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in thinking the CSA have really outdone themselves this time?

(79 Posts)
RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 11:01:43

I've posted before re our problems with the CSA but they've excelled themselves in terms of utter twattery this time.

DF has a maintenance agreement where he pays a set amount through his salary each month, including arrears which will be paid off in eighteen months time.

DF has been working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for the last month so that we will have the money to buy a car. This month, instead of taking out the agreed amount from his salary, the CSA have taken £997. Leaving us with £50 left over after rent/bills.

Cue a long and frustrating call to them resulting in. "Oops, don't know why that happened. No, you can't have it back. We'll knock it off the arrears you owe. Not our problem you can't afford to eat." Phone gets put down.

I guess this is more of a rant, if anything. First time in forever we would actually have money to spend on ourselves and it's gone. DF has worked all those hours and missed time with me and DS for nothing. DF and I have both cried. We know there's absolutely no point in taking it any further. Feel utterly defeated. Trying to keep it together for DS today but struggling.

MsPlaced Mon 18-Jul-11 11:03:51

its not exactly for nothing though, if it pays off the arrears that he presumably owes for his other children.

globalmouse Mon 18-Jul-11 11:07:46

can you not talk to the mother, and see if she will let you have some of the money back? If he has always been good about maintenance, surely she will be sympathetic?

TheFeministsWife Mon 18-Jul-11 11:08:17

YANBU! MsPlaced he's already paying off the arrears. What about his other children his DS who lives with him? How is supposed to eat? [hhmm]

RalphGnu can you go the CAB and see if they can help you?

MotherPanda Mon 18-Jul-11 11:10:36

YABU to be saving up for a car, and expecting to keep the extra money if he owes debts to his children.

I understand how horrible it must be for you - but once the debt is cleared, then you can have money to spend on yourselves - its a bit unreasonable to expect to have money to yourselves before if he is depriving his other children.

Sassybeast Mon 18-Jul-11 11:11:02

He's paying arrears. Therefore, presumably, he's displayed utter twattery in the past by refusing to support his children. You could always appeal to the mother of his children but given that there have probably been a few times when she's had £50 or less left after rent etc, I'm not sure she needs to be sympathetic.

FabbyChic Mon 18-Jul-11 11:12:14

Am damn sure they can give it back, they took money to which they were not entitled to take and left you with nothing to live on. Im sure they cannot do that.

RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 11:15:11

To cut a long story short globalmouse, DF hasn't seen the mother of his other son since he was nineteen, we have no idea where she is and DF only became aware of his other son's existence two years ago when the CSA got in touch with him, eleven years after the child's birth to tell him he owed thousands of pounds.

We went to the CSA last year and they couldn't help. The nice man at the CSA said himself in his experience there was absolutely no point in trying to reason with them but tried his best for us. He ended up putting the phone down to the rude woman he got through to!

What makes it worse is that DF's parents lent us some money last month to go away for the weekend. We've now got to tell them we can't pay them back and they're struggling themselves.

diddl Mon 18-Jul-11 11:16:09

How can they take out more than an "agreed amount"?

Isn´t it an error on the part of the bank?

catsmother Mon 18-Jul-11 11:16:54

Don't be ridiculous MsPlaced - didn't you read the OP properly ? They cannot afford to EAT and they have ANOTHER child. Are you suggesting that it's okay that he starves providing the "other" children are alright ?

Arrears were being paid off at a set amount each month. Set, because, most people still have to live. And please bear in mind that just because you may owe arrears to the CSA does NOT necessarily mean that you have been ducking your responsibilities. The CSA can be a law unto themselves and I personally know of many absent parents who've been 100% responsible in paying up and advising the CSA of changes in circumstances etc., who've fallen foul nonetheless of the CSA's incompetence and inability to work out payments correctly. I know many people who've been assured, in writing, that their payment will be £xxx only for the CSA to backtrack months later because they cocked up and their attitude is always "tough".

Please don't simply accept this. They can't arbitrarily deduct such a large sum and stick two fingers up at you. Insist on speaking to a manager and make a formal complaint. Maybe get your MP involved too.

MotherPanda Mon 18-Jul-11 11:17:12

But they were entitled to take the money - it is owed!

allnewtaketwo Mon 18-Jul-11 11:18:08

"Therefore, presumably, he's displayed utter twattery in the past by refusing to support his children"

That's a big assumption imo. A hell of a lot of arrears cases are due to CSA mistakes and delays

JeffTracy Mon 18-Jul-11 11:18:58

He's paying arrears. Therefore, presumably, he's displayed utter twattery in the past by refusing to support his children

Sassybeast I can absolutely assure you that is wrong. The CSA sometimes don't collect money for a month or two, or collect the wrong amount, before declaring the payee to be "in arrears".

Chundle Mon 18-Jul-11 11:19:07

You should get this back it's theft! Also is the 2 nd child Definatley his?? Just a thought if he's had no real contact with her I'd question it and ask for DNA test

BumptiousandBustly Mon 18-Jul-11 11:19:24

ALWAYS get your MP involved. In my experience these govt run places have special teams dealing with complaints from MPs and its the only way to get attention!

RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 11:21:42

Oh. My. Fucking. God. DF phoned. They have no record of us having our 19 month old DS. I have no words. I'm actually shaking.

VinegarTits Mon 18-Jul-11 11:22:27

what the hell? he has a son he didnt know existed? i would have been asking for a dna test

csa are a bunch of arseholes

Sassybeast Mon 18-Jul-11 11:22:27

The very fact that the CSA are involved illustrates very clearly that 'DF' has been a twat with regarding maintenance payments in the past. There are plenty of people who recognise their financial obligations to their kids and don't need the CSA.
The OP has been saving for a car - they're hardly about to fall over dead from malnutrition.

RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 11:24:12

DF was very sceptical that the child could be his so paid for a DNA test and he is definitely the child's father. We would love to find him but have no idea where to start.

We've thought about involving our MP but didn't know if they'd want to get involved/be able to help.

4madboys Mon 18-Jul-11 11:25:04

no it doesnt sassy!

he didnt know he had a son, he hasnt seen the other woman for years, he presumably may not have even been told that she was pregnant!

sounds like its not certain that the child is his.

but that is irrelevant, he also has to support his current family and is working hard to do so, the csa should not have taken any more than the agreed amount, that is done so that they can budget and live!

catsmother Mon 18-Jul-11 11:25:19

Errrmmm ...... the CSA didn't magically "know" he'd earned extra this month (which would be taken into account anyway at the next future reassessment via his P60 and payslips). They made a MISTAKE and took an amount they hadn't agreed with the OP's DP.

It's stupid to claim that's "okay" because it's money owed. How many of us with loans, credit cards & mortgages would be happy to find an unexpectedly large sum suddenly disappear from our accounts because it's "owed" ?

Sounds as if these "arrears" built up totally legitimately if the DP only found out he had an 11 year old son 11 years after the event ! Far from being a twat father.

As for ourtrage at the suggestion of a car ...... well, life goes on you know, even when you're separated. A car is essential for many people, not least to actually get to work. Getting a car doesn't automatically mean you're being an irresponsible parent.

VinegarTits Mon 18-Jul-11 11:26:01

'The very fact that the CSA are involved illustrates very clearly that 'DF' has been a twat with regarding maintenance payments in the past'

no it doesnt, i know a guy who payed regular maintenance to his ex, but she got more and more demanding, so HE went to the CSA and he was actually paying double what he should have been because she was a greedy caaa, in that case she was the twat

RalphGnu Mon 18-Jul-11 11:26:08

Sassybeast as I stated above, DF didn't know of the child's existence until recently and doesn't have the money to pay off all the thousands of pounds of arrears in one go! He's not a twat at all, although I can see why people who don't know the ins and outs might assume that.

4madboys Mon 18-Jul-11 11:26:14

and why shouldnt they save for a car, it seems a responsible way to go about it, rather than get in more debt, he is working hard, continuing to pay his child support and the arrears which were accumulated through no fault of his own by the sounds of it. having a car is a necessity for many people.

TheFeministsWife Mon 18-Jul-11 11:26:29

See it's not always as cut and dried as "utter twatery" is it Sassybeast?

RalphGnu we had so many problems with CSA years ago I could write a bloody book! They wanted DH to pay over £1000 a month for DSD when he earned £160 a month working full time. hmm (This was before minimum wage). He had a private arrangement with his ex but she used to spend the money on fags and going out. So he stopped giving her money and started buying DSD clothes instead. Ex lived with her parents she paid them no rent, all DSD's food and clothing was bought by her parents. So after this she saw her arse and went to the CSA. DH ended up only having to pay £5 a month because he was on such a low wage. She shot herself in the foot there.

The really comical one was when DSD had already been living with us for 3 years and he got demanding letters from the CSA saying her owed thousands of pounds in arrears. No amount of phone calls would convince them she lived with us. He had to go to their offices in Birkenhead with the Residency Order he had to prove she lived with him. Then then said "Oh we'll make a claim on her mother for you," DH said "No don't bother I don't want her bloody money, all it will do is cause grief". Didn't stop them trying to take money off his ex then even though he didn't put a claim in. Oh and we weren't claiming any benefits then either he was working full time.

It's not always as black and white as "dad is a bastard and doesn't pay".

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