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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?!

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:08:30

I should also point out that whilst I enjoy debate and taking contrary points of view, I am not homophobic. That said, despite considering myself to be relatively liberal/enlightened (you're all pissing yourselves laughuing I'm sure) I'm not afraid of my own prejudices to the extent that I won't challenge them.

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:04:21

No, you're right, it's not necessarily a good thing - but for better or worse, it's got us to this point.

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 17:01:15

I agree.

It's not particularly an excuse. Itellectually, I'm not particularly against homosexual people parenting. It's not the raising of children that's the issue, but rather the biological impediment to concieving them.

Dahlen Wed 22-Jan-14 16:55:12

And the natural order of things - people dying through lack of antibiotics, fathers abandoning women who get pregnant, only the fittest and most powerful having rights, famine - is not necessarily a good thing.

Dahlen Wed 22-Jan-14 16:53:22

If men and women were equal I'd agree, but they're not. 1 in 9 women will be raped and 1 in 4 sexually assaulted. The exercising of control over sex and reproduction remains one of the hallmarks of an abusive relationship and 1 in 4 women will experience one of those. If women are to be held to greater account because of their right to choose, men should be held to greater account over their responsibility to determine enthusiastic consent.

Back on the subject of homosexuality, I don't see how the natural order of things is an excuse. The natural order of things mean many women would die in childbirth and their children be raised by others - whether a single father or an aunt. What's so unnatural about someone sharing this task with a person of the same sex? Especially when the evidence seems to show they do a better job of it than many heterosexual couples.

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:34:15

Of course, it's not just down to a woman when an unplanned pregnancy occurs; however, it's (often) down to the woman when an unplanned birth occuurs. I'm uncomfortable with abortion being used as contraceptive, but not as uncomfortable as I would be if the freedom of choice was removed. This is one of the most fundamental rights woemn have, but with that right comes responsibility. Fractionally more so than a man (because of the right to choose).

I think it's because all else being equal, a man and a women could reproduce. FOr homosexuals, it's a biological impossibility. I'm not satying they shouldn't be parents, but rather, in the natural order of things, they're precluded.

Dahlen Wed 22-Jan-14 16:19:35

I hope I don't sound humourless because I know your grin means you are joking, but sadly it would appear that most people do think it's down to the woman when an unplanned pregnancy occurs. Possibly a debate for another day though. wink

I don't see why you would produce the inability for homosexual couples to have children as a reason for why you have trouble reconciling them as parents. Do you do the same for couples with fertility problems who have IVF, surgery or adopt? Surely if it's about happening 'naturally', the same rules apply.

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 16:08:28

With regard to your first point, I don't thik it's a case of "either" "or" The nuclear family can (and does for man) exist within an extended family set-up.

Second para: Yes, they probably would, but what as a society we should measure is "Does a child brought up in a stable and happy marriage do better than a child born to a single mother" controlling for everything else. I'm a proponent of marriage, but I accept that it's not for everyone.

Third para: I agree. Intelectually, it shouldn't make any difference, but somehow it seems to (or so the evidence suggests).

Fourth para: I'm realtively liberal, but still haven't managed to totally reconcile homosexuals raising child. Not becasue I think they make bad parents (I'm not convinced they're any better or worse than anyone else) but rather becasue I always thought that being homosexual (by definition) meant that you were precluded (biologically) from parenthood. Definitely agree that it's a disgrace that 50% of pregnancies are unplanned. Come on ladies.......... grin

Dahlen Wed 22-Jan-14 15:54:40

The children's society report suggested that children do best when they have a large extended network of adults who are emotionally invested in their welfare. This significantly reduced the incidence of abuse and negative changes in circumstance due to the check and balances inherent. To some extent, you could argue that the nuclear family is a mistake and we should all return to old-fashioned extended family set-ups.

Personally, I think that a child born by sperm donor to a single mother will do better than a child born into a dysfunctional marriage where both adults are convinced they need to stay together for the sake of the children.

Stability and relationships with adults seems to be what counts I agree. However, I think that judging the presence of those traits by marriage is a misnomer. Marriage may make people less likely to split, but it doesn't mean their relationship is any less likely to be unhealthy than a cohabiting or live-out one.

Interestingly, homosexual couples seem to provide the best outcomes for children, rather than heterosexual ones. Arguably they are more committed to parenthood because they have to jump through more hoops to make it happen, whereas more than half of pregnancies in the UK are apparently unplanned. I'd like to see that changed for sure.

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 15:09:22

Rational and reasoned debate are essential. Having hovered on these boards for some time you see some of the less savoury aspects of human nature. For many most there is no happy ever after. The problems are often so complex that the advice given is of little use. Here though, Mumsnet could use the real life experience (which is actually quite broad) to make a meaningful contribution to government policy.

None of us know what's around the corner, and although I remain convinced that a loving and stable marriage is the best basis on which to raise children, I'm long enough in the tooth to understand that for many, that isn't a reality. What is clear is that the current system does a dis-service to all that come into contact with it - particularly children.

Lastly, if I had my time again.........I'd definitely get a trade. smile

Dahlen Wed 22-Jan-14 14:48:31

I think there are more options that that, but they all require political will and a lot of money.

Non-payment, or avoidance, of child support to result in a criminal conviction possibly leading to imprisonment, much as they do in other countries. Obviously each case would have to go to court as there would be extenuating circumstances in some cases, but that's no different than is the case for other criminal offences ATM, and TBH I'd consider financially neglecting your child as a worse offence than shop lifting or speeding. This would probably be quite easy to sell to the public, despite the inevitable backlash from people who claim that many women are falsely claiming paternity/witholding access (some, of course, will be, but they are a statistical minority in comparison to the genuine cases where single parents are literally left holding the baby with no financial support from the other parent).

More PSHE type education in schools and a greater focus on what a baby really means. Anyone remember the experiment in the US where they gave an electronic doll to the children? It had a huge effect on reducing the number of girls whose primary ambition was to have a child. Again, despite the backlash from those who will claim this is a parent's job, not a teacher's, I think this would be sold to the public quite easily, depending on the spin put on it.

Far greater intervention from the likes of the police and social services in cases where parental conflict or poor behaviour form either parent impacts negatively on children. Bad parenting creates huge social damage. This will probably be unpopular and popular in equal measure. Some will feel it's a gross invasion of privacy. I think if we want a better generation, we need to raise them better. Given the stats on child abuse, neglect, and abandonment, I think it's worth it.

Most single parents are actually mid-30-somethings out of a long-term married/cohabiting relationship, but popular opinion presides that they are jobless 17-year olds. Playing to that, I'd like to see a greater focus on education generally. Raising the age to 18 for full time education is a step towards this. It won't achieve anything though until we get rid of the idea that only academic qualifications are worth having (FWIW most of my peers who got a trade are significantly out-earning me with my 1st class degree and MA). Let's start pushing youngsters - particularly female ones - into vocations, rather than open-ended academic qualifications that don't mean much unless you are prepared to aggressively pursue a career, probably move away, etc etc - all those things that young women in deprived areas who traditionally choose to have children as a type of 'career' - will shy away from.

I could say more but I'm probably boring everyone now.

I am a very lucky single parent. I am in the 1% who own their own home. I still fell foul of a co-parent who abdicated his responsibilities. I lived with him for 6 years before we had our children. I never thought him capable of treating me so badly, let alone our very much planned and saved-up-for DC. Despite all those best laid plans, I still found myself at the mercy of the state when it all went wrong and he refused to pay (self-employed so on a hiding to nothing with the CSA despite holidays and cars). I had a full-time job but with two children to support, a house to find and full-time childcare to pay for, I could not have done it without state assistance towards my childcare costs. As it was I regularly did not eat for the first two years.

Despite all that, and despite hardly bothering to see them (the last time was over 6 months ago), he still has the legal right to override my choice of school for the DC, my religious preferences for them, to prevent me from taking them to see family abroad for an extended period - he still has full parental responsibilities (interpreted in his eyes as rights).

Until people like my X face the very real threat of prison for abandoning (and yes I choose that word deliberately) their children in the same way as I would have done had I just left them at home on their own and walked out, nothing will change. THat's the biggest thing that needs to change.

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 13:43:11

What utterly depressing stories.

Dahlen, you're absolutely right (again). What you're saying though (and I don't doubt that your premis is correct is that in order to solve the problem we have to either:

Pay more money to single parents (politically unpopular)
Insist that parents who don't reach a certain academic standard and/or have no means of supporting themselves are prevented from breeding (politically popular - though difficut to enforce.)

Your last two paras are as sound a basis as I could ever come up with.

McFox Wed 22-Jan-14 12:35:33

Well that all depends on whether its your child or not. Just like a poster up thread, sorry I forget the name, my DH has been forced to pay thousands in the past 2 years for a child which, by his ex's own admission, may not be his.

He came home from work one day to find her and 'their' 1 year old gone, and a note saying that she'd been having an affair for 2 years and was leaving with this guy. She also stated that he might be the kid's dad, they were going to live as a family, and not to try to find them. He did, for several years, with no success. Her family and friends refused to tell me, but said to leave them alone as this guy was the child's dad now. It destroyed him. He still regularly breaks down over his missing child and it's terrible to see. Every birthday, every Christmas is hard for him and he thinks and talks about the child all the time.

9 years later, just as we're planning our wedding, the CSA appear and demand £16k within 2 years and threaten him with jail. He explains the position, asks for a DNA test and it is refused. All requests for contact and discussion with her is refused. He still has no idea where she is, so he can do nothing but pay up, which he has done. He continues to pay. We now have a child on the way, and he will continue to pay, even though that will impact on this child.

So now tell me that's fair. If he was proved to be my DH's biological child, he would of course be happy to pay. As it stands, it seems that he is being targeted as an easy win by both this woman, and the CSA. Why wait so long to try to get money out of him? What has changed in her luff ghat she felt that she needed it? It sickens me, and I just wonder, if there are 2 people in this thread alone who have had this happen, how many others are there out there?

McPheezingMyButtOff Wed 22-Jan-14 12:13:16

They shouldn't have to try and extract money from you. As a biological parent of a child, you have a duty to pay. It's a childs right to be supported, not an option hmm

McFox Wed 22-Jan-14 11:53:02

They do backdate.

Believe me, being in the other side of this where they are trying to extract money from you is no picnic either.

Dahlen Wed 22-Jan-14 11:46:04

I'm sure it would, but it doesn't mean it would be a good idea. The thing with marriage and children is that while a child is less likely to experience his/her parents separating if they are married as opposed to cohabiting, it doesn't follow that it's the relationship itself that results in better outcomes for the child.

All the research in this area that investigates the poor outcomes for children from single parent families show that money is the major factor. When your control for income, the outcomes are no different, and even when you don't the outcomes are still the same if the educational attainment of the primary carer is degree level or higher.

From a psychology approach, most of the damage children experience comes from warring parents, and we all know that staying together doesn't ameliorate any of that. I'd hazard a guess that quite a lot of the one parent families we see today are headed by individuals who grew up in households where the parents stayed together but abuse, neglect and alcoholism were a feature. Those things are more damaging than separation and divorce IMO.

What we really need is a much more direct approach to getting people to think about the quality of their relationships before they have children, and for society to internalise the view that responsibility towards a child does not end at the same time as a relationship and that if you don't want to forego a significant part of your income on your child post split, don't have a child with that person.

Good piece of advice I wish I'd been given before having my own: Never have children with someone you can't see yourself amicably divorced from.

Contrarian78 Wed 22-Jan-14 11:36:57

I despair at these cases, I really do. As always it's the kids that suffer due to feckless parents. Although the welfare state is part of the problem, a good too many people would be poggered without it. It just doesn't seem right that as a so-called advanced economy/civilisation we can't make better arrangements.

I was discussiing this last night with a pal (as you do) and he said that in some european countries, state support was more generous for married mothers (or those that had been married). I'm not conivinced that would work here or even be desirable but he seemed to think it would have popular support.

McPheezingMyButtOff Wed 22-Jan-14 10:06:33

I'm also having CSA issues, but not because of there system. But because dd father is a useless waste of time to human life. I plan on making his life very difficult in the near future wink

PissesGlitter Wed 22-Jan-14 09:58:02

My ex has never paid a penny in 13 years
I gave them everything (name, address, DOB, employer, reg of work van, NI number the lot)
Still after 13 years there is nothing they can do as he can't be found
They are fucking useless (I told them this the last time I called)
They told me that if I didn't call them regularly then my case would be closed
I told them they where fucking useless and to shove it up their arse

Dahlen Wed 22-Jan-14 09:50:15

Given that the average salary in the UK is £26,500 and the typical salary is more like £21,500, and that only 25% of people earn more than 36,000, all this talk of children receiving £850 a week applies in theory to only a very small number of children. In practice it will be even less. It's something of a red herring, especially as high earners are already taken on a case-by-case basis.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Jan-14 22:15:45

Something tells me he would be fine paying it if his ex did had not found happiness with someone else. Call me cynical... It's already been established that high earners are worked out on a case by case basis anyway. They have to have some way to do it and 15% is not a lot. You have to consider that if you were still living with your child you would be paying more anyway.

honeycrest Tue 21-Jan-14 18:42:53

I do think the minimum payment should be raised, canpay should be paying more than £7 a week (or whatever low amount it was) I just think it should also be capped.

honeycrest Tue 21-Jan-14 18:39:04

I'm not condoning cheating the system but I can see why some people would. £850 a month is more than one child needs, it's practically a salary, especially if the NRP is also contributing in other ways. If I was getting that tax free whilst on maternity leave (or at any time)I would certainly be enjoying it.

lottieandmia Tue 21-Jan-14 18:09:35

I think you're missing the point entirely - can't pay has cheated the system by pretending he gets paid a pittance. All because he feels bitter towards ex...

honeycrest Tue 21-Jan-14 18:04:10

Why is everyone ignoring the fact that canpay says he pays for a foreign holiday for his son, school trips and puts money into an account for him? I presume he also buys him clothes and gifts the same as any parent would. This seems fair to me. He is contributing to the raising of his child a lot more than a lot of NRPs do. No child needs £850 a month except maybe those in private schools and then the money should be paid directly to the school. High earners having to pay £1000+ a month is ridiculous, especially when presumably they are also covering other costs

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