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Charging parents to use the child support agency

(58 Posts)
unta Mon 10-Jan-11 11:38:49 -parents-who-split

Please read todays link in the daily express

In this economic climate whereby we are supposed to be tightening our belts we are now asked to pay for a service that is diabolical and unfit for purpose!

My children are owed in excess of £42,000 in uncollected maintenance you tell me if that's a service worth paying for when we below the breadline.

There are charging orders on my ex-husband’s house , a suspended sentence of 42 days and the court has ordered he pays £100 per month of the arrears, which he does pay, but meanwhile £434.94 per month current maintenance is owed each month and is not being paid. “The agency has powers to enforce arrears but not current maintenance”, “So month-by-month we are not receiving the £100.37 that the appeal (known as a lifestyle departure hearing) assessed him as liable and able to pay. And as for the arrears, if he goes on paying these at the current rate, my sons will be aged 67 and 69 by the time the debt is paid off”.

You would be better occupied by passing legislation that states that an absent parent is to pay maintenance which is sadly lacking has been for the past 20+ years!

Niceguy2 Mon 10-Jan-11 11:43:42

OK, I admit. I am a natural Tory voter and I think this proposal is as barmy.

I honestly cannot think of a single reason why its a good idea!

Deciduousblonde Mon 10-Jan-11 11:49:51

I don't think it matters what party you vote for, both Tory & Labour governments have consistently ignored the failings of the CSA.

Scrap it all & start again, please.

BooBooGlass Mon 10-Jan-11 11:52:17

The CSA is spirit crushingly shite. There is no way they can actually enforce maintenence, each time they try and get my ex to pay he changes his job. They have his address, national insurance number, anything they would need to actually enforce that he pays. Except they can't hmm. It's a shit shit organisation, not helped by the reams of absent parents who thjnk it's ok to bugger off and shun responsibility. Paying for the priveledge? I already do in the bloody phone calls I make to them weekly angry

gaelicsheep Mon 10-Jan-11 11:55:27

Presumably it will be the NRP that gets charged for being forced to pay maintenance through that bunch of charlatans. Meaning those that comply get charged for the privilege, and those that don't have more uncollected debt. This is back to the crapness of the very beginnings of the CSA.

Niceguy2 Mon 10-Jan-11 11:57:40

Deciduous...I think they tried that. The CSA is now CMEC.

But like typical politician's they're using the same staff with the same IT systems....erm......can someone spot a flaw in their cunning plan?

Deciduousblonde Mon 10-Jan-11 11:58:30

Too right gaelicsheep.

I totally understand the need for CSA to deal with absent parents, but not all NRPs. Some are in this situation through no fault of their own.

unta Mon 10-Jan-11 11:59:45


The csa do not have legislation in place to make an absent parent pay maintenance only debt which is a sad fact that very few people realise confused

Niceguy2 Mon 10-Jan-11 11:59:58

>>>Presumably it will be the NRP that gets charged <<<
From what Ive read they're planning to charge both parents. Quite how & why I have no idea!

Deciduousblonde Mon 10-Jan-11 12:00:22

Yup, Niceguy. It is CMEC at the moment, now that is being disbanded and going back to DWP.

Makes no odds to me as I am involved in the old system anyway, which is still DWP. And still crap!

LuvMeKidz Mon 10-Jan-11 12:00:36

Disgusting! If ex partners are avoiding the CSA then what hope have we got?! I'm a mother that falls into the trap of being unable to obtain free legal assistance with child contact issues let alone then have to fork out to get my ex to actually pay for his kids!

Deciduousblonde Mon 10-Jan-11 12:01:58

It's worth noting that the CSA charge NRPs who are paying through their system already. No change there!

gaelicsheep Mon 10-Jan-11 12:04:28

Unta - I'm not sure the CSA themselves realise that. Few people are going to risk a case going to court - in Scotland they can take people to court for all the debt, however old. The court then has no powers to consider if the figure bears any relation to reality. Would you risk a court case to find out if the powers really exist or not?

unta Mon 10-Jan-11 12:04:28

Niceguy2 that's correct NRP's and PWC are to be charged

In my case i will be charged for the privilidge of my ex husband REFUSING to pay his maintenance but then when your self employed you're actively encouraged to do this without consequences

gaelicsheep Mon 10-Jan-11 12:12:27

Sorry, my last question is irrelevant in your case. But put yourself in the position of someone being chased for money they don't believe they owe.

slug Mon 10-Jan-11 12:20:32

I was quite heartened to read a story in this morning's paper about one of the Jackson family who is stranded in Africa. Apparantly his passport expired and California refuses to remew the passports of anyone who has outstanding child support payments. In his case it was in the region of $53,000. Now that's a far more effective way of getting the money back. Can I also suggest

Removal of driver's licence
Automatic notification of all new employers of non-payment status, tagged to P45s perhaps?

Deciduousblonde Mon 10-Jan-11 12:30:33

I don't agree with removal of drivers licences. Not at all. If someone loses their job through having no licence (many have to drive long distances to work) that would be counter-productive.

There are MANY NRPs out there who are in dispute regarding arrears amount s and maintenance assessments. They want to pay, but they also want the CSA to get it right!

There is absolutely no reason why the CSA cannot attach maintenance to earnings. They just choose to make up rules for self-employed cients on the basis of 'dividends'. A clever accountant is all that is needed to make sure it looks as if a self-employed person is only paying themselves £60 per week. Of course in reality they are on much more than that.

These are the NRPs they need to chase.

abouteve Mon 10-Jan-11 12:30:44

I get a tiny amount through the CSA which is collected by an attachment of earnings. The CSA only got involved because I was made redundant and decided to claim IS rather than job seekers as I was entitled to IS as a single parent, was only unemployed for 3 months. From what I remember the CSA was started to try and get NRP's to pay into the system something towards the benefits an unemployed lone parent was entitled to claim. It was never about claiming money for the family but about claiming money for the government.

As this is no longer the case and the money actually goes to the family then it's no surprise they aren't that interested in the money anymore and will charge for the service.

unta Mon 10-Jan-11 12:44:05

Deciduousblonde the self employed eliment is my case to a tee!

The enforcement measure of passport removal, evoking of ones driving licence are only put into effect when the liability order of clearing debt is renaged on.

My ex husband on his debt of nearly £43,000 is being cleared at £100p/m this means that my children who are 16 & 18 will be 67 & 69 years old by the time this is cleared and all the time he isn't forced to pay his maintenance which charges up at a greater value than he is clearing in arrears!

ivykaty44 Tue 11-Jan-11 11:00:31

I would be happy to see the tax office take over from the CSA and take the money from source each month in the same way that PAYE is managed through comapnies. Make everyone pay through their pay packet.

For the self employeed they will still get the tax bill with the money inculded in that - the laws of the tax office are very differnet form else where

Niceguy2 Tue 11-Jan-11 11:45:04

Don't be silly Ivy. What are you suggesting? To use a dept who are used to chasing people for money who don't want to pay up to collect maintenance?

That would be far too simple for our politician's! wink

gaelicsheep Tue 11-Jan-11 11:53:16

Student loans are collected through the tax system according to income. I agree it would be very easy to treat child support in the same way. But that wouldn't make life difficult enough for the parents would it? Got to discourage people from splitting up somwhow! hmm

ivykaty44 Tue 11-Jan-11 12:19:26

niceguy2 - I will give myself a slap on the wrist and try not to be logical any further.

Yes gaelic - it really needs to be a difficult system to make couples stay together. You can understand why people would think twice about having affairs if it is difficult to get divorced hmm there are far worse crimes in marriage that this goverment hasn't even pondered for a second.

Thankfully the labour goverment of the later 60's had people like Bill Wilson MP to make divorce easier by passing those bills that have gone on to make miserable lives happy once more

Deciduousblonde Tue 11-Jan-11 16:35:26

It is very easy to collect maintenance from those who don't pay, it's just way easier to continue to collect from those who already do!

As for making people stay together..oh perleease! do they really think that by charging a couple a minimal amount of money per month or year is going to make them carry on in a dead marriage? not only is that quite insulting to peoples intelligence, it isn't really very nice for the children is it?

The CSA has never really been about children either, so there you go

gaelicsheep Tue 11-Jan-11 21:06:58

DeciduousBlonde - I was being facetious. And you're right, the CSA was never about children. It was set up to claw back benefits, nothing else.

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