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CM payments when self employed

(20 Posts)
PositiviTina Sat 02-Jan-21 10:55:58

Hi all - hoping someone might have some insight on this. I have sole residence of my two children by court order. Their father was fired from his job and has refused to seek work for 8 months now in an attempt to financially disrupt our lives.

Previously, he had worked for 15 years in finance and had stable job history. He has been living off his new girlfriend I understand and capital from our split assets after divorce.

As he works in finance, and refused to pay maintenance even when he was working (we were mid court processes to force the matter when he was fired), I think he would likely move to being a self employed
contractor if / when he does eventually return to work. He will do anything to avoid CM as he seems to think the money is for me, and not for his children.

I am struggling financially with the costs of divorce and raising the children with no financial support from the other parent.

If he does become self employed, does anyone have any experience of how to seek CM in this situation? How would I even know if he does get work as we have no contact at all or people in common (other than kids who he only sees for short periods of supervised contact every 2 weeks).

Many thanks.

OP’s posts: |
Lonecatwithkitten Sat 02-Jan-21 16:29:22

He will (eventually) have to file tax returns and HMRC will share this data with CMS if you open a case with them. It takes time and you just have to stick with it.

HPmummy19 Sat 02-Jan-21 22:58:18

Hi OP,
Being self employed it is very likely your exP will declare that he is earning the bare minimum, especially to try to avoid having to pay you as much. This is what my exP has done, I know for a fact he earns a decent wage but only has to pay £23 a week for our son according to CMS and his declared earnings (that is based on his 'declared' earnings of £700 a month - dunno how he was got away with that one baring in mind he lives in a luxurious flat and drives a Mercedes🤦🏼‍♀️)
CMS do have access to HMRC so if your exP is honest about his earnings they will see it and determine what he pays from that. They look at the previous tax years earnings and based the sum on that. So fingers crossed your exP is a honest man unlike mine!

PositiviTina Sun 03-Jan-21 09:17:44

Thanks both for your replies. It sounds like the situation I expected sadly.

He is a dishonest person who wants residence of his children (where there must be an assumption he can afford this), but refuses to pay maintenance because ai have full residence.

That is his mindset. He has been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder and those traits mean a rough ride for the children and for me. It is all very confusing as I would not have identified those characteristics in him until I did something wrong and then I became the enemy. I made the mistake of finding out about his affair, and left him.

His view is that he only has to pay for his half of his childrens costs to raise them if they live with him. If they don't want to live with him then he doesnt have to pay for them at all.

Looks like contracting will be his way to achieve this with the support of the system. It is disgusting.

OP’s posts: |
PositiviTina Sun 03-Jan-21 09:21:09

@HPmummy19 can you go to court for them to look through the situation ie not be so black and white about what he claims he earns? Or is the CMS decision final?

@Lonecatwithkitten that sounds about right. We are 18 months into this situation and he has played the system to get away with not paying a penny, despite earning £6k per month for 7 months of this time. It is an outrage that they continue to have legal parental responsibility and can exercise those rights whilst showing no practical parental responsibility at all when it suits them.

OP’s posts: |
HPmummy19 Sun 03-Jan-21 12:57:16

Hi OP - so when I contacted CMS about the £23 a week this is what they responded to me - "We can raise a Mandatory Reconsideration in order for you to formally dispute the calculation but you would need to provide much more specific information on why you believe the income figure is incorrect. We may also consider whether a referral to our fraud investigation unit is appropriate."
Personally I just left it because I didn't know how I could prove it to them, he does have business social media account advertising how much he charges for his services and then posts most of his customers so really it is obvious how much custom he is getting, which is a decent amount, times by how much he is charging it doesn't take a genius to work out! But I didn't quite know how to articulate that without looking like I am speculating. I was in a relationship for 3 years with the man and he earned £2000+ a month doing what he is doing so I very much doubt it differs from that now! It's annoying knowing he's getting away with it but when I have time/patience one day I might try and fight against it. For now I've got my hands full solely bringing up our son who he wants nothing to do with!
As for your exP claiming he won't pay if he doesn't take care of them, it's actually quite the opposite - he has to pay MORE if he doesn't take care of them/have them over night. CMS will calculate how much you are entitled to based on how custody is split. So your exP is taking sh** 🤣

TootsyPops Thu 07-Jan-21 18:20:47

It’s so incredibly frustrating. My ex earns £4000+ per month as a contracting data analyst but he uses a tax avoidance scheme and only declares about £1500 per month to hmrc. All legal, although immoral. Which means he is only required to pay £50 per month. I’ve reported him to hmrc, and to cms in the past. But I’ve now given up. He occasionally sends a chunk of money and I’m expected to thank him. I don’t chase him any more. I just accept he doesn’t contribute and although makes me angry sometimes it’s brought peace to just accept it. My simple life is even simpler which I guess can be a good thing 🤷🏻‍♀️

KarmaNoMore Sat 16-Jan-21 09:53:00

I would assume you will be getting far less than your are entitled to. Self employment is always a problem when seeking cm as they can easily pay themselves in kind (ie company car, house rent paid directly from the company funds counting as company premises, etc)

Would you have his national insurance number? Giving that to CMS is great help but again, they would only be able to ask him to pay for the income he reports to Inland Revenue.

KarmaNoMore Sat 16-Jan-21 09:59:07

You can try to go to court for Child Maintenance but it is likely to cost you more than you would get out of it and drag for years.

No matter what you agreed in court about CM, after a year, either of you can apply to CMS to revert to the standard CM calculation.

Llmmnn Sat 16-Jan-21 10:02:12

Chiming in with what everyone else has said.

I’m so sorry you’re in this position.

I would’ve got peanuts and never bothered as the stress and anxiety it would have caused me, for buttons, wasn’t worth it.

KarmaNoMore Sat 16-Jan-21 10:08:26

Agree that the stress, anxiety and anger of dealing with this situation might be more damaging than getting pennies a month. Accepting your ex is an irresponsible selfish individual and leave him to it is a much easier way to raise children single handedly (you are doing it already anyway, so it just removes the constant disappointment of what is already a very unfair situation)

PositiviTina Sat 16-Jan-21 10:52:19

Thanks for your replies. It seems there is a theme here and that the authorities are unwilling / unable to effectively hold this behaviour to account re avoiding financial responsibilities.

I think I'm struggling to accept it because I've had to swallow everything he did to our kids and family unit. He was found in court to have been emotionally abusive and physically violent to the children and towards me. The violence was along the lines of grabbing, shaking and leaving bruises.

He cheated on me in some way (who knows with all the lies), he took family money just for the fun of being able to get away with it (he didn't need it or even use it, just moved it out of accounts), he lied endlessly. He turned from being a great husband and parent to being a total psychopath overnight and it took me 18 months to leave because I couldn't believe what was happening. Then another 12 months of going through court hearings to get to this position (full residence, he has limited supervised access).

Now he sits like a puppet master pulling strings saying he won't support them financially, he has no interest in them at all save during his one supervised contact hour and then he goes around broadcasting what a hard lot he has as he doesnt deserve to be in this position. Why does he have friends? How does he have a partner How? How, given the obvious facts re supervised access, do his family believe him that I am the one in the wrong????

How have you all managed to let go of this? I want to, but have no clue how to because of the injustice. Any tips please? How can you find peace with it?

OP’s posts: |
SparePantsAndLego Sat 16-Jan-21 12:26:12

Have you been in touch with Gingerbread? They’re brilliant for supporting single parents and are campaigning on CM. The current system is massively flawed.

TootsyPops Sat 16-Jan-21 13:18:11

Injustice is so incredibly hard to move on from. And in my experience it’s just time that helps. You know you’re not in the wrong, you know how he is, your kids know the truth. In time you won’t care what other people think or what they believe about him and you. And also in my experience, families always side with their son/sibling etc. It’s the just the way it is. Deep down they will know the truth but will doggedly support him nonetheless.

Focus on yourself, your kids and your support system. Build yourself a life that is so far removed from him that he will just be an occasional inconvenience. You’ve done amazing to get sole residence. Enjoy the win!

KarmaNoMore Sat 16-Jan-21 16:47:35

I am not going to say it was easy, the injustice felt like a burn on my chest. It took many years to get to the point of not caring.

My ex is no longer in touch with DS and that enraged me and made me miserable for years, how did he dare to reject the child he had put to bed for years?

But there was a day that I was walking to yet another school meeting after a problem with DS, and I started thinking how unfair it was that I had to deal with everything on my own... and it was then, at that precise moment, that I realised that him being around would have made everything much worse: he would have been nasty and patronising to the teacher, abusive to DS and demeaning to me. It was at that precise moment that I realised that by disappearing and being less involved he had freed us from years of abuse, neglect and nastiness.

So these days I see his lack of involvement as a silver lining, DS was having a horrible time during contact days, I was always scared of him and what would he do next to DS, I was tiptoeing in my life after divorce as anything could irritate him and I would be in trouble when he was angry.

I don’t want to be disrespectful to widows but these days I see my ex as if he was dead and CM as a small widow pension that gets deposited in my account every month. The man and father we knew and loved is no more, as DS put it himself, in his place is this horrible nasty man. We often reminiscence about the good old times and it strikes me that with time, we have managed to talk about his dad without fear, anger or sadness, just remember how he was and the good things as if we were talking of a dead person. He was a good dad that turned into a horrible person, we don’t know him anymore, the person we knew doesn’t exist anymore.

Accepting that he is gone has gave us peace and also freedom, and the opportunity of a better life, albeit with less money, but a better life all the same.

PositiviTina Sat 16-Jan-21 17:48:01

@SparePantsAndLego thank you for directing me to gingerbread, I have had a look at their forum and it will be a great resource.

@TootsyPops it sounds like you have a bank of experience. It is a relief to hear it is time that makes the difference. It still feels raw, painful and I want to bend double with the weight of shame for how he treated us. I just can't believe it is the same person. I remain stuck on the Why and How could you questions, which are futile. You have come to a better place so I know it is possible, thank you for replying!

@KarmaNoMore do you know what happened to trigger a change in him? Has he become worse ie he fed off the chaos caused by his behaviour and seemed to grow to love it?

OP’s posts: |
LizB62A Sat 16-Jan-21 18:12:40

He'll do what my ex did - pay himself the minimum so he gets away with not paying proper child maintenance.
All while owning several expensive cars and a current wife who was able to give up work as he was earning so much (from either cash payments through his business or company dividends)

SparePantsAndLego Sat 16-Jan-21 18:22:32

Good luck, @PositiviTina

unicornsarereal72 Sat 16-Jan-21 18:32:24

It is hard because you are a decent person. And couldn't imagine treating anyone let alone your child in the way he has.

My ex was the same. He wast always perfect but was a good dad things changed for whatever reason. And he despised family life it was dull and boring. He had moved on. New women new circle of friend and new drug habit.

We haven't seen a penny in nearly three years despite having an income of around £5k a month.

I do wonder what he tell his gf and friends. He hardly sees the kids. The eldest is non contact and he doesn't pay his support. Of course whatever story he tells them won't be the truth. Ow has been with him 3 years now. I've no idea what she sees in him. His family have disowned him. He doesn't see or pay for his kids. He has had spells of unemployment and is narsasitiic. She deserves better. But I also know how it feels to love someone who blows hot and cold. I wish them both well.

His family love his despite his flaws.

I have made my peace with it all. I have no control over others. All I can do is be the best person I can be. It comes with time. It takes effort and energy to be mad. And he does not deserve any of my time or energy. It is easier just to be meh. I have nothing to do with him. Other than times for pick up and drop off. I want nothing else to do with him. Go as low contact as you can. Embrace what you. And celebrate small achievement. I recently got a new bed. Every night I get in it I love it. It big comfortable and all mine. It makes me happy.

KarmaNoMore Sat 16-Jan-21 19:50:16

What happened? He met a crazy woman, very ambitious and possessive.

We had an amicable split and had managed well for years after the split but as soon as she entered his life it was all drama, she convinced him that everyone wanted to ruin their relationship, that DS and I should move to a council house (he has a six figure salary), that he shouldn’t have more contact with DS and anybody who disagreed with her was cut off from his friends to his family. Nobody has seen him for years.

If anybody had told me he was going to turn that way, I wouldn’t have believed it. We were friends, even after divorce and he was a very involved dad and had a strong relationship with DS. But then they say that the man you marriage is not the man that you divorce.

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