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CSA advice for a man.

(171 Posts)
GHoll Thu 07-Feb-13 18:27:52


hope you don't mind if I ask a question and get your opinion, I will try to relay the facts without exaggeration and keep it short.

I have a 12 year old son who I have supported financially and spent alternate weekends with him since birth, i have a legally signed PRA form.

For 10 years I have given him mum between £350 and £400 / month till 2011. In addition I pay for his social needs, clothing, educational aids, school uniform, entertainment, Tennis lessons, kick boxing, gymnastics, swimming, theatre, private tennis coaching, mobile phone bills, opened a savings account, started a Junior ISA and saturday language classes.

I am a normal guy on an average London salary, before my own mortgage and bills and expenses.

My son is mad about tennis and so we agreed to cut his other activities and focus on that, he competes at junior level and wants to be a Professional, tennis is not an easy or cheap sport, alot of coaching and matches and ferrying around, which is costly and time consuming, but happily deal with.

During that time, I have been falsely accused of assaulting her, reported to police, her family verbally attacking me, my son being told im irresponsible father, and was never there for him as a baby, I hit her, bullied her, im a liar and unreliable, cutting our phone conversations short, hanging up his phone when I call, not taking him to tennis matches on her weekend, I am not allowed to take him either.

I have put up with this for a long time and decided it has to stop now. I normally just ignore it all and carry on, but im starting to despise her deeply and the image she has portrayed me to be, to my son.

As of this month I stopped the monthly direct debit to her and decided to pay his needs myself to the parties concerned. I Contacted the mediation people and explained the situation, before going to court. I have not taken this step before as I dont want to harm my son. I want her to take up her issues with me not him, I feel she must not involve or attempt to influence his feelings towards me with false accusations.

30mins ago, I received a call from the CSA.

If I pay her directly, all his activities will stop, no tennis, no savings policy, no ISA, no meaningful sport, she has made it clear she does not want him to be a tennis player, but he has his heart set on playing tennis.

If I prove I invest over and above what I should pay her, and he gets what he needs, does this matter to the CSA? Will they be happy with that? I can prove all of the above.

Apologies, no short way to explain.


MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 21:21:01

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 20:43:09

"No I have not, now the CSA have been contacted, I will wait for their call and pay her what is due and leave it at that."

Agree this is right thing to do. If you want to give your son extra then give him it direct or in an account you control until he's older.

Maintenance is for essential needs and rightly so.
It's great to give him extra but not at the cost of essentials.
It's no good having private sports lessons and language classes without food and heating.

In answer to your original question they will want to know he is having his basic needs covered. Unless your ex is in agreement to forgo money for essentials.

It's like if my ex paid for dance lessons for dd but didn't give money for her essential living.

In your OP you say you paid for his needs to the parties concerned yourself. Does that mean you paid or had food and heating and dinner money delivered.

I feel for you as you seem to have done your best to provide and be there for your son but the only one you've punished by stopping money is him.

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 21:34:38

Can I just say in regards to one of your posts though
"I figured she is working, surely food for 2 is manageable? (she wont reveal what she does or how much she gets paid)."

It's irrelevant if she can manage food for two you are responsible for half that food.
She has no obligation to tell you what she does or how much she earns
She has no obligation to tell you how she spends what you give her.

You are responsible for half his essential needs, the government says this is 15% of your wage.

Xenia Fri 08-Feb-13 21:40:05

I think the law has now been explained to you.

Bear in mind that from about 13+ children can choose which parent they live with so there may be a chance if you keep him and his mother hap0py he will choose to move in with you although you have probably scuppered that by cutting off the funds.

In terms of the amounts children need depends on the family. I support ours alone. At one point I paid school fees for five so here is a single parent who paid about £1k a week for a start on school fees. Then add on the full time childcare about £570 a week. Then music lessons, clothes. There are not right or wrong sums. It depends on your type of life or lifestyle.

Next time marry a very successful career woman who like me may have to pay out to you on the divorce! Low earning housewife types are never that much use after divorce due to their financial demands. Make better choices second time round.

Play the longer game, keep in with the child, pay the mother and fund the sport by taking a second job, keep in with the boy and he may well want to live with you .

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 22:22:26


I have a question, based on your comment I pay for half his food bills, presumably you read my list of contributions, does this means she is responsible for half of that list?

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 22:43:38

She's responsible for paying half his essentials.
Food, clothes, dinner money, roof over head, heat, water , school trips etc

She's only responsible for half of the sport lessons and such if you both agreed he should do them and agreed to split the cost and even then she can say she doesn't agree any longer and the lessons stop as they are not essentials.

My ex doesn't pay maintenance but if he did I couldn't just add performing arts, whatever lessons and expect him to pay half.

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 22:58:18

I too made the mistake of not marrying someone with xenias income.

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 22:58:40

My sons cousin 1 year younger, they grew up together so are quite close. Her 40yr old father has paid an average of £0 - £15/ week from day one (currently £6) and sees his daughter maybe 5times a year if that , she is 11 now. Citing he is unemployed, his mum pays for his gym membership, nice clothes, car etc, he told the CSA.

A friend, 2 year baby boy, no maintenance from dad and 1 visit in 2years.

Another close friend with an 8yr girl, father been round 4times, he is not interested, but lovely new Range Rover Sport.

You would never know this is going on, they all found jobs and provided for their kids, admirable qualities.

I detest men who do that, likewise I detest women who milk everything they can get and pretend to be victims.

I have provided for my son above and beyond since day 1, but I will no longer play this game of "keep her happy" or she might make things hard for me.

Its wrong and a bad precedence to set. It encourages people with lesser morals to quit and be absent parents rather than face this crap.

Anyway, its daddy weekend and tennis galore in the morning.


OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 08-Feb-13 22:58:46

Gholl, been lurking on this and I have a certain degree of sympathy for you. Your CSA- assessed child maintenance, 15% of your takehome pay (assuming you have no other dc) is supposed to cover half the costs of raising him; food, a roof over his head, clothing etc. In many cases it doesn't go anywhere near that; if NRP is on Jobseekers for example, it's a flat £5 a week. 12 yo boys eat more than that a day...

In your case, I think you said the CSA expect you to pay £250 pcm. How your ex spends this is none of your business, but as she seems responsible, you can assume he has food in his belly, a roof over his head and clothes on his back.

It is fantastic that you have been paying for extras like tennis, school trips and so on, many, many NRP refuse and imho you get Brownie points.

But it doesn't mean your ex is responsible for half of your discretionary payments.

Look, I think you're doing pretty well so far. One spiteful moment shouldn't wipe out 12 years of responsibility. Can you and your ex talk about this at all? Clearly she was better off when you were paying £400 and the extras, but if she can't depend on you (and atm she feels she can't) then CSA is the way to go.

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 23:02:31


your skipping the point, forget the tennis lessons, if she is responsible for half, why doesnt she pay half, she works, dont ignore this significant point.

if Im not allowed to withdraw my voluntary contributions, why is she??

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 23:19:41

I'm not sure what you mean Gary.

You ARE allowed to withdraw voluntary extra contributions.
You are not allowed to withdraw the 15% of your wage the government says your son needs to live on.

What she spends her money on is legally irrelevant.
She could be on xenias kind of wage and you would still legally be responsible for 15% of your wage.

Do you mean you think she is not paying half of his essential costs?
It really doesn't matter you still legally (rightly or wrongly) have to pay 15% of your wage.

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 23:20:21

Old Lady (can I call you that?)

I have not agreed anything with the CSA, this is an assumed sum made up based on the calculator.

I dont care what she does with HER money, but if im providing towards his supposed essentials why am I still paying additional sums for school uniforms and PE kits, shoes, school fees, books etc?? Where is her contribution coming from which is supposed to be half? According to Marius.

Whats wrong with tennis, why begrudge your child tennis if they enjoy it? its a sport, children need sport, that IS essential, or they wouldn't have PE at school.

If sport is not essential then how about the TV, a computer, a bicycle, a watch, a car, makeup, 6" heels, handbags....

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 23:25:04


see my list and you tell me, does that look like she is contributing towards his essentials?

Forget Tennis for a moment, and look at the rest of it. .....

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 08-Feb-13 23:38:37

Oh for gods sake, just pay for your child. (speaks as one whose mother is dieing)

She cod spend.all of that money on gin for all I care.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 08-Feb-13 23:41:05

Gary (and yes, that's fine, or OLKN if it feels better to you), you are/were paying the additional because you are/were a decent parent. You can, and I think, still want to be that decent parent but your nose is out of joint because of course your ex was bullshitting that £25 pm is spent on toiletries (for a 12 yo boy? Wait for The Lynx Years!) and so on.

But she was bullshitting because really, it's not your business how she spends the £400 you were giving her (in addition to the extras) any more than it's your business how she'll spend the putative £250.

This honestly seems like miscommunication between you and your ex, you both seem like reasonable people and you both want the best for your joint son. Is there any way you can sit down and talk?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 08-Feb-13 23:45:17

(Ps, in the interests of full disclosure, my son is NRP and his ex is mainly reasonable, but has snitty turns. She went to the CSA and was awarded less than he'd been paying voluntarily, he's now a student so due nothing, but still helps with her grocery shop, gives her lifts, buys clothes/shoes etc. Their Ds is only 3 and the sums involved are tiny compared to what you pay, but the principal is the same.)

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 23:47:53

Ah right I understand what you mean.

Legally you should pay her 15% of your wage so £250 I think you said which pays towards food, daily clothes and any bills that are required to keep a roof over his head.

Generally it is expected you will also give half of school uniform cost as its an expensive amount especially at secondary school and school trips (with discussion if he is to go or not)

Anything else on top is entirely voluntary and entirely up to you.
If you want to give him extra social money, mobile top ups, special particular clothes or such that's your choice and you certainly don't have to.

MariusEarlobe Fri 08-Feb-13 23:52:11

What I'm trying to say is if you pay what you legally have to pay she will be paying half of his essentials.

MikeOxardAndWellard Sat 09-Feb-13 00:01:05

Of course she is contributing, don't be bloody ridiculous. She is doing 90% of the care, providing his main home, bedding, clothes, meals, washing, transport etc. Her working hours and nature of work (and therefore earning potential) are hugely affected by being the main full time carer for your son. She IS paying. You have to pay too, get over it. You have had 10 or 12 years to get used to the idea of financially contributing to the cost of bringing up your son, not sure why you have decided to start all this moany 'it's so unfair' nonsense now. Man up.

prh47bridge Sat 09-Feb-13 00:02:24

You are required to pay 15% of your net salary regardless of whether that is 50% of his essentials, 5% of them or 150% of them.

Don't forget that your son's essentials include a roof over his head, food on the table, warmth, clean clothes, transport, etc. All things your ex provides. Have you thought about how much that is costing her?

You do not have to pay additional sums regardless of what they are for. Anything you pay over and above 15% of your net salary is entirely voluntary.

You have no say in how your ex spends the child maintenance you pay her, let alone how she spends her own money. Banging on about that is not doing you any favours. You say that you don't care what she does with her money. Why, then, do you complain about her buying a TV, a computer, a bicycle, a watch, a car, makeup, 6" heels, handbags, etc. just a few sentences later? That makes it look like you care a lot. Rightly or wrongly it gives the appearance that you want to control how she spends her money.

If she is unwilling or unable to provide something for your son you cannot force her to do so. Either you pay or your son goes without.

You can pay 15% to her and leave it at that. If you are unhappy with things your son is missing out on as a result you can either pay her more or provide those extras yourself. It is that simple.

GHoll Sat 09-Feb-13 00:14:07


Decency has got me nowhere, asking for parity and a little compromise is unpopular with mums I learned today.

Why not, lets try smile

olgaga Sat 09-Feb-13 00:19:15

I've come to the conclusion this is a wind-up and we're all wasting our time.

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 00:22:57

Just to give you a breakdown on what I have spent this month, she is primary so some won't be relevant and my mum's bought some of it as my ex pays nothing. We live North so cheaper. I've put essential bills as they are needed for a roof over her head. Obviously some aren't essential and some costs I won't have ever month but usually replaced by other stuff!

School dinners 48
Council tax 80
Gas 80
Water 40
Toiletries 10
Food 260 (we eat at my parents at weekend)

New shoes 40
New coat 50
Chinese day costume and Victorian costume 26
Violin lesson and hire at school 72
Trip 20
Deposit for residential 20
Tickets for play 9
Raffle tickets 5
Stationery 5

Is 765

That's not counting rent and tv licence and Such.
Neither is it counting bed/bedding/furniture/decorating her room, basic clothes, washing powder, New glasses, any previous child care.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 09-Feb-13 00:30:06

I hope you and your ex can get it sorted, Gary. Night, night.

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 00:30:26

Next month we have another trip, world book day,red nose day, children's charity sale (parents buy, kids sell to raise money for charity)

She's got a residential with a huge list of walking boots, waterproof, waterproofs, outdoors clothes.

In January I had to replace 3 school cardigans at 13 pound each and school trousers, New pack of blouses.

It's never ending tbh.

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 00:33:35

Just to give an idea you ex might not be paying as little as you think.

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