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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.


GHoll Sat 09-Feb-13 00:39:06


Its a shame as many people think going to the CSA means a much more substantial sum, when thats not the case, but once you do, its hard to turn the clock back, its usually too late.

GHoll Sat 09-Feb-13 00:42:39


If I may, why does your Ex not pay anything?

olgaga Sat 09-Feb-13 00:43:59

many people think going to the CSA means a much more substantial sum

I doubt it. Anyone can go on the CM calculator. It's a means of making sure people like you can no longer manipulate the situation, withhold money or argue about how much they should be paying.

Just get on with it will you! Stop wallowing in self-pity and self-regard. It's no excuse.

GHoll Sat 09-Feb-13 00:51:28

Thank you OLKIN,

MariusEarlobe Sat 09-Feb-13 01:01:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 01:27:29

Maintenance is totally separate from behaviour.

You pay maintenance no matter what. Behaviour is irrelevant. Even if she is bad mouthing you or anything.

You are paying maintenance in respect of your DS. His mothers behaviour doesn't change the fact that you earn X, therefore you must pay at least 15% of X to his RP as maintenance.

If her behaviour is unacceptable, go to mediation, deal with it in the CORRECT way.

Even if you never saw your DS again, you would STILL have to pay 15% of your income to his RP as maintenance.

I'm NOT saying her behaviour is right. Far from it. She IS causing damage by behaving like this.

However, YOU will be giving her reasons TO cause more damage, by dealing with this the way you have. While you were paying maintenance, she could spout whatever guff she wanted at your DS, but the one thing she was unable to do was accuse you of not financially supporting him.

Now she can (and if I know the type, she probably will). Bit of an own goal there?!

Separate your Ex's behaviour from the maintenance in your mind completely.

Pay her the basic CSA £250. With the extra £50-£150, YOU pay for his tennis lessons.

She gets less money, you get to keep paying for the tennis. Job done.

You don't have ANY rights over how the maintenance is spent at ALL. You only have a responsibility to pay it. If she chooses to use every penny on paying her rent, that's her choice.

You also have NO say in how she chooses to spend her time with your Son. If she doesn't want to sit around watching him play tennis, that's up to her.

She might not be doing what your son wants by refusing to do anything tennis related on 'her' weekends, but that is her choice.

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 01:36:55

Hi. I haven't read the whole thread, sorry. You have my sympathy but I just have one thing to say. You can't fight the CSA and win, the path is paved with pain and death. She has all the power. The best you can do is go along with it and thank Christ you're not dealing with the original system.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 01:40:08

GHoll - she could spend the money on manicures and pedicures for herself, not even spending a penny on your DS - you STILL have absolutely no rights to know what she spends the money on.

I'm not saying she would be RIGHT to spend the money on herself instead of on your DS, because it wouldn't be, but YOU have no control over that, and no right to know what she spends it on. Once the maintenance has left your bank account, it is no longer your money to question where it is being spent.

If she wants to use it to buy your DS an iPad, an iPhone, 3 pairs of £150 trainers and 5 SuperDry coats, you can't stop her, have any say in that, or even ask her what it's been spent on and expect any answer other than 'get lost' or more impolite variations thereof. It's HER business what she spends the maintenance on, not yours.

Do you have to justify to her what you spend on your DS on things like his tennis lessons and tennis kit - things that SHE sees as non-essential? No? Them why do you think you have any right to know what she spends her money on? And that's what maintenance becomes once it has left your bank account - part of her income that she uses to support your DS.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 01:46:51

An agreement DOESN'T JUST MEAN A CSA AGREEMENT (which wouldn't be an agreement, it would be an assessment).


Whether you have a CSA assessment or a voluntary agreement, there is no voluntary when it comes to maintenance. You are LIABLE for paying AT LEAST 15% of your income directly to the RP of your child as maintenance no matter what. If a voluntary agreement breaks down (by, say, the NRP refusing to pay one month), then the RP has redress in that she can ask the CSA to COMPEL the NRP to fulfil his duties and pay the basic minimum maintenance of 15% of his income.

I can't believe that you are so blindly stubborn that you can't see that whether she spends the money hiring a plane to get a sky writer to write 'My son's dad is a bastard', you STILL have to pay her 15% of your income as maintenance directly, with no say in how she spends it.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 02:00:31

You don't 'agree' anything with the CSA as an RP!

They TELL you what your maintenance will be, based on a flat amount of 15% of your income. You don't get to haggle with them and lower it, or ask to pay it to third parties.

The CSA look at your income, and 15% of that is what they will ASSESS you as being liable to pay them to pay out to your ex. Nobody else. And no 'agreements' in sight.

The phrase 'voluntary agreement' means that you and your ex had come to an agreement that you paid her that 15% of your income PLUS you were VOLUNTARILY giving her above the barest minimum that you legally HAVE to pay.

I think you misunderstood the 'voluntary' part of 'voluntary agreement'.

There is nothing voluntary about paying the basic maintenance of 15% of your income, unless you are a boil on the backside of humanity, bastard, deadbeat dad. If you are not those things I just mentioned, then that basic maintenance is very much NOT voluntary! It's only the 'additional' maintenance part of your previous agreement with your Ex that is 'voluntary', the money over and above the 15% of your income. THAT is the part that is voluntary, not ALL of it!!

gaelicsheep Sat 09-Feb-13 02:00:37

Gary, My DH would have given his eye teeth to pay 15%. Think up to 40% of imaginary income he hadn't even earned and you'd be closer to the mark. Back in those days the CSA operated in an alternative reality, unaccountable to anyone. Honestly just pay up and get on with enjoying lif e with your son.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 02:11:58

Oh God, Gaelicsheep, CS1!


Even as an RP, CS1 was a pile of dogshit!

And it was even more so for the NRP's.

At least CS2 is a set percentage of income, and easy for RP's, NRP's and the CSA to work out!

CS1 the NRP could buy a 7 bedroom house, claim housing costs, and be assessed to pay 75p a week. I should know.

(I'm assuming Gaelicsheep's DH's DC is age 14+, like my DD...)

Then NRP's new partner's wages were taken into consideration too, and the formula was do complicated that the CSA might as well have drawn random numbers out of a hat when deciding how much back pay was owed, because it would invariably be wrong.

Either vastly inflated, leaving the NRP in buckets of debt, or grossly underestimated, leaving the RP in buckets of debt.

I've yet to find one person whose maintenance was assessed under CS1 where the CSA actually got it right!

MerryCouthyMows Sat 09-Feb-13 02:15:51

The biggest favour I ever did my DD father was REQUESTING the CSA to bin any back pay they claimed I was owed, and to swap my claim over to CS2.

I didn't have to. And if I hadn't, then right now he would owe me over £250,000. As it is, he only owes me £14,000.

(He didn't bother to pay for 12 years, even after I requested the back pay be written off and the case moved to CS2, he was an idiot that only wised up 3 years ago!)

SignoraStronza Sat 09-Feb-13 08:09:27

I think there are quite a few things that don't ring true here. On the extensive list of things the OP said he provided, the first one was 'school fees'.

So, if he calculates the csa minimum as £250, that means he takes home just under £1700 pm. So if he is paying out £400 pm he has £1300 left to spend on rent/mortgage (in London or suburb) council tax, food, clothing transport etc for HIMSELF.

Then he manages tennis, clothes, uniform and SCHOOL FEES for his son.

Somehow I find this hard to believe.

Xenia Sat 09-Feb-13 08:28:06

I think he doesn't really realise what it costs to house and care for a child. If they had the child one week on and one off he might get the message and learn what a week's au pair of nanny cost is.

As said above he can pay the 15% CSA and then on top of that can pay a bit more for tennis if he chooses but he cannot force the mother to pay for tennis. I chose eg to fund my daughters' two horses as teenagers after divorce. They got a huge amount out of the hobby and indeed in a strange way it helped one get her pretty well paid City job now in her 20s so may be it was an investment but mostly it was because it was their heart's desire and I was prepared to work 50 weeks a year full time to fund it and the other children (their father does not pay anything and as I said above was paid out to by me on the divorce). So I chose to fund the riding, livery fees about £6000 a year per horse I think from memory plus 5 sets of school fees. Both parents choose what they want to fund of discretionary things.

Also do count what resident parents do every day as a cost. I spend hours each week which could be spent earning with my children. Yes it's quite fun to take a son to football - in 3 minutes I will be doing the same but if you could negotiate things so you had him every other week then you could also do the dross stuff more to make things fair like his washing and making sure homework is done ( I certainly favour 50/50 splits after divorce) and most importantly aid his mother's full time work so she could work longer. Loads of we resident female parents have to pay masses for childcare - our nanny cost £30k a year. I paid all that - their father none of it.

ivykaty44 Sat 09-Feb-13 08:31:40

Gary, you didn't make any payment in jan, so an assessment from the CSa to pay fifty quid a month or two fifty a month and to have it taken from you is more than you paid in jan.

How is a resident parent going to know when and if you are going to pay if you stop paying?

Just because you we're paying more than the csa will award is no good as you paid nothing and any amount is more than nothing unless you give up your job and pay nothing

ivykaty44 Sat 09-Feb-13 08:38:22

SMS I think the story is probably based on some type of fact but the figures are random, more likely he earns considerably more money than he says and has total disregard for how his ds lives in between visits

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 09-Feb-13 09:14:55

Thank you Couthy. I was losing the will to live there.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 09-Feb-13 09:15:01

Thank you Couthy. I was losing the will to live there.

mouldyironingboard Sat 09-Feb-13 13:31:55

Hi GHoll

Your ex sounds like my husbands ex-w.

The only way to deal with such nasty, spiteful behaviour is to have as little contact as possible. Only discuss arrangements (pick ups and drop offs) for your son by email and text message. Any abuse should be ignored and not replied to. Think of it like training a really stupid, extremely ugly dog into good behaviour!

Your son is almost at an age where you can make all arrangements directly with him and your ex will have less control.

Pay whatever the CSA suggest (usually 15%) and if you want to pay for extras make sure that it is paid directly rather than going through the ex. Never give her cash and keep careful records of all payments The tennis lessons can be paid directly to the tennis school etc

You can still be a fantastic father to your son (which you are) while having nothing to do with his mother.

Good luck to you!

ChocHobNob Sat 09-Feb-13 17:45:16

Mouthy, pretty sure with CS1 they DID pull random numbers out of a hat wink

OP, I would offer to go back to the original agreement and ask to have the CSA cancelled (but make sure you get that case closed letter, they are notorious for agreeing to "close" a case but actually keeping it open in the background and just switching to maintenance direct).

Or pay the CSA amount of £250 and explain to Mum that that amount will now cover clothes, uniform, school necessities etc. And you then use the extra £100 - £150 a month to pay for his tennis or what else you believe he needs directly.

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