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AIBU?

When to give up on cms

31 replies

SpinningFloppa · 09/10/2022 09:52

Has anyone given up on child maintenance as it’s like fighting a losing battle? My ex has done everything he can to avoid paying maintenance, and has managed this successfully for 5 years. I can count on one hand the amount of times he has paid in 5 years, and those were only benefits payments, as soon as they catch up with him he comes off them again. Any arrears that build get wiped off. When do you give up and accept nothing can be done? I can’t keep fighting for pennies. I often see post on here saying it’s the children money and they are entitled to it and it’s not the mums choice but what about these types of situations when there is nothing to take? Are you suppose to just keep fighting for pennies or give up and move on?

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coldandverytired · 09/10/2022 09:54

Keep the claim open but never rely on the maintenance. The arrears keep building, should there ever be a change in circumstances (inheritance etc) you can chase the arrears.

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SpinningFloppa · 09/10/2022 09:57

They don’t build, they wrote off 1k of his arrears a few years back. Only 1k not sure why they decided he would never pay that but they did. No inheritance both parents are dead. Never relied on it as never got any other than the odd £7 over 5 years.

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coldandverytired · 09/10/2022 13:18

Just leave it in the background and don't put any head space towards it then. That's what I do, my arrears just tick up and when he tries playing Disney dad when they reach 18 they will have everything they need to know to make a decision on whether he cared about them when they were younger 🤷🏼‍♀️

Cancelling a claim seems daft, just ignore it but keep it live.

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SpinningFloppa · 09/10/2022 14:56

I guess what I’m saying is is there a point in having a Cm claim if any arrears that build up are just wiped off the system so never going to be seen? And cms are not interested In pursuing non payment

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Testina · 09/10/2022 15:02

It’s no really “fighting” though, is it?
It’s admin.
So yes, keep your claim open and speak to CMS about it at regular intervals.
The system is a joke. I don’t think CMS arrears should ever be written off.

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SpinningFloppa · 09/10/2022 15:07

I guess it’s fighting for your ex to take responsibility, it has certainly felt like a battle!

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BookHermitBlack · 09/10/2022 15:20

When csa became no more (about 2012) they wrote off exs arrears. At this point I took to ringing to chase (not had a payment since 2005) for a few years but was told not earning so nothing on system (had 3 more kids, a car, house but no income? Ex also didn't see dc). I stopped ringing for my own health and never heard from them again (never closed the case though). I found the system was not on the rp side ever so ended up just accepting it, dc is now an adult but in the 18 years I got 4 payments a total of £250. It wasn't worth the stress (it's more than admin because there's a story attached to it with emotions) so I made a conscious decision not to chase it again. Its very individual decision but in my mind I made the right choice for dc and me. The money would have been great but not life changing, the stress it was causing was becoming life changing.

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ElsieMc · 09/10/2022 15:41

I was about to call it a day last year. He got a nil contribution yet again from CMS despite earning £50,000 for a local company that advertises this as their OTE. This was because he went self employed, ie a sub contractor for the same company who he was previously on the books for.

CMS had to be pushed, but I moved to arrears then enforcement (who were the most useless but consider themselves elite) then finally to fraud. They took out a liability order against him for the arrears, but all this means is it is a legally recognised debt. It doesnt mean you will get it!

He went self employed to avoid paying, would not pay for 12 months then made one payment thus sending me back to square one. He even transferred his house into his parents name to avoid CMS placing a charging order on it.

I had input with my case worker on the fraud team. He asked what was the least I would settle for arrears wise and he set out to achieve this. He had ten phone calls with the nrp ( my gs's dad) and got nowhere until he told him he was not satisfied with his accountant's books/records and wanted his paperwork from the past few years . Next day he received an email confirming he would pay that day. In return, I wrote everything else off. Best decision I made.

It is outrageous that this is not a priority for the government, after all it was set up to alleviate child poverty and all it does is cause huge stress for the pursuing parent. CMS was sold to everyone as a new organisation who would close the self employed loop hole but it has made it worse and is not fit for purpose.

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JustLyra · 09/10/2022 15:49

They shouldn’t be wiping off arrears without your permission.

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sandytooth · 09/10/2022 15:49

Keep it open in case he dies. You may be able to use it as a claim on his estate

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pfcpompeysarah · 09/10/2022 16:03

Have you tried involving your local MP? I got mine involved and it was only then that they seemed to become more proactive, I finally ended up getting it taken from his wages and I got £50 as compensation from the CMS as well, but I think the whole system sucks and we shouldn't have to keep on and on at them like we do.

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SpinningFloppa · 09/10/2022 17:22

He’s got nothing, so nothing to claim on. No I won’t be going to the mp.

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Meatshake · 09/10/2022 18:00

I wish there was a way to enforce things like making your driving license and passport invalid if your maintenance payments are more than x months behind. Or your ability to receive certain benefits. It'd buck up a few of these losers.

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JustLyra · 09/10/2022 18:03

Meatshake · 09/10/2022 18:00

I wish there was a way to enforce things like making your driving license and passport invalid if your maintenance payments are more than x months behind. Or your ability to receive certain benefits. It'd buck up a few of these losers.

CMS has the ability to go to court to ask to remove driving licenses, but they rarely do as impacts people’s ability to work.

They have way more powers that many people realise. There’s just no political will for them to use them.

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sandgrown · 09/10/2022 18:06

Never forget that the people at fault here are not the CMS or the government but the feckless fathers who should want to support their children. In an ideal world we would not need the CMS.

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SpinningFloppa · 09/10/2022 18:21

Yeh I get that but they have powers but refuse to use them? They literally told me they won’t do anything as he “may” be living off a partner.

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AuntSalli · 09/10/2022 18:23

In Australia if they have arrears on child-support every time they put in a tax return the money is deducted from that before the absent parent receives a cent like please do not believe these systems are difficult or expensive if they work really well in other parts of the world.
Stay on their books even as a failed case you are add into the numbers of statistics of people that they’ve left down and therefore you are adding strength to the campaigners who on your behalf are trying to recover your money.

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AuntSalli · 09/10/2022 18:24

I’m pretty sure that was a case recently I want to say section 1 of the children’s act, you can take him to court it will cost you 225 quid which I appreciate you may or may not have. It’s free if you’re on a really low income . Forces him to pay for his child like a CCJ. Its not getting written off

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Stressfordays · 09/10/2022 18:30

I leave mine running so my children can see how feckless he is when they're older. I don't expect anything.

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JustLyra · 09/10/2022 18:40

SpinningFloppa · 09/10/2022 18:21

Yeh I get that but they have powers but refuse to use them? They literally told me they won’t do anything as he “may” be living off a partner.

That’s one of the reasons people have suggested you get your MP involved.

He “may” be living off a partner, but he may not be.

they won’t chase anything without being pushed. If they’re pushed they actually have to find out what he’s living off.

Its well worth considering, especially if he has current arrears. The MP of a friend of mine recently helpfully reminded CMS that they have the power to just take money out of a bank account (they don’t have to go to court or anything) and she actually got something for the first time in a long time.

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SpeckofDustUponMySoul · 09/10/2022 18:42

I get £9 a month for my twin DC.
All the while Daddy is running around working cash in hand whilst claiming disability benefits (I have no tangible proof).
I keep the claim open, not for the pittance, but just as evidence.

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JustLyra · 09/10/2022 18:43

sandgrown · 09/10/2022 18:06

Never forget that the people at fault here are not the CMS or the government but the feckless fathers who should want to support their children. In an ideal world we would not need the CMS.

The feckless fuckers are the most at fault.

However, successive governments have also been at fault. CMS has a wide range of powers but there’s zero political will for them to be used.

Back when RP’s on benefits only got to keep £20 a week and the rest went to the Sec of State enforcement was so shit the debt owed was massive. When they decided something had to be done they decided… “let the RP’s keep it all”.

There is absolutely fault on the part of CMS and the government for their absolute collusion in allowing feckless folks to not pay.

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JohnnyMarr · 09/10/2022 19:21

sandgrown · 09/10/2022 18:06

Never forget that the people at fault here are not the CMS or the government but the feckless fathers who should want to support their children. In an ideal world we would not need the CMS.

Absolutely disagree with this. Whilst there are indisputably many NRP's who delight in playing the myriad loopholes in the system, this doesn't change the fact that the CMS are blatantly not fit for purpose.

Several advisors I've spoken to are purportedly unaware of various legalities which impact on the system they're administering, and that's if you can actually get through to one of them in the first place.

One would assume that this, in turn, is caused by lack of government funding for a "service" which to many lone parents is critical.

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thisismyusernamee · 09/10/2022 19:38

Honestly I'd keep the claim open but accept the fact your unlikely to ever see a penny. My mum left her cms claim open until I was 18 years old, she never seen a penny as he kept dodging, moving country, claiming he was jobless etc. The amount he owes will build, I think it was something like 50k my dad was due in payments in the end, and if they can they will take it so you've nothing to lose leaving the claim open.

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SuperNoodle87 · 09/10/2022 19:42

I applied in 2007, 16 years later got a letter saying they were wiping his debt. Forgot the claim was even open. Never saw a penny 🤷🏻‍♀️

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