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CSA what do I do morally?

15 replies

slowlygoingcrazy · 19/07/2008 12:39

My XH left 7 years ago, when our DS was just 2. He was brilliant at first, let me keep the house, paid my mortgage for a year. BUT he did get the money back. When I met my DH we had the house valued and then we gave XH half the equity. So he didn't do too bad.

Anyway, 5 years ago he was made redundant. Basically he has been chasing his pipedreams ever since, travelling, doing bits of work here and there and basically giving me nothing for DS. He has been working a solid job for the last six months. I told him if I didn't start getting something now he is working properly I would have to contact the CSA. Worked out today he has given me £120 since last September! My DH is paying out for my DS, his DS with his ex, and our little DS! So, it's not like we don't need the money! and DS has loads of hobbies!

Even the £120 I have had has been me phoning up begging saying that our DS desperately needs trainers etc and can he buy them.
Apart from this he never buys him anything or treats him to anything at all, ever. He has him every week but takes him to his mums for his food and then just leaves him to amuse himself all day basically. He spends about £40 on him at Christmas, birthdays and never offers to help with his uniform, parties or anything.

Actually, writing this all down is making me see how bad it is. I never bothered him for money when he wasn't working (even though he wouldnt have had a problem finding a job - but that's another story) but now I feel he has had enough chances.

Including Christmas, birthday and child maintenance money in the past year it adds up to £200 total!! He doesn't even wash his clothes when he has him, he sends them back for me to wash, and as I said, his mum does all DS's food when he has him!

He has money to spend on weeks away and travelling around and all the latest gadgets.

I have always tried to be good friends with him for DS's sake and I am so scared that by applying to the CSA I will be making things bad. What should I do?

OP posts:
Tobermory · 19/07/2008 13:13

Ok so I am reading my wife's mums-net whilst updating her phone. I feel really sorry for you. I am no longer with my wife, but I pay for my maintenance for my son every month and we have him loads and take him on holiday to try to be as normal a family as possible (obviously i feel my ex wife is off her trolley most of the time) We started with an informal agreement, but she thought that i was fiddling so she reported me to the CSA. In my case i ended up having a massive reduction because i was overpaying. But the experience was awful and very stressful. Why not speak to your ex, try to get an agreement for him o pay regularly, if he defaults twice all you can do is report him. For you information current rates of Child support are 15% of net salary after proof of pension payments. There is a 1/7th reduction if he has the child more than 52 nights in a year and another 1/7th if that rises to 106. There is also a 15% reduction if he has kids in his new relationship. I always pay because i recognize that it takes money to raise kids. So if you have a good relationship now, try the up front approach. If he screws you around all you can do is report him. You will get no back pay, it only counts from day of reporting, dont take cash,insist on cheque or standing order only as that is proof of payment. At the end of the process you have to be prepared to not be friends - he is your ex for goodness sake. The only discussion i have with my ex wife is regarding the welfare of my son. I hope this helps and remember not all divorced dads who only have their kids at weekends are bad, if i had my way my son would be in my new family permanently.

slowlygoingcrazy · 19/07/2008 13:19

Thanks Tobermory, i know not all weekend dads are bad. My DH has a son who we have at weekends at during the week for tea and he has never missed a CSA payment, and buys him things he needs etc etc...but, he doesn't talk to his mum.

I have spoken to XH about this hundreds and hundreds of times. He promises to set up DD's but then I get nowhere. Last week he said he was passing and could he pop the money in. I said I was out but I would have it when he picked DS up the next day, he left nothing! I even buy XH's mum mothers day present, christmas presents etc from our DS, because I know he wouldn't and DS likes to give her a present. If he takes him to party I buy the present etc, I think you can see I pay for everything! And I only work 10 hours a week, i really can't afford it. I also pay for karate, swimmming, cubs and violin lessons.

He has him less than 52 nights a year, probably about 48. I asked him for just £20 a week but it doesn't seem he will even do that. When DS went away with the school I asked him for the £60 for the trip and said I'd buy the sleeping bag, clothes etc, he didn't give me a penny in the end.

Need to fill in those forms don't I!

OP posts:
shelleylou · 19/07/2008 13:22

Your ex shouold be paying of for his son if he isnt going to phone the CSA and get them to collect it on you behalf and do all the calculations. If he refuses to send back forms they will contact the Inland Revenue and find where he works that way using his NI number. Then go straight to his employer for his income and possibly take it straight out of his wages.

slowlygoingcrazy · 19/07/2008 13:22

oh and he has no other children, smallish rent and no serious relationship.

OP posts:
wabbit · 19/07/2008 13:40

CSA every time - sorry Tobermory, mummy's have enough on their plates without scratting around for money for food/trainers/clothes/rent

In this situation you are not morally obliged to your ex... you are morally obliged to your children, your new DH and YOU!!


(Been there!!! I have the tee-shirt already )

ThatBigGermanPrison · 19/07/2008 13:44

Ring the CSA, this is what they are for. Think of the difference the money could make. Why should he get to live a pipedream and forget he has a child?

Don't expect big Christmas presents, uniform, food for parties etc - do expect regular reliable payment. It is worth much much more in the end. Why the Hell should he get to spend only on the fun stuff? A child still needs school shoes whether it's his birthday or not!

gillybean2 · 19/07/2008 14:17

Morally you do what you need to do to get the financial support your ex is promising and your ds requires.

Contact the CSA. Even if it takes them months to sort out you won't be any worse off than you are now after all!

prettyfly1 · 19/07/2008 16:10

i am at the opposite end of the spectrum. I refuse to use the csa and survive on our income. the thirty quid a week was not worth the aggravation pain and suffering it would cause not to mention the shit and bitterness almost everyone i know on both sides feels after going through it. avoid it if you can. its your choice and he SHOULD be paying. but its not a magic wand, there are no guarantees and believe me nothing wrecks amicability like those three letters.

slowlygoingcrazy · 19/07/2008 16:18

that's what I'm worried about PF. what gets me though is that DS thinks his dad is the best etc etc and I have to smile and grin and nod my head in agreement thinking 'if only you knew'......thankfully he doesn't and hopefully never will.

But my DH pays out so much to his ex to their DS, things just don't seem fair. ONCE, the bank messed up when he changed accounts and the next month the money came out of his wages! His ex has no worries about upsetting him though. He had his initial letter through the post after he had taken her and their DS on a lovely holiday, the first day back that landed on the mat! Plus, he'd been paying her £200 a month without the CSA, buying everything for their son, paying for the holiday and having his DS at least 3 nights a week!

I just wish he'd WANT to pay for his son so none of this had to happen

OP posts:
prettyfly1 · 19/07/2008 16:25

i know mate and it seems so unfair but thats the csa - the good dads get nagged to death to compensate for the bad ones who just ignore the letters. personally i really really dont think its worth it. its not a moral question - your ex is the one with the moral issue. but it is a question of what is best for your son. will the money if you ever get it make his life/relationship with his father better considerably. if yes, go for it. if not let it go.

neva · 20/07/2008 16:16

Hi, sgc, in my opinion, if you apply to the CSA it won't be you making things bad; he has already done that by failing to support his son! My ex refuses to support our dd voluntarily, but fully expected me to apply to the CSA - which I have done. If things go on as they are, the likelihood is that one day your ds will come to understand that his dad doesn't support him. What kind of message does that give him?

prettyfly1 · 20/07/2008 16:24

thats a very good point neva. i dont think there is any right or wrong in this answer - its very much up to you. is the fact that he had to be forced a better message to send him. Either way your son will eventually make his own mind up about his father and neither way is your fault.

neva · 20/07/2008 17:16

prettyfly, I agree that it can't be great for a child to find out their dad had to be forced to support them. But perhaps it is better than a child learning that their dad doesn't provide for them and maybe thinking that that is an OK way to behave - and possibly doing the same to their own children one day.

prettyfly1 · 20/07/2008 20:38

yes i have argued the point in myself a million and one times and to a certain extent i agree with you but its the crux of the balance isnt it. in my situation - and obviously this is my personal opinion - there is no right or wrong here - the grief,fighting and arguing would override the benefits of the money and damage my son more long term then knowing i let his dad go and to be fair i know of very few people who get anything real from csa and a great deal more on both sides who are left very bitter and scarred as a result of their intervention. it all comes down to what is most important to you personally op - both mine and neves point whilst different and valid in their own rights but if you need that money go for it.

gillybean2 · 21/07/2008 19:42

I know of several people who meet all the requirements of the CSA, pay what they should willingly and make sure their children are provided for. You're just more likely to hear about the situations where parents don't pay and mess the CSA around, the other parent usually makes more noise about it in those situations.

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