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AIBU to expect my ex to pay child support - he thinks he shouldn't need to

56 replies

glitternanny · 05/05/2013 19:50

Does anyone have experience of ex partners arguing over maintenance

Yesterday my ex informed me he couldn't afford to pay maintenance (£140pm) - and wants it scrapped/reduced. He's spoken to the CAB and they've told him that he doesn't need to pay anything, and a court would agree with him. I told him to let me know what he thought was reasonable amount but that I would be speaking to the CAB and getting legal advice.

He then posted on FB that he needed some advice - whether to be an arsehole or not - not quite sure what his decision is.

He pays me £140 a month on maintenance - and another £360 in money he owed me (cant transfer to his name) He's due to pay me on Friday when he gets paid. This is the amount the CSA says i should have given the amount of nights he has him.

Our access at the moment relates to his shifts - he works 4 nights, has our LB 2 nights normally - he has 2 more days off and then works 4 days and has him 3 nights. When he has overtime (2/3/4 a month) I have our LB instead - can be anything upto 2 extra days depend on whether its an extra night or an extra day

I need to try and speak to CAB on Tuesday and child options I think my friend suggested and maybe a solicitor if I need to :(

any thoughts/suggestions welcome

;( I can cope with no maintenance until september when my hours change then I'm screwed and if he decides to pay me nothing then I'll probably have to either rent out or sell my flat and move :(

OP posts:

HollyBerryBush · 05/05/2013 19:52

Go through the CSA.


fengirl1 · 05/05/2013 19:53

Why should you manage with no maintenance? It sounds like you're already doing this through the CSA, so if he stops paying you just ask them to take it direct from his wages (if that hasn't changed recently). Give them a ring.


finickypinickity · 05/05/2013 19:57

Do you mean you have outstanding debts from your relationship that are in your name which is what he pays the 360 pcm for and the 140 is separate for maintenance?


MySonIsDrivingMeCrazy · 05/05/2013 20:00

Definitely go through the CSA.

The financial sacrifices of parenting should be a equalised a little - that is not unreasonable.


deleted203 · 05/05/2013 20:01

You need to contact the CSA - it's not his decision on what he pays; they assess the child's needs and his income and tell him what he has to pay.

However...speaking from looooong experience, the CSA are shit. My ex never paid anything for about 10 years. Then when 3 DCs were mid teens he coughed up £30 a week for them (total) for about 18 months as CSA said that was all he could afford on his income. And now (again) he pays nothing for the last child still left in education. This is a man with an income of £62,000 a year and no mortgage on his property.

I have no idea how they work. Suffice to say they don't in my opinion.


glitternanny · 05/05/2013 20:02

its not done through the CSA at the moment

OP posts:

glitternanny · 05/05/2013 20:03

yes finickypinickity that's right - £140 is CM and the rest is money for debts he owes me

OP posts:

meglet · 05/05/2013 20:06

Go to the CSA. He's messing you around and he knows it.

FWIW I've not had a single problem with the CSA in 3.6yrs since I started the case. First phone call was at the end of Oct and first payment came through just before Xmas.


finickypinickity · 05/05/2013 20:07

Have you got a formal written agreement regarding the money he owes you which make him responsible legally?

Sorry to ask questions but if you are in the same position i was with ex then its a really tricky one when it comes to the CSA as they are not interested in anything other than the standard calculation.


glitternanny · 05/05/2013 20:08

No i have nothing written formally _ I have a screen print of a text he sent me detailing what he needs to pay me for debts.

OP posts:

finickypinickity · 05/05/2013 20:17

I can only outline the mess i got myself in by consolidating Ex's debt into a loan in my name as he couldnt get credit. When we split he paid part of what he owed for the monthly payments of the loan and a small amount of maintenance alongside.

He then refused to pay the loan because it was in my name so i went to the CSA who would only calculate his payment on his earnings which when he chucked his job in was nothing because he lived with another woman who supported himAngry

I would have had to take legal advice and go through some sort of legal process to try and reclaim the loan amount with no guarentees i would have won. I dimly signed the loan agreement not realising he was cheating.

I ended up with no maintenance and worse still, no payments for the consolidation loan in my name. I'm still paying it 8 years later which shows how huge the loan was! Fuckwit has never paid me a penny in maintenance either.

Lesson learnt.... I hope you arnt in the same situationSad


fabinacab · 05/05/2013 20:20

Please dont get me started on this ex hasn't paid a penny for twoyrs for his three kids.he gets a nice discount for his new wifes kids, who she gets maintenance for from their father.hes not allowed to see them, various reasons so thinks he dosent need to pay.csa are fighting a loosing battle.


mummytowillow · 05/05/2013 20:43

If he works he should pay, don't waste money on a solicitor, go to CSA.

Warning though they have a huge backlog, so it may take time Angry


mummytowillow · 05/05/2013 20:45

Fab - why are csa not taking it direct from his salary. I presume he works?


fabinacab · 06/05/2013 05:43

Because apparently he has several sources of income so a detachment of earnings wont work so im told.they are now depending on him to pay direct to them, if he dosent then it goes back to criminal compliance again and they will consider court action. But im not hopeful because ive heard all this before. He will make one payment if any then change his address or circumstances for the 7 th time.part of me dosent even want his bloody money but why should the kids suffer?


RedHelenB · 06/05/2013 07:04

Glitternanny - any CSA or court directed maintenance comes before his debts so CAB obviously haven't been consulted!! As to the debt he owes you, he 's right in that if he is asking other creditors to take less, you should get hte same proportion otherwise he is favouring one creditor over another.


CogitoErgoSometimes · 06/05/2013 07:07

You need to get a solicitor onto the debt agreement fairly quickly. CSA for the maintenance payments. If he's trying to wriggle out of paying for his children, his next step is going to be letting you down on the money he owes. Get advice about that so that you can sue if he breaches the agreement.


DeskPlanner · 06/05/2013 07:32

Go through the CSA. People should pay for their children.


TigerSwallowTail · 06/05/2013 08:19

CSA work on how many nights a year a NPR has a child, how many does ex normally have dc? If he was paying the same amount as the CSA calculator said then you should just have him pay through the CSA, you don't need to chase the money from him and you'll be getting the same amount anyway.


fabinacab · 06/05/2013 08:46

Unless you have a consent order with a divorce or seperation under 1 yr old you can longer take somebody ro court for non payment child maintenance. I saw a solicitor myself about six weeks ago.the law haa changed and if you cant agree on a private arrangement it has to ge csa.


TigerSwallowTail · 06/05/2013 08:52

fab are you saying you can or can't take someone to court over maintenance? Your post isn't clear.

If you can't take someone to court over maintenance, does this apply to the CSA too, so a NPR would never have to go to court for non payment even if it was the CSA trying to take them?


niceguy2 · 06/05/2013 09:00

How much of the debt is outstanding? In other words how long will he be expected to pay you £360 a month for his previous debts? I assume from the way you've said you can't transfer into his name then that this debt is in your name but he used the money?

I wouldn't automatically go to the CSA. Problem is if you go to the CSA he will likely throw his toys out of his pram and as others have said, may well just give you the maintenance due and nothing else.

The debt (assuming it is in your name) will be difficult to enforce since you have little evidence and it is in your name. Not to mention costly.

All the while you will have your own bills to pay and much less coming in.

Your ex is probably feeling the pinch from having to pay you a total of £500 a month which unless he is a high earner is likely to feel quite painful for him. Whilst he is totally responsible and is what he SHOULD do. What people actually do is often totally different.

And what he should pay you won't put food on the table. Only what he does, will.

So if I were in your shoes, I'd speak nicely to him first, nod all sympathetically (even if you want to punch him in the mouth) and see if he is agreeable to anything else? I don't know what your situation is like but is he willing to have your son a little more? Or maybe can you reduce debt payments over a longer period or maybe pay more over less? I'd definitely show some sympathy of his 'situation' before involving the CSA. The latter tends to draw battle lines and right now you need his money to make ends meet but you are in a weak position.


ecclesvet · 06/05/2013 11:33

"Our access at the moment relates to his shifts - he works 4 nights, has our LB 2 nights normally - he has 2 more days off and then works 4 days and has him 3 nights. When he has overtime (2/3/4 a month) I have our LB instead - can be anything upto 2 extra days depend on whether its an extra night or an extra day"

So he has him 5 nights out of 10? Is that right?


mumandboys123 · 06/05/2013 11:42

tiger the issue with maintenance and the courts is quite complex but essentially, the CSA has legal jurisdiction over child maintenance. As a result, once a case is open, it's not possible to use the courts as a person in your own right to obtain an order for child maintenance. The CSA can, however, use the court system to push through payments of maintenance.

It is still possible to not use the CSA and have an agreement for child maintenance written into an order following divorce. However, the child maintenance bit of it will only 'hold' for 12 months. At that point, either parent can go to the CSA and the CSA will take on the case. If neither parent goes to the CSA, then the NRP has to pay until either the order is changed to say they don't have to pay or they drop dead. If you have such an order and the CSA are not involved, it is possible to chase arrears yourself through the courts. However, it is not possible for the CSA to chase arrears that accrued prior to them taking over the case.

Hope that clears things up!

OP - no, it's not unreasonable to expect an ex to pay maintenance for their children. The CSA is your only option if he won't pay.


IneedAsockamnesty · 06/05/2013 11:48

If the sum he pays is based on what the csa would expect him to pay taking into account the reduction for contact then don't even get into it with him.

Child maintenance is a different issue to debt repayments. And unless he has lost his job then he has not taking advice regarding this from the cab he is either lying or is misinterpreting what they have said.

Dont even get into it with him just use the csa ( don't bother if he's self employed) then tackle the debt as a totally separate issue but be prepared for him to try and claim the debt payments are actually child maintenance and go back on his agreement.

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