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Gingerbread & child maintenance "loophole" in bbc news

(8 Posts)
greenberet Wed 06-Dec-17 19:33:03

i posted this in relationships but think more relevant here

Our Maintenance Matters campaign calls for an end to the loopholes in the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) that allow paying parents to pay much less child maintenance than they can afford. In particular, we’ve been campaigning for the CMS to work more closely with HMRC to make sure parents can’t avoid child maintenance – particularly when they’re self-employed.
Thanks to our amazing single parents, the campaign has gathered momentum. In February 2018, a new Bill called 'Child Maintenance (Assessment of Parents' Income) Bill' will have its 2nd reading - the Bill will work its way through parliament and, if successful, will lead to improved assessment of self-employed parents’ finances to ensure parents pay what they should to raise their children.
Single mum Taryn talks about her experiences and how a "loophole" means she is receiving less in maintenance payments than she should

if you are in support of this please sign the petition on this thread - thankyou ( the wording I have been told could be improved but it is the number of supporters that will count

NooNooMummy Sun 31-Dec-17 00:08:20

And then can someone do something about the childcare responsibility "loophole" I.e. non resident parent (usually dad) 's ability to spend f**k all time with his child/ren and no court will force him to do more regardless of his paltry CMS payments - my ex pays £30/week and gives approx 7 hours/ month of his time to childcare/ contact despite a court stating that our child requires consistent, frequent contact. I am forced to do everything - how is that equal?

Battleax Sun 31-Dec-17 00:17:10

Will do OP

(I know it stinks Noo, but how do the courts force unwilling parents to spend time with their DC, when it comes down to it? And is it a good idea to force ALL unwilling parents, knowing some of them will then be neglectful or dangerous?)

Starlight2345 Sun 31-Dec-17 04:50:24

I am glad they are looking at the maintenance. I do not want my Ds with someone who only spends time with their child because it is court ordered

OrinocoDugong Sun 31-Dec-17 06:07:34

Definitely agree the law should be tightened and better enforced in getting NRPs to pay a decent amount towards their children.

However I disagree about doing anything to force a NRP to spend time with their child. Children need love, obviously. Contact with an NRP who is being forced to be with them by law rather than choosing to be with them from love would be very bad for the child.

NukaColaGirl Sun 31-Dec-17 06:14:42

How about they do something about my job hopping ExH? He gets a new job every 8-12 weeks and due to HMRC being extremely slow at updating their records, by the time CMS have been alerted he has a new job, and they spend 8 fucking weeks setting up a Deduction from Earnings, guess what? He’s gone somewhere else. So no money for me.

Or the fact that, after a year of this, they asked his bank for details of money in his account. It then took said bank 3 MONTHS to respond and say the account was inactive. They then said they couldn’t approach other banks to see if he had accounts with them due to Data Protection, they could only check the one account given when he first (and the only time) he spoke to them.

Or how about it then taking 4 months to get to court?

Or the bailiffs having the liability order since August 2017 and doing fuck all to enforce it?

Or the fact that he has apparently been on JSA since September 2017 but the CMS didn’t know despite the fact that they are meant to check HMRC/DWP periodically because they are the special team that deals with people who dodge payments. Also my first payment from his JSA won’t land until 23rd January according to the letter I received in October - why does it take so many weeks?

No doubt he will have a job by then, won’t tell them, I’ll still have no money and my DD will be 2 and will have never seen a penny from her Dad.

He also has zero contact, because as he told mediators during our divorce, there’s no law to force him to be a Dad hmm

Balearica Sun 31-Dec-17 17:57:30

Signed. The link takes a bit of scrolling to find the petition so here is it again.


OP I'd suggest you also post this in relationships which is a more active board.

greenberet Tue 09-Jan-18 16:40:59

bumping this for more signatures


I have just had a very timely emotional call with CMS - they were on my list to chase up along with several other organisations from the fallout of my divorce - my MH is not good currently I have felt very close to the limit several times over Christmas and with several major issues soon to deal with my tolerance is at an all time low.

it seems they may have had a reorganisation - i ended up speaking to someone new who asked me umpteen security questions and then wanted to know how she could help me - i lost it at this point - they have my case number they have a file - i have not got the energy to run through the details of my case as i have been doing month in month out for the last 18 months.

I asked her if she knows what it is like to feel suicidal - to know that your marriage was E & FA - to go through 4 years of hell with an extremely acrimonious divorce and then to have to constantly deal with loose ends that professionals and organisations such as hers that are in place to protect the children so they get the financial support that they deserve from their father fail in their administrative systems. My frustration soon gave way to tears.

The system crashed at this point - she had to call me back. The good news is my case has been reviewed - she cannot give me the detail over the phone but a letter coming out to me tomorrow should have the information I need. She was able to tell me a new monthly amount - although the figure has increased significantly i do not know if it is correct.

Just so you have an idea of what we are talking about - the X has told them his salary is £12,000 and I have been receiving £65.20 per week for 2 16yr olds - i dont need to tell you how much a 16 year old eats! The true extent of his earnings are in the region of £150,000 and bearing in mind he has just bought a house with OW it doesnt take much to know that what he is telling them is all bullshit!

i should feel elated but i don't - i anticipate some future hassle in the X paying the new amount - i asked her what happens if he says he cannot afford it - she has told me he has no choice - we'll see.

She expressed concern over my state of MH and asked if she should be taking it further. I told her that if she wanted to help me she can feed this back in her team meetings. I told her i am not the only mother who is suffering like this due to the system being badly administered and as a result our kids suffer. I told her I have been in touch with my local MP that I am doing this petition and she said well thats how it will change.

I told her that she gets to deal with the mums, that I appreciate it is a difficult job but she must be the one hearing the distress, the frustration, the anger in the phone calls and if she can feed it up her end too then hopefully it will change sooner rather than later. Whether she will or not I can only hope. I am not surprised so many mums give up the fight as it is soul destroying.

This is all supposed to be over so my judge told me - she said my MH would improve significantly now that the case had been heard in court and that I would be able to resume full time employment in 2 years time (despite not having worked for 20 odd years and being 54) and hence did not need spousal maintenance beyond this. My final hearing was in March 2017 - i am worse now than I have been in the last 25 years. Unlike her situation the shit did not stop at the end of the hearing. It is still ongoing - at some point i have to pack up the family home - hopefully this extra money will mean I can continue to rent until the kids get through their A levels - in just over a year!

I will not be in a fit state to return to work before this - only once the house has gone and the kids are settled in the next phase of their life will I be able to think about recovering and moving forward - right now i am still in survival mode - the courts, the organisations, the professionals how many of these really have a fucking clue what this does to you. I expect my kids will have long term implications as a result of this chapter in their life. Some bury the emotion or compartmentalise it but it doesn't go away unless its dealt with and who really wants to deal with it - whoever said death is the hardest thing to deal with has not had to deal with this - death is kind in comparison - your memories stay intact with this you have to loose a part of yourself to save your sanity! or do you lose your sanity to save yourself?

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