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Changes to child maintenance - anyone know?

(17 Posts)
littlelamby Thu 05-Dec-13 13:58:02

I've heard a lot recently about changes to CSA and how child maintenance is handled and I can't find any clear information anywhere. It looks like current cases will gradually be closed, and then if parents still want to use the service, then can open a new case. Here they would have to pay £20 (I think whichever parent approaches the service pays this) and then the agency (Child Maintenance Service I think) calculates amounts to be paid. The NRP can then pay directly (no charge) or pay through the system (20% charge for NRP, 4% taken off amount for RP).

The one thing I can't work out is whether the RP will have the right to insist on the agency taking the money. DP and ex had a voluntary arrangement. She wasn't happy, took it to CSA and he now has money taken directly from his salary - he did this to avoid arguments (amount of money paid didn't change). There's no issue with DP's willingness to pay maintenance, and we'd be more than happy to pay directly to ex. Does anyone know if under the new arrangement, the RP will be able to choose to pay direct, and whether the NRP will just have to accept that - can she insist it goes through the agency and therefore we have to pay the extra 20% even if we're willing to co-operate?

Seems ridiculous, but then all dealings with CSA to date have been ridiculous, so doesn't seem out of the question!

AliceinWonderhell Thu 05-Dec-13 14:30:54

lamby The RP can only insist on payment via the Agency if there is a history of DV; otherwise, assuming that the NRP pays as agreed, there is no way the RP can insist.

I wouldn't hold your breath though - its going to be years before they start transferring existing cases to the new rules.

TheGirlFromIpanema Thu 05-Dec-13 15:23:40

CSA only take maintenance via DEO if there have been issues with paying CSA directly themselves.

Its a costly last resort and not one that a RP can insist on. It involves a court order and several layers of admin.

Sorry to disagree but your partner was not playing, or paying, by the rules regardless of what he has told you about the situation.

IBlameThePenguins Thu 05-Dec-13 15:29:00

I'm sorry thegirl but you can't possibly know that, unless you are the OP's ex!!

mumtobealloveragain Thu 05-Dec-13 15:36:16

I agree "the girl" it takes bloody months to get a deduction of earnings from a non paying NRP. I've been helping my brothers girlfriend through the CSA nightmare as her ex refuses to pay. She told the CSA from the start he would refuse to pay as he had told her quite clearly, but they said they had to go through the process of asking him to send wage slips etc and tick all the boxes before they could even consider taking the money. It took nearly a year. They have him chance after chance to respond to calls and letters then more chances to respond to paperwork stating they would take from hai salary. It has to go via various departments and finally to "enforcement team" and was a complete paperwork nightmare.

However, a PWC is able to ask the CSA to collect the money rather than have the NRP pay them direct without giving a reason. The NRP doesn't have a say in that and it can be done anytime not just if they don't pay , can be collected by CSA from the start. That just means the NRP pays CSA via cheque or direct debits and the CSA pass the money onto the PWC themselves. Not sure if this will continue under the new rules or change though

TheGirlFromIpanema Thu 05-Dec-13 15:43:06

Yeah I can Penguins. I can link to the gov site which gives details too here

If someone is asked to pay a certain amount, and each month they call up and pay/set up a DD or otherwise arrange a regular payment I can say for absolute certain that the case will not go any further than that.

Only non paying parents and their current partners seem to not know this though I find wink

littlelamby Thu 05-Dec-13 15:53:30

Not sure I understand where this thread has gone! DP chose to have a deduction from earnings order. For the record - he has always paid at least the amount of maintenance suggested by CSA calculator and has never disputed paying this. This thread is not about trying to get out of paying child maintenance, it's about unnecessarily avoiding paying 20% extra (as a result of changes that came in end of last month) that doesn't even go to the RP/children, so it's no benefit to anyone to pay it!

Alice - that's what I was hoping. My concern is that the RP can refuse to accept the NRP making the payment themselves and insist that the agency collect the money, thus meaning the NRP has to pay 20% extra. So long as the NRP makes the correct payments at the right time, it seems like they can choose that option. I just hope the new agency is more organised than the current one!

KringleCandleLover Thu 05-Dec-13 15:57:39

Have to disagree with it taking months for a DEO.

CSA requested DH pay thru them AND issued an attachment of earnings in the same month.

The first he knew about it was when his payslip was posted. CSA letters took an age to arrive 7 yrs ago.

May be due to DH being a police officer and being easy to find.

He hadn't missed any payments(private arrangement with xw). She decided she wanted more money.

Things may well have changed since our experience.

Monetbyhimself Thu 05-Dec-13 16:38:16

'He did this to avoid arguments'

And you seriously believe that ? hmm

Icantstopeatinglol Thu 05-Dec-13 17:26:46

Jeez some people are obviously looking at this in relation to their situation!? The csa choose whatever they want to do to be honest. Depends who you talk to on the day.
To answer the ops question no they can't insist unless he starts to miss payments so i don't think you need to worry about the extra 20%.

mumtobealloveragain Thu 05-Dec-13 17:39:54

Icantstopeating- do you know that for certain? I'd have though NRP already paying by DEO will have to continue. If they are given the option to pay direct when the change comes in it will mean many of those PWC won't see any money for months. NRP only pay by DEO as a very last resort and CSA try everything beforehand. NRP or PWC can't just decide they want it that way. For that reason allowing NRP's who currently pay by DEO to have the chance to pay direct after the change happens would be a huge mistake as they'd have to go through the whole process of obtaining another DEO when they inevitably didn't pay.

HedgehogsRevenge Thu 05-Dec-13 17:54:36

Most RP's use the CSA out of necessity. The problem for a lot of people is if they were to rely on direct payment they just wouldn't get their maintenance. There would be lots of 'oh I'm a bit short this.month/have a large bill to pay yada yada. The majority of separated parents who have an amicable relationshop don't use the CSA.
I do think it's fucking shocking that they'll be taking 4% of money that is intended to feed a child.

KringleCandleLover Thu 05-Dec-13 17:55:32

DH was immediately made to pay by DEO. I'm going back a few years. No arrears- he was in a private arrangement with xw and she changed her mind, thinking she would be entitled to more-she was entitled to far less but that's by the by.

On the 2nd CSA payment they messed up and took over 700 instead of the correct amount. DH was refused a refund and was told they would knock it off the next installment, not taking into account the fact he needed the money to pay for essentials.

DH then req he pay by standing order- not direct debit as he would be in control of amending payments. This was allowed.

XW (as far as we know) didn't endure any delays re receiving payments.

Like I said previously, the CSA went straight to source with DH but that may be because he was an easy target,working for the government,queen or however.

So no, the payments didn't have to remain as they were, though may differ from NRPs who have previously missed payments or underpaid.

Making(in our experience) an NRP pay by DEO,is sometimes the 1st and easiest choice,not the last resort. Depends on who your employer is.

Icantstopeatinglol Thu 05-Dec-13 18:07:39

My dh also was paying direct when my dsd was little and because her dm thought she might get more she went to the csa. My dh has never paid by deo so I'm not 100% on that side of things but I do know they're trying to get people to pay directly so they don't go through the csa. From what I've read (but this was a few months ago) they were saying the nrp would have the choice but any missed payments would then mean potentially going through the csa again. This would be stupid obviously for anyone actually willing to pay because it would mean more money for the nrp and less money for the rp. I know this is difficult for those who don't intend to pay anyway but there are a lot of people happy to pay going through the csa. If they got rid of these cases they could concentrate on the idiots not wanting to pay.

littlelamby Thu 05-Dec-13 18:10:01

Funnily enough, it actually was the best decision to go with a DEO (I was part of that decision) - communication is very bad between DP and his Ex, and we felt this meant there could be no disputes. I will say it again - never missed any payments, never underpaid, never disputed paying. Ex believed she was entitled to more, which is why she went to CSA, who asked DP to pay what he had been paying previously. I'm surprised by reactions, I really don't think DP has been a bad guy here!

It is very harsh to lose 4% when in theory the only reason the DEO would be in place would be because the RP was avoiding paying. Paying 20% extra should be a huge disincentive to not pay, so I hope that it only hits people who are genuinely not complying, rather than those who make honest mistakes or are affected by mistakes CSA makes. CSA have made multiple mistakes with DP's case to date and as Kringle says above, those mistakes can leave the RP in a financially precarious situation as well.

KringleCandleLover Thu 05-Dec-13 18:25:58

DH is both a NRP and PWC(his eldest now lives here. So not only does he pay the CSA,he also gets payments from them.

The CSA have had conversations stating both parents will need to make arrangements to pay each other, they in effect, want to close the case.

XW will not have this and wants CSA to continue ferrying payments to and fro. I wander if this new rule will apply in this instance then.

Though why they are paying each other and not just keeping their own funds to bring up the kids they each look after is beyond me. That's another thread.

AliceinWonderhell Thu 05-Dec-13 22:04:39

I'm surprised by reactions, I really don't think DP has been a bad guy here!

He's not.

Both my DDs Dad, and more recently my DH pay the CSA via DEO and in both cases they requested that arrangement.

My DDs Dad was subject to a debt repayment plan and he went to the CSA and wanted to avoid having 'money in his pocket' that he could spend before paying me or the CSA directly.

My DH has been assessed by the CSA since he and DSC mum seoarated - she called the CSA the day she threw him out. He requested a DEO when he got a new job after a period of redundancy quite recently. That's how he's paying - his choice.

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