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Child support agency Hell! Having to cope with 'absent parent abuse and mounting debts

(18 Posts)
lateblooming Mon 22-Dec-14 20:39:01

Hey, who says CSA is against dads to pay mums?
Well I am the paying mum! Nicknamed the absent parent. Such and upsetting title and so judgemental! Patronising a*****s!
Other mums here in this case. I will have to go to the food bank!
It feels like there is no way out!
I did everything to have the main custody of my kids and ex who leave in the matrimonial home (that I had to leave as he started to become somewhat abusive) is getting CSA.
Ok so salary is 1000, CSA £300, rent £450, petrol to get to work £150. I also have pay Car reimbursement, council tax, telephone, gaz, electricity food clothes and groceries with £100, child tax credit overpayments reimbursements (others a***s) ha ha you guess right it is impossible. I am about -600 before starting the month. Ouch.

Ok so patronising a****s says : why don't you work longer hours? can't due to child contact arrangements otherwise he will only let me see the children every other weekend. Then logically more CSA to pay...hell!
It is also hard to reduce my rent. I do not have child benefit so no access to social housing or just a single person.
I am looking for a higher paid job...but I have to be flexible so it lowers what I can get.
Rant rant rant.

Well I am looking for a way out of this.
Banging my head against the walls. It feels like I am descending into debt and poverty with no way out. If I can't pay my rent I cannot see my kids...
I feel like this is such an unfair system which ultimately will turn me against my ex even more and in the end I will have nothing...I feel ready to start a revolution!
Come on give me a shoulder to cry...a way out...or shout with me mumsnutters!

Micah Mon 22-Dec-14 20:47:29

That's the way it is I'm afraid. They're your kids and you should pay towards their upkeep. How you manage your remaining money is up to you.

There are millions of non resident parents in the same situation.

The only thing I would say is if he's abusive is it worth seeing a solicitor for a free initial consultation about regaining custody. Or reporting to social services.

lateblooming Mon 22-Dec-14 20:54:39

If you have a quick look you can see that they charge unreasonable amounts. It should be means tested! If I am on the street is it going to benefit the children?

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 22-Dec-14 20:57:50

30% (not including the arrears) of your income is too high. You need to contact the CSA and ask for this to be looked at. While you're at it, it's worthwhile getting in touch with the tax office about this

Children are not a 'pay per view', you're legally entitled to see them regardless. Maintenance and contact are not connected.

It's also worth while looking into Working Tax credits as people over the age of 25 who are on a low income can be eligible too, whether they live with children or not.

I hope some of this helps, it sounds like a shitty situation for you thanks

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 22-Dec-14 21:00:17

If your ex is/was abusive, how come he's the resident parent?

lateblooming Mon 22-Dec-14 21:04:51

ok SoftKittyWarmKitty, will have a look.
ex was very controlling and abusive with me once. Not with the children. Unfortunately I was not able to prove anything so it was let there.

MsColouring Mon 22-Dec-14 21:09:08

Why is he resident parent? Is it court ordered? How many children do you have? I can't understand why you are paying £300? The amount should also be reduced according to how many nights the children stay with you.

Micah Mon 22-Dec-14 21:09:16

It's not means tested, no.

15% of income for 1 child, 20% for 2, 25% for 3.

If the o/p's income is £1000 after tax, then £300 could be 25% of the gross? So it could be correct if she has 3 children.

He could be a millionaire. He is still entitled to Csa if he is the resident parent.

It's a struggle for many. Trying to keep a home to continue access while financially supporting children is a balancing act. It's tough, but not a unique situation.

lateblooming Mon 22-Dec-14 21:13:31

Well Micah, If there are many like me we should all unite and cause a stir!
Being -500 before I start the month is not a balancing act. Slightly lacking empathy here. It is a descent into poverty and a one way ticket to the street. I am living out of my family and friends charity which will not last forever!

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 22-Dec-14 21:18:14

I did have empathy for you, until your last post hmm Your children need to eat and be clothes too, so causing 'a stir' because you feel like you're paying too much maintenance is a tad off. As I posted above, check that you're paying the correct amount and check you're receiving the benefits that you're entitled to. Other than that, I'm sure your DC are delighted to have food and a roof over their heads which you're helping to provide.

lateblooming Mon 22-Dec-14 21:23:44

@ LadySybilLikesSloeGin the empathy comment was for Micah.
I do not object to pay for the children's upkeep. Having the kids 45% of the time it seems to me a high price to pay for an extra 5% less.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Mon 22-Dec-14 21:25:30

You need to get in touch with the CSA as it's possible that the amount you're paying is incorrect.

MsColouring Mon 22-Dec-14 21:34:13

Those figures have to be wrong for a 45/55 split. Speak to the CSA/get some legal advice asap!

Micah Mon 22-Dec-14 21:38:14

No lack of empathy. When I met dh he was sleeping on his mum and dad's floor having lost everything. He had his kids 3 days a week, and had no way out as csa meant no way of saving a deposit or affording rent.

Even now csa means we make a lot of sacrifices.

But. It is what it is. And you'll find you don't get much sympathy as you should be paying for your kids, even if you have to make major sacrifices.

As others have said, go to the csa and see what your payments should be. They should take into account overnights, so if you have them 3 nights a week you should get a discount. Get your correct csa payment sorted, then reassess your finances. But like I ssid, it's not uncommon for nrp's to be living in one bed flats, or house shares, or with their parents, as the simple fact is in a lot of cases it just isn't possible to run two family homes.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 22-Dec-14 21:40:43

I just roughly plugged your figures into the CMS calculator based on you having the DC 3 nights per week. It says £33 per week in total.

RandomMess Mon 22-Dec-14 21:41:08

Yes it's too high, it is reduced for every night you have them over 52 per year.

STIDW Mon 22-Dec-14 23:42:17

Unless you are paying arrears £300 sounds too much. IS your income net and what child support scheme are you on - CSA 1 for cases started before 2003, CSA 2 or the Child Maintenance Service? They are all calculated differently.

lateblooming Tue 23-Dec-14 16:33:48

yes CSA has reevaluated for months...then presented me with a huge bill. The point is I can barely survive. I will have to leave my house soon and I need emergency support

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