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CSA advice for a man.

(171 Posts)
GHoll Thu 07-Feb-13 18:27:52


hope you don't mind if I ask a question and get your opinion, I will try to relay the facts without exaggeration and keep it short.

I have a 12 year old son who I have supported financially and spent alternate weekends with him since birth, i have a legally signed PRA form.

For 10 years I have given him mum between £350 and £400 / month till 2011. In addition I pay for his social needs, clothing, educational aids, school uniform, entertainment, Tennis lessons, kick boxing, gymnastics, swimming, theatre, private tennis coaching, mobile phone bills, opened a savings account, started a Junior ISA and saturday language classes.

I am a normal guy on an average London salary, before my own mortgage and bills and expenses.

My son is mad about tennis and so we agreed to cut his other activities and focus on that, he competes at junior level and wants to be a Professional, tennis is not an easy or cheap sport, alot of coaching and matches and ferrying around, which is costly and time consuming, but happily deal with.

During that time, I have been falsely accused of assaulting her, reported to police, her family verbally attacking me, my son being told im irresponsible father, and was never there for him as a baby, I hit her, bullied her, im a liar and unreliable, cutting our phone conversations short, hanging up his phone when I call, not taking him to tennis matches on her weekend, I am not allowed to take him either.

I have put up with this for a long time and decided it has to stop now. I normally just ignore it all and carry on, but im starting to despise her deeply and the image she has portrayed me to be, to my son.

As of this month I stopped the monthly direct debit to her and decided to pay his needs myself to the parties concerned. I Contacted the mediation people and explained the situation, before going to court. I have not taken this step before as I dont want to harm my son. I want her to take up her issues with me not him, I feel she must not involve or attempt to influence his feelings towards me with false accusations.

30mins ago, I received a call from the CSA.

If I pay her directly, all his activities will stop, no tennis, no savings policy, no ISA, no meaningful sport, she has made it clear she does not want him to be a tennis player, but he has his heart set on playing tennis.

If I prove I invest over and above what I should pay her, and he gets what he needs, does this matter to the CSA? Will they be happy with that? I can prove all of the above.

Apologies, no short way to explain.


STIDW Thu 07-Feb-13 23:30:54

It's often better for children if separated parents establish autonomy and allow each other to parent in "their" time. CM is a contribution to the general costs of raising a child heating, housing, clothing, food etc etc. It's very unlikely that the £250 CM you are liable for and more won't be spent on your child. It is then up to you to decide if you wish to spend more on your child and if so on what.

GHoll Thu 07-Feb-13 23:56:40


Missed one payment in 12 years, that was last week. It just so happened to coincide with annual renewal of his Saturday school Classes, Club memberships, Car Tax, Car Insurance usual stuff, and lack of funds, this time I put mine and his needs first. I don't want control and dont care what she thinks of me, I do care what my son thinks.

I will reinstate it, but a fairer split.

millie30 Fri 08-Feb-13 00:02:47

Can I ask how you are putting your son's needs first by unilaterally withdrawing financial support from his resident parent? Maintenance isn't an optional extra that can be stopped on a whim if you are unhappy with your ex. If you think you are paying over the odds then renegoiate the amount or do a CSA calculation, but please don't kid yourself that when your son's mother went to the bank to find money missing that she relies on with no notice, it was in your son's interest.

Piemother Fri 08-Feb-13 00:09:19

He asked other parents!!!! Farking hell. I was about to compare the op to exh but for the meantime perhaps it's slightly unfair on exh!

Ok so that aside, op the thing is, no matter how much of a knob your ex may be (and you who knows) what you are doing is entering in to the argument with your ex. I have seen it called 'hoovering' on here. Letting this happen is not doing the best for your ds. Maintaining the status quo and being a supportive parent is best for your ds.
What the CSA require you to pay is a contribution toward the upkeep of your child. If he lived with you there would be no requirement for you to pay. The costs of housing etc are shared between you and his mother. What you pay for additionally is your choice. It's a good choice and you do sound like a c involved parent which is great but this cash toward him remains your choice.
I think it would be a huge shame if your ds activities stopped because you and ex cannot behave hmm

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 08-Feb-13 00:09:50

G, you have to pay the CSA amount. That amount is your minimum. ,you can't decide To pay for Saturday clubs etc instead of your minimum. If you can afford them on top, great. If not, it's no different than when a family lives together and choices have to be made eg no Saturday classes this term as we're saving up for a holiday.

Is any of this getting through?

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 00:12:05


Described exactly how it has been for some time, minimal contact suits me perfectly, I can just focus on him, regrettably the character assassination continues, but like Mike says, cant control that as much as I want to.


GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 00:33:11


It is not a CSA agreement, I have paid above and beyond what I should voluntarily....(I cant repeat this all over a again).

Honestly, trust me, this is just one momentary lapse in judgement.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 08-Feb-13 00:38:29

I know that you don't have a CSA arrangement.

Are you going to make the regular payment tomorrow, or even the payment you estimate to be the CSA minimum?

RedHelenB Fri 08-Feb-13 07:16:29

If you have been any sort of a father to your son over the past 12 years all the bad mouthing in the world would not turn him against you so put that thought from your head. He will love you cos you are his dad,

Personally I would pay the CSA money & if you can afford more spend it when you are with your son. Also, two wrongs don't make a right but by not paying money you are opening yourself up to tit for tat & his mother witholding contact which i am sure you don't want.

Also, be honest - are these tennis lessons a biggie for you or your son? Does he feel pressured into doing it cos you expect him to?

jayho Fri 08-Feb-13 07:26:00

Reading your last post GHoll I suddenly have enormous sympathy. You've clearly tried to do your best to support your son, not just financially but to encourage his to develop his interests and have access to as wide a range of opportunities as possible.

His mother, for whatever reason and probably connected to the circumstances of your split, wants as little to do with you as possible and probably for you to have as little to do with your son as possible. She probably is jealous of the bond you've formed over tennis. She probably sees it as something that encroaches on her time with her son. Remember she also only sees him every other weekend, with fairly minimal daily contact if she's working and he's at school.

However, given this, she's actually taken the lowest conflict route to ensure your son receives child support. She has contacted the appropriate agency even though she is probably aware it will result in a lower award.

You need to communicate better, can you go back to mediation?

Good luck

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 08:33:59

I see 2 trains of thought here.

The overwhelming majority have focussed on the singular fact she did not get the expected DD this month and my aim to try and stem the possible long term effect her behaviour will have on my son, how he perceives me and most important, how he will treat others in the future. Unfortunately you don't get that.

For example: If I sent some money to her bank today, will she stop vilifying me? Will she stop telling him that his dad was never there for him? Or tell him im irresponsible, unreliable, I don't fulfil my commitments? I assaulted her? Will she stop cutting me off when we talk on the phone? Will she contribute to his extra curricular activities both financially and be more supportive regardless?

Will it make any difference he told me at the mediation session "dad im fed up of lying"? (he was not meant to tell me she bought him a tablet device). Ridiculous as it seems.

Its not about money, I can do that in seconds, but what then?

FanjolinaJolie Fri 08-Feb-13 08:36:33

My advice is to reinstate the payment at the level it was at before, or reduce to CSA equivalent or go down the CSA route.

Your son will know you love him and will continue to grow up knowing this because of your actions and commitment to him and as he gets older will be able to sift through any bull coming from your ex.

I feel for you. Your son sounds like a smashing chap and your ex is vile.

FanjolinaJolie Fri 08-Feb-13 08:40:11

Reduce your contact with her. Comms by email or text where she cannot hang up on you.

Keep daily contact with your boy and spending quality time together

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 08:41:58


Im not looking for sympathy, but you have kind of hit on the same conclusion I have come to (but didn't want to say).

There is nothing in our history, we dated, she wanted a serious relationship, I did'nt, we split, thats it.

I disagree with the sentiment she only sees him alternate weekends, she has the pleasure of seeing him wake up, go to sleep, go to school, his moods, emotions, tooth fairies, bad hair days, I would give anything for that.

FanjolinaJolie Fri 08-Feb-13 08:44:18

You cannot and will never be able to control her behaviour. Not by being the better person and certainly not by withholding CM. One person cannot control another.

Somehow you need to be able to get to a place where you can let it go, not internalise it because it sounds like it is making you sick and miserable.

olgaga Fri 08-Feb-13 09:01:54

I am not rich nor a celebrity, an average parent working long hours to keep on top of mounting bills.

Perhaps you both need to be a bit more realistic about what you can afford.

You need to take all this heat out of the situation. Pay the CM you should have paid this month, and give her notice that in future you will pay the CM you are required to pay via the CSA.

Over and above that, what you choose to do with your respective incomes your business. If you can afford to give her more and choose not to, she will have to manage that but bear in mind it's your son's standard of day-to-day living that will suffer as well as hers. You have no right to question your son's mother about her household expenditure, or dictate to her how she should spend her income, or insist that she does what you think she should do during the weekends your son is with her.

Similarly, what you choose to spend your income on after you have paid your CM, and what you choose to do during his contact time with you, is up to you.

The child maintenance calculator is here. If you are on an average London salary that's about £35,000 - or £26,334 net. If you have your son overnight for less than 103 nights a year, your payment should be £65pw, that's £282pm.

You also need to remember that your son will tell both of you what he thinks you want to hear. For all you know, he goes home and tells her that he much prefers the weekends he spends with her.

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 09:34:50


I agree in part. I must stress, I have no interest in her income, I asked for a breakdown of what I contribute goes towards his requirements:

1) Maybe we can be more efficient and less wasteful.
2) If im not contributing enough, I can also look into it.
3) Duplication, which is common
4) over payment.

I want a FAIR split, im happy to pay more, but reasonable.

I can guarantee he is not making it up, I do not ask or involve my son in any of this, very rarely infact, just so he has no need to lie or make anything up, its unfair to put any child in this position where they feel they have to make a choice.

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 09:48:42


In other words just pay up and shut up.

Would you be okay with someone making false statements about your parenting skills, your character and attempting to belittling your efforts in front of your children?

It is not okay to use children to gain favour, its wrong. Attempting to stop this is not controlling their behaviour. Its a moral issue, right from wrong. not paying is wrong, fair enough. But this is deplorable.

I disagree with this suggestion as that is not whats happening here.

Mosman Fri 08-Feb-13 09:58:56

My advice as a child of parents who split up and parents who couldn't tell the truth if it hit them in the face is don't worry too much about the character assignation, pay what you are expected by the CSA through the CSA and then there is a paper trail.
Then treat your child to any extra's you feel he would enjoy and then when he's an adult he will make his own mind up about who handled the split properly and was the good person.

Mosman Fri 08-Feb-13 10:00:10

Would you be okay with someone making false statements about your parenting skills, your character and attempting to belittling your efforts in front of your children?

If this is all true, it'll bite your ex on the arse in years to come.

NormaStanleyFletcher Fri 08-Feb-13 10:02:52

Gary. However unreasonable your ex is you have to separate the issue of her behaviour and the money. They are two separate issues. You cannot change her through the money.

olgaga Fri 08-Feb-13 10:08:57

I asked for a breakdown of what I contribute goes towards his requirements

But why? This is where I think you are going wrong. If the money you pay over and above your minimum CM is not freely given, and you are trying to place conditions on the way the money is spent, that is needlessly controlling of you and it is bound to cause completely unnecessary aggravation. As I have said, pay what the CSA requires and anything else is up to what you can both afford or choose to do.

That way you keep your communications - and the arguments over who is and isn't spending what - to a minimum. There is absolutely nothing you can do about her character assassinations except do your best not to provoke them! You can only control your own behaviour - not hers.

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 10:21:39

I dont understand the problem with asking? I could have done this so differently, paid her the bare minimum from day 1 and not a red cent more.

There are 2 ways to look at it, what one has to do and what one should do. I chose the latter. If she goes down the CSA route, I will end up paying less, I should be happy with that, but im not.

that old saying if someone tells you your ugly often enough, you start believing it....

None of this is necessary, as I willingly contribute and participate.

MOSMAN - I hear you, but childhood is over very quickly, I cant sit by and watch and hope, I would feel I failed in my duty to protect.

GHoll Fri 08-Feb-13 10:31:37

Is this how the F4J feel, making them don a superhero outfit and climb city hall?
It all seems to boil down to how much money you pay, not what you do with it.

As long as you pay its okay, partners are allowed to act however they choose, with no thought to the consequences of those actions.

The financial and behavioural issue is linked.

olgaga Fri 08-Feb-13 10:44:48

As long as you pay its okay, partners are allowed to act however they choose, with no thought to the consequences of those actions.

Yes that's right, unless your son is in some kind of danger. You have no right to dictate to his mother how she should parent or what she spends her money on in her own time with her own child. Can't you see that?

There are 2 ways to look at it, what one has to do and what one should do. I chose the latter.

You might think this is what you should do, but parenting apart means respecting each other's parenting styles. Your insistence on controlling her parenting style is creating a terrible situation for all of you.

The financial and behavioural issue is linked, you say. It certainly sounds like it from your point of view. Paying your CM means contributing to the upkeep of your son. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything else - tennis, ISAs etc - is an optional extra. It doesn't give you any more say over your child's day-to-day care than his mother has over activities you choose to pursue during your son's contact time.

I think you are putting way too much pressure on yourself, your son and his mother.

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