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Child Support and Overseas Parents

I recently heard a case about a father, living overseas, who was billed £12,000 for child maintenance by the Child Support Agency (CSA) when he returned to England. My first thought was there had been an administrative error. The rules on child maintenance state that the CSA is unable to become involved in a case when the non-resident parent is habitually resident abroad.

When I explored the facts before me, however, I was soon engulfed in the CSA’s labyrinthine complexities.

According to the CSA’s Quarterly Statistics, more than 6,200 non-resident parents are living abroad but only a quarter of these are paying child maintenance through the CSA. The CSA is unable to enforce maintenance abroad, but this does not mean that the assessed maintenance is written off. Instead, a debt accrues at the CSA in each case. No wonder the CSA has a resource problem – combined, these debts could be in the millions!

Legislation introduced in 1991 meant that on the face of it, a move abroad and habitual residence there was the ideal way for a non-resident parent to evade financial responsibility for a child. This changed in 2000, when the rules were amended to allow for certain circumstances when the CSA would still have jurisdiction to enforce maintenance. These circumstances include:

  • When the non-resident parent works for a UK based company abroad.
  • When the non-resident parent is a civil servant or works within Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service or Her Majesty’s Overseas Civil Service.
  • When the non-resident parent is a member of the armed forces.
  • When the non-resident parent works abroad on a secondment for a prescribed body such as a NHS trust or a local authority.

Additionally, the vagueness of the term “habitual residence” can give rise to grey areas. The CSA does not define habitual residence; nor is there any case law that deals with this definition in the context of the CSA.

In general terms, “habitual residence” would suggest that you are resident in the country in which you are living. However if the non-resident parent’s sole motivation for a move abroad is work commitments, and they intend to come back to the UK, then the CSA could view their habitual residence as being in the UK. This is especially true if there is already a home and family in the UK, or if the parent spends more than 92 days a year in the UK and is registered as resident for tax purposes.

So when doubt hangs over a parent’s “habitual residence”, that parent may face a bill for ongoing maintenance and arrears accrued during time spent abroad. If this bill is left unpaid, it can be enforced by the CSA through the courts, using a Deduction of Earnings Order. This would mean that the CSA could take a sum out of the parent’s earnings each month, at source. Alternatively the non-resident parent could contact the CSA and try to come to some agreement over how much they can pay and when.

There are other processes whereby maintenance can be enforced upon a parent living abroad. The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) allows orders made for maintenance in a UK court on behalf of a UK resident to be enforced by either the courts or authorities of the foreign country in which the non-resident parent is living. A list of remo child maintenance countries that are party to this process can be found on the CSA website.

In order to begin this process, the parent with care of the children should either apply to the magistrates’ court to register an already existing order abroad, or apply to the magistrates’ court to make an order for maintenance to be registered abroad. The order then effectively becomes an order of that foreign country and is, therefore, governed by the law of that country.

If arrears of maintenance accrue through the courts and are backdated by more than 12 months you must obtain leave of the court before you are able to reclaim these.  By contrast the CSA has no cut off date for arrears and are entitled to enforce arrears which are more than 12 months old. A CSA assessment will not accrue arrears if it is suspended by the parties, but will otherwise continue to accumulate.

Ultimately, it should be remembered that child maintenance is money that is owed to the child, not the other parent. Child maintenance is the responsibility of the non-resident parent and therefore it should be paid.

If the non-resident parent believes that their assessment is wrong or they cannot afford to pay then there may be some virtue in asking for a review or an appeal of their assessment. However this must be done within one month of receipt of the letter detailing the assessed amount that they are liable to pay.

So it seems that non-resident parents who think moving abroad will help them elude the CSA may have to think again. Parents who move abroad for legitimate reasons also need to consider whether they remain subject to the CSA’s assessments – and prepare accordingly.

Note: This blog receives lots of queries related to the Child Support Agency (CSA). Unfortunately, because of the complex and labyrinthine nature of CSA processes and rules, such questions often call for lengthy and long-winded answers. For this reason, it is difficult to answer such queries on an individual basis.

If you are seeking advice about a situation that involves the CSA, I recommend that you contact the National Association for Child Support Action: a hardworking organisation that can provide ongoing assistance, advice and support.


The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known family law solicitors and divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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  1. stephanie Botterill says:

    When my son was nine months old his father left and to cut a long story short, didn’t contribute towards his upbringing, emotionally or financially. My son would get a visit once every six months if he was lucky.

    In early 2003 (when my son turned 4-years old) the Child Support Agency finally started to pay us from my sons father’s wages. This lasted until August 2004 when his father went abroad, our payments abruptly stopped and I was told that there was nothing that could be done. However I was told that his account would remain open until he notified them personally that he was out of the country. I was quite happy knowing that as long as he was out of the country he would still accrue arrears.

    I spoke to the Child Support Agency later in 2006 who then decided that, because he was still out of the country, his account would freeze and no longer build up arrears from that point on.

    I would like to draw to your attention the fact that I was a lone parent at the time (for five years), in and out of work trying to make ends meet and there was my son’s father having a very long holiday and not taking care of his responsibilities.

    On his return to England in February 2009 my case was re-opened in July 2009. He then returned to work in late 2009 and the CSA then had to track him down again and reassess his income.
    A year later we have received a letter from the CSA stating that my son will be entitled to £14.00 per week.
    His father claims to be self employed (but works for his brother) and claims that his income varies drastically. Yet he works full time and has only declared weekly earnings of £137.00, hence my son getting a minimal amount of financial support. I’m having to seriously question what is going on here.

    My biggest issue now is that I have been informed that the arrears he started to accrue when he first left the country will now be wiped clean. The law states that if a Non- Resident Parent leaves the country and stops paying Child Support (through choice) and is not working for a British company, no arrears will accrue from the moment they leave the country. Does a parent’s responsibilities cease just because they’re out of the country? Does the Government find it acceptable to let someone run away from their responsibilities so easily? I understand it is hard to keep track of someone’s employment when abroad, but I would have thought that a default amount would be set per month for the father (or mother) whilst out of the country, then re-paid to the child when they return to work in England.

    This legislation needs to be reassessed, because from my view point it looks like the CSA are only there to benefit the parents shirking their responsibilities and not to benefit the children.
    Mothers and fathers who have been left by themselves are being miserably failed by an outdated system , this law NEEDS to change within the CSA.

    I have complained more than once to the CSA about these issues and they have told that me they can’t do anything as the law and legislation is very black and white.

    I have spoken to the CSA again today and they have confirmed to me yet again that when the Non- Resident Parent leaves the country and doesn’t work for a British company, they stop acrruing arreas. How is this fair? Why can he get away with this? So what if didn’t work for a British company, surely my son should be owed something!

    I’m going to kick up a big fuss about this as my son and I have been treated so badly and the CSA have only done favours for my son’s father, not my son.

    S A Botterill.

    • JANET JARWOOD says:

      I have a friend who has lived in Spain for well over 10years, she moved here with her then spouse, on having her 3rd child he up and left. The father does not pay anything towards the up keep of any of the children. Two of which are still in full time education. 16 and 9yrs old. Is there any way my friend can get payments.

      • Sue wessel says:

        Hi Janet,
        I have just read your comments with despair about the csa. Having gone through a v bitter divorce a court order ruled for my ex husband to pay me an amount of £ which he has been paying. I recently had a call from the csa saying they have jurisdiction over a court order as my ex is now living in Australia with his new wife. I have 3 children, I’m a single parent, working full time and I’m dumbfounded that this can happen. Any advice????

        • Alan Finlayson says:

          Hi Sue

          I have just read your answer to Janet’s post. You say you obtained a court order for maintenance and that this is being paid to you. Are you having this enforced against your ex in Australia or is he paying voluntarily? The procedure for enforcement of your UK order for maintenance is to have it transmitted to the Australian central authority by the appropriate UK central authority. If he is permanently residing in Australia the CSA has no jurisdiction over him and cannot interfere with your court order. Foreign enforcement is dealt with between the central authorities of the countries concerned under international reciprocal agreements. I cannot understand why the CSA would think that it can get involved in international matters. If you have not sent your court order abroad you should do so as soon as possible. You will also be able to recover arrears due to you if there are any outstanding.

          Good luck

          Alan Finlayson

  2. Name Witheld says:

    I am a non resident parent living abroad.

    I fought the Child Support Agency for 6 years. For one child I was meant to pay 15% of my earnings. The calculations by the Child Support Agency reached as high as 90% of my earnings.

    The CSA refused to accept copies of my bank statements or Income Tax returns and stated all information had to come from the resident parent.

    I tried to fight the Child Support Agency through the Court but I was told by the Magistrate to “sit down and be quiet, if the Secretary of State says you owe money, then you owe money”. The Child Support Agency does not have to explain there calculations therefore if you are the father of the child you are guilty and a Court Liability Order is issued. At the end of 2009 the Child Support Agency was given new powers and could directly issue Liability Orders bypassing the court.

    I tried to enlist help at four big law firms in Doncaster and was shown the doors, one solicitor that would talk to me advised me that as long as I had property I would not be left alone. I attended the Citizens Advice Bureau in Thorne and was told that there was nothing they could do for me. They said the Child Support Agency was a law unto themselves and that legal firms had stopped taking the cases because they could not win.

    With the help of my father we wrote to everybody we could think of from the Ombudsman to the Priminister to no avail as all letters directed us back to the Child Support Agency.

    In 2010 the Child Support Agency took out a court order on my property in Doncaster. The next step would be to force the sale of the property and take the proceeds. This action would also close my self employed business as I would have no where to store my stock..

    The Child Support Agency is responsible for suicides as fathers are left with no finances and no hope. The only other option currently left to fathers is to leave the country and disappear. The Child Support Agency has and is trying to have passports automatically removed to stop this happening.

    Realising that our property was about to be pulled from under us along with it my business, I sold everything I could and chose to disappear. I now live abroad and will not return to the UK. At best the future for me in the UK would have been a bed-sit on the DHSS and no money to take my daughter out, at worst a prison sentence for non payment of money I could not afford and did not owe..

    I love my daughter very much and do not believe I took an easy way out. I keep in touch with my daughter by email, and still support her financially.


    I currently hold a three inch file verifying all the above and my story in great detail.

  3. Tulsa Divorce Attorneys says:

    So according to the 2000 amendments, the CSA does have jurisdiction over non-residents living abroad and if the non-resident does not pay CS, then an arrearage accrues that the CSA keeps track of and the CSA has the legal authority to collect on the arrearage??? very interesting.

    I would have thought that the Hague Convention would come into play into play in this scenario.

  4. susan says:

    the csa, did nothing to help me all those years ago, my x husband at the time, worked in car showroom, ran two buisnessess from home was told not allowed to touch that income, all my child was awarded was £ 2.50 a week when he lived the life of luxury , holidays abroad, we dont no what it is to have a holiday. they let us down , and to this day im sure they are letting alot of others down.
    he also has a daughter, bit younger than our son, and a 3rd now in thai land. so im not sure how much he owes the csa thats probaly why he left the country after making a profit on 28 charter house road. i hope they get their payment but he will always lie and cheat his way out of his resposibility for at least 2 of his children, i no of their maybe many more.

  5. Lancelot says:


    We, we, we… Me, me, me. Good on your ex moving away. All you want is money for yourself and holidays. Why should he pay for your luxuries?

    It gets me so mad. You women get EVERYTHING from the state. Help towards bills, housing, benefits and most of you work part time or not at all and sit on your asses.

    I think it’s a joke. A guy does well for himself, and the women only want for themselves. Selfish the lot of you.

    If you’re in hardship you should have thought about that before you had children, you should have made better life choices and made a career for yourself like your ex has.
    Note Editor has removed the rest of this post as abusive.

    • Samantha pownall says:

      .. never heard so much rubbish in all my life.. some people have children when there at there happiest together and both decided they would like a child together because that’s normal in life and it takes 2 so therefore it is both your responsibility to look after them so if in time one of the parents decides the grass in greener and decided family life isn’t for them anymore then you think it’s fine for them to just walk away and leave the other parent to look after and provide for there child on the own while they go off doing whatever they like and not have no responsibility at all … well your wrong they were man enough to do the deed they need to be man enough to support they children….and some parents don’t get benefits they have very good jobs actually so then can provide for there children but that doesn’t mean the over parent should get away with paying nothing… you obviously don’t have children or you are just very lucky you and your partner are still together but it’s probably none of them your probably with someone that has children that they have to pay for and you don’t like it because your a greedy person and thinks it should be all spent on you .. your on another planet
      (*Comment moderated)

  6. Pauline says:

    I have a letter saying my child’s support is to cease because I live abroad. That is, the non-resident father continues to live in the UK but will no longer need to pay for his child because the child now lives in another European country. The letter says that the decision is because I am not habitually resident. Yet I continue to pay my national insurance and to pay tax in the UK.

  7. Melanie says:

    My daughter found out yesterday her dad is moving to Germany in March, he told her he won’t be paying any maintenance, but yet his wife and child he wil maintain while they still live in London. I am not one of these parents that uses the money for myself it goes to my daughters schooling, clothes, travel, lessons, food etc. I will have to move and take my daughter out of school which she was very happy in. I think it is selfish for any parent not to support their child. I financially support my child the best I can and so should the absent father.

    • Jonathon Clark says:

      Can you possibly send me a copy of this letter from the CSA please

      • J says:

        I am in USA with two children from my failed uk marriage . Csa told me they have closed down my case as I have moved out of uk . Nobody knows if my ex should be paying for his kids . He has already taken everything house furniture cars and the courts say that he can have as I can’t get back into the uk for the courts

        How can I get a case up against my ex for child support

        • Marilyn Stowe says:

          Dear J

          This may help you. If you can get a US court order it can be enforced here. Or you can apply directly to the courts here.

          • Jack says:

            Hi Marilyn,

            I have 2 children on my own for the last couple years here in the USA, I have a child support court order here, the CSA here has failed to forward and enforce the court order and I seem to get the run around. My ex lives in Northamptonm and owes $27,000 in late child support. For the life of me I cannot find a way to enforce the order in the UK and the CSA here just ignores my communications. How can I enforce the USA child support order myself as I have tried all avenues and failed. Can I hire a lawyer in the UK to have my court order enforced there? Any help will be much appreciated. Sincerely. Jack

    • J says:

      Did u manage to get any help ?

  8. Tony D. says:

    After being kicked out the family home and on the street penniless and suicidal with no where to turn. The wife moves her new lover in to our home whilst I seek what little comfort I could at the local doctors to prescribe me something, anything to relive me of the 24/7 agonising pain.

    I found myself a cheap bedsit and carried on working hardly eating properly for days trying to piece things together. Then the CSA got in touch they demanded almost half of what I was earning which isn’t a great deal and there was no way I could possibly live on what was left. I was in regular contact with my son but the mother was so cold hearted and made my life such a living hell when it came to our son by mentally torturing me I was seconds away from committing suicide by hanging myself in my bedsit but something then sparked inside me, a light shone, a message from somewhere….move abroad don’t give up on life yet!. I cashed whatever I could lay my hands on and headed for the airport with a new 10 year passport reeling in pain about my son and not knowing what the future held for me. That was 6 years ago…I’m now remarried, living in the sun, speak another language fluently and have the most amazing life one could ever dream of.

    When my son is 17 he will receive a large cash payout from me that will set him up for life, his mother is well off and grandparents are very well off, he will not go without apart from a dad to be there for him but if I had stayed I would of topped myself anyway…so as far as my X wife and the CSA are concerned they can stick their paper work and demands where the sun don’t shine because its certainly shining where I am right now 🙂

  9. missy says:

    i am a woman. and let me tell you its a shame cash goes to these mothers. i know most mothers who spend all that cash the guy can barely afford to pay on themselves. its a joke. should be another way of doing this. pay to the court maybe to transfer cash onto a food card. and also buy what the kids need themself and send receipts to courts. its ridiculous how woman get money from state aid and help etc and still want and use all that money on ThemSELVES.

    • Moo says:

      Don’t blame you at all.
      Our Story.
      My Husband had ex – wife and one child. He handed over a 4 large bedroom property at the time of divorce. Has only seen the said child once. She turns 18 in April. Mother never wanted father and Daughter to have contact. Hadn’t heard anything in 15 years. Mother in law passed away. She found out that we were to inherit money. Took ex – husband to Court and wiped him of his inheritance! There are compelling circumstances as to why the child maintenance hadn’t been achieved throughout previous years. All the evidence was ignored. And she was awarded a large amount of money. No relationship with the child. Been brain washed from the Vulgar Mother. The justice system in the U.K. Stinks. It’s totally Criminal unequal and unjust. Fathers are economic slaves. Something needs to change drastically.

  10. kaytee says:

    How dare the small minded minority assume that the mothers are all money grabbing women who unfortunately most times are not the guilty party in the separation or divorce. You have obviously little knowledge of those single mothers trying to hold down jobs etc. to look after their children without the help of the father. Two people bring the children into the world… two should look after their welfare and not walk off and leave it all to the other. You obviously don’t realise what these children have to go through. My ex husband decided to have an affairs behind my back with young girls with an eye for money. We both worked for our business I even cleaned and worked in a bar abroad to help. That man left us with nothing, got our house repossessed and left me and my son with no home, sold our villa and furniture while he carried on with his business and also opened a shop.. while he was bankrupt. He was the richest bankrupt I ever known and made sure we knew it. Because of him the state also had to help us. If it wasn’t for those men who neglected their responsibilities to their children these woman would not have to ‘live off the state’. He has since got in financially difficulty and text me from Spain to say its all too much for him and has moved.. and cant afford to pay for his son nor be around to look after him whilst I work. He has abandoned his son and responsibility with his new baby and romanian girlfriend who is a bit younger than the other daughters he also doesn’t see. I have my own business I just started and am taking my degree this year… For four years I have studied worked, I dont smoke, drink very rarely and hardly go out. My money goes on my son. Whilst his father opens another shop in Spain and scarpers! And he can get away with it. I tried to get a divorce so he laughed and said is going bankrupt again and will put it all in his girlfriends name… who incidently owes money over here… so… On behalf of all the decent mums and dads out there we are entitled to a life too just because we are labled ‘single parents’ doesnt mean we should be sneered at for not being in a position to fully contribute to society… we do our best. As for me, me, me its a case of… the child, the child, the child so until you are the the situation to judge…don’t!

  11. Jack says:

    Alot of negitivaty the point to make is that both parties are resposible to support the child.But keep it in line with what is needed.
    I pay my ex every month with out question, also buy laptops clothes shoes ect for my son he is 11, But she is a money grabber I have a better job now abroad and she wants more money well above what he needs. She has re married and has another son who is now 5 she has not worked for 5-6 years lives in a 4 bed detached house and has lied and conned money out of me for whatever.
    Not all are the same but both should take care of a child but in my case its time to she wants around 600 pound a month when she is a kept women LOL!!! I will hand over control of my house to someone and tell the CSA to go jump and take her with them. I will contuinue to pay of course I have a duty to him but it dont cost 600 a month to run an 11year old. It will cost me 500 to hand over I will take this out of her payments, I offerd more money but she wants every penny she can get LOL!. Bless her and for all you guys who dont pay get real and pay its not right to pay nothing, butn if she is a grabber like mine out fox her or you will suffer. take care everyone.

  12. Observer says:

    “a move abroad and habitual residence there was the ideal way for a non-resident parent to evade financial responsibility for a child.”

    Actually, it probably has more to do with wanting to escape the pain, wipe the slate clean, and go into exile in protest against a nation that hypocritically claims to put child welfare first.

    But we can conveniently leave that stuff out….

  13. Nesa Simon David says:

    @Kaytee, why did you marry such a man in the first place? Seems like your childrens’ misfortunes (and incidentally yours) was a product of YOUR life choices…

  14. Richard says:

    It all sounds very frustrating and believe me I know exactly what you mean guys. It seems many people and authorities can not understand how much we do care about our children, how much we love them. Equal rights ? No chance. The mother decides to move out after cheating etc… get’s benefits, rent paid, the whole lot, whilst I had lost everything and not entitled to any benefits etc…. Couldn’t find work neither so went abroad to work for a while renting a small room, paying more maintenance then I should hoping this would give the kids a better live, but no, non of the money was spend at the kids, just went to the mother and her new husband, both not working and not even taking the kids out to the park or for a swim once a month. Came over 4 – 5 times a year taking my kids on a holiday and paying maintenance at the same time and still had to buy them decent shoes, clothes, presents etc…. Kept looking for work in the UK but wasn’t success full. Anyway, after 1,5 years working abroad so I could financially support my kids, I had managed to get a job in the UK near the kids and told my ex-wife I’ll be back in the UK in September. Guess what ? She had left the UK with my children within a week. Abduction this should be ? They moved to Holland and you know what ? I tried many solicitors for months now…and no one who wants to help me yet, tried authorities, embassies the whole lot and have been told I have to get a solicitor in Holland and fight this in a Dutch court costing a fortune and no chance to get the kids out of Holland although shared custody and authority. The EU and it so called laws are a joke, a discrase and if you are not able to pay solicitors in each country involved, all the travelling to see your kids and to go to court then you are F…..d. Sick of Europe, sick of courts, all pen pushers who don’t care being part of a System that doesn’t know what justice is and can’t understand how much it hurts. Sad sad world…

  15. Observer says:

    You are not alone Richard. Your case is one among thousands that prove absolutely that the child welfare principle so beloved of those who make a profit from it is in reality what might be called the child abuse principle.

    But again, that’s nowhere up for debate, and is something that cannot even be mentioned except on forums that all of 2 people might be reading.

    • Kathryn says:

      Could someone please advise me on how to get a lavish lifestyle with the help of the CSA and single parent benefits????

      Hard working registered nurse and single parent

  16. JamesB says:

    I just wanted to say that I have just read ‘Name Witheld’s story and feel very moved and sad by him and like him prey for an end to the CSA and the repeal or superceeding of the CS Act 1991.

    I also wanted to say to Observer that I do not think only 2 people read these sites. I have seen, both on here and on that the government and csa read all these threads along with many thousands of people. If you put specific child support or divorce or separation or contact questions into search engines marilyn stowe and john bolsh for example come up at or near the top often. Marilyn and John have also both mentioned that the CSA and government have contacted them following and during these threads. If you or John disagree please advise, but I think that is fair.

    Also I have found the forums useful for support and in that they advise when there is to be another government consultation. Then I do make a point of writing in and objecting as you should and we all should to stop this bad law. I think we should not be down hearted and should not regard our efforts and comments as futile, we are valuable nice people too, chin up mate 😉 .

  17. JamesB says:

    If we all keep on then we can get things to change. For example Payne v Payne and overseas relocation is not just signed off as it used to be and many other examples of the system slowly beginning to realise that men and nrps are people too and also usually good for their children.

  18. Linda says:

    All I can say to everybody is to put up a fight, and keep fighting. The CSA/CMEC are the most corrupt organisation out there, and they now have carte blanche to prosecute NRP’s without a Court process, using information based entirely on their own ‘calculations’. I have spent 6 years fighting them through Appeal Tribunals, and not just for one error, there have been so many horrendous and appalling errors on my husbands case too numerous to mention (he is the NRP). We have received a few thousand back, but are still owed some £3000. I eventually exhausted the CSA’s own Complaints procedure and was then free to go to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, or so I thought. Only to be told that I HAD to first go to The Independent Case Examiner. The ICE took 2 years to look at the case, with all my supporting documented evidence to prove my case, only to be told No Go. I was stunned. I then went to the PHSO and they have recently said the same. I provided proof from CSA’s own paperwork of every single error, and terrible calculations, and have been told “we can see nothing to indicate that this was because of any failures by the CSA” !! I have now had to ask PHSO to review the complaint, and because there has been ‘unlawfulness’ in the reviews of the complaint by both CSA, ICE and PHSO it now looks as if this will have to go to Judicial Review, which is a phenomenally expensive procedure unless we qualify for legal funding. And there you have it in a nutshell.. The system is designed to make it so impossibly difficult, that they hope it will shake you off. the Complaints procedures are so time consuming (and in the meantime you still HAVE to pay what they say), and don’t expect help from either ICE or PHSO unless your complaint is only fairly minor and they can then be seen to compensate for a couple of thousand. If your case is complicated and the errors are serious, as in our case, you will get nowhere because the Government are terrified of a “Floodgate” epidemic, where if they compensate one serious case then the resultant floodgate claims will bring this Government to it’s knees financially. They know only too well that the CSA are so appallingly bad, and the staff so totally incompetent that all they can do is to arm them with more powers, akin to giving a madman a gun, and to close the protection net so tightly around them, that nobody can get through. But fight we must, and the best advice that I can give anybody not knowing where to turn is to first arm yourself with a copy of The CSA Handbook, which is available from The Child Poverty Action Group..cost about £27, or around £8 if you are on benefits. If you have ever been to a Tribunal (which incidentally, it’s quite often the case that the ‘Judge’ at these Tribunals is actually a solicitor for the CSA!!) you will notice that this is the book that the Judge refers to. It is a fantastic book and you will then discover how to fight them, and how to challenge them. The other thing that it is vitally important that you do is to contact your CSA office (in writing) and request a copy of ALL your DPU prints, which will cost you £10. These are copies of everything on your case, and if it hadn’t have been for that we would never have seen the horrendous errors. We knew they were there of course, but calls and letters to them, as you all know, only result in the “we are right” response. With these you get your proof. Don’t give up. We have got to see this corrupt organisation fall. I will leave you with food for thought.. Are you aware that CSA staff have targets and bonuses on what is collected?? and one member of CSA staff has been prosecuted for stealing from an NRP .. makes you wonder doesn’t it ?

  19. Sadie says:

    My sons father moved to Spain and hence the CSA stopped taking maintenance from him. I do not have a court order for CSA in place, does anyone know how much the courts charge to make one and apply for a REMO? And how then will they calculate the amount of maintenance owed if he works abroad and I have no idea of the company he works for or his earnings?

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Sadie
      You need to go to the local court and issue your application for maintenance. You will need to complete the necessary forms about your finances and so will he.
      For information about REMO this is the link. Call them on the number.
      As its tricky, if you can afford it, consult a solicitor.
      Best wishes

      • S says:

        I’m after some advice on Csa ?
        I’ve been separated from my husband for 7 years now , I opened a case with the Csa back in 2011 because he just up and left me , I also later on found out that he had a lot of debt , it was joint debt like mortgage and credit cards , but I was totally in sweat of this debt as he has s good wage and we were comfortable so there wasn’t any reason not to pay it .
        Anyway over the years he’s paid some small irregular payments towards our daughter but not a lot and not regular hence the getting in touch with Csa .
        I’m still no further forward that where I was back in 2011 when I opened the case with them .
        Because he works off shore for a foreign company Csa are not able to do anything .
        Over time I’ve gotten more and more behind with the debt because I’ve priorotised the mortgage payments and other things I felt were more important so I had no choice but to go into an Iva . I’ve massivly struggled over the years holding down two jobs and raising my daughter on my own .
        However I received a letter of the Csa stating that my ex owes 14,000 pound in arrears , does it look at all likely that my daughter will ever see this money that’s owed to her ?
        I want nothing to do with it but I do want to fight for the money for my daughter and put it in a trust fund for her for when she’s 18 , just as a little “ sorry” your father didn’t pull his weight as much as he should have but have this money to make up for all the times when u we’re younger ( she’s nearly 14 now ) you sometimes had to go without things .
        I’m passionate about this and I’m willing to fight for what my daughter is owed !

        • Kate Nestor says:

          Thank you for your comment. I have passed your details onto our Client Care Team who will be in touch. Kind regards

  20. suzanne says:

    i am married and we seperated in 2006 dec and we have a little girl who is 8 nearly 9 and i live in france with my little girl and he did up until 2006 Dec and he now lives in UK , he wants nothing to do with his daughter and i am wanting to know if i can claim any money from the CSA for our little girl , with me living in france and him living in the uk and working
    We have not got divorced as he refused a divorce in 2007 so are just not together , can anyone shed any light on what i may claim or not claim

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Suzanne
      I think you need some fast personal legal advice about the possibility of being divorced in England, obtaining a financial settlement in England such as spousal and child maintenance in addition to a capital payment which may include property and pension sharing. He can’t just “refuse” a divorce in English law.
      The reason for my concern is that whichever country the divorce is issued in will most likely hear the financial side and French law may be unfair to you.
      So please get yourself some English and French legal advice and act on it in your best interests.
      The CSA does not deal with cases where the recipient and child live abroad.

  21. JamesB says:

    If I was him and I got such a divorce petition first thing I would do would be to dispute the jurisdiction then lawyers fees go through the roof. Hence why people struggle with lawyers. Will cost more in lawyers bills then she might get in maintenance. The other thing to do would be to issue proceedings in France for child support (never spent any married life with him outside of France) and then rely on reciprocal arrangement with England. Again more lawyers involved with their fees. If I was her I would start by phoning him and asking which country he would prefer to be divorced in.

    It is disappointing and the route of a lot of problems that people regard divorce predominantly as a money grabbing exercise. That is not what it is about and does devalue marriage that attitude.

  22. naomi says:

    james from most of the comments i have read that you have put on here it seems like you have been hurt quite badly by somebody and that seems a shame as you appear to be a very nice genuine bloke. i can seem quite harsh in some of my comments but i assure you i am quite the opposite i reality let me prove to you that not all us women are money grabbing monsters [email protected]
    lets have a drink.. ill pay 🙂

  23. JamesB says:

    Hiya, thank you for that Naomi, it was a nice message to receive. I will e-mail you, I like nice. Plus, yes, my last post was speaking from experience. I would say though that I do not think most women are like that. Indeed my ex father in law did cause most of the difficulties in my divorce which I allude to. Have a good week.

  24. JamesB says:

    May end up in your spam folder by mistake and perhaps keep an eye on that as well as your inbox. I think naomi is a nice name btw.

  25. naomi says:

    most problems in relationships do stem from the other partys family in my expierience @jamesb

  26. Marj says:

    There are always 2 sides of a story, however at the end of the day, the parent left caring of the child/ren needs support both financially and emotionally. It’s tough being a single parent. It doesn’t help when the paying parent takes off and moves abroad without taking into consideration, there is a child who still needs to cared for. I believe that the law does not protect the single parent enough. the length of process and the crap that goes with it. Not all single parent have housing benefits or income support. In this day and age, there has to be a better way to easily track a parent who avoids what is ultimately his/her responsibility to pay for his/her child. It is not the governments.

  27. Kathryn says:

    My daughters father is an oil rig manager (he is not on window cleaners money). He took great pleasure in telling me that he was moving to Bahrain, where I presume he still Perseus his career in the oil industry. Knowing I would be worried, he knew I would ring the CSA to inform them, so with a couple of phone calls, one to him stating he was moving permanently my daughters payments were stopped! Which of course suited him! So he and his wife who both retain property’s in the UK with tenants in, and in the area where my daughter and I live are laughing at me……but of course they lack in site when it comes to the needs of my seven year old.

    I am a registered nurse and have three jobs, looking after then needs of dying patients at night time, and two health promotion jobs in secondary schools, I recently went for a fourth interview. As you can imagine, child care costs are steep, although my daughter is now in primary school. I have the help of my aged mother 70 this year, who fills the financial gap as best she can otherwise we would be homeless on just my part time wage!!!! So we continue to live with my mother who looks after my daughter at night so I can drive sometimes 45 miles to work at night.

    So between my pensioner mum and me a part time staff nurse my daughter gets the bare basics. I have to say no to swimming lessons, no to piano lessons, no to things in the shop window, and mull over whether I can afford to buy my daughter something in the Charity shop!

    Because of my daughters fathers lack of responsibility and his choice to move abroad, to get out of making payments, my daughter has to suffer. If she was born to a prince she should expect the same lifestyle to that of her father, if she was born to an oil rig manager, she should expect the same standard of living, if she was born to a window cleaner then she should live by the window cleaners standards.

    While he is sunning himself on his time off, I am struggling to buy school shoes for my daughter.

    What are the rights of the child in these circumstances?

    I went to court last week, he did not show up Obviously as he is living abroad. It would seem the law and the CSA protect that of feckless parents who do not care about the children they chose to have and leave behind!

  28. Peter says:

    The Background: I’m a NRP. My daughter is 21 years old and at university, for which I pay her fees. I’ve lived in France since 2000, with two returns for periods longer than a quick visit. One period was in 2001 when I did summer work, the next was in 2003. On this second occassion I returned to take my driving test and stayed at my parents. I did claim income support on this second occassion and was actively looking for work not knowing whether or not I’d pass my test – in which case I’d decided to stay in England until I did pass. In fact, I passed and returned to live and work in France.
    I had frequent contact with my daughter until 2000. I actually had been granted a contact order (1996) to see her regularly since her mother had been trying to deny me access. However, this contact order was thrown to the wind when her mother moved to the other end of the UK. Nevertheless I kept contact, including numerous visits, until having my bags thrown out and told to go. I went to France. No – I’m not a bad guy and have done much for my daughter’s mother – only to have it thrown back in my face when she’s over a crisis period and back on her feet.
    Anyway, somehow, in 2000, after I’d started work in France as a TEFL teacher, a solicitor was persuaded to write me a letter advising me that my daughter (then aged 8 yrs) didn’t wish to have contact with me and so I should refrain from having contact with her. I actually tried to keep contact, but received no response to even know whether my attempted communications were getting through. So, finally, I refrained from paying any child support.
    Contact was re-established through my daughter’s wishes in 2005. But now the CSA is demanded payment for the period 2001 – 2003, when I returned to the UK twice – which they call ‘frequent’. The amount of arrears is around 7k euros.
    I’m trying to keep this short and simple, but could you tell me where I stand. Also, as a TEFL teacher I’m not on a great salary, but if I have to pay any money can I ensure this goes to my daughter who is independent and needs money for her studies – rather than for her mother who I feel would use the money in a way for which it is not intended.

  29. joanne bell says:

    I spit with my daughters father in 2004 when she was three and a half.He payed maintenance for a few years but stopped paying about five years ago. He lives in France with his new family and comes over here to see his mother. He says he does want to see her but he has not sent any letters or birthday cards . Please help me to get intouch with the right people, the C S A have no authority to help me as he works for himself . I have also been to see a solicitor five years ago but he did not respond to the letters.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Joanne
      You need to make an application to your local court for an order for child maintenance as he lives abroad. The order can then be enforced through REMO in London. Its not an easy process and it wont be quick. A lot of it you can do yourself, but I think a local solicitor might give you some free advise about which is the best court and give you the necessary forms to complete.
      By far the easiest way is to try and sort it out amicably. Perhaps he isnt seeing his daughter and if he did, it might do the trick?
      Best wishes

  30. Philip NEWMAN says:

    Hi again Marilyn,
    I was hoping for a reply (message May 6th 7.58 pm) and would still be very grateful to receive one if possible. Perhaps my situation is one to which you’d prefer not comment? A private note to this effect would be greatly appreciated as I’m still trying to decide on what is my correct course of action.
    Thanks in advance,
    Phil NEWMAN

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Philip
      I don’t give advise about CSA issues. I would suggest as a starter you contact a solicitor who does specialise in this area. There are several who advertise on Google.

  31. Matt says:


    I split up from my ex in 2005, we have 2 kids, who I had regular contact with, I always paid my child support payments c£800pcm, bought the majority of clothing and was regularly frustrated that due to her lifestyle (despite having a good job) she regularly ran out of money to buy food, pay for school trips, etc. I feel that there should be some control concerning what the payment is used for, i.e. towards the children.

    In 2010, after agreeing to my kids visiting iceland to visit her parents over Christmas (she is an Icelandic national), she never returned.

    After a bit of a breakdown (I’m very close to my kids), I sorted myself out and got legal advice, however the only thing that was clear was that it would be tortuous, expensive and hurtful. My ex told both me and the kids it was only for 2 years. I have made regular visits since, paid all travel expenses (they stay with me at Xmas and the whole summer), so imagine my surprise when the Icelandic government issued me a huge bill for unpaid child support! Apparently my ex has been paid by them since 2010, and they are trying to recoup this from me.

    I’m not really sure where I stand on this, as I don’t recognise any responsibility for this claim



  32. JOANNE says:

    I have two children to my ex partner, we split over 5 years ago, He dosnt pay anything or has any contact with our children. CSA contacted me and informed me he now has to pay I was espected to receive payment this month and havnt i didnt hold my breath for the payment although it would of been polite to inform me this wasnt happening. Ive now been informed that as the company he works for is not in the uk an attachment of earnings wouldnt be honored he is still a resident of the uk, they planning to take legal proceedings against him and im not sure if the company will be prossecuted aswell for false information. All i can say is i know all of you will live to regret to time you have lost with your CHILDREN hope the money was worth it.

  33. Luke says:

    A lot of very distressing cases and hurt people here – too many unstable relationships having too many children – depressingly there is an air of inevitability about it and once the initial bad decision is made many people are stuck…

  34. Irina says:

    Dear Marilyn,
    The father of my child who is Chilean citizen, cut off all the contacts after the news I was pregnant. He resides in Chile being a partner in a law firm. My son has only a mother written into his Birth Certificate. Is it realistic to start the court procedures with regards to proving his parental responsibilities (including DNA test) and enforcing child support payments?
    Many thanks.

  35. Irina says:

    Thank you

  36. Sean says:

    Hi all read all the above and im being screwed by the csa , they said i would had paid my arears in september , rang them last week to be told ive got to still pay until december then goes back to normal rate for my daughter , joke feel the same as most of you and fed up with all the rubish they keep dishing out , half the time think they make it up , and yes my child walks around in rags while my ex lives it up with her partner , dont blame any man for leaving this money grabbing dump we call great britan cant be bothered with it all , after going to court spending loads on costs ect , they have the kids with us but use the kids as tools to get more , not saying all women are like it . Im thinking very strongly what is the point anymore. And think its time to cut my losses .

  37. sandra says:

    My husband is here in USA on a green card but now it looks like he has to pay child support to his son in Sweden, which he is doing according to Sweden standards but now the case was sent to USA court, we do not know how much he will be asked to pay since his kid is not in USA but in Sweden!!!!!!!

  38. Zee says:

    To be honest… I am an absent father but I agree an absent parent should pay towards the childs upbringingI see my daughter every second weekend. What I cant understand is that there are some cases where the contributions are extotionate (based at 15%) and this contribution increases everytime your salary increases. Are we saying the same child upbringing increases or changes that drastically. Some parents can pay £100 plus a week for one child depending on what they earn. Most unemployed adults are on jobseekers allowance which is far below this but yet they are expected to survive on this allowance – PAY BILLS , FOOD CLOTHING ETC. Somehow i really think the law is very mother orientated and there is no policing on how really the money is spent. Im sue my daughters mother spends it not just on the childs essentials but also her Bobby Brown makeup and Dior perfume. Im also aware she gets working tax credits so really this law and gov rules are to blame. My advice ato all fathers is yes contribute within your means and if you cant then follow your heart and the sun.

  39. Jane says:

    My ex works in Iraq as a body guard , he earnings are in the excess of 70k tax free , he also owns a property in the uk which he rents out for 10k I don’t get a penny for our son I was married for 19 years worked throughout my marriage earning more than my ex on many occasions . But this fact isn’t even a issue , I’ve been informed by CSA that I could use there service to obtain support but I have no faith in them what so ever , I am currently going through the courts for support for my son, I can’t understand how someone who does not pay child support but yet can obtain a mortgage using income from abroad ? Mean while I have to rely on uk tax payers to support my income which is a insult to all uk tax payers in my opinion including the judge who will be hearing the case , some benefits I know I’m entitled to but still I feel I shouldn’t claim out of justification to all who pay uk tax , I was brought up to believe you work for a living by my mother who left my drunken father with nothing but 2 bin liners of children’s clothes , I’m pleased to say and very proud that now she employs over 90 people in the city of Leeds , I’d say shes come along way from having 4 children and 6 months in the Salvation Army home . … She’s living proof that I have the survival instincts instilled in me . so all that’s left to say is BRING IT ON child support avoider ! Ya barrister dont scare me .

    • Alison says:

      Jane, I’ve just googled my problem and your comment came up. My ex has been working for An American company in Iraq and at the moment is paying me 150 a month, whilst thank god I’m getting something towards the children’s up bringing he is earning well over 70k a year tax free. I’ve spoke to my solictor and it seems tricky he lives in the UK with his fiancée so he is habitually resident here for about 112 days a year. Did you ever end up in court and was there a positive outcome? Thanks Alison

  40. Gentlergiant says:

    From a bit further up there^^

    “The reason for my concern is that whichever country the divorce is issued in will most likely hear the financial side and French law may be unfair to you.”

    Marilyn, just how is the law in France ‘unfair’?

    From my understanding of it, (and I am not a lawyer), under French law, pre-marital property, however acquired, is respected as belonging to it’s original owner. A sort of pre-nuptual by default. If the same stance were adopted by the Courts in this country, the prospects for a ‘gold digger’ (for want of a better term) would be limited back to realism. Huge sections of society would benefit, and many many men could get on with their post-marital lives without the real and justified rage that burns throughout. We could, in fact, get off forums like this and start rebuilding our lives. Not only would the institution of marriage be healthier and more honest, but the children of these unfortunate relationships would have two happy parents, not one with a new house, and one incoherent with depression. To suggest that the English system is better or fairer is, I believe, to ignore the facts in front of you.

    *Bitter and twisted*

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Gentlergiant
      You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, and it is one that is shared by many.

  41. JamesB says:

    Jane there is something in GentlerGiant’s words that ring true. Well done to your mother. I do point out though that she did not have to pay her ex maintenance. If she did I expect it would have made the situation harder for her. As GentlerGiant says, it really is something we struggle with making psychological sense, paying to be insulted.

  42. JamesB says:

    Thinking about it, I think a resolution would be to pay the support to the child directly perhaps. Financing my ex’s luxurious lifestyle in house I bought and paid for while I really stuggle is not fair. And his point about 2 happy parents rather than 1 makes sense.

  43. Marthe says:

    I was re-located to The Netherlands two years ago. My ex-Partner with whom I have a son has not paid any child maintenance for over 18 months. My son is currently attending school in the UK as the Dutch school was not a good fit. My ex-Partner has properties, pensions, etc. How do I go about making a move to secure maintenance for my son. Does the fact that my son lives in the UK allow me to make a claim via the UK CSA or must I try to obtain a magistrates’ court order for maintenance in The Netherlands to be then registered in The UK? I am looking for some guidance on the right steps.

  44. JanP says:

    Can you advise if a British born but permanent resident of NZ , who has avoided paying child support ordered by the NZ courts for the last two and a half years, whilst the mother of his child has been seeking relocation (which has now been agreed on) is liable to pay child support to the child who will be now residing in the UK,

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear JanP
      All parents have a financial responsibility for their child, all that differs is the process depending on the whereabouts of the parent. A parent living offshore is not subject to the CSA regime in this country,consequently the application should be made to an English court and then enforced through REMO an inter country reciprocal enforcement agency.

  45. emma says:

    I have to comment , some of these comments are disgusting , esp about single mothers getting everything , u really need to need to live in the real world of bringing up a child alone , i can tell u now it was something i never wanted to do or would ever wish on anybody , its hard and draining ,and very stressful , of course we read articles about mums spending it on drink ,drugs ect but not all of us r like that , in a mental health nurse who has brought my daughter up alone , whilst her father decided that 3months after she was born it wasn’t the life for him , so he left , not only leaving me with a baby but no home either, is this fair ??? I think not !! 10 yrs on in happily married but my ex works on oil rigs, earning 50k , and pays what he thinks a mother should get 20 pounds a week , whilst he has life of luxury csa cant touch as he works out of English waters , as far as in concerned i would rather work overtime to provide than have to fight him , as the csa wont help , what else can i do ??? I have the satisfaction of knowing i get my daughter what she needs and she will remember this !!;

  46. Lukey says:

    I have to comment , some of these comments are disgusting , esp about fathers not giving anything when they don’t get to see their kids, u really need to live in the real world…

    See how that works the other way too Emma ?

    There will be cases where women do badly, however, I think it reasonable to give the view that for the most part, in my opinion, fathers are shafted in family court.

    Part of this is I think unavoidable because small children have to primarily live with one parent and that realistically usually ends up being the mother – but I would also add that I think the deal for men overall is so bad now that any man who gets married is woefully misinformed or is an idiot.

    I am not saying this as a man who has been emotionally burned by marriage – I have helped deal with a family case and co-workers who want to discuss it. It had never occurred to me that I wouldn’t marry, but as the laws have changed against husbands it is no longer a rational option, and with the move to trap male cohabitees as well it gets even worse…

  47. emma says:

    I didn’t say it didn’t work the other way lukey , and i agree that some fathers are shafted as u put it , but i have never once stopped my daughter seeing her dad despite all the crap we have endured , and i do feel totally annoyed by the csa , in that some fathers have to pay beyond there means , and my ex gets away with despite living in England , but works away and doesn’t contribute to tax and nat ins either , he gives my daughter what he thinks i should have , when someone earns 50k a year they should be paying a fair amount not what they want too .

  48. Jab says:


    I’ve just read a lot of these comments and really feel for the horrendous situation both mothers and fathers are put in by each other…. and the CSA! I’m appalled at the fact that some fathers, who are able to support their kids just completely abandon their young children and leave it all to the mother, although i know there are some cases where the mothers remarry in months making that whole situation very difficult to put up with never mind pay for!. But I’m equally appalled at mothers who see the fathers as some kind of life cash cow for their kids AND themselves. My feeling is that cash payments should be replaced by 50% food and clothes coupons and the rest cash. But the cash payment should be based on the needs of the child and child care. I’m lucky in that i earn well and Im more than happy to pay for my sons needs. However, when the calcs are done by the CSA the amount of money i have to pay,.. is around £800 per month for one 12 year old boy on top of his school fees of £900 per month it really does curtail my life and how i want to spend it solely because my ex wants me to pay her as much as she can get (due to the CSA) and not what she actually needs for my son,.. and here’s the worst bit,… she recently inherited a lot of money following her parents death (which now makes her more than twice as wealthy as me) but still wants me to pay for everything. The CSA do not take her situation into account at all. Its ridiculous! The resentment i feel in having to do this is driving me to seriously consider moving abroad for good and if i do that we will ALL loose. My ex will loose her money, my son will loose me, i will loose him,.. Why is it that some women have absolutely no self pride or even self respect when it comes to living off other people even when they can afford to pay their own way themselves and they continue to use the child as an emotional weapon in order to get what they want. I actually said to my solicitor… “what if she wins £10m on the lottery”? … “makes no difference” he said!!!! Yes this whole legislation and the way it is thought out is in a total mess and totally biased towards the mother no matter what her circumstances are. Its totally unfair for fathers who want to do the right thing but at the same time just cant stand being ripped off by uncaring and spiteful woman who just use their children as meal tickets to support their own lavish lifestyles,… well over and above what is needed for the child! It makes my blood boil!

  49. Alison says:

    Dear Marilyn
    I’m at my wits end. I have three children 17, 13 and 9. I’ve been through a lengthy divorce. There is a court order. My ex husband is moving soon to live/work in Dubai.

    I know that there is high possibility that he will not pay me maintenance from Dubai and this country is not covered through REMO.

    What on earth can I do? He leaves the country at the end of December 2013.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Alison
      You can apply to have the maintenance secured against assets in this country. You don’t mention how the money is paid by his company and into which bank account and it may be possible to still enforce offshore. I agree its tough and potentially expensive but your solicitor will know the position much better than I do, do take advice. It can be done.
      It might just be worth thinking laterally also. Instead of maintenance is there some other deal that can be done?

  50. alice louise westbrook says:

    I remarried a chap who is in the forces. We have been posted abroad. We still pay UK tax. My ex has stopped his £20 a week payments as he says as we live abroad he doesnt have to pay.

    He is avoiding discussing access arrangements despite offers to stay with us or school holidays in the uk.

    Any advice? I have found nothing on websites.


    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Alice
      Para 14 of Schedule 1 Children’s Act 1989 permits you to apply for financial provision for a child even though you and the child are resident outside the country. So tell your ex to resume his payments or you will go to court and ask the court to make a better order and potentially even pay your legal costs as well.
      It might be an idea to first call Child Maintenance Options which although you don’t qualify under the scheme could give you a better idea of the correct figure you should be receiving.

  51. mark says:

    hi there need a bit of advice my ex and kids relocated to australia and i continued to pay maintenance on the agreement that i would get to see them once a year fully paid by myself …this was 5 years ago…the kids came back at xmas but i only got to see them twice which wa unfair …Am i obliged by law to pay maintenance to her in Australia even without a court order …as i have said that i will not be paying maintenance till she sticks to her agreement regards mark

  52. Ruth says:

    I have a son with my ex partner. He has never met his son.
    Been avoiding and hiding. Now i know where he is. Can i claim
    maintainance since the child wap born. He has missed so much in hip upbringing. His father is a doctor in UK.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Ruth
      You can apply to the court under Schedule 1 Children act 1989 and make an application for capital provision and income too. I think you need some detailed advice so contact a firm of solicitors in this country for more advice.

  53. Yuna8 says:

    Hi Marylin,
    I would be ever so grateful if you could please advise me on where to appy for an EEO (European Enforcement Order). It’s for the divorce costs and further to the notice of commencement of assessment of bill of costs I obtained a Default Costs Certificate from the Senior Courts Costs Office. My ex obviously ignored everything.
    From there on I’ve been stuck because the PRFD don’t know what I’m talking about and the SCCO sends me back to PRFD. I heard a rumour somewhere that the EEO application should be made to the Queen’s Bench Division. Is that correct and how much is the fee please?

  54. johnny says:

    this is why people should settle by them self. why give your hard ern money to court. they take a peace of the pie also. in that case why dont you bring the court to your bedrroom as well. ignorance. no wounder the country is falling apart.

  55. stevie says:

    girlfriend left and went to SPAIN 13 years ago pregnant, no contact since, no idea if baby was even born.

    call out of the blue now and now wants a huge lump sum and maintenance.

    she has threathened CSA (or new version of it)

    what are my rights? will they make me pay anything, given she is in Spain and no claim ever lodged in the past.

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Stevie
      I suppose the first thing is to find out if you are the father. It depends what type of proceedings you are facing. When and if you hear further then you needs to take legal advice. Sorry it’s vague but I can’t guess what might or might not happen.

      • Luke says:

        “I suppose the first thing is to find out if you are the father. ”

        I think I would take the “I suppose” off the front of that statement 🙂

  56. Janette says:

    In reference to the Child Support Act 1991, under section 44, it states that jurisdiction to make a maintenance assessment can be made if a non resident parent is not habitually resident in the UK, but is employed by a company registered under the Companies Act 2006. Would you know if this rule can be applied to a NRP who is no longer a habitual resident in the UK (moved to another EU country in 2008), took early retirement at age 50 in 2006, and receives a pension from a company registered under the Companies Act 2006,which is paid into a bank also registered under the Companies Act, having lived and worked in England for most of their life. Can you see any reason why pension income, in this example, should be treated any differently from employment income, for the purpose of the child support act? If it is intended that they should be treated as one of the same, then I would really appreciate being pointed to any evidence that might support this.

  57. Jane says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    The father of my son lives in America. I live in the uk. My son is now 7 years old. The father never came over to the UK to register his birth with me therefore he is not on the birth certificate. He has also never paid a penny in 7 years despite me bending over backwards to provide weekly contact between him and his son. I even brought him a plane ticket but he never showed up. For the last 3 years I’ve not heard anything (he changed phone numbers, moved state and deleted his email address). I have now found him. Do I have any chance in applying for a remo?
    Kind regards

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Jane
      It’s up to you. If you have a court order you could contact them:-

  58. shireen says:

    i am asking for a friend, She and her daughter have moved to the USA, her father lives in Enlgand and paid child support until he got married and had another child, then he stopped. They did not get a penny for 5 somewhat years. When he was finally taken to CSA. he declared zero income, although he has a mortgage with the house.The CSA told her originally (when she was in England) that he only had to pay £5 a week and it was up to her to provide the evidence of income. She moved to the States for her research job (not great pay) and he called the CSA and they said he did not need to pay. As stated above (Para 14 of Schedule 1 Children’s Act 1989 ) can use this to get a court order for maintenance whilst she is in the States for her daughter. CAn i do anyhting ofr her here in the UK to help, thanks

    • Luke says:

      Well Shireen perhaps it wasn’t a very wise or reasonable idea to go to the USA for a low paying job with the child – how does that encourage contact for the child with the father ? It appears to be a self-centred action by the mother.

      I am not saying he is not irresponsible in not paying but her actions don’t seem very responsible either and it is not an unlikely occurrence that a father will begrudge being treated like a cash cow when the mother effectively denies him contact.

  59. megan says:

    Hi marilyn, my x boyfriend intends to leave the country to go for abroad for over 2 yrs. He has been paying maintainance but recently he has informed friends that he is going to go abroad for 2 yrs to avoid paying child maintainance . Can the law make him pay for the earlier when he comes back. He has family whom he is leaving behind pse advise

  60. james007 says:

    Faced with the choice of a council flat and a life on benefits or life overseas i chose a life overseas. CSA made my choice a no brainer. They are still persuing me in UK for alledged arrears even though ive not been in the UK for any length of time for over 10 years now.
    My ex excluded me from my kids lives as soon as we split and made impossible financial demands. I payed her directly but it was never enough. Shes a six figure earner herself and has a new partner earning six figures too. Hardly poverty stricken.
    Im back in UK again for a visit, no doubt the CSA will jump on me in some way. They recently sent bailiffs around to my 85 year old mothers causing destress and also emptied my UK bank account that i use to send money to the kids. They know im not UK resident. Im guessing the next step is cancelling my passport and banging me up in jail?

  61. Rene Leliveld says:

    Maybe you should reconsider that a private arrangement is better then a criminal organisation like the CSA who don’t care about us men. I am willing to pay child support but I want to give it to my daughter in her bank account when I visit her, as it is just 2 times a year. I have a job that does not pay that much and still they charge me 25 procent of my income. I am now looking to work abroad in the far east where the CSA does not have the long reaching arm. Then I will get my private arrangement. Why don’t they realize that we man also have a right to live?

  62. Rene Leliveld says:
    Watch this and then you will agree that the court has an agenda women minded

  63. Fern says:

    My ex fiance and father of my 2 children, 1 & 4, has chosen to leave us in order to emigrate to Australia and live with his family who emigrated themselves 20 years ago. He has cut off all contact and refuses to discuss child support. He hasn’t flown yet but I’ve been told he’s been granted a visa to move. Many organisations and legal advice have told me I dont stand a chance of getting a penny if he leaves the country as he plans to live a cash in hand resistance running his mum’s opal mine. I feel my only option is to complain to the Australian embassy before he leaves as I’ve been told that he can’t have declared his debts ~£4k, and that he has 2 dependants he is not supporting otherwise his visa would not have been granted despite family sponsorship. I’ve submitted a child support claim but have no contact details for him so they doubt any claim can be set up before he leaves which could then be taken up by REMO. Any advice very welcome. Thank you.

  64. Sally says:

    If both parents are amicable, can put their differences aside and do what’s best for the children, then the idea of fighting over money or leaving the country doesn’t even come into play. The key is to get along, and quit using the kids as leverage. Ladies if you start playing the “you can’t see your kids” card, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. Doing what’s right for the children isn’t just about collecting money and too often we see these women living in council houses, collecting their benefits and ideally working their 16 hours, moving the boyfriend in and not reporting it to council and then demanding money from the ex and not allowing access to the children. CSA is only part of the problem.

  65. Alan Stevenson says:


    I agree that getting along is the key however many relationships end with on going animosity. Children end up being used as the ultimate weapon.
    Wha is disgusting is that the courts brush it under the carpet and the csa actually reward the resident parent for denying access!
    As long as this is allowed by the system we will always see nrp’s going overseas to escape the courts and csa juristiction. And i for one dont blame them. Ive done the exact same myself.

  66. Yvie says:

    The CSA is a major part of the problem. It has had three goes at trying to make its system work without success. Whilst it promotes an ‘entitlement tool’ denoting how much one parent should pay the other, a proportion of parents will be less inclined to negotiate downwards in the interests of fairness.. Unfortunately CSA continues to believe it is acceptable to consider the needs of one parent to the extent that it impoverishes the other, and unless this policy changes, the damage it does to families will never be resolved.

  67. Anonymous says:

    To say that the CSA is part of the problem is a very big understatement, but otherwise I agree with what Yvie, Alan and Sally say above.

    What Rene needs to understand is that the CSA was never set up with children in mind. Children are secondary here, and the government only uses the word ‘child’ as a way of covering up its real motivation. It’s reason for existing is purely economic, and has to do with making sure that the mother is not too much of a burden on the public purse. This is all fine if the father has an income of over some figure like 45 000 and no involvement with his children. Fathers who shirk their responsibilities should be penalized. It is not fine, however, if the father is trying to be involved as much as he can and is struggling financially. And I suspect that there are far more of these cases. In the majority of cases, then, what the CSA is doing is communicating to fathers that they should either give up on their children and put all their time into their career, or that they should go on trying to be involved with their children but drop out of employment altogether and live in poverty on benefits. As a government organization, then, the CSA is waging a war on lower income fathers and making it entirely impossible for millions of fathers to be decent dads.

    No wonder they run. No wonder they climb buildings.

    So the CSA is not part of the problem, but the very root of the problem.

  68. Yvie says:

    Anonymous – you have described my son’s position exactly. He has a shared residence of his children but not 50%. He provides a home for them, all their clothing and every other necessity that children need to make them comfortable. In addition to this, his wife claims 25% of his wages. He is thus left with three-quarters of a wage to exist on, whilst his ex. wife and her partner are in the fortunate position of having two and a quarter wages. I used to think that self employed fathers who hid their wages were beneath contempt. Now I don’t blame them. It is not a question of not wanting to provide for their children, but more a question of preventing theft by the State.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Yep, theft it is, but I also think it is so much worse than theft.

    Theft already happens with taxes, which go into funding the second homes of politicians, the militarization of police forces, lobby organizations masquerading as benevolent charities and countless other stupidities (in addition to all the other services that we are only too happy to pay for).

    What the CSA is doing, through the grossest form of state-sponsored financial abuse, is wrecking the lives of tens of thousands of children. (I said millions above, but that was obviously exaggeration.)

    With simple theft, at least things can be replaced.

    I think the problem with the CSA is that most of the people working on its behalf don’t think about these things or question what they are doing, but just go along with what the boss says. The history of the twentieth century ought to have shown us just how dangerous that sheep mentality is.

  70. dingaloo says:

    You are spot on. Sadly the UK has become a nation of playing the system. Not that non resident parents want to but what are the alternatives, especially if you dont have great earning capacity.
    I know many men who have been raped by the system and cant afford to travel to see their kids let alone provide a good home because they have been reduced to living in shared accomodation.

    No suprise they take off given a choice. Many dont have that choice

  71. Anonymous says:

    ‘Not that non resident parents want to but what are the alternatives, especially if you dont have great earning capacity.’

    Well, here is another important kernel of truth. It’s certainly too easy to put it all down to greed. A lot of it is driven by fear too. But what humanity is left when the parent with power uses the CSA to destroy the other parent’s ability to shelter and feed his children adequately? It seems the government has done an excellent job of pitting separated parents against each other, so that they are so busy fighting that they don’t see that the real enemy is actually the state, with its destructive austerity measures that have no other logical purpose than to concentrate wealth and create a neo-serfdom.

  72. Luke says:

    “Ultimately, it should be remembered that child maintenance is money that is owed to the child, not the other parent.”
    Hmmm…. I don’t think that is a valid argument Rachel – because if the child has reached the age of majority before the payment is made then according to this you could bypass the Resident parent and pay it straight to the child ! Hands up who believes this will be allowed…
    Now, you may argue that the child has ‘borrowed’ this money that wasn’t paid from the resident parent and they are owed this money, however, the figure can go up and down massively depending on what the NRP is earning and the whim of the CSA. There is also ZERO accountability for how it is used, so that doesn’t work either.
    I would add that the fact that nobody will define what “habitually resident” means is quite ridiculous, it gives the impression – intended or not – that this uncertainty is deliberate to frighten NRP’s and to allow the CSA to do whatever it d**n well pleases on each individual case, with Family Court allowing it to happen.
    If you want to further p*$$ off NRP’s this seems to be an effective way to do it…

  73. alfredo says:

    Iwill appreciate it if someone helps answer my question, as I am living abroad for 5 years now I want to come back to the UK for a visit, can the child support depit make you wanted in the airport by the police.
    Kind regards

    • bob says:

      The CSA need to apply to the court for an arrest warrant which they can easily do if you already have a liability order against you in UK.
      Firstly I would find out if that is the case.
      It is likely that if you are not a UK resident you will not be chased by the CSA as you are out of their jurisdiction.
      If you start work in UK then they will be on to you as your NI number alerts them.

      Basically, they only go for the easy to target cases.

      A solicitor would be able to find out if a warrant has been issued. If you are worried about that it may be worth finding out before you travel.

  74. Tracy says:

    My partner pays money (arranged through the French courts) to his ex wife who resides in France with his daughter and son. We have recently discovered that his son is now studying at university in England. Does he still have to pay maintenance because the son is now in England which under English law he does not have to.

  75. BM says:

    Advice wanted.. My ex lives in South America residing in a Remo agreed country, following 10 years of a family agreement she is now threatening to file an application to increase payments, how do I stand?

    Any advice greatly received …

  76. Tracey says:

    Has anyone got any experience of trying to enforce UK Court Order for Child Maintenance in Republic of Ireland?

    • Alan Finlayson says:

      Hi Tracey

      I realise that your post is is more than a year ago but did you ever get an answer to your question?

      I have only recently come across this blog and have 20 years experience in foreign maintenance enforcement, including ROI.

      Alan Finlayson

      • David Roberts says:

        I was married and divorced in Poland. Im a UK national. I have a 5 year old son who has been alienated from me by his mother, on many occasions I have been denied my visitation after travelling to Poland and banging on an unanswered door. She refuses to speak English to my son and has never allowed him to visit his Welsh family. She had an affair while I was working in Hong Kong and stole 40,000 pounds from me in a LTD company which I was told by a polish lawyer I could never get back as she had done something dodgy. I was ordered to pay 4000 pounds a month for my son. As you can imagine I’m furious as she is well off in Poland. I have a house in UK which I’m thinking of selling and moving to a non REMO country as her behaviour is disgusting. I will not be treated like a cash cow and have my visitation not enforced by the polish courts, all they do is issue her a 50 pound fine if she denies my visit and she wipes her behind with it and smiles, small price to pay for keeping me out of my sons life. What ramifications can I expect if I gone back to UK understanding the jurisdiction is in Poland,

  77. anonymous says:

    most men are too selfish & always thinking that all mommies are taking your money for themselves but that is not true. we women work real hard to keep our kids life comfortable – tuition, shelter, food, school, milk. these are all essential expenses.

    i work full time but i dont earn a lot but i do give my kids every cent i earned. i scrimp on my own expenses and always use all the money on the kids essential & welfare first. even to extend of not having proper meals of my own. why? cos i love my kids more than anything in the world. they come first. not my own needs or luxuries. i rather feed them first than to feed myself first. this is what you call love. i am not complaining. i am just telling you when you love truly love your children, you will give them your everything.

    my ex doesnt even pay a cent (his pay is 4x of mine) and claimed to love my children. blah men!

    you dont proclaim you love your children so much but not give a cent to your children!

    you men only claim that you love your children so much but yet refused to pay a cent towards their expenses and welfare.

    love is not just words but actions!
    and LOVE is NOT calculative and petty minded!

    but you irresponsible men are being calculative towards your kids!!! and so petty minded towards your children’s mother!!!

    by not contributing to your kids expenses, your kids might not live as comfortably. they could have talent in music but cant take up piano or violin courses cos money doesnt allow them to. they cant flourish beautifully even they have hidden talents.

    your kids will suffer too somehow cos if their moms fall sick due to overwork (i know some moms who works 2 to 3 jobs) who will look after your children when their mom is sick? and where are you men when your kids are sick???

    when children grow up, they will know the truth of how irresponsible, stingy, pathetic, petty minded and juvenile you fathers are.

    truth will prevail. justice will prevail.

    grow up petty minded & irresponsible men!

  78. vito says:

    My ex wife at the beginning of legal separation went to live in sicily (italy) permanently. We both are italian and we got married in uk. She is there now since 2 two kids now 5 (twins) go to school and she do not work.i gave her 90kgbp which is her share of the house in uk and she can buy a house cash in sicily with that money. Is now time to get decree nisi. the child maintenance needs to be reviewed because it cannot be still 1000gbp. Over there that is a salary of a good job and i believe is not fair for me because 2/3 of my salary goes between mortgage and childs/wife maintenance. She is 35 young and healthy and can work.
    What is the jurisdiction for child maintenance?uk or italy? How can a uk court (if we go to court) know what is needed in another european country?
    I believe a thing to consider is first of all that cost of life in sicily is 1/3 of london.
    Any advice?

  79. Anna says:

    My son’s father is living abroad in a non-Hague convention country (non-EU REMO country).
    He got married and has another son. He doesn’t paid anything for my son since he left UK in 2013. Is there anything I can do to recover payments? Please advise.

    • Alan Finlayson says:


      You say your son’s father is living in a non-Hague convention country (non-EU REMO country). There is more to reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders other than the Hague Convention or EU. Part II of the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement Act) 1972 makes provisions for recovering maintenance from the court where the non resident father lives, upon application by the custodial parent using the “United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance done at New York 1956”. Basically it is a reciprocal arrangement using the civil justice system of the foreign court and does not involve the UK courts. In Scotland the Scottish Justice Directorate provides the necessary paperwork to complete , translate and forward to the foreign country’s equvalend Office. The REMO office in London should provide the same service for England & Wales. The same applies in Northern Ireland. You may find that he lives in one of these countries. Worth checking to see if the UN Convention applies.

      I realise that you posted six months ago but I have only just found this website.

  80. Peter Pan says:

    WOW… I’ve just spent a better part of nearly 2 hours reading comments…Well this is my situation I’M paying for a child I’ve never met for the last 5 years got a letter from the CSA one day ”Hey this lady who you had a 2 year relationship with many years ago says you’re a dad now pay up”..” may not be mine”..”WE don’t care get a DNA test or pay up”’….”I don’t know where she is can you help me”….”Nope sorry we can’t now pay up”….Well how am I suppose to find out out”’……..”WE don’t care now pay up or else”……So you see my dilemma..BUT I’m self employed I work when I want I travel where ever I want I’m not tied to anyone or anything I pay the CSA out of a sense of morality…I live a M.G.TO.W (Men going their own way) lifestyle….Thank you all for your holy grail of comments I will NOW use them to my advantage…..And for everyone struggling out there I wish you all best ..

  81. Please Help me says:

    I reading some of other dads stories and I’m crying like a child now.

    I’m 40 years old. I’ve lived in UK for 20 years coming from eu. In 20 years I always work and always been honest to all.

    In 2007 I brought here my ex from my own country and found her a job.

    In 2009 me and my ex bought our first house. Before that where both working, but to rise her credit score I was paying everything and she was paying only her travel-card to go to work and few other little things. So when she apply for a mortgage we managed to obtaining it in full with her name only ( the idea to buy a second property on my name).

    In 2011 we had our first baby girl. I am totally in love with her. From 2009 to 2010 I was unemployed and because I have lot’s of hands on skill I decided to work full time on my house project (or better on now my ex only house). Despite being with one income only.

    We where managing well including going on holidays twice a year (as I was doing a bit of money here and there with all my skills). We where quite happy together (with the arguments that all the couple have), and despite me being stressed because I could not get the job I deserved).

    In 2013 at the end of the work of my house (as I’ve done a complete renovation and turned into a little luxury temple). She was stressing me and make me feel unworthy and often she was bad talking about me with friends, my family, and mostly her family, because of my jobs situation ( as I’ve been unemployed a lots of times) But we had no financial problems as I was providing and paying for most of the works and most of food with my little jobs here and there.

    My aim was to finish the house and hunting for a good job (as I always had) and not the first thing that would pay the bills. You all know how hard it is to find a good job wile employed . Also I was relying on her income. I never asked for a £1 to pay for any of my demands. I even spent almost £6k on tools, and £4k on a van, all out from my savings to do my house project.

    One day after many little argument she asked me that we better apart. And her parents asked me to leave her (always involved and always on my case).

    I was stressed and depressed because despite being a loyal person. A hard worker. A great Dad. A person that never ever went out on his own, or with his friends. A person that would leave her on her own only on work xmas parties or when she was going to see her family. Despite being out of work I was waking up on time to take her to the station every morning (so she could save 30min walk in and out of work).

    So I decided to leave the house, and lived 3 months in between my friends and my van. After 3 months I’ve found the job I needed and started to work hard. Being really quick at my work and completing 10% of extra work x day, I was managing to finish at 11am on Friday. Enough to get my little beauty out the nursery to take her to the park or kids places. To then see her saturday and sunday too.

    She was asking to comeback home. But to be honest? In the 3 months that I was on my own I managed to clear my stress, Find a good job. Rent a room. And work on my self only. I was doing fine. My boss offered me a leading engineer role after 2 months and I was happy to spend time with my friends and hobbies.

    Then I started to date another women and when she knew it she, put a block in the nursery. Meaning that I was not longer authorised to get her out without prior arrangements. I must state that for years I was picking up my daughter from the nursery. And so my daughter she was expecting me.

    So I started to be unhappy and abusive at her often. Because I never asked for anything, But all I wanted is to be with my little girl as much as I could.

    She then got a court order and she stop me from contacting my little girl for 3 months. I fell down in great depression and really effected my daily work. Being a leader engineer and have responsibility at work I decided to resign. I could not allow that my personal life effect the project I was working on. And I’ve stop seeing the other woman too because I did not to drag her down with me.
    The court decided that I was allowed to see her every other weekend. I was so devastated because being 4 days without her was so painful 12 days a mind killer. I never cry so much.

    Now I had to rent 4 garages to stock all my stuff and room (because she was threatening to dispose all my equipments from her house). And you know how expensive it is to rent space in London.

    CSA sent me a letter this week that want all the arrears ( I never paid as she took the house my money my health and I have everything backup on my CC bills). Also I don’t have a proper job as I really never recover from not seeing my little girl as much as I would.

    Now I really cannot afford any more to live here. As all my money goes into rent and food. Any spares I spent it for my little girl enjoyments.

    I do not want to go in jail. I do not want to give her any money because she own me everything she has got. And she nows has a new partner that stay with her. I really could not care any less.

    I have lots of job offers in middle east. Lots of money and tax free. I really want to go there. But my room has so many pictures of my little girl that makes me cry. I love her so much. Please help me if you can.

  82. mike says:

    hi – I have been threatened by my ex partner to who I have a child that she is going to place a court order on me to pay more maintenance – the country I live in does not give jurisdiction to the CSA or REMO..i pay her maintenance but it appears that she is getting the past she has not let me have access unless money was paid. if I am resident in a country that will not allow the CSA or REMO to enforce these things then can she still place a court order on me ?


  83. JA says:

    I lived in Spain for 15 years with my email expartner we separated when my son was 2 after I discovered he was having an affair. I had to return to the UK as I had no family support in Spain before I returned I was granted custody of our son and my ex was ordered to pay monthly maintenance he has never paid anything towards our son I contacted REMO in 2013 and 3 years later I am still waiting for Spain to respond. Last year I was summoned to court in the UK as my ex wanted to change the visitation regime that was set out in spain (which he had never committed to) the UK court granted him with a arrangement order which was the same as the Spanish order but the court refused to make any financial order as he still resides in Spain my son is now 7 and I have never received any contribution from his father. I am at a loss and don’t know what to do next.

  84. Cals says:

    I really hope that this thread is still open.

    My ex is a US national, who agreed maintenance via a long a protracted legal battle. Since the financial order was made, he has decided to move to the UK. He now therefore wants to change the periodical payments and has applied to the CMS for a reduction in the mainentence received. Is he able to do this via the CMS? Although he lives here, he is not employed in the UK and all his business interests and ’employment’ is based int he USA. I’m confused

    • Alan Finlayson says:


      Although you do not say so you should confirm that what you have is a US court order for alimony. If you do have one you should contact the Division of Child Support Enforcement (or the equivalent) in the state in which you reside. They should give you the appropriate advice on how to enforce a US court order for maintence/alimony under a reciprocal agreement made between the USA and UK. If you do not have a US court order you can take steps to obtain one in your local court. You should also take steps to determine whether your court has jurisdiction over any assets or money your husband holds in the USA.

      Good luck.

  85. Richard says:

    I have a question. If you live in another country, with evidence available, are the Cms allowed to remove money from any uk bank without notification to real foreign address, after sending letters to an old uk address you do not live saying there is a claim against you, and processing like you are ignoring the claim.Please no emotional answers, just facts please.

    • Ken says:

      Yes they can and did with me. They don’t need to track you down to notify you they just need to do it at the address they have on file which should be kept upto date by you.
      They can and will notify at that address which covers them legally and then they will debit your accounts to recover any and all funds due.
      Best to get your money out or add someone to the account. They can’t touch s joint account

  86. Cathy says:

    Hi i am a filipina married to a british citizen it was a long story but i will get it to the point my husband came home february this year and it supposed to be for good here in the phillipines,but then he made me believe that he needed to go back to uk for a month in uk for business matter so i said ok didnt know he was cheating behind my back before he came home here in the phil.and then i find out and confronted him he didnt denied it he admitted it and promised that i wouldnt suffer as i use all my savings for his office and other equipments he needed here in short i am.drained as i said it will be my gift for him and i told him i was pregnant but then he said he cant come home and be with me just bcos im pregnant o was like crazy all came down i was drained he promised that i wont suffer at first yes but at this moment oh my god its really ridiculous i even told him and ask him to atleast provide and give me my allowance just untill i can get through this pregnancy as i am going to work after as i couldnt apply for a job bcos of my condition d there is no company that would accept me..i just needed an advice really madly on what to do..

    • Alan Finlayson says:


      Sorry to hear of your predicament. I take it that you are seeking to recover maintenance for your child from the father. It is not clear whether your child has been born yet, but if not, you need to wait until the birth of your child before starting proceedings for child maintenance (alimony/aliment). The Phillipines is a member of an international reciprocal agreement called the “United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance done at New York on 20th June 1956”. Under this system you should apply to the office in your country which deals with the recovery of maintenance abroad, and any such application would be transmitted by that office to the relevent country in the UK (Scotland, England & Wales, Northern Ireland) where court action for maintenance will be dealt with at the court which has jurisdiction based on his place of residence.

      Good luck.

  87. Help needed please says:

    I know this is an old thread but wondering if anyone could give me some advise.
    I was with my ex partner back in 2002, we had our gorgeous son together but unfortunately the relationship broke down. We spilt when my son was 2.
    I kept in contact with my son, even with the frosty relationship I had with his mother.
    A year later she met her new partner, and then everything went to s**t for me.
    My sons mother stopped contact and told me if I wanted to see my son I would have to go to court…no reason at all, but still wanted me to pay child maintence every month which I did.
    I got myself a solicitor and done the only thing I could, fight her for access in court. This was a lengthy, stressful and expensive time let me tell you.
    My sons mother represented herself so had no solicitors or court fees to pay, which she took to her full advantage.
    Everytime we went to court she prolonged the case, turned up late, cried wanting to take breaks knowing it would be costing me more money.
    She tried everything to stop me seeing my son, told the judge I was dangerous, she was afraid I was going to a kidnap my son and even stooped so low as to say I raped her (this claim she later admitted in court was not true)
    I had to obtain doctors letters, attend classes to prove this was not the case. The whole court process went on for years.
    Eventually the court said enough was enough and granted me access in a contact centre.
    Because I hadn’t seen him for so long this was the only and the best way they thought would build our relationship and bond between me and my son back together.
    Another lengthy process with just two 2 hour visits a month, cafcass reports, some times his mother wouldn’t show up and other times saying my son was ill. Obviously moving forward was taking a lot longer and I still wasn’t seeing him very often.
    After a year of contact centres I was allowed to take him out of the centre for a couple of hours….
    To cut a long story short a year after that the court agreed I was not a danger, showed commitment and responsibility and was granted access to my son every other weekend.
    Everything was going amazingly seeing my son. Myself and my partner had a child things couldn’t of been any better….apart from still paying off the thousands of pounds of debt I racked up in court.
    In 20011 my ex called me to her house for a meeting.
    The worst thing that could every happen happened!
    She told me she was emigrating to Australia with my son and her new family, I was literally crushed and devastated.
    I went back to court to see what my options were only to be told my son is nearly 10 so able to stand up in court and make up his own mind where he wants to live. I couldn’t put my son in that situation as to pick , as he resides with his mother and his two other brothers I knew he was going to end up moving.
    He left in 2012, I had an agreement with his mother that I would not have to make any child maintence payments as I would use this money for flights too and from Australia for either me or my son.
    I went to Australia in 2014 for 4 weeks and I flew him over to the UK in October this year for 3 weeks.
    Completely out of the blue I’ve had a phone call from Australia as his mother has filed to get child maintenance from me..
    They asked loads of questions and wanted loads of details from me, my address, my P60 details, details of my other children. I refused to give it to them and told them they would have to call me at a more convenient time.
    I’m worried if I have to start making child maintence payments I will not be able afford to actually see my son…literally have no idea what to do. Also will they back date the payments for the last 4 years as our agreement was made between us and not through court.
    Anyone else been in a similar situation or could spread some light as to if I have to pay.

    • Alan Finlayson says:


      I read your comments and can answer some of your questions as I dealt with the Australian CSA in the Scottish Justice Department for many years. In short, a custodial parent in Australia can apply to the Australian CSA for an assessment (not a court order) which can be transferred to the appropriate Central Authority in the UK (Scotland, E&W, N Ireland) for registration in your local court (you do not say where you are but you refer to a P60 so UK address?).

      An assessment can be made based on the needs of the child and what you earn along with your expenditure, however I cannot go into details of what steps they take to assess your income and expenditure. Let’s proceed on the basis that a CSA assessment is about to be made against you. First, you need to be given a reasonable period of time in which to address any correspondence sent to you – not ‘next day or two’ or ‘please telephone their office’ – they need to realise that you are on the other side of the world and their daytime is our nighttime. I should add that you are under no obligation to telephone their office and they have no authority to telephone you. You are also not obliged to provide your address. Your ex must have that information to give to them. Why should you make it easy for them to do their job? In any event all correspondence must be made by post. DO NOT answer questions about your income or circumstances in a phone call. There are legal protections afforded to you in UK law to prevent any abuse of process over there.

      Registration of an assessment can only be done under an international reciprocal agreement called the Hague Convention of 2nd October 1973 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Relating to Maintenance Obligations. The enforcing legislation in the UK is The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (Hague Convention Countries) Order 1993 No. 593, and the Hague Order makes provisions for refusal to register an assessment in certain circumstances; however you would need to take legal advice on such provisions.

      Finally, you ask if a backdated assessment can be made. The answer should be NO, because any assessment can only take effect from the date of an application, or as near to that date as possible. text of the1993 Hague legislation can be found here:

      PS. You do not say whether your ex has remarried. If she has there may be family law rules either here or in Australia relating to the upkeep of a child or children with a new father.

      • Help please says:

        Hi Alan,

        Thank you for your response, it has definitely shed more light on the situation.
        My ex partner has re married, she did 2 years after we spilt. It was with her husband, my son and their 2 younger children that she moved to Australia.
        I know her new husband also has a child back in the UK which he pays maintence for.
        I’m worried reading these forums and other stories of how the CSA have financially crippled some fathers in similar situations.
        I have received an assessment order already through the post asking me to contact their office. (I did not give my address, I used my mother in laws for all correspondence).
        The letter stated if I do not respond by the 14th December they would make their own assessment based on details given by my ex.
        She does not have any details of mine…my address, work details etc only my mobile telephone number.. so unsure if they will proceed with the assessment.
        I don’t want to make the situation difficult between me and my son as I do speak to him regularly on his own phone and face time when we can.
        He is un aware of anything at the moment.
        I don’t want to do the assessment if I don’t have to, and end up paying my ex leaving me with not enough money to use for flights for either myself or my son to see each other.
        I know she will do anything in her power to take as much money as she can from me.
        Or is doing nothing and not responding going to be worse in the long run.

        • Alan Finlayson says:

          OK, you really need to get some advice from a lawyer. In order for the Australian CSA to make an order against you they must comply with the terms of the 1973 Hague Convention referred to in my previous post. You (or your lawyer) should pay particular attention to Articles 6 and 17 of the Convention regarding proof of service upon you of their Notice of Institution of Proceedings. Correspondence starting the assessment process can only be sent to your habitual place of residence and assessments can only be made and enforced in the corresponding court of registration in the UK (determined by your place of residence – NOT an address for correspondence). The UK registering court must be satisfied that you had been properly served in accordance with the Convention and the Hague Convention Countries Order. There is a lot more to this than just proper service of documents; it is a complicated area of International law. I would advise you to contact your Law Society and ask for a family law solicitor familiar with these types of Private International Law proceedings.

          Once you get a lawyer you should refer them to the text of the The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (Hague Convention Countries) Order 1993 No. 593 (a link to the text was provided). This Order should also be read in conjunction with the 1973 Hague Convention, a link is provided below:

          My advise was always ‘spend some money now on legal advice – it might prevent a lot of problems in the future’.
          Good luck.

  88. Jullie says:

    My ex lives in Spain,we have a 4 year old boy,relationship broke down last year,since then never paid anything for his son who is autistic,I called him but doesn’t want to corporate,how can I go about it since he is non resident dad? thanks Jullie

  89. Alan Finlayson says:


    You have two choices. You can go to your local court and initiate proceedings against your ex for maintenance. This is a complicated procedure and for that you will need the services of a solicitor as it requires service of notice of proceedings against him under UK procedural rules on service of documents abroad. If you are able to obtain a court order you will need to contact (for England & Wales) the REMO (Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders) office in London for assistance in transmitting your court order to Spain for enforcement. Assuming you live in England & Wales this is the contact:

    If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland there are similar offices which provide assistance if you live in either of those countries.

    Your second option does not involve the UK courts. You need to apply to your REMO office for assistance in completing forms which would be used to make an application directly to the appropriate court in Spain requesting that an order is made over there. You do not need a solicitor for this option.

    Good luck.

  90. JL says:

    I have a consent order from 2012 in which ex was ordered to pay 25% of income plus 25% of bonus to his 3 children. Children are all in FTE, 1 Has high functioning Autism and may well be dependant on me for life. I have struggled to get a career back on track after being a FT mum for 15 years dur eo the needs of my ASD child and also given that my ex spends 0 nights per year with his children, despite winning 45% of the joint assets to buy a home for the children to stay in. He has now gone to work in China for a UK company and has income of £150K per year compared to my earnings of £7,200. I have not gone to CMS to have maintenance increased (his salary has gone up from £85k to £135k since the divorce) as I know they have no jurastiction in China. He is also renting out his UK property for £1500 per month. He has threatened that if I approach the CMS he will stop paying altogether and get a job with a Chinese company. He lives with his new partner and spent 8 hours with his children last year. I have considered approaching the court to have the outstanding child maintenance capitalised based on his threats? Would that be possible? He has a uk property worth £450k and at least £200k equity in the property.

  91. iyesha clarke says:

    hi. i have a 4 year old son and his dad lives in america. he has a full time job. and another son he pays support too. i know nothing of how much he pays his other son, but it does come directly out of his pay.. he sends me 200 pounds a month and our child is disabled. he very often sends a less amount or delays with payment, id like some help to solve this and make him pay properly? please im so tired of having to ask him to help provide for our son.

  92. Mr Ex-Pat says:

    I am a father, and have been separated from my ex (partner not wife) for 2 years. I have never once missed a payment, and currently pay £275 for our girl a month, plus in the past she has had enhancements of up to £1,000 per month if i have received a bonus (non guaranteed). I have accepted an over of a £50k tax free job in Dubai, and have offered an increase to £325 a month, plus I will be saving hopefully £20k for my daughter of the next 4 years for her to have when she reaches 18/21 years old. My ex has demanded i pay at least £500 a month or i wont get to see my daughter again, and she wont let me Skype or for my parents to bring her to see me. I have no CSA agreement, not custody order as we did this in house. I guess we both have no leg to stand on as we did everything ourselves, but just wanted to get general consensus/feedback as to whether i’m doing enough, whether i should do more etc? She has a live in new partner with his own kid, and they have another due soon so she is no “left in the lurch”. I see my daughter a few times a week currently.

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Wow, threatening to alienate you from your daughter if you don’t give into her financial demands sounds pretty questionable. I would seek legal advice

    • BillyO says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I was in exactly the same position with a job in the middle east. Ex wife demanded ridiculous amounts.
      It’s your call now. You don’t legally have to pay anything. if you want to see your daughter then you have rights. You could take it to court and you would be granted access and so would your mum and dad.
      Your ex is being greedy. Nothing new.
      The child stands to lose out because of the mothers greed.
      If i were in your position I would take it via court. You have established a relationship with your child so the court will hAve no issues granting access.
      It doesn’t sound like you can reason with your ex.
      Do it swiftly so your relationship isn’t damaged with your child. If you drag your feet contact will be lost and the courts will possibly want you to re establish contact gradually again which isn’t possible if you are working overseas. It’s all too easy to lose contact and not regain it.
      That was the case with me.

      Good luck

  93. Another one says:

    Hello, I divorced from my ex in 2012, by that time he lived in Europe and worked for a British School and as result of Divorce procedure he paid our child’s maintenance monthly till beginning of 2014. Then he moved away to unknown to me direction and stopped paying. In a year I found out he moved to the Middle East and has been working for non-UK international school. Last year I learned he got married and purchased a house in Europe. I am not aware if he has been back to UK (he hasn’t got a property here) – he has never contacted me (thanks God for that) and hasn’t seen his child since 2012. I have been ping-ponged between CSA, REMO, the Magistrate Court (emails) since 2014 and haven’t got anywhere. Every one of these offices advised they have no jurisdiction over Middle East and European countries (well, REMO does in Europe). When I questioned REMO that as he is still the British Citizen and they have rights for European base cases (as my ex-‘s “habitual residence” is in Europe) – they got silent. The Magistrate court also didn’t replied this year… I don’t know where else to go. My child is 11 y.o. Please can you help and direct me to what to do next.

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello – thanks for your message. We may be able to get some advice for you. If you could let us know roughly where you live, we will ask a solicitor from the nearest office to contact you with some thoughts on your situation

  94. Pratibha says:

    Hi- I speptated with my exhusbsnd 17 days before delivery. Then after delivery with in a year we had divorced.He paid maintenance only six months and than he left UK without inform in court or anyone. He is in India now. In UK he was working for NHS as ENT surgeon. He is working in India. Not paying any maintenance for my daughter.
    Can you please advice me how and where I can apply for maintenance. He is big lier and dishonest man. Even he didn’t return money and gold which my father gave him during marriage.
    Please advice me how I get maintenance and gold.

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello and thanks for your message. We may be able to get you some advice. If you could let us roughly which part of the country you live in, we will ask a solicitor from the nearest office to drop you a line with some feedback

  95. Name withheld says:

    Can anyone comment on the position of a father who has regularly paid child support but now wants it revised owing to a change of circumstances, in this case, retirement? Furthermore, tin this case, the children are habitually resident in another country. Most child support agreements between countries concentrate on enforcement but do not consider the possibility a variation of child support.

    • Alan Finlayson says:

      Under most reciprocal enforcement procedures the person paying maintenance can apply to the appropriate authority for a reduction if their financial circumstances have changed since the making of any order.

  96. Gia says:

    I wish that we have a website like this in the Philippines, so that Filipinos can have legal advice. I wish that our government official and law makers will make laws like this

  97. Mark says:

    I have had correspondence from CMS saying I have had a case opened against me. I live and work in North Africa.( Libya, Tunisia and Egypt) for a Dubai based company with infrequent visits to UK and am a non UK resident for Tax purposes.
    On many occasions I have offered to make voluntarily payments for my daughter, but her mother was never interested whilst I was in UK and have been denied access since 2014.
    We have a house in the UK that is rented out as she refuses to sell or buy out.
    Will CMS have jurisdiction in these circumstances? I have spoken to them and one minute the case is closed as I am non UK resident, the next minute they have dragged a 3 year old HMRC return and made an assessment based on that, constantly lying and also getting facts from the case notes completely wrong!

  98. BillyO says:

    For a case to be open each party must reside in Uk. Each party being both parents and child.
    If you leave the UK the case will be closed. Make sure you write to them when you go and keep a copy.
    Arrears are a different matter and can be pursued.
    Gray areas include how they define habitual residence.

  99. danny says:

    hi i was wandering if its possible to get some advise for friend of mine he basically he pays CSA for his 2 year old daughter he full time employed and he also goes to uni part time to get better education for the future he love his daughter and does everything possible in his power to provide for her he works really hard but now coming up to his finals year in uni and we all want to do something in a life time opportunity to maybe help us all in the future we where planning to take a gap year for 2 year of voluntary work in Cambodia and then travel to Australia then new Zealand to make a career opportunity but he really wants to do it and my personal view on it what i say to him is while his daughter young he should live his dream and make a better future for himself and better way to provide for his daughter in the long run but he scared about leaving his daughter for so long and and what will CSA do to him because he will be unemployed but getting benefits for doing voluntary work because it not classed as living abroad but he will be jumping country to country to get the experience he needs and it might take up to 2 year max so like work holiday visa basically so if anyone has any advice please i would be grateful

  100. BillyO says:

    If his circumstances change he can ask for a re assessment. If he earning zero the assessment will be zero. They can’t take into account any benefits from the voluntary work as they are not income.
    His ex can ask a reassessment when he returns to the UK and has taxable income once more.

  101. sarah says:

    My ex husband resides in Jakarta. He has never paid any maintenance for our son who is now 12. We separated when he was a baby. My ex husband is a successful businessman and has a British ‘right to abode’ stamp in his passport. He plans to visit the UK this year. Is there anything I can do as it is extremely frustrating that he has taken zero responsibility, Ideally I’d like to take him to court when he visits or have his right to abode revoked as he just gets away with it!

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello and thanks for your message. If you could let us know which part of the country you live in, we will ask a solicitor at our nearest office to drop you a line with some initial thoughts on your situation

  102. Shannon says:

    Hi my name is Shannon
    Would like some advice on where I stand on this. I split up with my partner when my daughter was 3 she is now 13 in 2018. Her father did not pay child support and CSA were involved and he had a huge bill almost 7000 pounds. I honestly felt sorry for him that I asked to no longer pursue it as he was going to start paying from now on and make a mutual agreement. I did not pursue the maintenance and neither did CSA as I was going to let him start again from fresh. He agreed to pay 50pounds a week. My daughter and I left UK and went to live in Australia he continued to pay while we lived there for two years but barely consistent as he would pay one week and miss others. This was anagreement he made. As a single mum with one daughter that 50pounds helped a long way… Only when we got it. I sent numerous emails asking him to be regular with the payments. Some weeks we got others we didn’t. Anyway we have now moved to New Zealand in October 2018 and he has paid maintenance of 50pounds every week up until end of February and just stopped. We have tried to contact him and no response. Numerous emails may daughter has messaged her father on facebook and still no reply. I would really appreciate any advice as to where I stand here. He is a UK resident my daughter is a UK citizen but We are here living in New Zealand in a work visa. What rights do we have and can I pursue this maintanence. Thanj you kindly

    • Alan Finlayson says:

      Hello Shannon.

      New Zealand has a reciprocal agreement with the UK which allows parties in either country to pursue someone for child maintenance. You should contact the relevant office (the central authority) in the New Zealand Justice Department for advice on how to proceed with a claim against your daughter’s father. If there is no existing court order against him (for maintenance) you will need to start an action in your local court of jurisdiction and it is very likely that you will need the services of a solicitor in New Zealand to obtain a court order for maintenance. If you are successful, your maintenance order will be transmitted by the New Zealand central authority to the relevant UK central authority for registration in the local court of jurisdiction (based on the payer’s place of residence) for enforcement. There is much more to the process than I have explained here but I do not want to go into a lengthy explanation on how matters will proceed; that if for your solicitor to explain to you. Good luck!

  103. Justin says:

    Hi I have a Question RE:- Remo orders. I left with my new partner in 2010 for France otherwise I would have been homeless and I wanted to be with her. I know there is a Remo agreement between the two countries and I used to pay with out fail in the uk when resident as I had “full time paid employment” Since living in France I have created a sole trader business which is not consistently earning everyday. I would like to know how the where i stand should CSA/ CMS calculate the outstanding balance to be a large backdated amount. I really do not earn large somes i.e £30,000 as my exwife assumes. I would be happy just to know what the rule of thumb would be? I used to pay 15% of my yearly salary. I still when I have money free contribute to my daughters upkeep and I pay for school clothing for my daughter and give her pocket money when she asks and if I have the money. She also comes for holidays to see me in France this is air fares.

    • Alan Finlayson says:

      Hi Justin

      Sorry for the lengthy delay in responding. If your question is still relevant, it is up to the person with the care of the child to either take steps to register any existing maintenance order in the jurisdiction where you live, or initiate proceedings to obtain an order on behalf of the child in the country in which the payer (you) resides. In the event that a new order needs to be made the ‘rule of thumb’ is basically balanced out by the needs of the child and mother and does take into regard the salary/income/expenditure of the maintenance payer. As current EU members maintenance is dealt with between the Government departments of the countries in question, in the UK it is the relevant Justice Department and in France the Bureau d’Etranger. The law is currently covered by the Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations (“the Maintenance Regulation”) .

  104. Jane says:

    My husband and I moved abroad and have had a little one. His daughter is nine and lives in the UK with her mum. CSA closed his case but she has applied to her local court for maintenance. My question is how can the local court ask him to fill their forms for a decision to be made when we are on a joint tax system and have less income as a result because things are different in our country of residence? He is petrified we will be asked to pay more than we have and it will leave us having to sell our house as we then won’t be able to pay our mortgage!

    • Kate Nestor says:

      Thank you for your question. I have passed your details to our Client Care Team who will be in touch. Kind regards

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