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CSA are rubbish! Sorry if wrong forum.

(185 Posts)
KareninsGirl Wed 23-Oct-13 14:01:33


Seven years it's taken them to review my ex's wages. SEVEN YEARS! And they still haven't done it, despite fortnightly contact.

I want to scream, cry, shout...I'm at my wit's end. Will they backdate?!

tallwivglasses Thu 24-Oct-13 08:16:12

You can keep hounding them after your child turns 18. Out of the blue, years after I had given up on the CSA, they started taking money straight from ex's employer. I received money when dd was 19/20. Better late than never...

tallwivglasses Thu 24-Oct-13 08:21:26

Steve, sadly too many men just walk away without a backward glance. Then we get castigated as feckless single mothers.

LineRunner Thu 24-Oct-13 08:33:38

My ExH was pretty typical of the non-payers - he decided I didn't 'deserve' the money so simply stopped paying it.

I think many absent partners convince themselves that it's ok not to pay. I think their mental gymnastics are fuelled by a belief that the state will support their children, and I have never understood why taxpayers don't go more ballistic with these (mostly) men.

addictedtolatte Thu 24-Oct-13 08:34:48

Steve your one of the rare species of men we still have on this planet grin when I was with my ex I assumed he had morals but unfortunately not. You stick to your morals and your children will grow up to respect you. My dad was like you and I worship the ground he walks on. He used to walk to work sometimes and give us the money if he was a bit short. I know this as my mum told me. He takes care of my childrens financial well being as well. I refuse but he just will not see his family go without.

addictedtolatte Thu 24-Oct-13 08:43:12

Line runner I have one of them exes sad he says I don't need his money the state will keep me angry I dont want this at all I want my dcs to grow up seeing me earn our money. Unfortunately I need to earn £350 a week to survive so I have no choice. I would have a choice if my ex would cough up. I think the government should put some pressure on these scumbag fathers sad

RalphGnu Thu 24-Oct-13 08:44:22

The CSA are responsible for some of the darkest times of my life and I'm not exaggerating.

DP got a letter from them saying he owed thousands of pounds in maintenance arrears for a child he'd never heard of, to a woman he'd never heard of. For this to be true, DP would have had to have knocked her up when he was 12.hmm

They were adamant they hadn't made a mistake and things got so bad DP almost had a nervous breakdown and I ended up in hospital while pregnant due to the stress. We couldn't afford to eat as they took 40% of his salary - we'd just moved into a new house we could no longer afford, we couldn't buy anything for the baby.

Important documents went 'missing' in the post, they lied to us at every turn and it was only when we turned to our MR in desperation they finally admitted they had got DP mixed up with someone else. It took a further 7 months for any money to be returned and, in fact, they continued to take 40%!

tallwivglasses Thu 24-Oct-13 08:51:44

Ralph that's terrible!

ElsieMc Thu 24-Oct-13 14:40:34

I have had nothing but trouble with them for years and it has started again as my GS1's dad is now insisting he is self employed. The CSA have made so many mistakes, they have paid me compensation twice. Don't get too excited however, it was only £50.

I have found the best way to deal with them following an initial phone call is via email. If they do not respond after two, I ask for the matter to be escalated to Complaints. At least you then tend to get someone dedicated to your particular case.

I was also told in September that from November, there is a different appeals process with an independent panel. I believe most people challenge decisions on a variation basis, providing evidence of a lifestyle beyond the NRP's stated means.

A Manager from the CSA advised me that an appeal against decision may well be best as someone had lost a case recently they felt bound to succeed. Briefly,an NRP stated he was out of work, yet £3,000 was arriving in his bank account each month. His ex could prove this as evidence was supplied during separate court proceedings. He stated it was a living allowance paid to him each month by his new partner (a professional) and the CSA accepted this explanation. They reached this decision, because his ex wife could not "prove" this was not the case.

lottieandmia Thu 24-Oct-13 15:34:35

IME the CSA have been good. I had to make a claim from my ex-H and it was all really straight forward. He ignored their letters etc but they got a DEO in place after about 4 months and I've had regular payments ever since.

They are currently working on a case for my younger dd who is 4. Her father doesn't work in the UK all the time but from me telling them where he currently works they seem to have got his address and other details. They did a calculation (which I haven't seen yet) then he disputed parentage. They offered him a DNA test, he refused and they have now presumed parentage. I am not going to hold my breath as to whether we get any money from him as I think as soon as this hits his wallet he will leave the country but I feel it's dd's right for me to open a case if he's working here.

lottieandmia Thu 24-Oct-13 16:16:53

'My ExH was pretty typical of the non-payers - he decided I didn't 'deserve' the money so simply stopped paying it.'

Same thing happened to me with my ex-H. He sees the children every week yet one day just pulled the plug on our private arrangement because, he decided he was paying too much hmm So in the end the CSA calculated that actually he should be paying more than he originally was anyway and he ended up with about £800 of arrears which they must have taken off him all at once. It seems to me that once you're no longer in a relationship with someone, they resent having to pay money to you even though it's to support their children.

lottieandmia Thu 24-Oct-13 16:18:25

Ralph - that really is awful. How come they were taking 40%?! I thought the most they could take was 25%.

wispa31 Fri 25-Oct-13 11:48:56

I couldnt get over how many dads (or mums in some cases!) would leave their child/ren to go without. I dont know how they can look them in the eyes when theyr older and tell them they did their best by them!
The lengths some of them go to to avoid paying is ridiculous and the system is too easy to 'work' to get around paying.

wispa31 Fri 25-Oct-13 11:51:22

Exactly! Whilst they may no longer qualify once 18/19/20, any missed payments are still due so if you want the arrears pursued they will still be made to pay, they are not written off.

RalphGnu Fri 25-Oct-13 12:05:13

lottie, they said the reason they took so much at a time was because it was arrears. And as one charming lady on the phone said..."Because we can".

They said he had been offered a DNA test in the past which he'd refused and that we would have to pay for one ourselves, which we couldn't afford as they were taking all our spare money. DP's parents lent us the money...and then the CSA claimed not to receive any information.

They swore blind they had sent some paperwork to us at a particular the time we hadn't even moved in there yet! When we pointed this out we were hung up on. Umpteen managers assigned to the case and not one single apology.

I just feel really sorry for the woman who made the claim because she obviously suffered by the fuck up too. She must've thought justice at last! And then told ah, yes, actually we got the wrong guy.

KareninsGirl Fri 25-Oct-13 14:47:09

These stories are terrible! Your poor dh, Ralph!

My exh stopped paying what he had agreed in court, once he knew the court order had expired. He then miraculously became 'self employed' and pleaded poverty to the csa, despite actually earning a substantial pay rise and bring employed!

The csa know all of this - they know who his employer is etc, yet continue to drag their heels and be obstructive. All I want is what my children are entitled to!

Canpaywontpay Mon 20-Jan-14 15:26:57

I have been divorced for 3 years and religously paid my maintenance and even increased it at my ex's request when she stated she was struggling. I have one son who i love very much and am happy to pay maintenance for him but find that after having recently instigated court proceedings against my ex, due to my contact being eroded over the last 3 years, she has in a tit for tat response reported me to the CSA. I have over the last 3 years made something of a sucess of my business and earn significantly more than i used to when we were married and would happily sit down and discuss maintenance payments with my ex but she would refuse. She is engaged to be married in May 2014 and pregnant with her new partners child and I am still paying for the debt we incurred when we split based on her taking 4 years off to care for our son (which i dont begrudge) but I will not spend the rest of my life being hounded by the CSA when we had a perfectly acceptable arrangement in place. I will not contribute to another mans child and i will simply take the money i previously paid to my ex partner and put it into a bank account for my son. From a mans point of view I agree the Self Employed loopholes are terrible but i would point out that using the CSA as a point scoring tool is equally as bad and I would not begrudge my ex partner a penny but by reporting me to the CSA she will lose £450 per month and now receive £7 per week. If she would talk to me i would point that out but cannot so I will look like a dead beat dad when I want to pay but wont be instructed to pay by a Govt agency as a revenge attack.

Dahlen Mon 20-Jan-14 16:34:26

I think the link between maintenance and contact should be established rather than kept separate as it is at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not advocating that only those who can pay should see their DC. Every case should be treated on its own merits, and there will always be some who would walk over hot coals for their children but don't have the ability to pay any hard cash.

However, I've gone without food myself to make sure my children eat. I sacrificed any kind of social life for two years because I couldn't afford even a coffee with a friend without having to cut back on my children's food budget. I've walked around in shoes that have holes in the bottom to ensure my children have shoes that don't leak. I've done this without ever letting on to my DC how hard it has been for me because they are my children - I love them, consider them my responsibility to provide for, and don't want them worrying about adult concerns.

The parents who claim poverty while telling their mates in the pub how hard done by they are make me want to vomit. Just one evening's worth of spending in the pub would buy a child a new pair of shoes.

Any parent who is worthy of the title would not ever try to duck out of paying for their child. Those who won't pay should have their status of parental responsibility reconsidered IMO. Perhaps we could have degrees, based on evidence of commitment to that child, and what better place to start than effort made to pay maintenance - it's not the amount, but the effort. If I were a judge I'd think more highly of an unemployed father who turned up each week with a bag of vegetables he'd grown himself than I would a PAYE with an earnings deductions notice who pays the bare minimum despite earning £30,000 a year.

I would argue strongly that any 'parent' capable of deliberately dodging their financial responsibilities towards their own child is likely to be a negative influence on a child's life, rather than a positive one.

NotQuiteSoOnEdge Mon 20-Jan-14 16:52:51

Sorry canpaywontpay let me get this straight.

You 'incurred a debt' because your partner did FT childcare? Are you mad? How much do you suppose FT child care would have cost you both if she worked? And would you have wanted your DS to be in FT childcare? The money you earned was your family's money, NOT YOURS.

You are earning considerably more, and yet you have not increased your payments? Have you been paying what the CSA would have assessed you as owing? If not, why shouldn't she involve the CSA?

You say she wouldn't sit down with you to discuss it. What reason would she give for this? It seems an odd response unless she fears being bullied or intimidated in some way, as her DS would otherwise benefit.

Clearly the arrangement you had was not 'perfectly acceptable' to her. You don't get to dictate this.

And this makes me the most angry. THE MONEY IS FOR YOUR CHILD. Not her. Not another mans son. That other child is irrelevant here.

And how are you any better? With YOUR revengeful choice. And YOUR tit for tat behaviour. You sound about 6. The only person who loses is your son, whose mother will consequently not be able to provide for him anything like the life he could have with that extra £450.

I suspect you have been massively underpaying, and are now using awful self-justifying arguments to let yourself off the hook of having to pay what you should have been doing all along, and it is your DS who will suffer.

He won't thank you at 18. He'll see you for what you are. You won't LOOK like a 'dead beat dad', if you do this you ARE a dead beat dad.

nocontactforevermore Mon 20-Jan-14 22:58:57


You're a disgrace.

davidsotherhalf Tue 21-Jan-14 08:51:53

csa are useless, my xh was classed as self employed and I knew what he was earning before I left, he filled forms in and lied so he didn't have to pay anything,(he said he never made any money) he also bought 3 static caravans at the seaside and let them out, (between £300-£500 a week) but that didn't count as an income as they aren't made of brick, these loop holes suck, my son stayed with his dad as he had a college placement, the placement lasted 2 weeks, I had to pay my xh via csa £10 a week, even though I was only getting £59 a week carers allowance as my dd has special needs, I had to pay the £10 a week for 2yrs as the csa wouldn't check with the college that son was still attending, (college had kicked him out)

Canpaywontpay Tue 21-Jan-14 09:32:17

NotQuiteSoOnEdge Very kind of you to assume that it is down to my behaviour that my ex partner will not sit down with me. However it is down to the fact that her new partner had repeatedly visited my home and shouted at me in the street when delivering my son (in front of independant witnesses who were passing at the time) and i reported this to the police who contacted him and asked him to stop this and I requested he played no part in dropping off my son anymore and since then I have not spoken to my ex wife. i believe she was embarassed by his behaviour at the time. When i was married to my partner I earned £35,000 a year and our maintenance was calculated on this basis and i rounded it up to £450 per month. Why should i now 3 years later increase my payments to reflect my new income I would have happily agreed to an index linked based on our income together at the time but don't see why if i earn more post divorce my ex partner should benefit from this. And please dont reply with the standard its for your son. I earn more now and spend it on my son.

I think I speak for most men in that I am happy to pay CSA based on my income pre divorce and would index link this but I fail to see why If i improve my circumstances my ex partner should be financially rewarded. I again realise you will state this is for my son but I am not here to redress an imbalance and give him the same quality of life with both partners. He benefits from my improved circumstances every time he is with me and i will due to my Ltd company status be able to redfuce my payments now to £7 per week but I will take the monoey he would have received if this had not been a Tit for tat thing and place it a bank account for his future and will continiue to pay for the school trips etc as i have always done.

I await the baying response

Canpaywontpay Tue 21-Jan-14 10:02:42

I would point out that many times since i separated i have been out of work for periods and still made my agreed payments before i am villified for not being prepared to pay more when i have more and pay less when i have less. I just dont agree with paying significantly more post divorce I am happy to pay what was due at divorce date and index link that.

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 21-Jan-14 10:20:08

Cantpay, you should now adjust your payments because your child should benefit from your increased income. The money you are required to pay is not for your ex or her new partner or any other children she may have. It is for the child you fathered. Why should you benefit from the increase in your income while your own child does not?

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 21-Jan-14 10:20:48

You divorced your wife not your child. That date is irrelevant.

Dahlen Tue 21-Jan-14 10:30:14

Can'tPay - who was primary carer when your DS was young? Who took him to his weekly HV checks? Who took him to dental/doctor's appointments? Whose job/career took a hit because it's impossible to pursue a demanding career as a parent unless you either have a co-parent willing to take up the slack or professional help? I'm guessing your XW was the primary carer, and this is reflected in the fact that she has residency.

If that's the case, the reason your XW has a lesser income now is because she facilitated you in planting the seeds to grow the career you are now reaping the rewards of. If she had pursued her own career as aggressively as yours, she may well be earning her own income comparable to yours. But maybe like a lot of women she put her son before her own career relying on the fact that as her DH and your DS's father, you would pick up the financial slack while she provided the practical side of the arrangement.

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