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Child Maintenance Service - advice needed(16 Posts)
Hello everyone, I am new to Mumsnet and need a bit of help from anyone who has had the awful experience of dealing with the Child Maintenance Service.
My husband has a DS from his first marriage who is now 7. When he was 4, she decided to stop all contact between my husband and his DS because she was made aware by the CMS that she gets more money from him each month if he has no child access. (There is a valid child contact order in place instructing her to give my husband full access but she refuses to comply).
Anyway, in January we had a DD and The CMS have refused to acknowledge her existence and take her into account to reflect the payments my husband makes to his greedy ex. They repeatedly lied and said that she doesn't exist on the child benefit system when she does and we are actively receiving monthly payments. The DWP called the CMS liars and told me to take it further. The CMS eventually told us that they can now see our DD exists but that they can't add her on to the system due to a computer error. As such my DD is now 6 weeks old and we are still paying his greedy ex far more than we can afford each month. We are in debt ad a result.
So yesterday we received a letter stating that her money had increased to over £100 more per month than what we were already struggling to pay whilst his greedy ex rubs her hands with glee over being financially rewarded for breaching the child contact order and depriving my husband's DS of a father for 3 years now.
So when my husband rang the CMS last night about his letter, he explained that they have not taken our DD into consideration. They told him they won't and that they are not aware of any calls we had made, nothing was logged about our DD in the 6wks we have been ringing them on an almost daily basis. They have favoured one child over the other.
Once our mortgage, council tax, gas, electric, water, greedy ex etc have all been paid, we are left with absolutely nothing. Not a penny. The increase in money means that my husband will have to pay our DD's child benefit payments to the greedy ex. They have left us with nothing at all. They won't review the case and said they can't do anything due to a computer error.
I am astounded. I actually haven't eaten in 2 days because I can't afford to because of these payments. How can one child be favoured to pay over £400 a month and actually strip my DD of her £80 benefit for her to pay the other child? DS's school even wrote to my husband about poor attendance because he was taken out of school last year for no fewer than three holidays. I can't afford formula for my baby right now and due to a longterm illness I can't breastfeed at all as I didn't produce sufficient milk for DD.
We know that taking her to court for enforcement of the child contact order isn't an option as the application fee alone for the court is £300, not including any court costs or legal fees. We simply do not have it.
I am beside myself with worry that we will default on our mortgage and lose our home and the CMS just don't care about my DD.
Anyone else been in the same boat and can offer any advice? Please help :-(
This all sounds awful. I don't actually agree with the deduction for the nrp having further children but it is a thing and you should be entitled to it.
When I had problems (from the other side) with the csa cocking up (they wrongly shelved my case), I emailed my MP and within a fortnight had a payment of £2600 from them (not my ex). That is definitely worth a try.
Also I'm pretty sure that if the overnights are court ordered they will still count towards any deductions even if they don't take place.
You need some proper backup. Have you spoken to CAB? Their effectiveness varies wildly but it's worth a shot.
First of all, stop with the "greedy ex". Child support is for the child.
Your issue is some clerical error regarding deduction being made for your DD. Focus on getting that resolved. The contact issue is separate from the money issue. Essie is right ; if it's court ordered it is still taken into account whether it takes place or not. What has your DH done to resolve the access?
Child support is only a percentage of overall pay and should factor into the family budget. This payment cannot be the only reason you are so strapped for cash.
Write to them send it recorded delivery. Send copies of your dc birth certificate or child benefit and a copy of the court order for contact to CMS.
Keep calling CMS and take names of person you speak to and note dates and times of all conversations.
When it's sorted they'll adjust the cms payments till the overpayments are returned to you.
Wow I am shocked at the lack of support from fellow mothers who only want to provide for their children.
Firstly,The money my husband has paid has not been spent on his son, it has been spent on her brand new car, designer shoes and bags, and the child walks around looking like a refugee in ill fitting clothes. We would never begrudge a single penny going to that boy but the fact is it isn't spent on him and her bragging all over social media about her latest purchases thanks to my husband's child support payment is naturally infuriating.
Secondly, husband has begged and pleaded with her to see their child, she won't answer the phone, won't return calls, won't reply to text messages, letters sent recorded delivery or emails. When he knocks on her door to speak to her she rings 999. Police turn up and they agree that she just has mental health problems and that he just has to take her back to court if she won't talk to him. We have been to the CAB and we have spoken to a family friend who is a solicitor. All have told us that we must take her to court but the solicitor warned us that a family court will only issue her with a fine and if she is hell bent on declining access so she gets more money then the fine won't stop her. That is why i call her greedy. She doesn't care her son has no father. The boy's teachers at his school say he has behavioural problems and that it is evident she doesn't allow him to be out of her sight by his behaviour. We went to social services for help and they declined to help too.
The CMS have completely miscalculated how much my husband earns. He even sent off wage slips and bank statements as evidence of his earnings. They said that they couldn't and wouldn't make any amendments even based on evidence presented to them. They have included his pension which they are not allowed to do. When challenged about why our DD has not been taken into consideration, they put it down to not being able to manually add her and that they simply cannot add her at all. They are not willing to make further attempts either. We are just hitting our heads off a brick wall with this inept organisation.
Child benefit needs to be in payment at the address they hold for him...if not it can't be added until it is. Check that out. Send in the court order shared care will be applied because of this order and it is then up to the other party to return to court to have the court order updated to reflect the current situation. Ask to speak with a manager if he feels action is not being taken quickly enough and ask to raise a complaint.
The "greedy ex" is entitled to support from the other parent and you will know yourself what a child costs to house/feed/clothe. This money is for his child. Would you like to be referred to as the greedy ex if you and he split up? No, didn't think so
What 'lack of support'? You've had some great advice on this thread
it has been spent on her brand new car, designer shoes and bags
She manages all that and to feed, house and warm the DC on £400 per month? Wow! Maybe you could ask her for some budgeting tips?
It's utterly crap that they aren't using the formula correctly but have you actual gone on to the online calculator to see for yourself what difference DD will make? In my experience the appearance of a new child hardly changes the payment at all. I think it was 5% or something quite low. I'd make a record of all the calls etc and contact citizens advice. You may need a strongly worded lawyers letter with all the supporting evidence. If it were me I'd use the online calculator to sort out what the new payment should be with DD taken into account and start paying that amount.
My guess is that your stepson is being fed, has a roof over his head, uses electricity and water etc. That is what the maintenance goes to.
If the "greedy" ex can still afford to buy herself things too clearly she has her own income too!
Dealing with the CMS can be a pain but I am assuming that your DH didn't make a voluntary offer of child maintenance (or offered such a small amount) which is why the "greedy" ex had to pursue him down the CMS route to start with!
As regards contact you have already received good advice from the CAB and a solicitor friend that the only way to enforce this is through the court. I suspect you don't want to pay a lawyer to ensure your DH does have contact. I have never heard of anyone being fined regarding disallowing contact though.
It seems what really want is to pay less and what DH wants is to see his child.
I think you're lucky to have had the advice you have had given your unpleasant comments and tone. If you husband is so keen to see his child, it's hard to understand why he hasn't done the obvious and returned to court. It's a no-brainer when there is a contact order.
i think the formula they use is either 10 or 15%on 90% of your husbands wages if you have one child together.
Your husband can't afford £300 to go to court?
What, in THREE YEARS of not seeing his child he hasn't managed to save £1.93 a week to afford that?
Something doesn't add up here, and it's not his CMS payment
Surely if your dd is 6 weeks old you have made at most 2 payments since she was born and possibly only 1, and that's been enough to get you into debt?
Your dh must be earning at least 40k a year to be making payments of £400 a month, I would perhaps suggest you have bigger financial problems than the maintenance payments if it has caused you such hardship?
I was back at work full time when my baby was 6 weeks old. Would that be a solution for you|? I don't get any child benefit by the way.
Also why did this man have a second child when he cannot afford to support the first?
Agree your tone and posts are pretty offensive so I'm not feeling too much sympathy however I am well aware of the inept CMS and how frustrating it can be. There is a process, mandatory reconsideration, appeal etc.
If your child is only 6 weeks old it's hardly surprising it took a little time for them to show on the system, they have to be in receipt of child maintenance as you know and naturally there would have been a small lAg in applying and awarding that. No it's not acceptable that they now can't add due to computer error. Ask for mandatory reconsideration and if that bears no fruit then appeal.
If he is paying £400 a month, clearly earns a reasonable amount.
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