CSA and informal arrangement(42 Posts)
hello. I've been separated from my ex for two and a half years, and divorced for a year and a half. during that time we have made informal arrangements regarding maintenance payments. The figures have been based on the csa calculations and have been paid on time with no problems.
now my ex has decided she would rather use the CSA. The CSA have been in touch and are sendin me paperwork.
I have no real issue with any of this, but should I continue making informal payments whilst the CSA sort everything out, or could I end up paying twice if I don't stop payments?
OP, if I were in your position, I'd speak with EXP telling her that for now, you will be saving your regular payment until CSA have come through with a formal agreement/ amount. When this is settled, and if they haven't already taken that amount, you will, of course pay it as 'back payment'.
There is nothing wrong in protecting yourself short-term.
Perhaps she thinks you have more income than you do.
Won't she lose a % of the maintenance to the CSA with the new charges? Not sure how all that works, or when it starts. Also there is talk of the maintenance being calculated on GROSS income, but the % may be less.
Give her a call, she may have the incorrect info about a lot of things that will make her nervous. I remember when we moved, DHs xW called the CSA even though we happily had a private arrangement with her. Her reason? Even thought we'd never given her any reason to believe so, she thought we'd stop paying . It was sorted amicably with a phone call between the x-spouses.
I agree with all those who says this is time wasting and could be seen as agravating unless you're not telling us something else. FWIW I believe your posts.
I think the suggestion of using CSA may have come from mortgage situation.
I am forced to use them (or get zilch) and find they are inefficient and hold the money back....not interested in chasing anything and it must cost a fortune to administer
My dealings with the CSA tell me they are useless - never give same advice twice.
I wouldn't pay a peany informally once they got involved.
I agree whatever you agree with them you need to take names and follow up with paperwork. If you are unhappy with the response you get when you ring up then ask to speak to someone else or ring back and get someone else. Do ring them and try and sort it though. I can't see why you cannot pay them direct with immediate effect but this is the csa
allnewtaketwo you have obviously been stung in exactly the same way as us!
If you ask for their advice then make sure you ask for confirmation in writing of what you have discussed. I can all but guarentee they will refuse to put it in writing as thats not what they do!! At least it will show you how they will change the rules as they process your claim and the possibility of you being billed twice.
OP don't expect them to give you a reliable answer though. The answers given often vary from call to call, and them telling you something now doesn't mean they won't go back on their word and sting you anyway
OwlLady, I'm not sure I'll be able to do that as the DWP haven't got me as a 'client' as yet.
Again, I don't want to create any shortfall in my ex wife's income, the well being of my son is my absolute priority, but I can't afford to pay double.
I think I'll be best to wait until the DWP contact me again and ask them their advice?
Can you not ring the CSA and ask if you can make payments to them, for the same amount you do normally, with immediate effect?
"considering he pays you next to nothing for child support"
Where did that assertion come from? Clearly I have no idea of his salary. Say he's on £30k. He gets max 25% deduction for the other children, so his monthly maintenance payment would be circa £307pm. Hardly next to nothing. And don't forget the tax credits the OP receives will disregard this payment, so will be generous.
Bloody hell, I didn't realise they could make you pay twice even if you can evidence having made payments bank to bank!!
OP, I would definitely advise you to stop any informal payments from the date of the CSA claim start.
I receive maintenance through CSA (my first ex is a refuser ) and at no point did anyone ask me if he had made any payments informally (he hadn't)
I have a friend who received payment twice when her ex's new partner insisted on him using CSA, luckily for him she paid him back all of the 'paid twice' bits. No one was going to make her do that though iyswm?
Try and keep it nice though and let her know what you are doing and why. If she has instigated using them she will have to bite the bullett and wait for the first lot to come from CSA I guess. I tend to agree that the CSA is an already overstretched service and wouldn't dream of approaching them unless necessary. My second Ex and I have a private agreement and I can't see any reason why we would need to change as we are on friendly terms.
Please ignore those telling you to stop paying for now. They are wrong. Provided you're paying by direct bank transfer they will accept a bank statement as evidence of payment. You won't have to pay twice.
"If you stop payments for a while, how will your ex make up that gap in her income, even in the short term"
Well she is an adult with choices though. She has exercise her choice to go to a government agency to formalise payments she was reliably and regularly receiving. Fine. But every choice has repercussions. She wanted to protect herself - fine, but the OP also needs to protect himself. The impact of that (sensible) choice is that the ex will temporarily have a cashflow shortfall.
I agree with allnewtaketwo, that has been my experience as well but I don't think rodders should stop payments either I just don't understand why someone would choose to use them if there was an amicable agreement anyway
OP I can't help with the question on back payments etc but two things:
1. Whilst its annoying right now when you've been a reliable payer all along, try to go forward with good humour. My DH has an informal arrangement with his ex and in many ways I wish it had been formalised at some point. In some ways, it can make life easier and now that you both have new partners, either of you can just refer to the CSA agreement in case of any 'discussions'. A formal agreement could protect you as much as your ex.
2. If you stop payments for a while, how will your ex make up that gap in her income, even in the short term. If I was receiving a regular income and it suddenly stopped I'd struggle to cover expenses and its not really fair on her or your DC('s) to do that IMHO.
Also, it's not unusual for people to feel the need to protect themselves when a new partner comes on the scene. Despite being with my DH (then DP) for 3 yrs before we moved in together, when we did, his ex asked for all sorts of assurances on paper about financial stuff.
My DH did the same when his ex eventually got married too.
save as in to hand over to CSA - not to save for yourself.
dont pay her save the money - the CSA will date from the date of claim and trying to explain anything to them is a nightmare.
also we pay by Standing Order rather than DD - that way we control any changes they make.
I absolutely agree with allnewtaketwo having been in the same position. The advisor would only base the assessment on what the payments were from the date Ex claimed and refused to reassess deducting the payments made during that period. The most frustrating thing was that they wanted the entire arrears over 3 months payments even though we were paying twice.
"Why is it timewasting? The CSA provides a service, anyone is entitled to use it"
And everyone is wondering why they're going to start charging
Its time wasting because the CSA has finite resources - instead of chasing the non payers, they instead focus on the easy cases, i.e. the voluntary payers. Its an easy way for them to get their internal stats to look better. Meanwhile a load of pwc's will be receiving nothing because the CSA resources are tied up elsewhere needlessly
"Why do you think they will take hundreds or thousands in overpayments?"
The CSA are well known for doing this. My DH was stung for just under £2k when his ex denied he'd been making voluntary payments pending finalisation of the figures from the CSA. Yes, she lied to a government agency and they ignored the proof my DH had of the payments.
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