to realise with divorce rates rising this is going to be an ongoing issue for a growing majority of families. Putting it up for discussion in the media should be something everyone has an interest in.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 22-May-14 19:15:07

Yes of course handcream- it is the women who are responsible for men choosing not to support their children. hmm
Those men arent responsible for their actions at all are they?

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 19:15:36

These men seem to have no issue with starting again with someone else and quickly having a second family so there are clearly some very naive women around.
I assume you are talking about the women who know what these men are capable of and get with them anyway? Yes, they are very naive, but give it a few years and a baby...

handcream Thu 22-May-14 19:19:34

They have to take some responsibility for choosing to have children with that particular man. I don't see anyone saying 'how could I have been so silly'. All I see on this thread is slagging off of their ex's, and the second partners slagging off them.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 22-May-14 19:25:48

Yes because asshole's dont tend to carry a sign telling they will be the perfect man until they have impregnanted you and decided it's not all its cracked up to be at which point they will sod off, oh and dont expect anything from them. Do they?

handcream Thu 22-May-14 19:29:00

Surely you have to question your own judgement as opposed to washing your hands of what happened and what you chose to do and they blaming the CSA for it all.

handcream Thu 22-May-14 19:30:55

Well it doesn't say much for women that they allow this to happen

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 19:31:16

Why doesn't the man "have to take responsibility" in your view handcream? Why aren't you telling them off for choosing partners who were silly enough to believe them when they said their would be there as a supportive father? What great choices HE made! Why would you want to "get with" someone who not only can ignore his child and not pay for them but also has a history with a 'mental/nasty/feckless/lazy' (choose whichever lie he has spun) woman?

This is about paying for children, not about the parents. The only problem is NRP don't like that and so become difficult which in turn makes RP's angry. It also works the other way, which is why this thread is heated at times. It is a sensitive issue, as is any when it concerns children.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 22-May-14 19:32:03


Whereas the men who are actually the ones shitting all over the children are not to be held accountable? Really?

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 19:32:19

(Not all NRP - again!)

handcream Thu 22-May-14 19:33:25

I actually think that some women do believe everything that is told to them, they would rather be with someone than no one so they ignore the red flags. That isn't the fault of the 'government'.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 19:37:33

So a mother's naivety means a child should live in poverty in your view? hmm

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 22-May-14 19:38:45

If someone does something wrong are we not to blame them for their actions?

NRPs who dont pay for their children are responsible for that action.

The RPs who are raising the children are living up to their end of the deal (and more usually)

Going to the Csa to get an NRP to pay is the action of a responsible RP

If CSA are useles then yes- they desere any bollocking they get for it. The RPs are not responsible for CSA being shite at collecting.

If an NRP isnt paying then yes- they deserve the bollocking they get for it. The RPs are not responsible for NRPs not paying.

If a RP isnt paying for their own child then they deserve a bollocking because that is what is their responsibility.

CSA and NRP is not the RPs responsibility and cant be blamed for them failing to live up to their responsibilities.

Get it handcream?

Jayne35 Thu 22-May-14 20:01:16

The whole system is unfair imo. I am an NRP (DS lives with unemployed XH) and struggle to support my DD on the £5 per week I receive from him, I have to pay a chunk of my not wonderful salary to XH. Before the CSA got involved I always bought DS clothes, trainers, gave him money and paid a mobile contract for him. Now I do none of those things - XH has to pay for them. I have always worked and the previous 5-6 years when I had both children I never approached the CSA.

VintageCabbagePatchDoll Thu 22-May-14 20:04:19

Were you naive Lion?

I value the point of this thread, and I really hope that we get somewhere with the CSA as my DC and I could certainly use an easier life than my exH gives us. That's honestly for the sake of my DC though.

Someone else on this thread earlier asked whether 'these men' are the result of long-term relationships/marriage, or if they were mostly short term-relationships/accidents. I have a lot of anger towards my exH, but we have a long history and I think I've earned a bit of anger towards him.

I would like this thread to talk constructively about how we can FIX this problem (so I can get school uniform money for one thing) but you're taking up most of the thread raging against your ex who you don't see but seem to know a lot of details about. Is this for the good of your DC or because this man is off somewhere else and happier for it? Like the comment earlier asked - have you earned this anger? Did you and your ex plan your DC together, or was he some short-term boyfriend who 'got away'from you and now needs to suffer and never be happy again?

I for one have an exH who asked for 2 children and is now working through a mid-life crisis poorly. I'd like to get the anger out of this thread and return to talking about how we can fix things as best we can

Thank you

racmun Thu 22-May-14 20:19:12

Lion the reason the csa said dh didn't need to Pay that week is he had NO income, which if you follow the rationale behind using % to calculate maintenance is the correct conclusion.

If the parents weren't separated the father had no income that week therefore wouldn't have contributed that week. It's no different.

It's academic because dh chose to pay.

With regards to what can be done.

1) Surely the NRP who choose not to pay, must at some point apply for credit/mortgages etc there needs to be a link up in the system whereby if they declare no income for maintenance then it bites them on the bum when they want credit.

2) Also I don't think taking on step children should reduce liability towards biological children. In theory maintenance should be received into the family for those step children so they shouldn't in theory be a burden for whom a discount should be made.

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 20:20:40

"Surely we do need to take some responsibility for our judgements."

How does that relate to the issue of men choosing to financially abuse their children and the government supporting them to do so?

Quite apart from the fact that many men simply start behaving differently when they get divorced. Many self righteous, smug women like you have been left reeling with disbelief after they've split with husbands they would simply never have predicted would behave the way the financial abusers do.

Lioninthesun Thu 22-May-14 20:51:04

VintageCabbagePatchDoll I'm sorry you feel I have merely been "raging" at my ex - I thought I had made it clear that I have given up pursing him and was sharing my story to show how easy it is for some parents to get away with nothing. There are loopholes which I thought I was highlighting for posters who haven't been through the system. I don't see how the length of our relationship changes his responsibility to his daughter, however.

I'll bow out now as I don't want to take up the thread if it isn't being helpful in understanding how the system is currently being abused and why it needs to change (but not necessarily in the way proposed).

bubbles3563 Thu 22-May-14 20:58:26

I get £20 a month from my daughter's father. He is violent and abusive and I can't even contemplate contacting him to set up an "amicable" agreement when I've just spent 2 years trying to remove him from our lives.
I wrote this post about it: www.singlemotherahoy.com/2014/05/dear-csa-you-stink.html
I'm really angry that these changes have been brought in; it seems an awful lot like punishment for being a single mother.

timefliesby Thu 22-May-14 21:52:40

Please can posters stop asking about each other's personal circumstances and judging whether someone is worthy to complain about the maintenance they get based on the length of their relationship with their ex partner? It's not relevant and it's bitchy and exactly the sort of behaviour that doesn't get us anywhere. As women, we have quite enough stacked against us in society without turning against each other. It takes two people to make a baby, that's two people who have equal responsibility for contraception and bringing up a child. There are some myth busting statistics here. www.gingerbread.org.uk/content/365/Statistics
As it happens, around half of single parent families had their children within marriage. Which means that half didn't. We come from all walks of life. Let's get back to how we can change this system so children don't suffer and the RP gets the right financial support to bring them up.

timefliesby Thu 22-May-14 21:57:41

Well said bubbles.

"If they are going to charge for their service, I sincerely hope they will start providing a service worth charging for. A service where, if you're entitled to a maintenance payment, you get it or they chase the person to the ends of the Earth to get it."

Based on what I've read, it seems like the same service but paid for.

revealall Thu 22-May-14 22:19:03

I don't think the CSA Is a service" as such . It should be considered an automatic civil duty in the same way that paying tax is. That way every man knows from the off that having children will incur a cost. Paying for children isn't a penalty, it's just what you do.

Pandachu Thu 22-May-14 22:28:56

I'm not here to give my opinion, but I am here to give out some FACTS. The media, and pretty much everything that has publicly posted about the changes either haven't fully done their research or haven't posted the full story. As usual they haven't given the full picture, and I'm here to post some of the truths regarding this change.

1) The laws have not yet come into place, but are planned to, at some point during this year.

2) Parents will not have to pay an application fee if they make their application before the fees come into place.

3) There are 4 options to arrange child maintenance:
Family Based Arrangement - Free (Private agreement)
Direct Pay - Will incur application fee in future, wont incur the 4%/20% charge in future. (CMS)
Collect and Pay - Will incur application fee, and fees for collecting/paying out child maintenance in the future. (CMS)
Consent Order - agreement through the courts instead, will obviously incur fees.

4) Everything except from a Family Based Arrangement is legally enforceable if payments are missed.

5) People who have suffered from domestic violence can avoid the charges by going through Direct Pay, where you can set up a bank account with a non-geographic sort code, and the CMS will pass on these bank details to the other parent on your behalf (so no actual direct contact needed).

6) Arrears will not be "wiped clean". You should receive a letter through the post regarding this when you get notified about your case closures. Arrears will be transferred to the CMS when your case does, you will however receive a letter that may ask you if you want to clear the arrears (DO NOT SIGN THIS).

7) Although Direct Pay requires some contact, unless in cases of domestic violence (only to set up the payments, can be indirect contact, don't need to negotiate amount) - they do the calculation for you, send it out to both parents -, it is still legally enforceable and set up through the Child Maintenance Service. Both parents will be notified that there will be charges if paying parent doesn't pay, so it's going to be in his/her interest to pay up as they will be paying 20% on top of the maintenance if they don't, plus will be facing enforcement charges for deduction of earnings ect. Quite an incentive to pay up imo...

8) When charges come into place, legislation will change regarding the rules of applying to the 2 different schemes (Direct Pay/Collect + Pay). At the moment if 1 parent doesn't want to do Direct Pay, the paying parent has no other option but to pay through the Collect and Pay scheme. If the paying parent has shown that they have paid on time, every time through that scheme, when the charges come into place, the paying parent will have the option to apply for Direct Pay in order to avoid the upcoming charges, as they have proven their willingness to pay (will obviously be switched back to Collect + Pay if there are any problems), and the receiving parent will have no other option than to try Direct Pay (and also avoid their 4% reduction).

9) Direct Pay doesn't require any direct contact. You only need to set up a payment method - which could be easily done through a friend/family, text, email, telephone call, or letter. Once again, using Direct Pay won't incur charges.

If you want any confirmation on this information feel free to give the Child Maintenance Service a call.

More information about the Options/charges on www.cmoptions.org

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 22:35:41

Yeah the problem with that is that most domestic violence isn't logged.

The average woman is attacked over 30 times before she calls the police.

If she got divorced after attack number 28, that's not going to be on file.

So she'll be charged.

Pandachu Thu 22-May-14 22:38:26

I can't say if they are going to work alongside police (this seems like a lot of hassle) - and I imagine they are just going to take the DV victim's word for it as they wont want to get into any dodgy law suits about this. But is something that I will ring up and check about tomorrow.

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 23:02:58

Also, the main issue is your number 2:

2) Parents will not have to pay an application fee if they make their application before the fees come into place.

IE once the fees come into place, the person who is being financially abused, will be charged to challenge that abuse.

It doesn't apply to me. I've already got the CSA on my case (much use it does me). But my gripe is not that I'm going to be charged (I'm not), it's about the principle that charging the victim of abuse instead of the abuser, is immoral, sexist (because 90% of RP's are women) and unfair.

Which is exactly what I would expect a Tory government. They have form on this. The war on single parents has recommenced.

fedupbutfine Thu 22-May-14 23:07:09

I just wonder, with a lot of people here, how many of you who are fighting the CSA had that kind of background? Are these mostly from short relationships or were many of you married?

where on earth do you get off asking questions like that? what on earth has it got to do with children who need supporting? It is this kind of prejudice that we face every day. Victim blaming by the back door. We must be somehow to blame for being single parents whose exs don't support their children because we didnt' know them very well/weren't married/were too young to be in a committed relationship/have no qualifications/live on benefits/live on council estates/scream and swear at our children/refuse to get a job/dare to have nice nails/dare to go on holiday/dare to own a car...../...../....../ In fact, if we dare to have anything or any kind of life that mirrors that of decent, hard-working, married parents, we are automatically assumed to be getting all our money from our poor, long-suffering ex husbands/people we tricked into getting pregnants....

If you had a genuine interest in the lives of women who have posted here, you would have actually read the posts and realised that by far the majority are educated, were married, and had no reason whatsoever to believe when married that their now ex would be the kind of man who evaded child maintenance. But it's more fun poking at us, isn't it?

Pandachu Thu 22-May-14 23:20:57

My OP wasn't here to give an opinion, but I'll give mine now.

My job involves talking to a lot of these people.

Yes, there are unfortunate cases where the person who is being financially abused will have to pay a 1-off application fee. Whether or not that £20 is a lot to that person, I couldn't possibly comment on. (But surely £20 is affordable for a service where you gain child maintenance for the upkeep of your children).

But on the other hand, a lot of paying parents are being held at gun-point by receiving parents despite willingness to pay, either because they're greedy or because they want to punish the other parent (which they could do, 20% vs 4%?) - which is the scenario I see a lot more. Paying parents paying what the calculator says is the reasonable contribution, and sometimes more, but the receiving parent taking them to CSA/new service just because they think it's their right to be able to use the service and want to make life difficult for the other parent. Adding charges may/will deter awkward receiving parents from financially abusing the other parent too.

Regarding the 4%, I can see both sides to this argument.

On one side, the 4% is for the children, and taking the money off the children isn't something that sits 100% right with me.

On the other side, if there was only charges for paying parents, more receiving parents would just go for the option that charges the paying parents because well hey! Why not! They wont have to bother with contacting them or anything, so why try and set up the payments with the other parent? The 20% doesn't concern the receiving parent.

In some cases I understand that there is just no other option. But in a lot of cases, some parents CAN do it between themselves, they just want to screw the other parent over...which isn't what the service is intended for. It's meant to be for people who CAN'T make an agreement (disputes, domestic violence). Not for people who can and just choose not to.

AskBasil Thu 22-May-14 23:32:24

Pandachu, 3/5 of lone parents with care and control, get no maintenance at all.

3/5. The majority.

That's not because they're widows, it's because the fathers of their children are choosing not to pay.

That means that the majority of lone parents, are not able to negotiate maintenance with the fathers of their children.

And the government deals with it by charging them and taking money from their children.


How may RP's are financially abusing NRP's? What is the definition of financial abuse of NRP's?

timefliesby Thu 22-May-14 23:37:29

Pandachu I'm sorry, how have you been seeing these scenarios if the laws have not yet come into place?
And how do you know that the RP is going through the CSA to punish the NRP? Maybe, the RP knows the NRP is lying about his income and therefore any poxy amount he chooses to pay willingly is deemed inappropriate.
I should add that the calculation as it stands is a miserable amount to bring up children even if they paid it.
I posted some facts a few pages back too. I said that it is stated that arrears will be transferred but according to gingerbread not enforced? There's no point transferring arrears if no one is going to enforce them is there? Have you heard differently?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 22-May-14 23:43:45

Paying parents paying what the calculator says is the reasonable contribution

I didnt realise the calculator had an option for working out the reasonable contribution. I've only ever seen it calculate a minimum contribution. There is a difference.

timefliesby Thu 22-May-14 23:53:06

YBASB Exactly! My ex practically rubbed his hands with glee when he found the online calculator. He actually rang me up to gloat that he'd done the calculation using the CSA calculator on his -massively manipulated- self employed income and he owed me £8 per child per week.
This is someone who owns several properties...
The calculator helps them be abusive!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 00:01:26

Yes! When we first broke up exp and i came to a private agreement for maintenance that was more than the CSA minimum. On the occasion he decided not to pay (he had cars and engagement rings to buy) and i asked when to expect something from him he would snap back "you get more than you should be getting most months so stop complaining" he genuinely thought that paying more than the minimum was more than the DCs were entitled to.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 00:02:54

That should say occasions plural. There were many. So CSA was my final option. That apparently was a "sleekid" move.

AskBasil Fri 23-May-14 00:06:58

The CSA set maintenance at poverty levels, which suits many RP's who don't mind if their DC's live in poverty if they're not living with them. Even if they themselves live comfortably.

kesie123 Fri 23-May-14 00:07:32

It is an appalling new law which I've campaigned against as much as I could like many of you posting here. My two get £5/wk despite the fact that ex lives in a house with a swimming pool, has a yacht, second home in france , drives a Porsche etc etc. CSA been worse then useless but appealing against - won tribunal 3 years ago and no doubt will win again but they don't enforce it. fear nothing will change. any advice gratefully received!

Pandachu Fri 23-May-14 00:16:31

Pandachu, 3/5 of lone parents with care and control, get no maintenance at all.
And how many of these parents decide they don't want maintenance? They may be already happy with shared care/other arrangements that don't include money, or may just want to, and have the resources to "go it solo".

How may RP's are financially abusing NRP's? What is the definition of financial abuse of NRP's?
I would say threatening to take someone to the new service so they get a 20% charge could be classed as financial abuse?

Pandachu I'm sorry, how have you been seeing these scenarios if the laws have not yet come into place?
Like I mentioned with my job - these charges have been proposed for about a year now I think.

And how do you know that the RP is going through the CSA to punish the NRP? Maybe, the RP knows the NRP is lying about his income and therefore any poxy amount he chooses to pay willingly is deemed inappropriate.
The parents that I've seen post on here seem like lovely people who just want the best for their children, but some of the people that I've spoken to aren't interested in that, and are unfortunately only interested in making the other parent's life a misery.

I should add that the calculation as it stands is a miserable amount to bring up children even if they paid it.
Whilst the amount calculated can come out as a lower amount than what some parents feel is a reasonable amount towards their upbringing (which more often than not it is, don't get me wrong), it is based on a % of their income, and if it's declared properly, comes out at a reasonable contribution (based on their wages - not on what the child needs ofc). They do have a responsibility to pay for the upkeep of their child but they do also have other responsibilities to pay for, as everyone does ofc (morgage/rent, bills, food, travel) and if they do have the kids overnight/for days ect they do need to provide for them then, too. There is most likely some leeway where they could contribute a little more than the calculator suggests they do -especially with high earners-, but making them unable to pay their bills ect would be a bit much, no?

Regarding the arrears, this is also something I got told differently - I personally got told by the CMS when I asked them that they would enforce the arrears. Unless ofc the person I spoke to was misinformed. But the whole idea of transferring arrears over ... but not actually enforcing them is absolutely ridiculous and something I would definitely petition if it was the case :S Parents shouldn't be let off that easily for not paying.

Also don't get me wrong, I'm not here to bash or insult anyone here, I've actually been reading this site at work and recommend it to my customers as it is an awesome tool for single mums, a great community. I did however want to clarify some things for you guys though as the facts seem to be getting lost with the media posting everywhere, and possibly bring along an opinion that is a little more reflective of both sides that will be affected here.

Pandachu Fri 23-May-14 00:24:49

I'm going to go off now, but I hope I've helped some people know a little bit more about the changes, I did notice some of the people on here saying that they've phoned the CSA - dont! They're absolutely useless, they know very little to nothing about their current cases nevermind the new scheme. Getting through to, and then actually getting a straight answer from any of them is impossible - their IVR alone takes a good half an hour just to navigate.

The new service is actually a lot easier to access and is already 10x more organised than what the CSA was. Either give them a call about these charges (go through to their general enquiries line), or give child maintenance options a call - also another useful organisation I found useful to ring up, but be careful as they apparently don't have any case info, and only give out general info but useful nontheless.

Pandachu Fri 23-May-14 00:33:09

Actually, just kind of re-thought something which is bugging me.

Would be a much better charging system if it charged only the person unwilling to do things amicably.

If the RP was to decline a Direct Pay arrangement, then surely the CMS should then charge the RP. (Obviously including the CMS intervention rule with domestic violence where they will pass on non-geographic sort code bank accounts and wont require any contact between parents)

And if the RP tries Direct pay, but the paying parent then refuses to pay, they should get the 20% charge and allow the RP to still receive the full amount of maintenance - no reason to shoot the person who attempted to try, right? And still charging the person who's at fault - and therefore forcing both parents to use the service.

fedupbutfine Fri 23-May-14 08:14:05

I would say threatening to take someone to the new service so they get a 20% charge could be classed as financial abuse?

but the scheme hasn't been set up like that, has it? So we can threaten all we want but the simple fact is, if you're a compliant NRP who simply wants to pay maintenance on time, every time, there will be no charges to pay.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 08:23:55

Would be a much better charging system if it charged only the person unwilling to do things amicably.
Panda - this is what already happens. If NRP hides or ignores CSA etc they get a charge.

I agree with whoever said they should be linked to banks and mortgage applications. If we can't rely on PAYE banks should have to open up to the CMS. Only if they are self employed however. That should deter NRP from hiding income.

AskBasil Fri 23-May-14 08:53:34

*Pandachu, 3/5 of lone parents with care and control, get no maintenance at all.
And how many of these parents decide they don't want maintenance? They may be already happy with shared care/other arrangements that don't include money, or may just want to, and have the resources to "go it solo".*

No, these do not include parents with shared care, they are separately counted. They also don't include widows.

3/5 of lone parents get no maintenance at all because the (mostly male) NRPs are allowed to not pay.

And when you point it out, people start saying "oh well maybe lone parents don't want the money.


I'm sure there will be a minority of LP's in there who are happy to not receive maintenance.

But it's interesting that you focus on them (what must be a tiny minority) and don't seek to question why so many NRP's feel so little obligation to their own children, that they don't even pay the paltry amount our state says is fair for a NRP to contribute to their children.

As for only charging the parent who won't agree to a private arrangement - what if the NRP earns £100,000 a year and offers to pay a fiver a week? Should the RP who refuses to agree to that private arrangement, be charged? Really? hmm

AskBasil Fri 23-May-14 09:04:12

I think the CSA should be abolished altogether and maintenance simply automatically deducted from wages for every NRP every month. Everything could simply be handed over to a dept like the DWP, maintenance shouldn't be treated as a private matter which is really up to the whim of parents whether they pay it/ claim it or not. It should simply be treated as an automatic expense like any other, student loan, NI, tax etc.

That's the only thing that would ram home to people who don't live with their children, that they are still financially responsible for them. At the moment, most NRP's don't believe that.

And depressingly, government agrees with them. That's why it has no interest in setting up a system of payment that broadly works with few exceptions. No system can ever be perfect, there will always be hard cases, but there could be an attempt to ensure that at least most kids will have financial input from most NRP's. No-one in govt, of whatever party, is even remotely interested in that. If they were, they'd have done it. Instead, they set up systems that will make the situation even worse.

JohnFarleysRuskin Fri 23-May-14 09:16:03

The problem is, as has been pointed out many times, that many of those non-payers run their own businesses, self-employed or unemployed, this makes it far trickier.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 09:24:25

The problem is, as has been pointed out many times, that many of those non-payers run their own businesses, self-employed or unemployed, this makes it far trickier.

This is why i think it should be a universal system with a national minimum (rising once earning above a certain threshold) where ALL parents automatically have [example] £20 a week deducted per child per week from wages or benefits from birth of the child. Regardless of whether couples are together or not, BOTH parents would always be paying it for the whole of the childhood.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 09:29:29

And those who claimed to have no income and didnt pay would be building up arrears with the Govt and be liable for investigation and debt recovery action.

It could also be an option to transfer your eligibility for payment to your partner if you were a SAHP or to anyone else for whatever reason you couldnt pay it AND THEY AGREED TO TAKE ON YOUR PAYMENTS.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 09:38:08

I honestly do believe that the worst offenders are the self employed - the time effort and money they spend to hide assets and pay is so calculated and cold that there is clear intent to deceive. Usually they are the ones with the "most to loose" in that they have managed to get away with paying the minimum and reaping the benefits of not paying a fair amount.
Anyone on the PAYE system is at least doing the minimum by law to look after their child.

If all banks who deal with self employed people had a little flag pop up when this person has had orders against them by CSA for non-payment or CSA showing an interest in their wage, we might start to get somewhere. Banks and lenders should be obliged by law to pass on self employed's earning information and proof they have to acquire for their bank/lending company to the CSA. If the bank is happy to sub £350k+ for a house to someone apparently earning less than minimum wage, CSA should know why.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 09:49:48

The only loophole then left is diverting earnings before they hit their bank. That is where it becomes harder to show. It does also carry a risk for the NRP doing it, as whoever is holding their money should not only be liable for prosecution by law, but they could loose out if they fall out with that party/parties.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 09:51:19

And yes, I am still posting as I haven't actually NC'd for this and it is a matter I feel strongly about, not merely for personal reasons, as I stated upthread.

handcream Fri 23-May-14 09:56:47

Having skimmed through this thread. It does seem that people who are claiming to be self employed are by far the most difficult people to deal with. Taking payments for children to one side it does seem that the self employed side of things needs a drains up as there is clearly lots of areas where it can be abused

racmun Fri 23-May-14 09:59:58

Talking about deducting from source is fine if they actually have an income. If, as many claim on here, some NRP are not declaring income etc then there would hardly anything to deduct it from- half if nothing is half!

It seems the problem isn't PAYE earners it the self employed so deducting at source won't make any difference to them.

As I said up thread most of the NRP who don't pay their fair share will at some point want credit or a mortgage and I'm sure that they have an income then. Those figures should be obtainable by the CSA (or whoever) and then used to calculate maintenance.

racmun Fri 23-May-14 10:03:30

The only other way would be to link it to a self employed persons annual tax return. HMRC calculate tax due based on that and then the child maintenance could be calculated in a similar way with the same penalties and sanctions for not paying child maintenance as not paying tax.

If youvthink they are lying in their tax return then report then and get them investigated .

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 10:08:00

Talking about deducting from source is fine if they actually have an income. If, as many claim on here, some NRP are not declaring income etc then there would hardly anything to deduct it from- half if nothing is half!

Those who declare themselves to have no income are being sheltered and fed/clothed by someone. They should be made to show how they are surviving and whoever is supporting them (paying their food bill, electric bill etc) should also be made liable for their child maintenance bill. That might make that enabler think twice about whether they want to help them hide their income.

Bagpussss Fri 23-May-14 10:34:35


I would rather chew my own toenails than have to track down my ex to make an arrangement for him to carry on paying £5 per fortnight, he must be jumping up and down with glee that he will be £120 per year better off now grin

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 10:52:48

It seems to me that the self employed are the reason CSA fails. Perhaps it is time to separate PAYE NRP and have CSA focus on them, so they don't need as many funds. A separate, more legal and tax linked dept should be set up for NRP who are self employed or not on PAYE system. This could be paid for in some way either by the NRP when assets are seized or something similar to the current proposals - with the onus on the dept to find and seize assets so that the RP is actually getting something for their money.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 10:54:53

Not that ALL NRP who are self employed aren't earning as they say, but if there is evidence or suspicions these should be taken into account. This benefits the average tax payer as well as tax can then be claimed from the income being hidden and the difficult NRP's are not being paid for by the average tax payer.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 10:59:23

YABASB Yes - I think that proving how they live and who is paying would also help to cover diverted income quite nicely too.

racmun Fri 23-May-14 11:06:18

You're being a silly billy.

I don't see how you can make someone else financially liable for a child that isn't there's. the only way to deal with that scenario would be to make colluding to avoid child maintenance a crime and have people taken to court and prosecuted. Unfortunately I don't see that that will ever happen.

However, NRP are entitled IMO to take career breaks, be SAHP or go back to college.

Lying about having little or no income and actually not having an income are two very different things.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 11:13:19

If you can prove that they are colluding with NRP to 'hide' income, as it it is coming from NRP's business (paying new partner to be Secretary on a wage of £60k while company shows minimum wage for NRP for eg) then yes, I think that should have a fine or legal consequence. Perhaps a fraud marker on future loans?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 11:13:26

I have it! <lightbulb just went off>

Ok so instead of paying CM to other parent or both paying £X into CB account.

ALL parents pay a child tax from their income to the Govt. from the day child is born. Govt combine both parent's child tax and add their own contribution of CB (if applicable) and pay it to person receiving CB in one weekly/four weekly payment just like CB is already paid. Meaning PWC gets that payment regardless of whether NRP pays or not. NRP's debt is with Govt just as if they havent paid other taxes and Govt pursue them for it. This means no need at all for PWC to contact NRP if they dont want to (like in cases of DV) an no accusations of PWC using CSA to torment NRPs as it would require no interaction between the two and neither would get to say "it's not enough, it's too much, it's being spent on holidays, it's not regular" etc.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 11:21:08

But how would you get the self employed who aren't declaring income? They are already in debt to the Govt for tax evasion and nothing is being done, so they are clearly not that interested... sad

I think the current system is fine if you are on PAYE. CSA has control there.

Another dept with specialists needs to be set up to trace money for self employed NRP's who are abusing the system and costing it money.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 11:23:02

However, NRP are entitled IMO to take career breaks, be SAHP or go back to college.

Indeed, but not more than their DCs are entitled to eat. If you choose to be a SAHP or return to college you dont start existing on air and living in a cloud. You work out how you are going to survive and cover your bills that cone with existing. One of those bills are the cost of feeding and clothing the children you created. If you decided not to eat you wouldnt last very long on your college course, what makes it acceptable to decide your children shouldnt eat?

I don't see how you can make someone else financially liable for a child that isn't there's. the only way to deal with that scenario would be to make colluding to avoid child maintenance a crime and have people taken to court and prosecuted. Unfortunately I don't see that that will ever happen.

If you are declaring no income and have dependants you should be legally obliged to prove how you are existing. Perhaps an option to nominate someone as your sponsor who has agreed to take on your bills for the duration of the time you are not earning. One of your bills is your children's food, clothing, heating bills so that person would be liable for your child maintenance as well as your other bills.

I cant see many people agreeing to sign up as a sponsor for someone who is just hiding their income so this might force shitty SE NRPs to disclose their income because no-one is willing to cover for them.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 11:25:45

As i said waay upthread, the whole system meeds overhauled and needs far more co-operation between services. This wont happen. Not any day soon as it will cost the Govt money and they dont value women and children so wont spend it.

racmun Fri 23-May-14 11:38:16

Yes but children usually have two parents. It's not just the job of the NRP to provide for the children. If the parents were together and one of them took a drop in salary there would be a drop in living standards it's no different.

What about when a NRP loses their job and goes onto benefits? Or can't take the stress of their job so takes a lower paid job? At what level should they have to pay CM then?
This is going down the lines of saying that you paid x once you'll pay x forever.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 11:46:08

The Govt should realise that they are loosing tax - if they are short sighted enough to think that several thousand NRP's are earning say £50k each and not paying tax, then they may feel they can turn a blind eye. If they look further into the future and realise this is an increasing trend with many NRP/self employed earning more and this figure will continue to rise, they may see the point in pursuing it. The tax from these individuals combined should be enough to pay for the system chasing them as well as helping some of the poorest single parent families. It would be a feather in the cap of any party who tried it. No tax payer wants to feel they are funding a parent who actively tries to get out of paying for their child.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 11:48:02


You really seem to be saying that NRPs should be allowed to just absolve themselves of responsibility whenever it suits them.

When one person in a couple loses a job, the other person assumes the responsibility for feeding and housing the no. Working partner and for the non working partners share of child related expenses. This is a mutual agreement between them.

If you are separated from you child's other parent and lose your job you no longer have that arrangement so you must arrange another way to pay for your children, many do this by applying for benefits, some have partners that are supporting them. You dont get to just hand over that responsibility to the child's other parent! They are doing their bit.

And yes, i do think it should be £x amount til child i 18 regardless of your income because (cant believe i am havjng to explain this) CHILDREN DO NOT STOP EATING JUST BECAUSE YOU STOP EARNING! It costs the same basic amount to raise them whether you earn £100k or £0.

racmun Fri 23-May-14 12:12:09

Some people don't even support themselves by working and earning an income, they are literally funded by the state their whole lives. Saying that they have to pay 'x' for their child is pointless they have no money!

If my dh lost his job and lets say for arguments sake just couldn't get another I would have to go back to work. I earn about 1/2 what he does and we would be literally on the breadline. There is no way I would be able to afford to pay 1/2 the maintenance we currently do towards my step son.
We've got 2 children of our own who need feeding clothing etc.
step son has a mother who works (lets assume she earnx similar to what I would). She has 2 people to support I would have 4 on the same money- are you seriously saying I would have to pay cm for another child that isn't mine?

Before you say don't have children if you can't afford them in this example circumstances have changed.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 12:26:45

Some people don't even support themselves by working and earning an income, they are literally funded by the state their whole lives. Saying that they have to pay 'x' for their child is pointless they have no money!

So their CM comes out of their benefits and they survive on what is left.

are you seriously saying I would have to pay cm for another child that isn't mine?

Yep. If you take on his bills then you take on his bills. Period. The children come first, your two AND his one. If you arent earning enough then you apply for any and all benefits you are entitled to.

However i will point out that i have said TWICE now, my hypothetical system would require an entire overhaul of the work and benefits system. The current system wouldnt be sufficient or workable for what i have suggested.

But overall- yes - your children are your responsibility and if you persuade someone else to cover the cost of your existence then your children are part of that and should be the first bill that is paid before you even eat.

People need to wake up and realise this. Then children might for once get what they are entitled to and not suffer while one of their parents is having all their needs met.

racmun Fri 23-May-14 12:35:04

Perhaps step son's mother should pay towards my two children in that situation!

One point of consensus seems to be a clamp down on self employed people playing the system and that should be the focus. Forcing liability for other people's children is never going to happen.

However one point made above is where the NRP sets up a company with his new partner and pays himself minimum wage and new partner £60k. How do you know her contribution isn't worth £60k she might be the brains behind the business- you can't all be the organ grinder. Furthermore they may split the earnings 50/50 I suspect to some of you that would be wrong but in the age of equal pay how can it be?

On that note I'm bowing out off this thread

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 12:39:30

Perhaps step son's mother should pay towards my two children in that situation!

Why on earth would she?

She didnt
A) create your two children


B) agree to assume responsibility for them.


C) join your family knowing there were existing children that would always need provided for.

What an odd suggestion.

I'm really shocked by your inability to understand this.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 12:50:33

However one point made above is where the NRP sets up a company with his new partner and pays himself minimum wage and new partner £60k. How do you know her contribution isn't worth £60k she might be the brains behind the business- you can't all be the organ grinder.
Fair point - I would say that this money needs to be traced from source. If she is the secretary and he is out there doing the work, it makes no sense for him to not receive a fair wage. Employment laws should be bought in to ensure each is being paid true value for the job they partake. If she is also employed elsewhere I would find it suspicious that she is earning more from a company she is not working for full time, for example. If an NRP's old company is paying his new business rather than PAYE and his new partner is earning a wage reflective of that, then that should be easy for CSA to trace and confirm this is the NRP's money and merely being diverted.

fedupbutfine Fri 23-May-14 13:03:04

I cant see many people agreeing to sign up as a sponsor for someone who is just hiding their income so this might force shitty SE NRPs to disclose their income because no-one is willing to cover for them.

unfortunately, there are all too many people out there willing to support a partner/employee in not paying child maintenance. I have lost count of the threads you see which say 'he's not paying maintenance and he owes his ex £20k in maintenance as well'. Some people seem to believe that they are immune from the same treatment should it happen to them. Others convince themselves that it's OK 'cos the children don't go without 'cos the PWC works fulltime and has nice nails and a new car. The woman my ex left me for actively colluded in hiding money so that his divorce settlement would be considerably less - it is a long story but she lost her professional status as a result and was prosecuted by HMRC. Presumably she thought a woman with three children under 5 didn't deserve a roof over her head after years and years of marriage. Amusingly, my ex's business collapsed after I stopped writing his tenders for him so karma well and truly bit the pair of them on the bum. I got lucky - karma often isn't the bitch she's made out to be and I know plenty of people who got truly screwed in divorce.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 13:11:39

unfortunately, there are all too many people out there willing to support a partner/employee in not paying child maintenance

Yes i totally agree, i have seen it in action in RL. However in my hypothetical system, the nominated "sponsor" would be legally responsible for the NRP's child maintenance an it would be taken from their source of income in the form of child tax just as if they were the NRP as they will have signed documents declaring themselves the NRP's financial sponsor. So if NRP wants to hide money and a partner is happy to say they are supporting them then they will be taking on the CM legally so doing themseles out of money. Cant see many partners volunteering to pay CM when the NRP has money they are hiding. Therefore people would be unwilling to say they are supporting their partner and NRP would have no choice but to declare income source.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 13:28:31

Yes silly that does make sense. I think you could have potential problems with that if the couple split (or pretend to?), but then you would be back on the NRP to prove how he is self financing.

The only way any of these hypothetical theories work is if the people conning the system are scared of the outcome. That includes colluding parties. It needs to be something that will effect them but not stop them working in future. Businesses helping tax evasion should be heavily fined and the management condoning it struck off and a record for fraud. Partners hiding funds should have the debt put onto their own finances or be treated as a party to fraud. Repossessions and selling of assets to cover the CSA costs and avoided maintenance (backdated for both) should be the norm in these situations.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 14:08:32

* but then you would be back on the NRP to prove how he is self financing.*


The only way any of these hypothetical theories work is if the people conning the system are scared of the outcome. That includes colluding parties. It needs to be something that will effect them but not stop them working in future. Businesses helping tax evasion should be heavily fined and the management condoning it struck off and a record for fraud. Partners hiding funds should have the debt put onto their own finances or be treated as a party to fraud. Repossessions and selling of assets to cover the CSA costs and avoided maintenance (backdated for both) should be the norm in these situations.

Yep- consequences that ARE ENFORCED and hurtful enough to deter the majority from attempting to hide or help hide money

CookieMother Fri 23-May-14 14:38:52

So you're basically saying: 'Tax Shelters Are Wrong'.

Is that correct?

Because that's never been raised before in government and it's definitely never been ignored because either politicians do this themselves or because big business would fight it with their dying breath.

'Force People Not To Hide Earnings And Pay Tax.'

Genius! I shall write to my MP immediately. I can't believe it's never crossed his mind.

What you're proposing is a massive shake-up, not just to the CSA, but to the UK's economic policy as a whole. You're asking for a poorly organized government organization (CSA) to be given access not just to the personal records and bank accounts of the NRP, but also to anyone that the CMS/CSA believe might be associated with that person, as well as businesses that they work for. As well as anyone else you don't like the look of. It will set a legal precedent that will make companies loath to invest, or open offices, in the UK. You'll also have single handily removed checks and measures that the police barely have, and only in serious crime cases.

It's madness. For one thing businesses would stop employing NRPs for fear that the RP at any moment will scream 'He's hiding income! He secretly owns the company!' and then the company gets an audit that they didn't deserve. Of course HR will say that they can't discriminate but see how easy it is applying for a job when you're 3 months pregnant and tell me that companies don't avoid high-risk employments.

So now you've made it harder for you NRP to get a job because, even if someone is paying correctly, it would only take one mistake from the CSA to get the company fined, the NRP's boss fired and charged with fraud, as well as god-knows what penalty you want for any poor woman has been going out with the NRP.

Now that I think about it - women who are considering marrying a NRP and earn more than them would also have to be worried if the NRP's ex decided to stir up trouble. One phonecall from the RP to say that 'His lifestyle is not consistent with his payments to the CSA' (due to the fact that the new woman comes with a nice house) and we're back to auditing again.

This thread is becoming a waste of time. What you're talking about will never happen. If for no other reason than the fact that if you gave the CSA these powers then other government departments will get in line to ask for the same powers. It's a minefield that every party, not just the Tories, can see would sink them if they pursued it.

Just agree that you'd like to mark your exs with a Scarlett Letter, chase them through the streets with pitchforks, and allow public beatings - but only for NRPs who aren't PAYE. Murders and rapists after that.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 14:39:41

So, now we have some ideas for a new improved system, question is how to do we get politicians interested in them?

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 14:47:24

X- posted there!
It's madness. For one thing businesses would stop employing NRPs for fear that the RP at any moment will scream 'He's hiding income! He secretly owns the company!' and then the company gets an audit that they didn't deserve. Of course HR will say that they can't discriminate but see how easy it is applying for a job when you're 3 months pregnant and tell me that companies don't avoid high-risk employments.
No, if he was employed his PAYE would be fine for CSA. The 'troublemakers' of the system who immediately go self employed and yet never bankrupt would be the only ones to face the penalties I set out with the system in place to trace their money.

Much as you would apparently like to ignore that children across the country are living in poverty as a result of such people, don't assume that this is a personal vendetta for people who do care.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 14:49:22

Or perhaps you would like to propose a constructive idea rather than not contributing in a helpful way? You have some valid points, but appear unwilling to be of actual help to the thread other than tearing down other ideas.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 15:13:52

What you're proposing is a massive shake-up, not just to the CSA, but to the UK's economic policy as a whole

Yes. But without the CSA. Get rid of them.

You're asking for a poorly organized government organization (CSA) to be given access not just to the personal records and bank accounts of the NRP, but also to anyone that the CMS/CSA believe might be associated with that person, as well as businesses that they work for. As well as anyone else you don't like the look of

Not the CSA, tax evasion crew. Govt department.

For one thing businesses would stop employing NRPs for fear that the RP at any moment will scream 'He's hiding income! He secretly owns the company

The PWC would have nothing to do with it. The non payment would be non payment of tax to the Govt. the Govt would be initiating any investigations due to a NRP declaring they exist on air.

As for the rest of your post- see my comments above- no CSA and PWC would have nothing to do with suggesting NRP was earning more as they would get the payment weekly regardless in the form of CB style payment.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 15:19:51

Sorry silly and OP, I think both aggressive posters are aware of who I am - both have NC'd and sound very familiar to me. This is about them trying to shut me up, but has affected the thread.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 15:24:24

Sorry to hear that lion

Perhaps report to HQ if stalking behaviour?

CookieMother Fri 23-May-14 15:24:46

The PWC would have nothing to do with it. The non payment would be non payment of tax to the Govt. the Govt would be initiating any investigations due to a NRP declaring they exist on air.

Actually... that would make sense. Take the CSA and PWC/RP out of it and that's a solid platform. Removes the emotion from it and places the increased powers into the hands of an organization that's more qualified.

That would work. As long as it focused on the tax dodger, and not companies that employed him and those he associated with (unless tax dodging themselves) the policy would actually have a chance of going through and being supported.

Well done SillyBilly grin

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 15:32:10


Yes, remove the connection or need for contact between the NRP and PWC. PWC would actually be paying exactly the same tax (unless earning above a certain threshold which would increase tax liability) and would be subject to exactly the same investigations if they tried to avoid paying.

ALL parents pay child tax of (example) £20 per child per week taken from source like tax on earnings. They pay it from birth of the child, their tax code changes when the child's birth is registered.

PWC and NRP would have the same process, same liability, same risk of investigation if fail to pay.

Only difference is the PWC would get the weekly payment into their account. Variations can be made for shared care or regular overnights with NRP.

CookieMother Fri 23-May-14 15:41:26

Yes, that would work. And it has a balanced description that means that both men and women can support it without being accused of some kind of sexism or anger for the opposite gender. Plus HMRC are more organized than the CSA and have better ways of keeping track of people.

Brilliant - a solution that could work in the real world.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 15:46:39

Right- i'll ring dave, you ring the papers and tell them it'ml be sorted by Tuesday (bank holiday on mon wink)


Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 15:55:53

Maybe you could start a thread in Money Matters/Legal/Politics and see if anyone has more to add/argue and hope the MP lurkers might catch wind of it? Or we could email our local MP's? Create a petition?

Doubtful anything will change, esp now they are overhauling CSA/CMS which must have cost ££, but worth a shot.

CookieMother Fri 23-May-14 15:59:30

At this point I'd be happy if they took the rest of the month and took a half day on Friday. Just so long as something changes for the better soon wink

Thanks! It'll be nice to have something meaty to drop on my local MP when I raise my hand at the next townhall. And something that they can't argue their way out of easily like I've had before

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 16:16:52

Doubtful anything will change, esp now they are overhauling CSA/CMS which must have cost ££, but worth a shot.

I agree, however, there will be other reforms in years to come and having something well thrashed out in the meantime stands a better chance of having it considered/implemented for the next reform.

Personally i think the CSA/CMS is being wound down to a point where (if the tories stay in) there wont be a service worth using/mentioning. I think they'll whittle away at it but by bit til they can say "no-one uses it- it's costing more than it's worth" and will get rid altogether.

Lioninthesun Fri 23-May-14 16:26:24

Yes, privatisation looking possible under Tories in the long run.
I haven't actually seen any party with policies relating to this or single parents at all.

I'll look out for your threads. Any chance you could set out some bullet points covering all aspects so I cn copy and paste don't put CSA in instead of tax evasion team/govt body any more (re-read through my posts and I kept doing it without thinking!) into a letter for MP?

Best way to keep momentum is to keep thrashing it out of diff boards I think. That way you can have an answer for everything grin

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 23-May-14 16:40:15

Eeek! Me start a thread in that scary politics place?


Ok i can do that, am heading out now but will sit down later and try and form a few coherent sentences!

CookieMother Fri 23-May-14 16:40:51

Personally I just want something that I can argue without getting shouted down and told that I'm a 'man-hating woman'. I'm actually very balanced thank you very much and I hate being told that I'm the opposite just because it's about child maintenance. Which happens basically whenever I bring it up so I'm careful about it.

(which is why I went off on one before - sorry about that blush)

This can't be mistaken for that and uses laws already in place. Which means it's already something that's accepted. So we're half way there to convincing people grin

AskBasil Sat 24-May-14 01:11:58

I posted this on the other thread but as it's funny, thought I'd post it here too. Mark Steel on CSA changes.

fedupbutfine Sat 24-May-14 09:20:58

oh that's fabulous, Basil. And it's written by a man. A man!!!!

Lioninthesun Sat 24-May-14 09:51:07

Love the link Basil !
We do need some fish fingers actually...

CaptChaos Sat 24-May-14 17:02:33

Love the link Basil

I don't think even the Russian Mafia would have been able to get a penny out of my ex, they certainly won't now, he's dead.

timefliesby Sat 24-May-14 20:31:37

YBASB so to clarify for me.
The government takes a % child tax out of the income of each parent when a child is born. This gets added to child benefit and paid back to the parent who receives CB. Whilst they are a couple all is well and dandy they just share this money in bringing up said child. If they spit up, the money gets paid to the resident parent? There's no hassle, no setting up cases etc.
It sounds like it would work for PAYE but we come unstuck again on self-employed NRPs I think as Lion said.
But in any case it sounds like it would be a more efficient system for some.
What do we do about self-employed NRPs?
I applied for a variation through the CSA. I have given some pretty strong evidence that he is living beyond what would be possible on a £10k annual salary. Including details of his shiny car - cost and insurance cost, company assets, bank statements from the pay roll account showing £62k going into his personal account. Company numbers and evidence of diversion of money via loans that were paid back to friends at 48% interest and money paid for "bookkeeping" to family members.
Each time, the CSA has forwarded on my evidence, causing me no end of grief and threats.
Last week when I rang them, they said they were waiting for his tax return from last year. I asked why they would be waiting for that when they know that that will show nothing as he can manage his income. They said that's all they can take into account. So why then, have they asked me to send in all this evidence causing me much personal hassle and grief if they can't take it into account? Which is it? It makes me so mad.
Meanwhile, whilst they've been stalling, he has moved all of his company profits into an account in his father's name. Who is retired and doesn't live here half the year.
Can this be taken as diversion of assets? Not according to the CSA.
So how do we bring these people to task? Their tax returns show nothing.

timefliesby Sat 24-May-14 20:31:56

Also loved the link Basil

flameprincess Sat 24-May-14 23:31:02

I got a bit lost reading the entire thread, but have seen a worrying amount of posts about their partner being 'crippled' by CSA payments.

Fact is 15% for 1 child, 20% for 2 etc would NOT be the real cost of raising a child and is a perfectly reasonable amount to expect. It is the bare minimum.

Those with 'crippling' charges will be those who have avoided paying in the past and racked up arrears thus having the last resort 30% and 40% liabilities being enforced.

Pay correctly and on time.

Happybeard Sun 25-May-14 08:44:27

I don't get the "crippling" thing either. But not do I understand the assertion that 15/20% is NOT the cost of raising a child. I get 200 off my ex for our one daughter. Soon to be one £0 as we're moving to 50/50. there's no way I spend £400 on her. She's 8 though, I can see how teens are more expensive.

I think it's when people start talking about rent and bills etc, forgetting that the NRP has those costs too if there is contact and he needs a room/ clothes etc for the child as well.

AskBasil Sun 25-May-14 10:27:15

The cost of having a child isn't simply how much you spend on their clothes, electricity, housing, childcare, transport etc. It's also the cost in terms of your marketability and earning potential.

If you have a vagina, you will earn less on average in the workplace, than if you have a penis.

If you then have a child, you will earn even less because as soon as women have children, they are seen as less marketable and less valuable to the workplace, while men in fact are seen as more desirable - they are more committed, more grown up, more responsible, more reliable. They are given gravitas and credibility by becoming fathers. While women are given flakiness and unreliable by becoming mothers. This happens even if you go back to work full time after maternity leave and you live with a man who does an equal share of parenting.

If you have a child and you do not live with another adult who can co-share the actual time it takes to look after children, your options in terms of career are far more limited. You are more likely to need to take lower status, lower paid jobs with flexible working options etc., so that you can function as a mother as well as a worker. That is true of any woman who has children of course, as most men still don't do their fair share of parenting, but it is even more true of women who do not live with the fathers of their children. Their actual and potential income is severely impacted by bringing up children on their own. Maintenance doesn't recognise this and apparently lots of people don't either.

timefliesby Sun 25-May-14 11:42:35

Well said Basil. This is absolutely right. And in my case he moved us away from my old work place (which was happy to pay a decent wage for part time work) because his job was more important.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sun 25-May-14 12:51:40

lioninthesun and any others who were interested i have created a thread in politics called "a fairer way to support children" to discuss the idea i mentioned upthread of a 'child tax' for both parents. Sorry i'm not sure how to do links but it is in politics. smile

Lioninthesun Sun 25-May-14 20:52:14

Happy NRP does also have the set up costs of housing/rent, however they have more options open to them on this front. They can house share, rent a smaller flat/property or have a partner pay half or all of their rent. The option of having a new partner is greatly increased by the fact they are not the RP and therefore can socialise freely and the new partner will not have to worry about their children, apart from on contact days (if NRP has contact at all).

Lioninthesun Sun 25-May-14 20:53:01

Sorry Silly meant to add to my last post that I found your new thread smile

Happybeard Mon 26-May-14 11:30:52

I appreciate all of that. I can see the more children you have the less choices you'll have and the more restrictions you'll have if you are the RP. But it's not a blanket thing. I've only got one and 15% of mine and my ex's income combined, ie £400, is more than enough to cover the cost of raising our dd so far. When there were childcare costs of around 1200 a month I had 80% of that covered by TC and he topped up half of the remaining amount and so did I.
All circumstances are different of course and if your ex earns crap money then 15% won't be enough. But had you stayed together he would have been a poor contributor too. But the claim that it isn't enough full stop isn't accurate. Quite often it is.
What we're left with is the A.Holes who hide their income.

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