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Legal help to prove the father of my child earns more than £12k

(16 Posts)
JazzieB1919 Sat 13-Jan-18 02:28:14

The father of my child went self employed shortly after we split up so that it would help him avoid paying Child Maintenance.
According to the CMS this year he has only earned £12,000 which means he legally only has to pay £19.79 maintenance towards our son. He is a solicitor and lives in Kensington!!
At the moment I can't afford to pay for a solicitor does anybody know if there is anywhere to get good uptodate legal advice, so I can decide if it would be worth me going to talk to a solicitor... Ive had a quick look online and I can only find help on how to avoid paying Child Maint

RedHelenB Sat 13-Jan-18 06:55:24

As I understand it going self employed is the loophole in the CMS. Have you asked if they count any dividends when they assess income? Also HMRC will no doubt wonder about a solicitor declaring so Littleton the way of taxable earnings I'm sure.

snowy1982 Sat 13-Jan-18 06:59:20

A self employed person won’t have receive their income via dividends unless they are shareholders in a company and then their more likely to be employed.

Only way to really see what’s going on is to get a hold of his accounts

Collaborate Sat 13-Jan-18 07:07:21

Does he work eg as a consultant for his own company? Sounds like perhaps he has dividends he has failed to declare .

Take a look at this, which explains how to challenge a decision. www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-can-i-appeal-against-a-child-maintenance-decision

LalalaLeah Sat 13-Jan-18 20:07:37

This organisation is good with appeals - paid for service
nacsa.co.uk/appeals-tribunals

JazzieB1919 Sat 13-Jan-18 23:24:15

Thanks for advice I will have a look at the links you sent .... He seems to work for a couple of law firms as a contractor. I did write to the HMRC but they didn't do anything and my father wrote to somebody fairly high up in the old CSA and got told I should be grateful for the money I get!

Collaborate Sun 14-Jan-18 06:37:09

I strongly suspect he's working through a ltd company, and will either pay himself dividends (that aren't counted in the initial calculation) or simply keeping it in the company for now. Don't pay anyone for advice over this. Go through the link I posted. It's quite straight forward.

CrashBangWollop Sun 14-Jan-18 08:32:09

It sounds like he's employed an accountant to set up his financial affairs in the most "efficient" way.... ie he's using legal loopholes to avoid tax which means he's also avoiding paying maintenance!

He has probably done one of two things:

1) he has set a "company" of which he is the sole employee. He's paying himself a "wage" of £12,000 which happens to be just above the limit for paying 20% income tax, so he will pay next to nothing. He is then either leaving the remaining profits in the business (which I doubt as let's face it, where he is based he can't live on only £12,000!) but more likely he is taking the profits as dividends on which he will only pay 10% tax. As others have said, he has probably not declared these to CMS.

If this is what he is doing then he will be registered with Companies House so you can easily search on their website by his business name/his name/address and once you've found his company on there you can request copies of his accounts for a fee of around £2.50 - these will show whether and how much dividend he has paid himself which you can pass on to CMS.

2) he is registered as a Self Employed Sole Trader with HMRC and is putting every possible item of expenditure he can through his books to offset his income so that it looks like he has only made £12,000 (and thus v.little tax to pay HMRC).

If this is what he has done it will be very difficult for you to find out or even prove that he has made any more than this.

The only thing you could do (if you suspect that he isn't declaring all of his income, which is tax evasion rather than avoidance and therefore illegal) is you could keep hounding HMRC and telling them you suspect he's committing tax fraud and they MIGHT do a tax inspection. This may or may not help you though depending on the outcome, or even whether you are able to find out the outcome.....

Collaborate Sun 14-Jan-18 09:11:13

You only get to see the short-form balance sheet at companies house online.

Also, he doesn't have to declare his dividends to CMS - a massive weakness in the system. they only make him state his dividend income when you apply for a variation.

greenberet Mon 15-Jan-18 17:22:53

@JazzieB1919 - welcome to the club - have you seen this thread & petition

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3101882-Gingerbread-child-maintenance-loophole-in-bbc-news

NoMoreUsernames Mon 15-Jan-18 17:31:04

There is no legal help is the short answer. I've just been through a stressful few months taking CMS to appeal, it didn't go well. although it did cause him a lot of hassle and stress I expect so not a complete loss. Its up to to the resident parent to prove how much nrp earns, where their money is etc. Short of hiring a private detective there is nothing you can do about this. It's a fucking disgrace.

Collaborate Mon 15-Jan-18 22:47:35

The tribunal can order disclosure of relevant documents, so it’s not all in vain.

Belleende Tue 16-Jan-18 06:39:43

What. A. Cunt. £12k for a solicitor? Is he only working an hour a week? I wonder if him being in the legal profession will make it harder in court to stand there and tell multiple other solicitors this is what he earns. No fucking shame.

You can hire a forensic accountant to try and dig up his pots of hidden money. This is vv expensive and may not bear fruit as he probably has plan b and c agreed with his accountant and will move the money accordingly.

This would make a fantastic test case for why there needs to be much more effort to uncover the real worth of self employed exes.

daydreamnation Tue 16-Jan-18 07:20:10

I've no practical advice but what kind of parent actively avoids giving their own child financial support sad
Believe me, I know, I've had zero maintenance in a decade and wish I'd fought harder for it.
Good luck!

greenberet Tue 16-Jan-18 16:11:12

Sadly there are far two many of these cunts taking advantage of this system. My X has been paying £65 per week for his kids - 16 yr old twins - his salary funnily enough also £12k - he has his own financial services company and with dividends in the past has been nearer £150k.

I have just had a review letter he should be paying near £1200 pm to include arrears - but he's challenging it as he has done with every single thing right through the divorce -he's now decided he's paying £500 odd per month. The emotional and financial abuse has seen me under mental health twice but my judge told me everything would be tickety boo now divorce come through and final hearing - she has no idea. My kids MH has been effected by all this shite.

I am on benefits - well and truely stitched up through courts I paid legal fees c £85k and in the end had to represent myself - long story - this latest stunt is to get us out the family home that he sold for a song to some developer and manipulated it so I could not be involved.

All I'm trying to do is keep my kids lives stable so they can finish their A levels - all he wants to do is screw me over time and time again - for what - can only be to ease his conscience - these men will rot in hell

JazzieB1919 Sun 21-Jan-18 21:45:22

Thanks so much for all your comments I will look at the links you gave me. its very sad that so many men manage to avoid paying maintenance but made me feel better knowing I am not alone. I was about to give up but have just found out that my x has just bought a second house in the country near Windsor which was like red to a bull... at least I know where my sons maintenance money is going lol

One of my clients told me about a website called Lexsnap.com I was wondering if anybody has used it or know anything about it?

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