Your thoughts on this absent father situation please(23 Posts)
The father of my DD has never been in contact.
I brought her up alone and never chased him for maintenance. A few years ago I decided it was about time he started contributing so I applied to the then-CSA. They tracked him down, did the calculations and sent a payment schedule.
Then he went off radar and we never received any maintenance at all. He just completely disappeared and the CSA couldn't find him.
We've been transferred to the CMS now and they can't find him either.
Periodically, we search and search online for him but nothing ever comes up. Absolutely nothing at all. It's like he doesn't exist.
During our most recent search, something DID come up. It would seem he has slipped up in his extraordinary efforts to stay hidden online.
I now have an address in a place I wouldn't have expected at all, but with a bit of further digging I can see connections to this place.
The sensible side of me is saying NOT to report this to the CMS just yet for a couple of reasons:
1. I'm not 100% certain it's him. Only 99% certain.
2. As soon as I tell the CMS, they will write to him at that address, and IF it's him then as soon as he gets their letter, he will disappear again.
I can't go to this place to see if it's really him. If I turned up, he would do a runner and then he'd disappear again.
I can't send someone else to see if it's really him. I'm the only one who knows what he looks like.
I have contacted a private investigator in that area for a quote, but can't afford it. I could put it on my credit card, but if it's not him then that money will have been wasted.
What do I do??
Send the CMS after him. If nothing else it'll really poss him off as he'll have to move again. What a tosser.
I would just give the address to the CSA and let them deal with it. I wouldn't hold your breath to actually receive any money... But why make his life easy? If it's not him, the CSA will be able to confirm.
The thing is, I REALLY don't want him to just 'be pissed off' or disappear again, because he owes my DD a life-changing amount of money. CSA and CMS have both said he will always be liable for this debt so it's never going away. If I have his address and know it is him, we (or the CMS) can take him to court. I know DD won't ever get a lump sum or anything like that, and may never see a penny. But we would very much like him to have to face the music after all this time and go to court.
The CSA/CMS have been pathetically useless to date.
Do you have any idea where he might work? My ds father didnt voluntarily pay and so the CSA wrote to his employer and the cash comes directly from his payslip, before he is even paid.
Afro He appears to have his own business.
I'd send then the address, what do you have to lose?
lunar as said in an earlier post, he owes my DD a life-changing amount of money (and the chance at a relationship with her father should she ever want one).
I keep getting bailif letters for someone who's behind on child maintence. I'm the only person who has ever lived here - new build. I ring up debt collection place but say nothing can do as he says he lives here.
They threaten bailif or prison but nothing actually happened yet it seems just get bounced back to the court when the latest last chance threat to pay is ignored. Then a new last last last time chance is sent in the post!
This has been going on for about 2 years now and scum bag hasn't done anything prusable because he's not getting any letters as he dosnt live here! Guess I'm saying be certain first
Ah he's self-employed. What about his family? I would give csa the address and keep trying!
Akire god I'd hate that, you'd think they'd take the proof that you've lived there since newly built and stop harrassing you! And YES. I DO want to be 100% certain.
Afro Family dead and/or untraceable. If I give CMS the address, they will just write a letter and he'll disappear again, that's what he does.
All I can do if anyone tries kick door in is to show tenancy and council tax showing only my name. Then it would go back to the courts.....
If the debt never goes away does that mean that when he dies it can be a debt on the estate??
Can you ask CSA that?
Also what counts as a debt ?? Is it just the amount that CSA/CMS say he has incurred?? If so, call them.
I would let CMS know the address
Rainbow - yes it will be a debt on his estate if he dies. The debt consists of the amount of maintenance the CSA calculated he would have to pay, from the time I made the application up until DD becomes an adult. He is still legally liable to pay her the whole debt incurred even after she's 18. The debt doesn't magically get written off after that (I suspect he probably thinks it does though!)
I'm not sure what you mean about "is it just the amount...etc...if so, call them" - and tell them what? I mean, if I call them, they're just going to write him a letter aren't they? And that's essentially what the problem is here. I need to know for definite it is him, then they need to go straight in with a court summons, not a poxy letter saying "ah-ha! we've found you! let's start again" and then he runs again. Do you see what I mean?
Queen they can't go straight in with a court summons they need to send a prior to action letter required by the courts to advise him that unless he starts to make some payment they will take him to court.
So as much as you think it will send him to ground you need to provide them with they address and they will start the correct process.
Yes I would inform them... I don't see what you have to lose he might disappear but I don't see any way forward..He isn't going to pay... If he is self employed he still has to file taxes
Thanks Lone I needed your reality check. You're right of course. I've contacted them to ask what these 'actions' are that they can take, that they keep mentioning in their letters and what would happen if I give them an address.
starry I've stated more than once what my DD has to lose.
I have read what you have said ..However by not going to get this money if your don't inform CMS and clearly he does not want a relationship with his Daughter...
I simply don't see how not informing them you will get the money you are owed.
starry right OK, sorry, I misunderstood. Yes, DD won't get anything if I don't contact CMS. I have opened lines of communication with them this morning. I'm having to be guarded about details because I don't want to out myself on here, but I do have reason to believe he would like a relationship with DD, he just doesn't want me or CMS to find him and make him pay what he owes. I have reason to believe he thinks that once she's 18 he won't have to pay anything.
I'm waiting now to see what actions CMS say they can take if I was to give them the address & info I've found.
I don't see how the CMS could have calculated a sum of money up to your dd's eighteenth and he be made to pay it.
The amount they initially calculated would have been based on his salary at the time, if that salary has changed (and if he runs his own business then it's highly likely that he takes minimum wage from it) then the amounts will all have to be re-calculated to take current circumstances into account as well.
I wouldn't not give the address to the CMS, I would leave it to them to hopefully chase some of the arrears, but I wouldn't hold out any hope that your dd will ever receive any of the money tbh.
And unless things have drastically changed, reality is that if he's not earning right now then the CMS will actually have no way of making him pay, and once your DD is eighteen while the amount will be shown as outstanding they would be unlikely to continue to pursue it.
wannabe To clarify, the sum was calculated a few years ago. He was made aware of it by the CSA, right up to getting the payment schedule. Then he disappeared. DD is now almost 18. Because he disappeared, the payment amount has stayed the same as the original calculation and he IS (and always will be) liable for that (so I've been told by CSA and CMS). They couldn't find him in the years that have passed so couldn't do a new calculation. If they found him now, they could indeed do a new calculation but it would only be effective from now until she's 18, and the arrears would stay at the previous calculation regardless of what he may or may not be earning now. I don't believe he would be paying himself minimum wage - that's not the kind of person he was at all (although people do change sometimes I suppose). The CMS have told me they will continue to pursue it after she's 18 (it's collect & pay, so they stand to gain money themselves). Here's some of the things the CMS/courts can do these days.
I hold no hope whatsoever that my DD will ever see that money though. But I did promise her that I would do everything I can to help her get it.
He has shot himself in the foot really! If he had just paid what they told him to instead of hiding, they would have done a yearly calculation so would have been able to take into account any changes of circumstances and he wouldn't have this massive debt hanging over him as he does now.
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