Have decided to contact the CSA.....not sure if good or bad idea

(25 Posts)
Lovemy3kids Mon 21-Jan-13 14:48:24

My ex has refused to pay anything for our 3 DC for the past 12 months and I have decided that enough is enough and that I will go the CSA route.

My first issue is that our eldest DC is not his biological child, but he became step-dad to him 11 years ago.....can i claim for this DC even though he is not legally his?

My ex is living with his new partner and she has 2 DC with her ex - do they take this into consideration? They are engaged to be married - but I do not know when.

Also, the only dealings I had with the CSA was about 12 years ago - and they were absolutely rubbish - does anyone have any good experiences of this service?

My ex and I did have an agreement between ourselves that he would pay for all 3 children, but as I said earlier, he has refused to pay anything for the past 12 months.

Would be interested to hear what other MNetter's experience of the CSA is.

Thanks smile

corlan Mon 21-Jan-13 15:29:48

I've had good and bad experience of the CSA but the sad truth is, when your XP doesn't pay support for his children, it's the only thing you have.

What have you got to lose?

Losingexcessweight Mon 21-Jan-13 15:39:20

hi op.

You cant claim maintenance for children that are not biologically his.

You can however of course claim for children that are his.

If he is self emplyed then CSA are a waste of time.

I find everyone I deal with at the CSA unfailingly polite and helpful. They may not get everything right, but I would rather deal with them than some of the retail staff I encounter!

If your ex is living with other children, this is taken into account in calculating how much he has to pay you. Seems illogical, I know, but it's the rules.

VBisme Mon 21-Jan-13 18:10:13

Yep, you can't claim for a child that isn't his (unless he adopted him), but the amount is varied according to the number of children he has living with him.
I haven't heard great things about the CSA, but I think they're your only option.

Lovemy3kids Tue 22-Jan-13 09:42:12

Thanks guys. Unfortunately he is self-employed....so shoiuld I not bother then?? Why does it make it more difficult if he is self employed?

corlan Tue 22-Jan-13 15:30:51

It's definitely worth a try because you are getting nothing from your XP at the moment.

Unfortunately, a lot of self-employed people hide their income from the Inland Revenue, so when the CSA assess how much he should pay to support his child, the figure will be very low.

You can apply for more money (a 'variation'), if your XP is living a lifestyle inconsistent with the income he has declared to the Inland Revenue but it is up to you to prove it!

My XP does this - we both know he should be paying a lot more in support for our DD, but he seems to think he's really quite clever for being able to evade doing so. I'm guessing he won't feel so clever when DD grows up and asks him why his monthly contribution to her upkeep was less than he'd spend on take-aways in a week, but there you go!

I honestly think you should apply - your children are entitled to support from their father and he can never deny that he was asked to support them.
Good Luck!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Tue 22-Jan-13 20:02:11

No you aren't entitled to maintenance for a child not biologically his, unless he adopted your child. Otherwise the law doesn't see him as responsible for your child at all so you'd be wasting your time. The children that are his you can claim maintenance for though.

I know if me and my partner split I would not pay a penny for his daughter, but would pay every penny I have for my own children. He should want to pay for the children he brought in to the world.

YY he won't have to pay for DC1.
They will take into account the children he lives with if he is financially responsible for them which he may not be, if they have maintenance from their bio dad? I would argue that he wasn't financially responsible for the other children, definitely.

Lovemy3kids Wed 23-Jan-13 11:23:54

i was already to contact the CSA for the paperwork, when a friend of mine told me that her ex only pays £5 per week for both of his children!! is it worth the hassle I am beginning to ask myself.

I do know from past experience that my ex, being self employed, has asked his customers to pay him in cash (so that he won't declare it) and also get cheques made out to his GF's name so that they can be paid into her a/c rather than his own. Obviously I have no way of proving this, so i am wondering if I am just going to cause myself more misery and frustration by putting in a claim, only to be told that he won't have to pay anything??

Makeminealarge Wed 23-Jan-13 11:34:11

Not sure if they will take much consideration to the two children of his new partner as they are not biologically his. My partner had to sent in birth certificates etc of our children to affect his maintenance of his eldest child. To be honest you have nothing to lose so I would put a claim in or at least give csa a call. They can be slow and useless at times though if you encounter problems.

Losingexcessweight Wed 23-Jan-13 11:55:00

if he already is clever at disgusing his income then i doubt you will get much from him tbh

Your friend will get £5 a week for both children because her ex partner claims he earns no more than £90 per week.

Regarding your ex partner, even though the children he lives with are not his and their mother gets maintence from their father, he will still be classed as being finanically responsible for them. I know this sounds daft but thats how the CSA work.

Its a long process going through the csa.

Could you not send the kids to his in old clothes and worn shoes and when he questions this, say you re struggling to replace them and see if he does it as he feels guilty?

Worth a try?

Lovemy3kids Wed 23-Jan-13 14:22:00

Losing - I already do that - i have made it that he has to provide clothing/shoes for when they are at his. He has just, reluctantly, bought one of our DC a new pair of school shoes as i refused, seeing as I have bought 4 pairs (yes 4 pairs!!) since September, and he questioned as to whether he "really" needed them!!

I do wonder whether it will turn out to be more hassle than what it is worth contact them.

The DC no I am struggling financially, as I have had to say no to them going on trips as I just cannot afford them sad

Losingexcessweight Wed 23-Jan-13 15:20:45

You may only get 20quid a month.

But would that 20quid be a help?

If so then its worth going through it

I am a complete luddite and cannot work out how to out and paste links on my smartphone, but if you have an inkling of how much your ex earns or pretends to earn Google "CSA calculator" and you should be able to get a rough idea of how much he would have to contribute.

IMO it is worth doing in your situation, as he really should realise he needs to contribute.

Good luck smile

Lovemy3kids Thu 24-Jan-13 09:38:54

Thanks for your input MNetters......I made the telephone call last night and my application is being processed. I have decided that even if he only has to pay £5 per month....its something and its £5 less that him and her will get.

It does astound me though that they will not take my eldest DC (who he has been a step father to for the past 11 years), but they will take into account HER kids!!! Bloody ridiculous IMO!!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 24-Jan-13 17:22:04

I don't agree with any step parent being liable for their partner's/ ex's children. They shouldn't be taking her children in to account at all but then he shouldn't have to pay for a child that isn't his if he splits with that child's parent.

anxious80 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:47:58

I'm in similar situation - though it has been 4 months not 12. Ex is self-employed and v conniving so I'm sure I'll get next to nothing. I know about companies that employ him etc. Do i inform CSA about these to call to ask if he's had work from them recently? And if he uses dif bank account to one I know about? & I know how much his rent is, he runs exp car etc? Do i tell them all this or do I wait for him to declare nothing then do investigating etc? seems v drawn out if they don't get all facts straight away...thanks

Lovemy3kids Fri 25-Jan-13 11:37:24

I gave the CSA as much information as I could.....I don't think they were that interested to be honest with you - obviously they will tell him when they speak with him that if he is found to be giving false information then he can be prosecuted....but then do they actually investigate enough for anyone to ACTUALLY be prosecuted??

SoWhat - to a degree I agree with you, but my DC classes this man as his dad and for the first 5 months of us splitting, we had an agreement in place where he paid monthly for all 3 DC as his exact words to me were "of course I will pay for all 3 DC....they are ALL my children".......stupid me for believing that eh!! hmm

Crocodilio Fri 25-Jan-13 12:39:39

Can you not claim from DC1's dad through the CSA too?

Lovemy3kids Fri 25-Jan-13 13:45:07

I did claim for DC1 off his biological father 13 years ago - but he somehow wangled it that the CSA told me that he did not have to pay anything - as they took his new GF's children into account - so in affect, he contributed to the upbrining of someone elses children, but not his own....!!

AGivenNickname Fri 25-Jan-13 14:53:14

Does your DC1 see his biological dad at all? CSA told you he didn't have to pay anything because he was bringing his new GF's children up??

My ex lives with his GF and they have a child together but he still has to pay for ours. Granted, it's not much as he's on benefits but he still has to pay as they're his children.

Lovemy3kids Fri 25-Jan-13 14:59:55

No - DC1 hasn't seen his biological father for the past 12 years (biological fathers choice!). The CSA took his income/outcome and GF's 2 children into account, and the amount I was to get each week was £0.00 - I got a letter advising me of this once or twice a year if not more often!

AGivenNickname Fri 25-Jan-13 15:15:59

When was the last time you spoke to the CSA? I'm just wondering if it would be worth you phoning again and asking them to do a another assesment of his earnings (if you haven't contacted them recently?). It's not right that he should get out of contributing to his child's upkeep. (I know this happens all to often!).

Lovemy3kids Fri 25-Jan-13 15:28:12

With regard to DC1 - the last time I contacted the CSA was 12/13 years ago - I dropped the claim against him once they told me that he didn't have to pay anything.

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