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Child Maintenance- any tips for those with problems?

(20 Posts)
Lullabullacoo Wed 22-Jun-16 16:50:51

Hi. My ex-husband contacted the CMS last November to organise payments. He is self - employed & has 2 business partners. The HMRC reported his income as <£5k. He has shifted his profits onto the other business partners to reduce his profits. I know he receives £1k a month salary payment and all his utility bills are covered by the business. He was paying me £433.33 (a figure he chose) but now pays me £18.88 a month for our 2 children. I was made homeless after the divorce (his business owned our house) so live with my parents and have full custody as he was violent and controlling during the marriage. CMS say they cannot look at his income further. Has anyone else had similar situation?

MeMySonAndl Wed 22-Jun-16 17:10:38

Yes. I'm sorry but there is nothing you can do, as he can continue to divert his income, pay himself in kind and reporting such meagre salary. Perks of having his own business.

If the company is big enough for their audited accounts to be displayed in Companies House, go to the website and download their details.

I managed to find through this same website where he was living, which helped to prove that he couldn't sustain such standard of living in his reported salary.

For this effort I got a 20% increase in maintenance, but as he stopped paying while this was sorted I am basically still paying for this increase. I didn't need to use a forensic accountant this time (£££) but the emotional cost of the process make the raise worthless.

My best advise would be to assume you are on your own and try move on with your life, especially if he is abusive, as you are exposing yourself to more emotional damage everytime you try.

Lullabullacoo Wed 22-Jun-16 17:42:43

Thank you MeMySonAndI for the advice. My lawyer has suggested that I take him to court to pay school fees as the sheriff has greater power to investigate his income. Very frustrating as he paid more for one child than he does for 3 in total ten years ago under the CSA. I hope you triumph soon against your ex smile

JMKid Thu 23-Jun-16 11:05:37

I have found the CMS useless. My ex has a cash business (unregistered and pays no tax) because of this he pays nothing and actively avoids them. They say they can do x,y,z but don't do anything and give him stupid amount of time to respond to letters, phone calls, etc.
Its so very wrong how they can ignore a fundamental responsibility and expect the other parent to pay everything. Its so frustrating, but I'm afraid to say there is nothing you can, unless you can find evidence of his spending and use it as tax avoidance.

MeMySonAndl Thu 23-Jun-16 16:12:45

Unless your son is already in private school, I would say that your solicitor is getting you into a long winded trip that is going to cost you more money in solicitor fees than you are likely to get back in maintenance.

Could you consult another solicitor (the half an hour free first appointment?) to find what other solicitors think about taking the route suggested by your solicitor? there are some scoundrels out there that do not mind taking people's money even when they know the outcome will not justify the cost.

Best of luck!

SaveSomeSpendSome Thu 23-Jun-16 16:16:15

He must be paid dividends if his wage is so low.

Do the CMS not take dividends into account?

Lullabullacoo Thu 23-Jun-16 16:32:44

Thanks JMKid. Seems to be what I have been told too by CMS.
MeMySonAndI - both children are at private school which is why solicitor suggested. We have a good case, unfortunately my son refuses to see his father due to the DV ( he is getting counselling from CAMHS) so we run risk of court-ordered contact if we go to court. Which is why it is a last resort.
SaveSome - he takes a wage but HMRC only look at his profit share. There are no dividends as limited partnership with a floating rate of business share. His family would rather pay more income tax than support their grandchildren/nephews. They are angry I used a lawyer for the divorce rather than sort it between us without one.I didn't mess them around with it or demand a large settlement- it was done in 6 months except for my ex-h's signature. They have been offered contact with the children but have declined. Children are very upset at losing touch but I cannot make his family see them.

SaveSomeSpendSome Thu 23-Jun-16 17:03:40

Oh wow!

So family are putting his income onto theirs then paying higher rate tax on it and then doing a bank transfer to him from their personal accounts?

So hes choosing to give it to the tax man rather than you

Lullabullacoo Thu 23-Jun-16 17:29:56

Yup! He's a charmer. He faked a rental agreement for our home, claiming he paid his parents rent, so he could reduce CSA payments for his first child. They gave him the cash back. Needless I discovered this once we were married and I was pregnant. For 3 kids he pays £24 a month to CSM - his Sky bill is more. Classy guy 🙄. MeMySonAndI are right, I need to move on. I assume at some point he will realise all the £ won't keep him company in his old age.

trytosmile Sun 03-Jul-16 16:59:08

I've had so many problems with my dc father paying the cms.
He has been paid mainly cash so his income is really low on paper. But he can't even manage to pay the measly £20 a week for 2 children that they say he should pay.
He's always on holiday and buying himself new things but yet he can't manage to spend a few pence on his children. It makes me so sad that he won't do it. The cms have been trying to help but he keeps leaving his employer so they say they can't do anything.
So frustrating as I would give my last penny to my children. I go without so they can have everything they need.

Lullabullacoo Sun 03-Jul-16 17:16:21

That's awful. I can't understand a parent that wouldn't give everything they could to their kids.
I am planning to write to every MP to highlight the problems with the CMS.

trytosmile Sun 03-Jul-16 17:27:51

Something needs to be done!
They need more power or something to be able to get the money from the people that aren't paying.
But then part of me thinks well if he doesn't want to do it then maybe I should just give up and forget about it!

Lullabullacoo Sun 03-Jul-16 17:44:45

I know, that is now my attitude. When they are grown up the children will be aware who really cared for them.
Also I am annoyed that self employed can dodge this but other parents pay overly large amounts

Lostallhope09 Thu 01-Dec-16 15:22:13

Please help me. My awful ex hadn't paid for 7 years avoiding csa now I've set up cms cost me £20 they said if they find him it'll be collect and pay because he gave csa the run a round and guess what he got sway with it so no payments for 7 years and no back date. Now cms say there a new service they have to give him a chance as he has said direct pay and he Wil pay me £180 a month I don't think this will happen due to I know what he is like he does anything to avoid payment even moved out the country for two years where they couldn't touch him. I have to wait til January for my first payment if it even happens sad

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 02-Dec-16 13:18:26

The Csa used to have something called a variation where they could look at people who controlled their own salary or paid themselves in other ways or had a lifestyle inconsistent with declared income.

I don't k ow of the CMS do but if you are on that then it's worth finding out as is applying for one if you are still CSA

JMKid Fri 02-Dec-16 15:57:49

Yes they do still do a variance. I've recently had to do one for diverted income.

Pixieb34 Sun 04-Dec-16 10:26:03

I've just completed a variation form through the CMS as my ex is a partner in a law firm and pays himself a salary which is what his maintenance is based on, but I believe he has additional income from dividends and profits. Not heard anything yet as they are generally useless I agree!

But I did speak to one person who told me that if they don't find anything from investigating the additional income then I can appeal as he may be diverting his income, which sounds like what your ex is doing. In that case it may go to court to be looked into.

Ring them and ask for the variation form. I spoke to them while I filled it in to make sure I had put the correct info, told them to make notes of the call too.
Hope this helps. It's hard work with them as they just don't want to do anything!!!

JMKid Sun 04-Dec-16 12:28:26

The onus is defo on you to prove it which is a pain in the arse. Apparently they won't look into their lifestyle anymore either!
The CMS are painful, I've been promised x,y,z for months and nothing happens.

sandgrown Sun 04-Dec-16 12:37:08

To get a variation you have to provide as much information as you can. How does ex pay his mortgage ? You can find out how much his house was bought for. Does he drive an expensive car ? How is it funded? Does he belong to golf club etc. How much are fees? Does he have expensive holidays'? You need to build a case and if your application is refused then appeal and you could go to an independent tribunal. Good luck

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 08-Dec-16 23:42:54

When I did mine I didnt give them a huge amount of info and my CM went from £5pw to just over £100

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