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AIBU to want evidence of ExH's current salary to check if CSA assessment is correct ?

(17 Posts)
runningonmt Wed 22-Jun-11 00:08:37

CSA have assessed exH, have done their calculations and told me he has to pay £X amount per month. I think it should be considerably higher as he has a very good job as a branch manager for a major supermarket - something very strange is going on and I cant work out how they have calculated his contributions -

AIBU in suspecting that the CSA may have made a genuine error and if they have, how on earth do I prove it to them without his payslips which strangely enough I do not have access to as we have been divorced for over 5 years ???? Or is he able to 'hide' his genuine income from them somehow - I did ask them to check his P60 to get an annual figure but they wont do this.

Any help or advise on this area would be very much appreciated.

Bogeyface Wed 22-Jun-11 00:20:13

He will have had to send them payslips to prove his income so it is unlikely to be an error. They will also send you a letter stating his income, then his protected income (that is, the amount of income he is allowed to live on that they are not allowed to touch), his housing costs and then what they have calculated he is to pay you. You will be able to see from that whether you believe that he has been pulling a fast one.

You can appeal but you need to do it in writing within 28 days of you receiving notification of the assessment. And you can also ring them and ask for a re-assessment based on his income and they will again request payslips. If he wont supply them then they either go via the tax office to access his pay records or they go to his employer and they have to supply the information by law.

They will do a yearly assessment based on a P60 but generally they only do that if the absent parent is earning different amounts each month and there is a genuine belief that he is playing the system. My ex spent ten years trying to avoid paying and was earning a pittance basic but raking in loads on commission and bonuses. Each time he started a new job he insisted on a reassessment and would send in his first couple of payslips to prove his income, but of course he hadnt got any commission at that point so it was always calculated as very low. Eventually, after having to reassess every other month (because I knew what he was up to and so did they) the CSA did a yearly calculation based on his annual pay, he was not a happy bunny! But you would have to have a genuine belief that he was being paid more than he was declaring and was hiding it by using low paying payslips.

I know alot of people slag them off, but the CSA have been great with me over the years. Recently they instigated the most serious action against my ex, which will include bailiffs, charge against his property etc if he doesnt pay up. They are constrained in law but generally will do as much as they can to help parents like us. when you call the helpline, ask to speak to your account manager. I have always been put through to the team and they are really good at explaining what is going on and keeping in touch.

Good luck!

runningonmt Wed 22-Jun-11 09:33:23

Thanks for the above bogeyface. The last payslip I have for him dates back to 2006 and states his average salary for that year was £61k. The last letter I recd from the CSA showing how his contribution is calculated is dated May 2008. There is no mention of his housing costs or protected income only :
his net income is x
Number of children he has is y
The amount i will receive is Z

For the last 2 years he has been paying less than z (by £35 per month) so again he is in arrears but they dont seem to want to chase him for them.

My case maybe a bit odd because it is "clerical" as their super computer 'ate' my claim when I originally applied so it all has to be done manually therefore phoning them and speaking to someone is close to impossible as they do not easily have access to my records.

My frustration is that I do not agree that his nett income is X. I know that he gets large bonuses and shares but if they are not on the payslips he provides they dont get taken into consideration.

I know that some fathers manipulate the system by loading up their pension contributions to reduce their nett income and I can only assume that is what has happened here (ah yes and he now has a company car - not that he does any milage for his job, he just likes having a merc on his drive - one of the perks of being a branch manager).

He refuses to pay anything additional towards his DS's school fees, trips or medical stuff (DS has special needs) and doesnt have any realistic contact with him (about 10 hours in the last 12 months).

I rely on his financial support in the absence of any emotional support as my working hours and therefore income are limited by having to be available to my DS 24/7 as his father isn't/wont/cant take responsibility for any of his care.

My experience of the CSA is obviously very different to yours and knowing how c**p they have been over the last 6 years I have trouble trusting them to get anything right, or even to put right when they have got it wrong.

I know I should be greatful I get anything (and really I am) -I just dispair of the fact that I suspect his contributions do not reflect his genuine income. hmm

NewTeacher Wed 22-Jun-11 09:43:26

If he is on 60K you should be receiving about £85 a week. If thats what you get then the calculation is correct.

allnewtaketwo Wed 22-Jun-11 10:46:00

NewTeacher how have you worked that out? Sounds low to me
OP it is perfectly possible that pension contributions are high

AdamJaySusan Wed 22-Jun-11 11:18:49

Does he have any children in his present household?

pootlebug Wed 22-Jun-11 11:23:18

There is no protected income / housing costs calculation any more.

It is simply 15% of net salary for one child (assuming he has no children in his present household....if he does, it is reduced). Is your £61k figure gross or net?

He could as a previous poster said, up his pension contributions and reduce his income.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 22-Jun-11 11:26:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runningonmt Wed 22-Jun-11 11:27:30

Thanks for the above to both posters .... your question allnew to NewTeacher is exactly that .... "how have you worked that out ?"

If someone applied for a means tested benefit and was told "you are entitled to £x amount but we are not prepared to provide you evidence as to how this has been calculated" wouldnt you be a little narked / sceptical / curious / etc.... especially if you felt that it is wrong - I am entitled to ask for them to look at the decision again if Ihave evidence to suggest it is incorrect - I dont have access to the evidence to back up my suspicions.

I believe the system is changing AGAIN in 2012 to be based on the gross income - hopefully this will help people like my DC to be awared the financial assistance he is supposed to be receiving. Lord only knows how long it will actually take to come into force though.

I know people on low incomes are unlikely to have volentary pensions and company cars therefore their contributiion in percentage terms is likely to be higher than the higher earners who have more ability to pay a more realistic amount. Is this a fair system ? I dont think so.

allnewtaketwo Wed 22-Jun-11 11:30:14

No, my question was 'how have you worked that out', as the calculation from 61k to £85pw sounds odd to me. your question is - is the starting xk the right figure, which is a different question

sausagesandmarmelade Wed 22-Jun-11 11:31:51

Well his contributions are to support and maintain his child....

If you don't feel that he is providing enough to do that (bearing in mind that you have a shared duty to provide for the child) then you can complain.

Just because he has a very good job...it doesn't mean that he should be paying more. You are divorced after all....he may have other responsibilities.

Do you work?

iMemoo Wed 22-Jun-11 11:38:20

Could he have a child/children that you don't know about?

AdamJaySusan Wed 22-Jun-11 11:45:22

60k without any faffing roughly comes to £796 a week take home pay.

15% of that is roughly £120

if he has other kids to support the take home pay will reduce before your 15%, if you have more kids that he should support it will be more than %15

AdamJaySusan Wed 22-Jun-11 11:47:53

i used this but did it on 60k not 61k (oops)

littletreesmum Wed 22-Jun-11 12:07:34

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

portaloo Wed 22-Jun-11 12:13:35

YANBU to want evidence of his current salary, but how would you get it?

runningonmt Wed 22-Jun-11 16:20:23

AdamJay - he does have a child in his current household - it is his partners so I know they do take that into consideration - this is fair.

Stewie - Sorry our posts must have crossed in time. Thanks tho'.

Sausages - Yes I do work - school hours 47 weeks of the year (5 weeks holiday) - £11.5k per year - I have always worked to support myself and my DS - this is fair.
"Just because he has a very good job...it doesn't mean that he should be paying more" . .... neither should he be paying less because he can choose to pay into a pension and have a company car to reduce his child support - I cant pay into a pension as I have no spare income as all my income goes on the household bills and my mortgage - I gave him a large lump sum to get a clean break divorce so get no maintenance for myself (DS was undiagnosed special needs at point of divorce). It was my house long before I met him but I had to buy him out of his share that he was entitled to because we were married and I had to keep a roof over my head (and DS's).

AdamJay - 61K was gross 5 years ago - I imagine his income has increased since then PLUS bonuses PLUS shares.

I am not a money grabbing cow (at least I dont think I am) and would love to be self sufficient but it was a joint decision to have a child - I wish we were equally responsible for financially supporting him as I believe my financial contribution in percentage terms far outweighs his.

All I am trying to do is to ensure our respective share/contribution of financial support is fair - I am happy to take 100% responsibility for DS's physical care and welfare as his father is unwilling but a more open system of financial support would be welcome.

Thanks to all for your views and advice.

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