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CSA - Yea or Nay?

(13 Posts)
voicesinthedark Wed 08-Dec-10 11:02:55

(put this in 'Chat' first by accident, sorry for repost)

So, my ex has decided he is not going to pay any maintenance to me (we have an informal agreement)for his children this month,nice!

Do you think if I phone the CSA and start a new case it will be done be Christmas? I have all his info, work details etc. Would be nice if it was, but am not going to let him spoil Christmas if not!

marriednotmulled Wed 08-Dec-10 11:25:59

Not likely to be finished by Easter if he won't co-operate!

Is there a particular reason (he's broke) or is there more to it?

Even with all the details, they write to him and offer various options which takes a while. Eventually after lots of ignoring, they do an estimated sum and an attachment of earnings.

Went through it many many years ago and having waited months to get to that point, exp promptly jacked in his job to avoid it hmm

IME, appealing to his better nature and trying to negotiate may be a quicker option but ultimately, I have found that relying on maintenance never helped me cope IYSWIM.

It's a bonus when they pay up without argument but sadly it often doesn't go that way. Don't get me wrong, my DS's father has paid up on time without question for over 10 years so I'm not part of the 'all men are bastards' club. smile

AngelHMum Sat 11-Dec-10 23:09:14

My DH and I are currently seeing this from the other side of the fence so to speak.
He has been paying his ex £300 per month under a voluntary agreement for the past 8 years - he has never missed a payment although she has resolutely refused him access.

In September we got a letter from the CSA saying she had contacted them and asked them to do an assessment and take over the collection of payments. It transpired she felt they would "up" the payments now her daughter is in secondary school.

Every step of the way we have responded within 24 hours of receiving a letter, we have sent pay slips, my husband is also self employed so they have copies of his accounts, we completed and returned a direct debit form to them before the end of September. Still nothing has happened - on four separate occasions they have sent us envelopes with nothing inside !!!

They have decided that as my husband has made a loss for the last two years he will only be assessed to pay £14 per week, much lower than his ex was previously getting. However they have told us today that they cannot get the DD set up before the New Year. They will then backdate payments to September (the date the case was referred) and take however much is due as a lump sum and then they will just take £14 a week thereafter.

Since September my DH has still been paying his ex £300 per month as he didn't want his daughter to go without. Therefore she will get extra for September to hopefully January but we can't be sure.

If this is how they go about dealing with "clients" who comply I can only imagine how long it takes to chase those who don't. The word incompetent is not adequate.

I know that my husband's ex will not be happy when she finds out how much less she'll be getting come January but it is her greed that led to this, we have scrimped and struggled to make sure she got her money but she hasn't appreciated that. My DH is intending to pay the extra into an account for his daughter so she'll get it at 16 so our payments won't actually change but we have found it all so frustrating. The CSA will not allow him to pay more than they assess now that they have been asked to take over the maintenance.

Good luck op - I hope you get your money soon, but it seems to take them an age to do the simplest task in the CSA even when the co-operation is there.

evolucy7 Sat 11-Dec-10 23:49:20

I apologise in advance if this upsets anyone, but I find this disgraceful, whether your husband makes a loss or not, had he still been living with his ex and their daughter, he would have been contributing more than £14 per week. You say that the CSA won't allow him to pay more than they now assess, what a load of rubbish, he could quite easily pay the rest up to £300 that he has been paying to his ex for their daughter. The CSA cannot stop a father paying money to a mother for thei children. hmm

electra Sat 11-Dec-10 23:52:50

Voices - my ex did exactly the same thing to me last Christmas (a theme?)

The CSA are crap but if you keep on at them and phone 2-3 times a week you will get your money. It took me about 4-5 months. Your ex will have to pay arrears from the day you claim so call them asap.

balia Sun 12-Dec-10 14:50:24

You won't get it by Christmas, I agree, but I had a pretty good experience of the CSA - and I regret not going to them much earlier instead of having to try to negociate with my ex for 5 years during which time he paid not one penny.

However, my ex was employed (so couldn't argue about how much income he had) and was his usually bullying, offensive self when asked to part up with any money so he really got the CSA worker right on my side!

evolucy think you are being a little harsh with your comments to angelHmum - I read it that they can't pay the extra through the CSA (which is true, CSA won't administer that) and they have made it clear that the child will still be receiving the money, albeit at a different time. It's not logical, or fair, to compare what is paid by a separated parent to the amount that would be used for the family if they were all together - separated parents have to pay for a new household and if one parent in a married couple was made redundant or their business was failing, money wouldn't magically appear from nowhere. I bet angelHmum has been contributing far more to her household so her DH can keep up with (pretty steep) payments and she really doesn't have to.

What I find absolutely disgraceful is that one parent can deny the other a relationship with their children - but I guess people have different priorities. hmm

maristella Sun 12-Dec-10 17:08:52

i would say go for it with csa as long as you can be patient, persistent and can do without maintenance for quite some time!

i went to them in the summer, still havent had a payment. i'm hoping a liability order will be attached to the twats earnings now. the problems i've had with the csa are that they don't seem to know what they are doing half the time.

and having an ex who is very reluctant to provide for his son does not help matters!

voicesinthedark Sun 12-Dec-10 17:19:40

well, I made the claim on Thursday, but after reading these stories,now am scared that it's going to take months to sort!

I'll ring them in the morning to try to move it along a bitsmile

I have actually no idea why he has stopped the payments, he will not talk to me, and seldom has his children, such a nice guy!

bobletsmum Sun 12-Dec-10 20:15:39

Go to the CSA. It is a long process but it takes the stress out of having to talk to your ex about it. If you know the policies & procedures the CSA adhere to you can hold them to this. Everytime the CSA donot follow thier own policy or procedures you can ask for compensation. I have done this 3 times and 3times I have been paid as they have failed to do thier job. If he is employed it is very easy to get the money - my ex was self employed so not so easy. If your ex is not fulfilling his parental responsibilities do not let him fault on his financial one. Every time that payment goes out of his pay packet he will remember he has children.

evolucy7 Sun 12-Dec-10 20:46:46

balia...I thought this thread was about the CSA and maintenance not aware that the OP had any issues about anyone denying anyone a relationship with their children hmm

I did not say that money had to be paid through the CSA, I said, and stand by it that I believe that it is fair to compare, obviously not at the same level but to some extent that as a parent, whether your children live with you or not sacrfices may have to be made to financially support them even when times are tough. If the money is being paid anyway for future use I don't get it, why not continue paying it now? confused The CSA cannot stop a private payment.

MrsColumbo Sun 12-Dec-10 21:04:03

I found the CSA really helpful in sorting out exH's non-payment, and they did get onto it with a speed that scared the shit out of him. He was straight onto the phone asking why I had felt the need to take such drastic steps. He was surprisingly reasonable about it, and I felt better for having taken the power back (I think quoting RATM is apt here!) Obviously I don't know what OP's relationship with exH is like and whether ultimately this will resolve the situation in the way that you'd like it to, buit at least you wil be doing something about it, which has to be better than just hoping he'll start behaving reasonably and pay up what he owes.

Megletitsnow Sun 12-Dec-10 21:11:05

It won't get done by Xmas! But the sooner you start the sooner you finish.

FWIW I started my case with XP at the start of November last year. I had every bit of info on him they needed, address, employer, NI number and they got the first payment to me a couple of days before Xmas.

Before the first phone call I set up a simple spreadsheet with date / time of call / who I spoke to / comments / action to be taken. Every call has been logged just in case it goes wrong.

AngelHMum Mon 13-Dec-10 14:12:44

balia you have read between the lines of my post very accurately thank you for that and for your support.
You are quite correct that we do have a household to run and that my income has been subsidising maintenance payments to his ex while times have been hard for my husband.

evolucy My husband's ex decided to be greedy by going to the CSA. My husband and I both work yet his ex has never done a day's work in her life and has been onto a good thing with our money coming in too as well as money her own husband earns - she is not a single parent.
I have my own family to support and care for and have been helping my husband to contribute to the voluntary amount he agreed with her when times were good, before he had met me and had more children and when his business was thriving. When things turned bad for him or we added to our family, he didn't stop paying, we made cuts in our family budget to afford the money. I believe that the CSA does allow for changes such as a drop in income or a new child whereas we have not done so.
Now he has decided that if his ex wants to do things through the CSA then he will do so but she will only be receiving what they assess. The decision was hers - maybe she doesn't know about the current economic crisis, but she has brought it on herself.
I would imagine that if things pick up for him again the CSA would then increase his payments. We have been asked to send them copies of accounts annually and we will do so.
Maybe you shouldn't be so quick to judge though. Your response to me seems very angry and I was only showing how slow the CSA are even when dealing with those who are complying and returning information. I do think it's disgraceful that they take 4 months to set up a direct debit and that they won't take into consideration money paid to the ex since the case was referred to them in September. They assumed that we would just stop paying in September which is just not true.
My DH has never shirked his responsibility though, he has been written out of this child's life and the mother has denied him access since they split when she was 3. His daughter will get all the excess money we had been paying to her mother, maybe it will help her get a first car or pay for her to go to college, but it will be her nest egg to do as she pleases with.

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