CSA arrangement to be cancelled

(43 Posts)
TheHoneyBadger Fri 18-Sep-15 05:47:17

I have had my letter to say mine will be cancelled in February next year but it really offers no advice as to what i need to do and when i can do it.

For context the whole 'you should make a private arrangement' bit has no bearing for me as he has refused to ever have contact with my son and i have no way of contacting him personally so no choice other than to pay to have it sorted (i could moan no end about the injustice of this system they're bringing in but it will achieve nothing so no point).

I don't know what it is i need to do or whether i can do it in advance or have to wait till the csa claim closes. I have looked on the websites - again lots of encouragement to make a private arrangement - thanks for that - and an explanation of how much it will cost me to not do so but no real advice on what i need to do and when.

I'm turning to this board in the hopes that someone here has already been through the process and knows what it entails - i'm dreading finding myself without maintenance and somehow unable to reclaim and i would much rather deal with it in advance so i know where i am. I'm also aware that despite fees i may end up getting more money as i claimed back when ds was 3 (he's now 8) and the payment has never changed despite me getting in touch with the csa and saying surely his earnings must have changed in these years. From what i have seen the new system will auto check how much he earns and bring it up to date.

Any advice and help would be really appreciated.

TheHoneyBadger Fri 18-Sep-15 05:50:03

also i'm a bit alarmed that it appeared to say that he, against my wishes, could choose to go for a private arrangement. if he did that and they therefore refused to act but then he did nothing about making the private arrangement (how could he when we're not even in contact?) then where would i stand? it all seems very strange but maybe because it utterly fails to address situations such as my own, which can't be that unusual, where a father has literally zero contact or voluntary contribution to a child's life.

Bellemere Fri 18-Sep-15 07:48:55

You will need to pay the £20 but that's all, to start with. You can ask that the arrangement is Direct Pay which means he pays you directly into your bank account (or cash, cheque etc). It's only if he refuses to pay that you can ask for him to be put on the Collect and Pay. That's when the 4% charge for you (and 20% charge for him) kicks in. It's very straightforward in my experience. There may be a month without a payment though - in my experience the claim was made on 1st March but the first payment was due until 30th April to allow the CMS to calculate everything, allow the other parent time to dispute factual details (number of children, number of nights spent with the NRP etc) and to allow the other parent time to set up the standing order.

Bellemere Fri 18-Sep-15 07:50:22

If he opted for a private arrangement, he would absolutely have to pay you. If he paid so much as one day late, you would call the CMS and say he hadn't paid and they would start setting up the Direct Pay calculation.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 18-Sep-15 07:53:57

CM told me he gets five days to pay if he doesn't I have to let them know.

I think they automatically put everyone in the direct pay category until they prove they won't pay.

I know twatface won't. He hasn't so far. If they take 4% of nothing that I'm currently receiving my DC are no worse off really.

TheHoneyBadger Fri 18-Sep-15 08:44:19

he can't directly pay me - he has no way to even know my bank account details and i have no way to let him know. i have no choice but to have them contact him and them do it all. as i read and understood it i will have to pay my percent and him his because i have no other way of doing it. i literally have no way of contacting him.

so can i start this CMS whilst still with csa or do i have to wait for csa to stop? sorry i'm really confused as to what i need to do.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 18-Sep-15 10:21:17

Right you need to call CMS.

The register you, this takes half an hour, and you need a tonne of passwords and such. They charge you £20.00 to register, however if there has been any DV in your relationship they waive the fee. But you need to provide proof e.g. if you contacted police/GP/SS etc.

Then you will be notified that your case with CSA is closed and ex owes you nothing.

CMS will then have your file and will chase down your ex and carry out a new assessment.

CSA will contact you to ask you if you wish for any arrears your ex owes you to be transferred to CMS, I said yes, they told me many people did not pursue it (I have received nothing from twatface for so long I don't care and am not about to allow anything to be written off).

CMS will then contact you (by letter) to tell you what they have assessed your ex's monthly out contributions should be and tell you they will be paid between you.
At this point I called CMS and told them that was not happening as twatface never paid previously either and the CSA had to get an attachment of earnings order. Also if things were amicable between us I would not have involved an outside agency to sort out child maintenance. CMS then sent me a form which I needed to fill out with my bank details and any contact info I did not mind twatface having. I have an email address set up exclusively for when twatface had contact with our children and use that email only for contact with him.

CMS have said if he does not respond then they will take it further.

Needless to say he has not responded.

starlight2007 Fri 18-Sep-15 16:52:57

I watching with interest ..I am in the same position although not yet received a letter.

I have only ever receive £5 per week so its not the money side of it ..It is the principal for me.. My Ds was a planned baby so he should be supported by both parents.

I also like the fact I still know he is alive while I am still receiving £5

TheHoneyBadger Sat 19-Sep-15 07:25:33

the other puzzling bit starlight is they say they've written to him and if he says he wants a voluntary agreement they'll take his word that's what it is. i wonder if they'd even let me know if that was the case? apparently i can't say i want direct pay if he doesn't even though i have no way of contacting him and he has no way of paying me without going through someone. i'm just baffled by the whole thing.

this is a man who when i finally claimed child support when ds was 4 (i kept thinking he'd come to his senses and want a relationship with his child) went down the deny parentage route because he hadn't told his new wife and mother of subsequent child that he already had a child he'd abandoned.

arrrghh! i just don't get how they can treat someone who has had to have been forced to pay anything via a government agency and who has never met their child with the same rights and opportunities as someone who sees their child regularly and clearly has an ongoing relationship with child and mother. quite clearly what can be achieved or is likely to be done is entirely different between the two. i literally cannot contact him and say hey what would you like to do about this? i'm completely in the dark. he could write to them and say yep i'm going to pay her privately and they'd go 'ok great' and i dont' think they'd even write to me because hey he's a parent too why should we think he's lying or you're the one who needs to decide/get the information. well because i'm the only actual parent (in terms of seeing, raising and supporting the child) in the picture!

it's all just baffling.

why have they cancelled it? why have they made it so the whole thing closes and has to be redone - why not have an option whereby IF you know you can't make a private arrangement you can elect to say here's my £20 now and please could you coordinate the switch over smoothly rather than close one and make me reapply for another - they could share info between agencies, do a quick hmrc check to see if the amounts needed to change and apply the fees that would now apply.

it is just spiteful and irresponsible to throw families from a stable situation into instability.

Bellemere Sat 19-Sep-15 08:00:49

You can ask for Direct Pay. My husbands ex wife did this even though he had paid on time every month, above the CMS rate. I think she was hoping he'd had a pay rise but he hadn't.

TheHoneyBadger Sat 19-Sep-15 09:22:27

i don't know how come bellemere - maybe your mistaking 'direct pay' with the system whereby they assess and set the amount. direct pay is when they collect the amount and put it in the recipients account (the only option when the other person doesn't know your account details and you have no way of contacting them to give them them) and they charge for the service.

the site very clearly states that if either parent does not want direct pay then it can't be done. you couldn't charge for a service that someone didn't want obviously so it can only be enacted if both parties agree or one has done something to lose their right to disagree re: not paying.

TheHoneyBadger Sat 19-Sep-15 09:38:54

to be clear IF i had any way of contacting him and arranging it i would PERFECTLY happy for him to arrange this with me and pay me direct. there is no principle involved for me and as far as i know he might pay it every month on time it is purely that it is literally IMPOSSIBLE for me to arrange privately. therefore it is fucking outrageous actually that they should cancel the only arrangement i have or can have and then say i have to have a gap without money for my son and then pay to reestablish a perfectly functional arrangement and pay every month for the privilege of something being done that i absolutely powerless to be able to do myself.

why not instead make it legally incumbent upon him to replace that direct debit going through the csa with a direct payment to me? i would happily pass on the details. but to punish me and my son for the fact that we can't contact an arsehole who has totally, absolutely abandoned his child and refused to see him or even give emergency contact details, health history etc and get him to voluntarily arrange to pay child support.

my son is punished enough by trying to wrap his head age appropriately again and again and again around the fact that he does have a dad but that dad isn't in his life not because he's dead or because he's a mass murderer or because he lives on the other side of the world or x, y or z but because????? (insert age appropriate true but not utterly soul destroying explanation of your choice) now apparently he should also go without child support for a while and then lose a percentage each month of it because i can't make a private arrangement for maintenance.

it's not a ton of money but after years of struggling without at times when i was so ill i couldn't work at all and i had to give up my profession, the property i owned, my social circle and any chance of replacing it with any semblence of a life because of where i had to go and live after having to give up the apartment, etc etc etc i finally gave up my mistaken pride and applied to the csa. and the yes small but makes a difference when you are solely responsible not just for everything here and now but for every eventuality you can think of for the next decades it is something and every bit counts!

sorry this has turned into an epic stress burst post but this is one of the things that gets me about lone parenthood that is really overlooked but more relavent to me than the things people mostly think about what 'must be hard'. people think of the day to day and being responsible for all the care and for not being able to get out or 'you must be lonely' etc and sometimes i don't relate to what they think because i think their lives trying to negotiate a relationship or say multiple children (whereas i have an only) look stressful. but the thing people often don't connect with is the mental weight and strain of all of that planning and responsibility and thinking of the future and worrying about factor x, y or z that suddenly looming, school issues, where you should live/move to to improve chances/situation for both of you or for work etc etc.

in the context of all that if they were even vaguely able to 'get it' and if even then they even vaguely 'gave a shit' policy makers might see the sheer and utter contempt and cruelty and totally unnecessary disruptive carelessness with which they were treating families like mine - and if they're incapable of thinking of me and my son as a family then fine, 'a woman and child'.

TheHoneyBadger Sat 19-Sep-15 09:42:50

sorry it seems that when the pressure cooker steam release goes the 'getting it out' takes over from the 'getting it out in full sentences that are comprehensible' part of the brain wink angry wine

TheHoneyBadger Sat 19-Sep-15 09:59:02

omg! i'm so glad at this moment that mn and the LP section even exists because in the midst of a week where i've had two utterly crazy migraines with weirder onset symptoms and after symptoms than i've had in my life and finding myself bursting into tears the day after (not sure whether because of aftermigraine effect or from after migraine tablets effects) i've sad to a male friend repeatedly no i don't think it's stress, i'm not that stressed out at the minute.

he pointed out a couple of things that were going on in my life that were stressful and i was like oh yeah hadn't thought of those and then posting on here about this business i've realised actually how massively that letter and here comes another curveball i have no control has perhaps stressed me out on a level i hadn't really acknowledged!

it's funny (not really obviously) how you just take this on and take that on and take the next thing on during periods where it all comes at once (because there's no other choice is there) and at some point you don't realise anymore that you've 'a lot' on.

mine's such a mixture at the minute between financial stuff, family, private life, decisions about my son's education that i don't think of them as a collective i guess.

sorry for my mad multiple posts and rant above but i'm thankful that i was able to blow off a bit of steam and express myself freely enough that the big picture popped out a bit itms.

definiteissues Sat 19-Sep-15 10:01:55

I think you are overreacting a lot tbh.

Yes, CSA is ending.
They aren't saying "we are done with you, you get no money now"
They are saying "you can't do it this way any more, you need to do it this way"

The new system is better anyway and will work better for you long term, so not really sure what the need is for dramatising

starlight2007 Sat 19-Sep-15 10:42:15

From what I have heard and read..I think they are pretty much the same whatever agency you use.

However I think the aim is for the government to cut down the costs. I am yet to hear any stories of how it has improved for parents.

I honestly thing the best thing you can do is phone them up on Monday and explain your situation. Your situation is not unique.

TheHoneyBadger Sat 19-Sep-15 10:48:27

i never said they were saying that definite. but they are cancelling agreements leaving people without payment till new agreements can be set up.

and i said the way they'd like me to do it now is impossible for me to do.

MakStout Sat 19-Sep-15 10:55:12

Direct Pay is when they calculate and the ex pays you directly, the amount is legally binding.
Collect and pay is when they handle the payment.
They will pass on your bank details (with your permission) to allow him to pay.

Daringgreatly Sat 19-Sep-15 17:24:37

Please don't worry you can set it all up in advance I've just been through the switch and am really impressed with the CMO by comparison to the CSA. They are helpful and efficient so far. And I've done the whole lot without any contact with xh.

The payments haven't started immediately but are being backdated to the switchover date. That might just because my case though as xh won't have cooperated with any paperwork.

I opted for collect and pay, i just kept saying no to any private arrangement. I too was confused when they said it was going to be direct pay. They told me that they had to given him the chance to voluntarily pay, and I thought oh here we go - but my caseworker clearly had the measure of things and said that his payment date is x and that if there was no payment in my bank 5-6 days later to get straight onto them and he'd switch to collect and pay.

Just give the CMO a call they will talk you through what you need to do.

Bellemere Sat 19-Sep-15 19:32:46

Direct pay is NOT where they collect the amount. That's collect and pay. I have direct experience, that's why I'm advising you.

MakStout Sat 19-Sep-15 19:42:31

Yes Bellemere i had collect and pay briefly, then when the charges started they only needed one opt out, and he didnt want to pay 20% on top (i call it the arsehole tax) so we moved to direct pay.
OP, they will pass on the details to him so he can pay, if he doesnt you call them and they sort it (and charge him for being a dick) and can force him to go onto collect and pay.

Daringgreatly Sat 19-Sep-15 19:44:42

I have given them my bank details for them to pass on to xh. They asked if I wanted to give them to him directly but I don't so if you have his contact details don't worry.

Daringgreatly Sat 19-Sep-15 19:47:30

Arsehole tax is hilarious!

Bellemere Sat 19-Sep-15 19:50:18

There are 3 levels -
1. Private arrangement - no CMS involvement at all.
2. Direct Pay - similar to private arrangement in that the money doesn't go through the CMS but directly from NRP to RP. The CMS calculate the amounts, give payment dates etc. Letters are sent to both parties and I assume bank details of the recipient could be included in these letters.
3. Collect and Pay - used when the NRP is refusing payment under the Direct Pay scheme. You can't just opt to do this one because of the additional charges. Otherwise you'd have bitter exes everywhere causing the NRP an unnecessary 20% charge. And before anyone jumps, this last sentence is clearly only meant when the NRP is paying and yes I am aware that there are useless NRPs that won't pay - that's why the charge is there.

Under the CMS, you should actually have slightly more money sent to you. They're also better at capturing accurate salaries including bonuses and other taxable benefits etc.

wannabestressfree Sat 19-Sep-15 20:07:10

You are stressing over nothing. They give over the details and I have found this system much more efficient.

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