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Csa mother not telling the truth over nights

(20 Posts)
StellA3383 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:09:42

Hi, first time user of this seeking help on this matter of csa and rights and what to do..
I split from my ex 4 years ago and have been paying since we split up. She then went to csa to claim more money but found that I was paying her more. I've always had my child every Thursday and alternitve weekends meaning 2 official sleep over night as sundays don't count even tho I have her till 7pm but as she doesn't sleep is exempt. My ex didn't say that I have her two weeks in the summer and a week over Christmas. I paid this wrong figure even tho I disputed this to the csa.
Recently 3 months I've had every Tuesday too and then my csa review came through. My ex is now claiming I only have her 1 night a week. So my payment will go to unaffordable levels.
My ex partner works full time and spends little time with her daughter and is always asking me to have her more or having other people look after her daughter. She also earns very good money and claims all benifits she can.
Csa say I have to provide proof but all I have is all my and her family and friends as proof but I'm told witness statements don't count. I have pictures but I don't have legitimate proof for every weekend for the years.

I don't know what to do Im skint because of this as I have a life to pay for as in a house and bills I can't afford the holidaya and everything for my daughter that my ex can and she can because of the system that helps her. She has been to Disney with my daughter spends hundreds on presents goes on three holidays a year without my daughter when I have her.. I have nothing normal TV no clothes for me no holidays nothing and I don't know what to do. I'm starting mediation which she declined before I've even agreed I've spoke to solicitors.
All I wan't is us to both be good parents with us both spending time with our daughter fairly as that's what my daughter wants too.

I'm looking for advice I've been nice I've played the game and doing what I can to do everything but this is all driving me to dispare.... Can anyone offer good advice

OP’s posts: |
Zerrin13 Mon 15-Apr-19 21:34:25

I'm sorry but I'm a single parent too and if you earn really good money as you say your wife does, then you definitely don't get lotsbof benefits aswell! Be thankful one of you hasa decent paying full time job to support your one child. Maybe you could concentrate on earning more to give yourself a better life rather than trying to save money paying for the upbringing of your child.

TheInvestigator Mon 15-Apr-19 21:38:07

I think the level CMS ask for is too low, so you should be paying more. But that's my personal opinion.

The rules are that you get deductions for overnights. Don't you have anything in writing? Any texts arranging drop off and pick up? Anything at all?

Have a solicitor send a letter to her detailing the current contact and asking her to confirm the agreement in writing?

CircleofWillis Mon 15-Apr-19 21:39:05

Why not look at your text messages etc as evidence to show how much you have your daughter. Perhaps make sure you only correspond over text / email in future in order to maintain proof.

MondeoFan Mon 15-Apr-19 21:43:20

I think the more you argue about money and the more you dispute things to the CSA all you are doing is taking money away from your DD that she is entitled to. The money isn't for your ex it's for your DD. Even if your ex was earning £1000 per week it doesn't matter, you as a father need to be paying for your daughter. CSA is always a really low amount anyway

TheInvestigator Mon 15-Apr-19 21:53:53

@MondeoFan

He's not taking away money she is entitled too. She isn't entitled to the extra because of the overnights.

Personal feelings on how low the amount is (which I agree with) don't matter. There is an amount set by law and that's all he should be forced to pay. Anything else is voluntary... But with the way the mother is behaving, can you blame the guy for not feeling generous?

OffToBedhampton Mon 15-Apr-19 22:08:29

If you want your DD more, them take it to court for child contact for 1/2 of school holidays which is at least 6 weeks a year (it's 13 weeks school holidays a year), half of the 4 inset days a year and ask for friday to monday (3 nights) EOW and one weeknight a week on other week.

But be prepared to fit your work, unpaid days & loss of promotion /overtime around childcare as that's what your XP does.

CSM amount for one child is pitiful (13-16% for one? 22-25% for 3) and even with benefits (if she works FT and gets CTC then she's not far off minimum wage) your XP is hardly rolling in it. Ime children & child costs are far more expensive than NRP's realise.

IsItBetter Mon 15-Apr-19 22:42:55

Best thing to do is to get a child arrangements order formalised for term time and half of all holidays.

Go to a dads site for advice on how to proceed.

LeaveOrRemain Tue 16-Apr-19 00:53:29

To OP

I have been there too. CMS will take the Resident Parent's word over the NRP if there is a dispute over nights unless there is a court order in place which specifies how many nights the child stays with you.

smallereveryday Tue 16-Apr-19 06:16:34

As a NRP, You will rarely get a fair answer on this site StellA3383, A combination of too many Mothers being completely fucked over by feckless , thoughtless/tight , useless lazy fathers - and angry women who believe fathers should hand over all their salary, never insist on contact and certainly never have another relationship or child...

I will try however to answer your actual question- as CM assessment that leaves you struggling will also have an impact on your relationship with your child as you won't be able to have any fun time with her or treat her . Making the polarisation between her mother's lifestyle and yours, very marked.

This could lead to her not wanting to visit because 'it's boring and daddy doesn't do stuff with me because he has no money' .. (yes yes I know free stuff is available but most kids would rather go to a theme park than the local museum- at least occasionally) !

I would firstly screen shot time/day stamped text messages and emails. Along with a shot of the senders number which should tie up with the CM claim. If this isn't sufficient then apply for a court order.

Get in to The HMCTS website. (Google) and download the C100 . Read the notes, fill in , copy three times and send to family court after you have ticked the relevant mediation option. This cost £215 but complete the 'help with fees' form and you will pay a vastly reduced or no fee.
Use this opportunity to gain a more equal time with your child. No court would turn down every other weekend Friday-Sunday with a night in the week. And school holidays shared . But you can decide how much you want/suits your child.
Not using a lawyer is now the norm.

Send a copy of your court order to CMS.

LeaveOrRemain Tue 16-Apr-19 06:35:18

Court orders are one thing, but enforcement seems to be the biggest issue. RP's seem to be able to ignore and get away with it.

Upside is that even if RP ignores the Court Order the CMS will take it into account when calculating how Child Maintenance should be adjusted for shared care.

MaybeitsMaybelline Tue 16-Apr-19 06:41:44

She earns very good money, goes to Disney but earns all the benefits she can?

Soontobe60 Tue 16-Apr-19 06:45:24

There's clearly some very bitter people on here! This guy want to pay what he has to, and have his children when he is able to. His ex has lied about contact as she knows it will increase his payments to her. Now he's been shafted by her.
Is he supposed to hand over all his earnings to her and live in a tent? Unfortunately I know far too many women like his ex, who are not out for fairness for their children, they are just out for money, revenge and getting one over on their ex.

Soontobe60 Tue 16-Apr-19 06:48:07

Oh, and my advice to you OP is also to follow up every conversation with a text so that moving forward you have evidence as to when she's has not let you have the children. Keep all copies of the texts. If there are other family and friends who have the children, make sure you textbthose as well. E.g. "Hi ex MIL, just checking if the kids are with you. If so, say hello to them for me'

LeaveOrRemain Tue 16-Apr-19 09:17:55

Unfortunately I know far too many women like his ex, who are not out for fairness for their children, they are just out for money, revenge and getting one over on their ex

Sounds like you know my Ex?

Child has seen little of myself or their grandparents since the divorce. Child was moved to another school without my knowledge. How that is meant to be in a child's best interests I have no idea.

ScreamScreamIceCream Tue 16-Apr-19 15:56:30

You have been given good advice here.

If you do have to go to mediation first then:
1. Only do shuttle meditation. Ignore both your ex's and the mediator's attempts to get you in the same room by saying it is quicker. It isn't if you are aware your ex will not be child focused and performing to the mediator if you are in the same room.
2. Take the C100 form to every mediation session with you and put it on the table so the mediator can see it.
3. Tell the mediator clearly at the beginning of every session that if your ex plays delaying tactics you want it signed.
4. If your ex plays delaying tactics then ask firmly for the mediator to sign it. Common delaying tactics include:
- Refusing to have another mediation session within a month due to various reasons. All your mediation can easy be done in a 6-8 week time frame if you are both child focused.
- Only going through 2-3 agenda items in one session. If you are both child focused you would have both researched what is common in Parenting Plans so should have items on the agenda you can breeze through without long discussions.
- Agreeing to everything within a session then outside the session saying she no longer agrees.
- Trying to mediate by email outside the sessions.
- Verbally abusing you outside mediation sessions. Make sure you keep a record of this and do not respond to it. The mediator will not get involved but you can use it to state that due to her behaviour you can not mediation with her.
- Refusing to agree to discussing your items on the agenda. You both need to discuss things you both have brought up in the sessions however trivial you find them.
- Refusing to agree to sharing holidays and every other weekend at all or in a way that's Inthe child's best interests.
- Refusing to agree that the schedule you agree should be tried for a year before either of of you alter it. This is so your child knows what is going on.

Mediation agreements are informal voluntary arrangements but either of you can go to court to get the court to make it a child arrangements order if the other doesn't follow it.

If your ex refuses to go to mediation, goes to one session but refuses to go to anymore, refuses to get a Parenting Plan drawn up or refuses to sign the Parenting Plan ask the mediator to sign the C100. Just remember what is said in mediation cannot be used against each other in court.

Make sure at least a week before your first session you email your ex an agenda and ask for any items she wishes to add to be emailed to you within 2 days. CAFCASS have a Parenting Plan template which you can Google and download. Go through that, research what people commonly put and decide what you want making sure it is in your child's best interests first of all and fair to both parents second. Use the headings of that template as your agenda and email only the relevant headings to your ex.

ScreamScreamIceCream Tue 16-Apr-19 16:05:30

@LeaveOrRemain you should start your own thread about your issues.

However the C100 form has sections for a specific issue order and a prohibition steps order. If you found out about the school change a couple of weeks after the move then you could have applied for the latter as an emergency.

In regards to other family members - as they don't have parental responsibility they don't have a legal right to have contact with the child unless they apply to the court to ask for permission to apply to the court to have contact.

With hostile ex's it is in your child's best interests to keep an eye on what they are doing and act with urgency, as if they behave badly they can damage your child's emotional and mental health long term if you don't bother to intervene. Coming on here and moaning, or complaining in real life to other people, achieves absolutely nothing for your child.

Frankola Sun 02-Jun-19 14:00:12

Text messages that talk about overnight stays and arrangements. Take screenshots and provide to CMS.

I understand that many women form opinions and give answers based on their own experiences of shitty NRPs on this subject, but it's seriously unfair for this woman to be lying to CMS intentionally in order to get a bigger pay out from you. And I don't think any woman on here should be advocating that behaviour.

Palaver1 Sun 02-Jun-19 15:29:33

Frankolayour so right some of the responses are just not helpful.
It should not be an us and them game.

SkinnyPete Sun 02-Jun-19 19:05:19

I went through similar... I had my DD 60% and the CMS claim and award came in because she was claiming child benefit although not being RP. Had no issue with her claiming child benefit as I'm not entitled. But it was an instant Green light to be awarded CM.

Child arrangements went to court and maintained 60% with an order. Child maintenance is now claimed by me (although I don't receive it) and the CMS claim is closed down. I actually wanted to agree to a family based arrangement (even though I didn't need to) as there is a large disparity in income. But as its all about money for her, rather than DD, I just have to leave her to it and hopefully she'll try and maximise her own income. Sad really.

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