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...the CSA are completely useless?

(42 Posts)
Holly129 Mon 17-Jun-13 19:10:38

Hi All,

I am hoping some of you will tell me some success stories with the CSA, however I have had pretty much 0. In 3 and a half years I had one payment of £40 when I first claimed and since have had nothing. I've told them where dd's father lives, works, provided phone numbers. I've called the CSA (0845 number!) every month, and everytime I call it's either a different excuse or "you should receive something next month." How is he buying a house, new cars, brand new TVs etc, and avoiding the CSA for over 3 years! I asked today if they would consider taking it to court as now he has over £5,000 of debt towards me (calculating at their basic rate as he and his employer have refused to provide payslips) and they told me they would not consider taking it to court as he has an employer! Is there any other way to get what I'm owed? I feel like nothing is happening, I'm being fobbed off all the time, if there's such a massive back log why don't they hire more workers?

It seems like if a father wants to pay, he will pay, and surely you don't need the CSA for that. If a father doesn't want to pay, he can avoid the CSA forever. AIBU to think the CSA are completely useless?

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 20-Jun-13 17:03:27

That's the trouble, I don't know if its a real registered company. He has a facebook page, and business cards bit not sure that means much!

mummytime Thu 20-Jun-13 12:04:10

If someone has a proper company then it will be registered at co meanies house, and usually shows up on a simple google search. Even better they have to register accounts etc.

However if they just work for themselves it can be harder to track down. However I don't see why CSA has a so much harder job of this than HMRC.

IneedAyoniNickname Thu 20-Jun-13 11:45:30

Thanks Thingummy they've told me if I can prove he has they can look into it. I will look at that link too.

ThingummyBob Thu 20-Jun-13 09:33:41

Yanbu. CSA are shite. I've just been given a nil award as ex has no income. Or so he told them. When I told them that couldn't be possible as he must be funding his lifestyle somehow I was told that's not the CSAs concern

Ineed you need to read this CSA variations and Appeals

You can ask them to look more closely basically.


IneedAyoniNickname Tue 18-Jun-13 18:04:36

Sorry, agree with the pps whos said there need to be stricter rules about maintenance. The whole system is crap.

Dahlen Tue 18-Jun-13 18:03:27

It sends a very clear message about the unacceptability of non-payment, however - one which would hopefully become seeped into the national consciousness in the same way as drunk driving has become once it was made a criminal offence.

IneedAyoniNickname Tue 18-Jun-13 18:03:16

Yanbu. CSA are shite. I've just been given a nil award as ex has no income. Or so he told them. When I told them that couldn't be possible as he must be funding his lifestyle somehow I was told that's not the CSAs concern.

I agree with the ppps

Dahlen Tue 18-Jun-13 18:02:42

Think about it this way needaholiday - if making sure one's own child is clothed and fed is not motivation enough for a man to pay for his child, chances are nothing short of the extremely punitive will make him face up to his responsibilities.

The child will only end up with nothing if the father still continues to refuse to pay. As he was already paying nothing, the child is not 'losing out' anyway.

racmun Tue 18-Jun-13 18:00:06

The CSA are appalling. My dh pays maintenance happily and regularly like he should but they are a nightmare to deal with.

I escalated an issue we had to the complaints team despite being told we'd go to the bottom of the queue etc if we did. we got decent service and the issue was resolved within 12 weeks and we were given courtesy phone calls and a ddi for the case handler.

I would definitely recommend you do that.

needaholidaynow Tue 18-Jun-13 17:54:12

But it sounds ridiculous. Surely there are other ways of making them pay without the end result ultimately meaning the child ends up with nothing indefinitely. Solves nothing.

RedHelenB Tue 18-Jun-13 17:01:56

needaholiday - because the NRP WILL pay if they risk losing a well paid livliehood!

sleeplessbunny Tue 18-Jun-13 12:07:15

yy meddie

Holly129 Tue 18-Jun-13 11:48:15

meddie You are so right! If you owe council tax or income tax they find you and make you pay up ASAP, so why aren't they applying the same tactics to absent parents who refuse to pay maintenance?

needaholidaynow Tue 18-Jun-13 10:50:51

Having someone's driving licence cancelled if they are a bus driver is going to be counterproductive because then their children really will receive zero because their parent will then be out of a job. Same goes with a licence to practice medicine; if they are a doctor then they will again be out of a job and again their children really will receive zero.

Never understood why this is actually a good idea.

SusanneLinder Tue 18-Jun-13 10:30:02

Complain, complain, complain and then complain some more.Go to your MP also, and I badgered the CSA on a weekly basis, and asked them for explanations of why the DEO was taking so long, forgot to send it ......

I was one of those annoying little mosquitos that never went away, and eventually I got the 14 grand I was owed.

You need to be VERY persisant.I was never rude or obnoxious but was very assertive.

Log EVERY call, and who you spoke to, and what time you spoke to them and what they said, and follow it on the 28th I spoke to x and they said etc etc

Get the name of your case officer (which seemed to change weekly in my case-involved another complaint grin)

In my experience, it is those that shout the loudest that get results.

sashh Tue 18-Jun-13 09:27:24

Not saying to do this, it does depend on the person and the business.

A relative of mine was paid 1 day later every month, she realised what her ex was doing and that he was trying to miss a month.

When it came to the month she didn't get a payment she sent a fax to his office saying he was 30 days late with the maintenance of $X for his 2 children.

This was in Australia and he was paying the legal minimum although he had a good job. So everyone in the office knew he was paying the minimum and it was late.

He phoned her and gave her a telling off for embarrassing him in front of his work colleagues.

He never missed another payment.

I think the best scheme I heard of was in America, I don't know if it was ever implemented, but the plan was that if anyone stopped paying the equivalent of the CSA then all licences they held would be suspended.

So Driving licence, licence to practise medicine, licence for a gun etc.

I suppose here it would include TV licence. Obviously you need to give people a bit of time, 2 weeks perhaps. But if the CSA could cancel driving licences until a payment is made I bet a lot more payments would be made.

Tooearlyintheday Tue 18-Jun-13 08:17:14

There is no impetus on the CSA to do a good job because maintenance does not save the gov't any money - it doesn't actually matter to them if children and rp's receive maintenance or not. I'd assume that at some stage the CSA will be done away with all together and it will go back to court ordered or voluntary agreements which will be even more difficult to enforce.

meddie Tue 18-Jun-13 08:04:29

This is a real bugbear of mine, the ability of men to just leave and contribute nothing, and get away with it.If you owe council tax or income tax arrears, you can bet your arse they will find you.
It pisses me off that single parents are vilified for claiming benefits, when their feckless partners can walk away and start life afresh, with barely any social pressure to be responsible. You would be vilified more for drink driving, yet these men contribute to children being raised in poverty, something that can affect them for life...
There needs to be harsher consequences for their actions.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Mon 17-Jun-13 23:52:23

This whole subject infuriates me. The government really need to get their arse into gear and get this system working properly. They want to tackle the benefits issue then this is the place to start. So many single parents wouldn't get benefit bashed if the absent parent was made to take more responsibility. What other option is there but to rely on benefits when the other parent swans off and lives a cushy life.

ladylambkin Mon 17-Jun-13 23:28:29

If your ex is employed and this employer is known to the CSA they should be able to enforce a Deduction from Earnings Order...if the employer fails to implement this they can be referred for criminal compliance action. Given the lack of payment I assume they do not know his employer or he is a job hopper (leaving a job once a Deduction from Earnings Order is in place) If he is paid cash in hand it is virtually impossible for CSA to collect payment. Remember that it is the non resident parent responsibility to pay child maintenance...if they do not want to pay and are move around it is difficult to enforce. But as someone said earlier arrears do not go away unless you ask them too.

The 0845 number is not premium rate, it is a local number although if you use a mobile I know it can cost more. If you are worried about the cost call them, complete security and ask them to call you back.

I hope you start to receive payments soon.

paperlantern Mon 17-Jun-13 23:26:27

They are. Ask to speak to a manager. Then their manager then their manager then complaints then the complaints manager.

Your case actually seems quite simple, remind the CSA it's criminal not to provide information to the CSA when requested so either they haven't asked for it or you ex/his employer are acting illegally and you want it reffered to the criminal team.

chocolatespiders Mon 17-Jun-13 23:25:47

A deduction of earnings was meant to happen in Dec 2012 on my ex and it never happened sad

I ring them once a month and they tell me they are taking action hmm

I think I will contact my local MP- good tip.

jammiedonut Mon 17-Jun-13 23:19:51

Well, my mum has just started receiving maintenance payments for me from my dad.....14 years after she applied! She thinks it's hilarious (14 years ago we were dirt poor, now she's remarried and very well off and doesn't need the cash). Dad less than impressed of course but accepts we deserved the money. They catch up with them eventually, hopefully they'll sort you out a bit quicker than they did our mum!

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 17-Jun-13 23:11:32

needaholidaynow funnily enough, at the last count he had five kids by four different women probably more than that by now but only pays for two of them, as two are now in their early twenties and the other is being brought up by a woman he had an affair with and her husband. Honestly, it's like an episode of Jeremy Kyle. You couldn't make it up.

ThingummyBob Mon 17-Jun-13 22:10:52

OP, when they say 'he has an employer' it sounds as though they are enforcing using an attachment of earnings order possibly. Call and ask them if this is happening.

They don't need to take him to court for this - they can order his employers to deduct at source and then pay CSA.

Note that if employer is also 'non compliant' it still won't work. I'm lucky that ex has got a decent job these days with a national company who deduct and pay over like clockwork.

Also bare in mind that arrears do not disappear EVER grin The csa might be useless a lot of the time, but it is worth pursuing if the non resident parent is a persistent non payer.

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