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CMS Chocolate Teapot Service...as in chuffing useless arghh!!

(25 Posts)
seriouslydudegivemecake Mon 19-Dec-16 13:53:14

Just a rant really...bit long and shouty

Backstory...DD10 has had nc with ex for 7 years. He was a cheater and spilt when i was pregnant. He has always avoided paying...i went to the CSA and it took 3 years to get payments from him...had to eventually get a charging order as he just didnt want to pay. Also self employed so fiddled it to pay 20 quid per week whilst driving a fucking rangey (language!!)

Fast forward to June this year...CSA dumps case and I have to pay 20 quid to start a CMS claim.

Not a penny has been received, they have spoken to him on several occasions and have given him more time over and over again. The only time he actually got in touch with them was when they did the automatic calculation for 55 quid. He was straight on the blower crying mandatory reconsideration! Still zero payments.

I was raging when they rung me asking me to go to direct pay because he doesnt want pay his 20% Guess what...no payments!!

Called them today for an update and was asking questions as to why he has constistently been given chance after chance to respond...they put the phone down on me...i was not abusive, seearing or agressive just asking questions.

Blood boiling I called back...they have given him another 8 WEEKS i shit you not!!

Now I appreciate the call takers are low paid civil servants and the system is what makes me so angry.

To me the government want to take a good hard look at the system and bloody well overhaul it. If they actually had a paradigm that worked maybe so many children not be living in povery whilst paying parent pisses off to the Bahamas with the new gf/bf.

Im lucky, I have a wonderful husband who takes care of us but it really upsets me thinking of all the single parents being totally screwed by paying parents and the government and lets not forget the paying parents who are being punished for being co-operative!

Well now I have got that off my chest I can get on with wrapping my DD xmas gifts that I saved all year to buy.

Arsehat!!
Big hugs to everyone in this awful position!!!

Starlight2345 Mon 19-Dec-16 20:26:40

My CSA transfers over in January..

They comepletel understand why I want payemnts to go through them..He won't pay, is abusive...Yet they said they have to give him a chance to do direct payment if he wants to..If he doesn't pay they will collect then he has another chance???? It will only be £6.50 a week so not life changing money but I really have no idea why they are given chance after chance..They don't do that with the tax they collect/

JMKid Mon 19-Dec-16 20:37:21

They are bloody uselsss! Not had anything for a year and been calling them at least once a week thinking it will encourage them, apparently not. Fuck knows what it takes for them to be taken to court or have license taken away. Now gone to his employers for a deduction of earnings and given them an additional 14 days to reply since they didn't before. Bloody useless so I feel your pain! Like you I can't understand why they get chance after chance.

seriouslydudegivemecake Mon 19-Dec-16 20:46:28

Its just so shit!!! Even the second person i spoke to today said they are frustrated too...if you dont engage with them it seems to me you can just tootle on through life and mot give a big fat hairy turd about the consequences!!

They wont even let you dpeak to them properly if you are a receiving parent...i was spoken over twice today because i wouldnt accept her answer of another 8 weeks and questioned why he was allowed to have further time

RIDICULOUS!!

Fourormore Mon 19-Dec-16 21:27:30

Have you asked your MP to get involved?

seriouslydudegivemecake Mon 19-Dec-16 21:48:24

MP is next on my list to get in touch with, I suppose my real issue is the fact the sysyem has no teeth. There is just no immediate or even near future consequence for non payment. After 8 extra 8 weeks it will go to Magistrates for a liability order, then any type of county court enforcement would just delay things further. Charging Orders take at least 10 weeks to that will be at least another 4 months.

It just all seems so futile. It is like the government have purposely made it difficult so that the receiving parents get fed up and withdraw their claims...then they can just forget we exist and go back to funding bloody bombs in Yemen Grrrr

SleepFreeZone Mon 19-Dec-16 21:55:57

It seems to me that the government will one day actually sort this system out and lots of these men will get a very big shock.

They should put the burden on the man to prove he is not the father, ie pay for a DNA test. If he refuses the assumption should automatically be that he is and he should be forced to pay. As you have said this would help lift children out of poverty and take a burden off the welfare state

If they are on benefits they should be made to pay a portion of their benefit and if they are self employed they should have their businesses dug into. It pisses me off no end that these men can just shag around with no consequences.

twofloorsup Mon 19-Dec-16 22:04:53

My ex has dodged paying for ten years now. 5 kids and two of them have turned adults in that time. They just got a liability order for 3 grand for the whole ten years so it's with bailiffs at the moment. That gets three months and then when they can't find him either it will go back to CMS.
Waste of time !

seriouslydudegivemecake Mon 19-Dec-16 22:17:22

Its shocking isnt it...and I absolutely agree with having a better system to ease the strain on the welfare state...sometimes I feel like Im paying for my dd 3 times, once in general, one to CMS to start a claim and again through my taxes which just gets paid back to me in child benefit!

3 grand for ten years...you must be seething!! What a joke.

There are so many of us being shafted by this, when will the government wake up?

TethersFrayedEnd Mon 19-Dec-16 22:23:35

I feel your pain op.

DS(17)'s dad is self employed and the csa never managed to get anything from him. Initially he was assessed as owing £0 as our case fell under the old rules but as one of his younger DC's parent also pursued him, they lived out case to the new rules. He owed £thousands before they moved the case to cms and I've left them to pursue the debt but didn't bother to pay the £20 to start a new case even though he should still be paying.

I also have two DDs with XH. He initially paid cms minimum (reduced for overnights) but hot further and further behind until he completely stopped paying at the beginning of this year. Reluctantly (because I knew it would be a slow and frustrating process) I started a case with cms.

My contract ended in June this year and I've only recently started a new job. I was absolutely desperate for them to start collecting but as you've pointed out, they are ridiculously slow and months later, I'm yet to revive a payment. I have no idea how I've managed to see us through this period tbh, there were times I feared we would end up at the food bank.

It feels to me that the system is weighted in favour of the NRP. Certainly my ex has been given chance after chance. Initially they were quick to make a calculation but XH put in a mandatory reconsideration. In fairness, he had actually lost his job and got a new one earning less but he provided no evidence of that during the reconsideration period. I was told they couldn't move the case to collect and pay whilst a mandatory reconsideration was in progress. They eventually rejected it but then he provided the evidence after the deadline so they will process that as a change of circumstances. He's recently told me that he's getting a new job that pays more but cms will not adjust payments unless it's 25% more.

Other annoyances:
Their helpline is not free but despite the fact that I call regularly, they want to check my information with me every time which takes an extra few minutes. They also speak to me like I'm an idiot, explaining things to me which I already know and even when I tell them this, they keep talking. I'm paying for the call!
Periodically there's a message on their automated system which causes the call to be cut off meaning I can't get through for a week at a time. They know about the problem but yet still put the message on confused.
They don't respond to the online messaging system even though it's sometimes the only method of contact available because of the above problem angry.

Somebody posted a while ago on Aibu and kept a running tally of maintenance owed. It was into the hundreds of thousands. I also recently came across an article that said the cms has racked up billions in uncollected payments despite the fact that it was set up as an improvement on the csa.

Again, a little while ago, a MN user posted to say she wanted people to help her with a national campaign to hold the government and cms to account, to get them to take meaningful action against NRPs. I got in touch with her but haven't heard anything since. I would love to do something like that as my background is in grassroots/direct action and campaigns but would obviously need help for something on this scale.

redsky21 Mon 19-Dec-16 22:35:45

They should put the burden on the man to prove he is not the father, ie pay for a DNA test. If he refuses the assumption should automatically be that he is

I am in absolutely no way defending the CMS/CSA, but actually they do already do this.

seriouslydudegivemecake Mon 19-Dec-16 22:40:22

You have my backing and support tethers. The worry of feeding your kids while your ex is living the high life is just so demoralising. It makes you feel like a shit human being.

Well done on your new job at least your dc have one parent to look up to as a responsible role model.

My absolute worst bugbear about them is the fact they stop the calculation after 3 kids...like hello do kids 4,5 etc not need feeding!!

Imagine if we all just stopped supporting our kids once we had spent a certain percentage of our wages on them...sorry Judy no dinner you tonight youve had you £15.76 from me this week...off to your GP you go to get your foodbank voucher!!

I know i am being flippant but if i dont laugh i would cry for all those facing a foodbank voucher and an xmas pressie from the salvation army because mum/dad spent their last 20 quid on gas and the other parent has just ignored another plea to support THEIR child(ren)

cakewineflowers

For is all x

seriouslydudegivemecake Mon 19-Dec-16 22:41:04

*us not is haha fuming is making me mistype!!

seriouslydudegivemecake Mon 19-Dec-16 22:42:58

Yes redsky..i believe if paternity is questioned by the man a dna rest is done with the man having to pay for it if he is found to be the parent

IamSwitzerland Mon 19-Dec-16 23:11:14

I am for a MN get your shit together CMS campaign.

CMS claims to be part of DWP. DWP do not pull any punches regarding benefits to disabled claimants. They are perfectly capable of getting the job done. HMRC have all the info and do not treat tax evasion lightly (unless dealing with a gigantic multinational but that's a whole other thread) - they are perfectly capable of getting the job done.

It is unacceptable that RPs are charged for the 'service'.

It is unacceptable that gross taxable income does not include pension, share options and other perks.

It is unacceptable that the amount judged necessary for one child's maintenance is reassessed every time another child is introduced to the situation - the initial calculation should stand because that child does not eat less now they have a sibling.

It is unacceptable that the calculator has no option listed for zero shared care.

It is unacceptable that the calculator has no option listed for a child with disability or other long term health needs.

It is unacceptable that the CMS has no specialist teams in place for dealing with cases that require extra care e.g. abuse, palliative, illness etc.

It is unacceptable that the calculator 'awards' such a pittance to each child - any RP spending so little on a child as deemed acceptable by the CMS would expect SS scrutiny. The calculator should calculate a realistic amount not a minimum, even better it should calculate a paltry/reasonable/decent set of 3 figures and reduce the accompanying fines accordingly so the NRP gets with the programme of actual child rearing!

None of this should be expensive or difficult to implement, taxes are taken at source, calculated according to pay bracket and tax code - this is no different when worked as a flat percentage calculation which just gets paid to the RP instead of the gvt coffers.

lightswitchedoff Mon 19-Dec-16 23:36:02

Ahhh they are useless but then again so was the CSA

I'm owed 20k from my ex they do nothing to get a penny from him!

lightswitchedoff Mon 19-Dec-16 23:40:47

My ex isn't on benefits and isn't self employed ( just works cash in hand) actually rents and works from a fully equipped car garage hmm

Despite all the proof, letters to MP big all has happened, apparently he doesn't need to prove how he affords his home or expensive cars, holidays etc

The hmrc website doesn't have him down as earning a income so it must be right

charlybear7 Tue 20-Dec-16 07:52:34

I too have had enough of the cms! It took them 6 months from my initial call to them to get any money off my ex who is in the British Forces!!! I kid you not they had his salary, they knew where he worked and lived but still 6 months for me to get a penny whilst raising 2 children, one being a small baby.

And then they get the calculation wrong!!! A year later I'm still trying to sort it! Awaiting a phonecall from them today to probably try and fob me off! Bad news for them I won't give up!!

The system makes my blood boil!!😡

Starlight2345 Tue 20-Dec-16 14:00:20

Lights I would report him to HMRC...

Its amazing how many posts make it to Mathew Wright and the daily mail but no one seems to be picking up how many men are screwing their kids over.

seriouslydudegivemecake Tue 20-Dec-16 14:52:41

Here here starlight...cms threads also get ignore by the daily fail angry and they seem to get a fair bit of content from straling mn threads now!

seriouslydudegivemecake Tue 20-Dec-16 14:53:16

*ignored...too poor to afford the d

twofloorsup Tue 20-Dec-16 17:53:17

It's a small price to pay not to have him in my kids lives but that's not the point.
Even more infuriating is that he's had two more children he also fails to see or support angry

lightswitchedoff Wed 21-Dec-16 19:49:47

Starlight it's pointless I have done that and nothing gets down, don't even think they look into it!

Yet I'm constantly having to submit paperwork to council etc to prove my earning, bank statements etc for my housing benefit seriously it's at least twice a year they do a spot check

sailinggirl1780 Sat 24-Dec-16 07:19:05

I'm in the same boat as many, which is good to know! Have been waiting since February for the backdated claim from CSA to transfer over to CMS (that is 3 years worth) plus no money this year either, my child is now 13 and I'm wondering if I'll ever get anything. He doesn't go without thanks to lovely grandparents, but I count every penny and have to beg family for any school trips, sports clubs etc, all while he sits pretty in his recently bought house on the sea front!
Every time I ring CMS I'm told that they have JUST had notification from the bank that they can't take from his bank account (because he puts all his money in the business account which they can't touch) could have told you that years ago!!!
Oh and I have debt collectors on my case as tax credits overpaid me (I kept ringing them and they kept telling me my payments were right) but of course, I can't take 4 years to pay that debt!!
Anyway, it's Christmas, I shall not think about it all. grin

Starlight2345 Sat 24-Dec-16 16:58:40

Have you tried appealing about Tax credits....Not sure if you fit the criteria...I was been paid joint and single payments for months..Kept phoning them..They said the didn't know how to stop the single claim and would I close the bank account !!!! eer no...I appealed on the ground they had been informed and I think the could claim back 30 days as they had that time to adjust but the rest was written off.

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