News: Child Support Agency to be wound up

Children|Divorce|News|October 9th 2012

The government has announced plans to gradually dismantle the controversial Child Support Agency and replace it with a new agency from December this year, with the transfer of responsibilities to be complete by 2014.

The new Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will be designed to encourage voluntary child maintenance arrangements between parents, via a so-called Family Based Arrangement. If parents fail to reach agreement, however, the CMS will charge a fee for the introduction of a compulsory arrangement.

Reports suggest that this fee will be deducted from the maintenance obtained.

Further information can be found here and here.

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(15)

  1. JamesB says:

    I have been keeping an eye on this since 2004. This is about the 4th such document and DWP has had many ministers.
    Surely it would be better to stop digging and go back to court as it was prior to the CSA, why don’t they do that please? I know it wasn’t popular, but more popular than the CSA and at least it didn’t undermine marriage as this will and the CSA has.
    This also seems in contradiction to your comment’s on ‘This Morning’, but I am not sure as I don’t have enough time to study this. Tbh it just seems a big mess and the government are continuing to dig. Is a serious question though, Surely it would be better to stop digging and go back to court as it was prior to the CSA, why don’t they do that please? Would be cheaper and better in the long run also. Politicians don’t seem much cop. I think Boris may be the answer. He was good yesterday, especially on ‘Pap e Neuf du pap chardonnay drinking tax evading socialists’ – he is certainly got something – better than Ian Duncan Smith anyway.
    I also remember an excellent article he wrote in the Telegraph about the decline in marriage where he went against the grain and didn’t blame men for it. He is one of the few politicians who r ok.

  2. John says:

    This a step in the right direction. it surely must be better that non resident parents are offered a family based arrangement, to show that they are being responsible and understand and want to provide for their children. However, this may take mediation to resolve.
    The problem in my case from the outset, was animosity from the parent with care ( who by the way left the marriage through adultery) who demanded her own way all of the time, even though defying court orders regarding contact.
    Therefore, I became a ‘sitting duck’ target for the CSA, who would repeatedly target me, as opposed to pursuing the feckless ones who don’t pay or have never paid. (£3.8 billion remains uncollected).
    The long term affect in my case, has caused me to deny two out of three children any future inheritance ( I have paid approximately £37,000 in maintenance and A £77,000 divorce settlement). Those two will have to question their mother and the CSA, as to why the CSA attempted to crimnalise me, through their maladministration, and ask their mother, about her shocking attitude towards their father!

  3. Observer says:

    Anything that replaces the CSA will just be another institutionalization of inequality and discrimination.
    We need to move forward into a world where fathers are no longer criminalized for having had the misfortune to be born male.
    Split the child benefit, legislate on shared parenting, treat parents as the adults that they should be. These are solutions to the present abuses of the system.
    It seems however that solutions are of no interest to anyone who is doing well by the current system.

  4. Graham says:

    I do agree with you Observer; social services, gingerbread, lawyers, relate, etc. all do well out of breaking up families, yet the Government to go them as experts for advice on the family and future family policy. Outrageous really.

  5. Yvie says:

    Unfortunately like Hydra, if you cut off its head, two more will grow in its place.
    Observer – once again I agree with your comments. My son who has a shared residence order thought he was sharing care with his ex. for nearly three years. Both parents cared for the children when in their care, they shared costs of holidays and school uniforms and each bought clothes, toys and other necessities for the children. In addition I provided child care without cost for my son (2 days per week) and my ex. dil (3 days) per week, until August last year when my ex. dil activated a child maintenance claim from 2009. My son was informed in February this year that he owed his ex. nearly £8,000 in arrears which he had no idea were accruing. At first they wanted 40% of his wages leaving him with less than £200 per week to pay all his bills and feed his children. Eventually they agreed to 25% of his wages.
    This still leaves a short-fall in his modest bills so he has to rely on family help to ensure his outgoings are met.
    Something is very wrong with the CSA when two parents share care (not 50% unforltunately) and the parent will the lower income pays the parent with the higher income.

  6. John says:

    Could not agree more Observer. In the last few days, I have discovered that the one remaining child for whom I am embroiled with the CSA, has moved away from home. Therefore, the PWC should not be in receipt of Child benefit, and if this is the case my CSA liability should stop.
    Why? is it down to me to pursue information and inform the CSA? The CSA should provide me with regular updates as to the PWC’s status, and my l financial liability.
    It is blatantly obvious, by the mere fact that the CSA do not provide this information, that the PWC and the CSA want to conspire and purge as much money as they can from the NRP, irregardless of the circumstances. This is tantamount to fraud!
    I am hoping for a ‘class action’ in the future. I would like my day in court facing the incompetent staff, who have treated me worse than a criminal, and obtain justice against this ‘shambolic’ organisation, and those at the top who have turned a ‘blind eye’ to the real goings on at the CSA!

  7. peppe says:

    i am paying csa deo arreas fo over 4 years when it ends many thanks

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Peppe
      When they are paid off. Ask them! Or contact Child Maintenance Options. They might help.
      Regards
      Marilyn

  8. Paul Rowe says:

    I am very pleased to hear that the dreaded CSA is being replaced with the CMS as I feel that a proper approach to child maintenance is really needed in this day and age.
    Having not seen my child since the age of 3 (Shes now 27) I was harassed by the CSA even with a court order in place to pay maintenance at the rate of £0.01p this was overturned to allow for my drinking/smoking ex partner to gain an award from the CSA at the rate of £25 per week. The matter was abandoned by them at the time due me being unemployed/low income. Recently the matter has been restarted with arrears of £700 they have now started to pursue after 13 years, my position has not got any better in fact I am now being forced into debt to pay the sums due so that they can tidy up their records. The CSA has not cared for the children, the absent parents or anything to do with the legal system in this country so I am sad to see the back of it. Again one hopes that the new system will be much fairer and equitable to all concerned.

  9. Yvie says:

    The CSA has no interest in fairness, Paul. Targets are all that matter to them. I hope there will be an improvement overall now that the new system has started, but the fact that dads will have to pay 20% extra if they have to use the CSA, whilst mothers will only have to pay 4% doesn’t sound like a very good start to me. I can foresee the situation where some mothers will manipulate the system to ensure that fathers have to use the CSA, by saying they wont/cant/dont pay up.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yvie, I don’t think any good will come of this. As you say, it will just lead to those who are given residency on account of their gender alone exploiting the other party. Just as courts and lawyers exist to incentivize and reward argument and dispute, so too will the CSA continue to exist.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When I leave a job, I don’t take my employer to court to ask for maintenance payments. I don’t see why it should be any different in marriage and divorce.
    Of course, if I had an accident on the job or my employability was damaged by said employer, then I think I would be morally entitled to ask for compensation.
    The CSA only exists so that the government doesn’t have to pay to upkeep the life of parents who are given residency on the basis of their gender. But what it does in the majority of situations is encourage both parties to drop out and go on benefits, leading to the situation where both parties are parasitical on the taxpayer. Leave it to Britain to come up with bright solutions!

  12. STEVE C says:

    dispand or rebrand
    come on do the maths
    you will still have the same incompetent muppets at the cms as the csa , do you think the goverment will sack all the csa and start with new staff .
    its nothing more than the goverments slush fund
    good luck with that.

  13. Nick says:

    I have found the CSA to be rigid overbearing asnd threatening. surely it cannot be morally right to calculate maintenance on gross earnings. I have had my income lowered by nearly 20,000 pounds per annum in the last two years and still am being charged over £300 pounds per month, whilst my ex wife earns over a hundred thousand a year. I am heavily in debt having had to borrow money to pay these fees. I have never refused to pay but just want to be able to pay at a level that is not going to mean that I lose my home and my current wife. this has had a significant effect on my physical and mental health and am pretty much at the end of my tether here. and dont know what to do. I cannot possibly make the required assessed payment without not being able to pay my mortgage. any advice would be welcomed

  14. aequitas says:

    they are not disbanding they are now the dept of working pensions who now can look at your bank statments and credit card amounts they have unlimited power now and make sure you know it they can say you have arrears and lose payments an give you a week to pay or take the money straight from your employer, they say you have arrears and that you must prove you dont it will also ADMIT to them messing up the payment scedule for 6 years that it was there fault they always get it wrong and you have to pay anyway, they need delt with family court should never have been thrown away, but who will stop them breaching human rights i see all the things they do wrong but no one stopping them just giving them no power where is the real help and how do the people who work for the csa sleep at night

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