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CSA - what happens

(22 Posts)
SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 08:04:57

I'm going to apply to CSA for maintenance money. What happens next, do they look at my income as well as XH? Any advice on the process would be appreciated. Thanks. How long does it take etc?

SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 09:35:56


Snorbs Sat 20-Feb-10 09:51:33

The next step after applying is that they'll contact XH and ask for details of his income. They don't care about your income. They'll also want to know how you want the money to be paid (it's your choice). If your XH is a reasonable sort then you can opt for him to pay the money direct to you. It's faster that way, just keep records and proof of payments.

If he's an arse, then I'd recommend that you ask for him to pay the CSA and the CSA then to pay it to you. That way they keep direct records of his payments. They can also take the money direct from his wages but I think they prefer to give him a chance to pay voluntarily first.

Once they've got details of his income they'll send you both letters saying how much he should pay and from what date. The clock for payments starts ticking from the date that they first contact him.

How long it takes is hard to answer and depends on how co-operative your XH is and also random chance. Sometimes the CSA works tolerably well, sometimes it's an utter shambles. I have heard some cases be organised in a few weeks. If your XH ignores their letters then it can take months. Phone the CSA at least once a week for an update (they do cock-all if you don't).

If he's self-employed then it also makes it trickier to prove his income. The best case, from your point of view, is if he's a PAYE employee as the CSA can then go to his employer's payroll department and check that he's telling the truth.

If payments stop, or you think he's earning more/less than he was, then phone the CSA. Don't expect them to notice because they won't.

Does that help?

SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 10:59:23

thanks that helps a lot, he is an arse who is on benefits (but I suspect he's also earning a bit on the side). What bothers me is that he won't be honest anyway, so I can't decide whether its worth the hassle.

TheArsenicCupCake Sat 20-Feb-10 11:13:17

CSA is worth it as they take a lot of the hassle away from you. My ex messed me about with a contribution toward my ds's, particularly everytime he got in a huff about something else. As it happens he is claiming that he is on benefits ( he was for a short time, but as far as I'm aware he is now back in work.. just failed to tell the csa).. so I just gave them a call.. and they are chasing him up... so barring a call from me, no hassle at all.

When he was on benefits he was asked to pay £5 a week for 2 dc's...he is now doing agency work.. and my guess ( because he told me) is that he is now picking and chosing how much work he takes on or if he takes on any at all.. even though he was offered full time employment.. this means that it is really hard for the csa to keep re assessing.. but at least that's a job I'm not fretting about.

I was advised by the CSA that if I thought and had reasons for thinking that he might be earning a bit on the side whilst on benefits.. then call the benefit hotline thing.

I would go for it.. just because it's something that you can put in another hands to deal with.. and tbh if your not getting much of a contribution toward the dc's.. then the amount won't make that much difference if he is claiming benefits... but what it does do is make him take some responsability.

Snorbs Sat 20-Feb-10 11:23:29

Ah, if he's on benefits then it's easier. Do you have a copy of his National Insurance number? They can track him down if you don't but it can speed things up a bit if you do.

You'll likely only get £5 a week but the CSA has direct links with the benefits agency so it makes it quicker - the CSA can see if he's on benefits or not without having to ask him. Ask them to collect the money direct from his benefits and to send it to you.

The CSA don't care if he's earning on the side. They'll advise you to shop him for benefit fraud rather than do anything about it themselves.

My ex is on benefits so my DCs only get £5 a week but it's better than nothing. It covers their pocket money anyway. Also, if/when your ex does get a legit job then the CSA will have all your details so it should be a bit quicker for them to sort that out. My ex drifts between working for a few months then being on benefits for a few months; the CSA is generally a month or two behind angry The CSA will, at least, keep track of arrears and will pursue them when their income rises above a certain amount.

As for whether it's worth the hassle, that's for you to decide. He's got a legal (and, I'd say, moral) obligation to pay child maintenance.

Snorbs Sat 20-Feb-10 11:27:28

TheArsenicCupCake makes a very good point - I originally went to the CSA because my ex was working at the time but rarely paying anything voluntarily. We had had a verbal agreement but ex just ignored it when it suited.

Getting the CSA involved means that it largely becomes Somebody Else's Problem to deal with. It stops being an emotional you-vs-ex thing but more of a business arrangement. Yes, you have to chase the CSA to get them to do anything but they act like a middle-man so it makes it a lot less personal which can be a very good thing.

Megletwantsittobesummer Sat 20-Feb-10 11:29:42

I have had a good experience with the CSA so far. I started the case off at the start of November and had my first payment from XP before Xmas. I had every bit of info they needed though, address, nat ins number, employer hadn't changed etc.

I originally wanted the money taken directly from his pay but I think the CSA prefer to try a softly softly approach and now take the money from his bank account instead of his wages, I daresay if he doesn't pay they will go in heavy handed and attach it to his earnings.

One thing I will say is to type up a basic spreadsheet now (date, name of person spoken to at CSA, info discussed, notes) so you can record everything in case it goes pear shaped. With luck you won't need it but at least you will know what info has been passed on and what how the case is progressing. Good luck.

SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 12:57:13

he seems really against me going to the csa for some reason. He says he can't even afford £5 out of his benefits a week hmm

TheArsenicCupCake Sat 20-Feb-10 13:18:14

well he is just going to have to.

Snorbs Sat 20-Feb-10 13:42:21

Does he drink or smoke?

SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 13:44:28

Doesn't drink but smokes plus I suspect he smokes illegal stuff too and maybe other stuff.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 20-Feb-10 13:47:02

Message withdrawn

SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 13:48:22

is it £5 a week or £5 a mth?

onadietcokebreak Sat 20-Feb-10 13:53:45

Its £5 a week.

SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 14:04:10

I so want to do it but I know he will go absolutely barmy

SingleMum01 Sat 20-Feb-10 14:11:43

Are there implications if there is a court order in existence but due to unemployment he hasnt been adhering to it?

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 20-Feb-10 14:13:31

Message withdrawn

onadietcokebreak Sat 20-Feb-10 17:29:20

Im not sure about the court order. Have a look at the Child maintenance options website and give them a call on Monday.

Snorbs Sat 20-Feb-10 17:44:37

The reason I asked if he smoked is that £5 is less than a packet of tabs. If he can afford to smoke, he can afford £5 a week child maintenance.

From what I've heard, the CSA's assessments generally outweigh court-ordered child maintenance but there are some rules about when this applies and when it doesn't. The CSA will be able to give you more information on that as could the CAB.

NACSA are an independent group with a lot of experience with dealing with the CSA and know all the ins and outs of their rules. They charge £50 a year for full membership but will answer most emailled questions for free.

ktfs Wed 28-Sep-16 16:44:45

My ex is on benefits and hasn't given me a penny for a good year. Before that it was as and when he wanted. My partner says I should have spoken to csa a long time ago but I never wanted to rick the boat because he's an arse!!! He's just recently got back together with his wife who is in full time employment. They are both poison as far as I'm concerned and like nothing more than picking my dds brain about going to live with them and making it all sound Rosey if she did. I'd give it a month if not a week befor they asked me for money..... not that I ever want her to go there obviously. My question is this..... do they take into account the household income or just his?

AliceInUnderpants Wed 28-Sep-16 19:56:57

ktfs - you may want to start your own thread.

However, as far as I know, it is the non-resident's salary that is taken into account for calculations.

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