Child maintenance rises loom for non-resident parents

Divorce|December 7th 2012

Next Monday the Department for Work and Pensions will begin rolling out a package of reforms that will eventually see the much reviled Child Support Agency (CSA) replaced by the new Child Maintenance Service.

And according to an article in the Daily Mail, these reforms will mean a hike in child maintenance payment for many because their assessments will be based on their gross pay, rather than their after tax salary as currently occurs. Apparently 74 per cent of non-resident fathers currently registered with the CSA will see an increase in payments.

Around half could find themselves paying £5 a week more, and one in ten face substantial rises of £40 or more per week.

The first non-resident parents affected by the rises will be those with four or more children living with their former partners. This is what it is termed, in classic local authority jargon, a ‘pathfinder’ exercise. The changes will then be gradually rolled out to other types of family, until they reach all 1.1 million of those separated parents currently paying maintenance through the aging CSA.

Sometime in the latter part of next year we will see the introduction of so-called ‘Family Based Arrangements’. These will see separated parents encouraged to make their own voluntary child maintenance agreements. If they cannot or will not, both partners will be charged a fee for the imposition of a compulsory payment system.

Child maintenance is one of the single biggest lightning rods for contention and argument in divorce. Only a small minority of divorcing couples have significant assets to squabble over post-divorce, but most families have children, whether natural or adopted.

Paying child maintenance is a long-term, continuous commitment. Non-resident parents – usually, not always, fathers – may be torn between a desire to do right by their kids and a desire to start a new life, to wipe the slate clean and move on, especially if they and their partner have parted on bad terms. Of course, they can’t do that: their kids remain their kids, no matter who rancorous or bitter their relationship with the resident parent has become.

Decent parents will pay their due, putting their children’s welfare before their own emotions. But unfortunately there will those less worthy parents for whom the temptation to drag their feet, delay or simply refuse to pay their child maintenance dues outright is too much. The result can too often  be heartache and hardship for the resident parent.

Of course the situation is not always so black and white. The CSA has had an at-times well earned reputation for rigidity and inflexibility in its approach to child maintenance calculations. Rigid formulas based on out-of-date or wrong information could – and often did – leave hard-up fathers genuinely struggling. As recently as October the Agency was branded “obnoxious” and “unreasonable” by the Court of Appeal and found guilty of breaching non-resident parents’ human rights.

But none of that changes the fact that children are a responsibility that only starts to fade once they reach 18. And while those children remain children, someone has to pay the bills!

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. John says:

    I have no objection in wanting to provide finances for my child. What I do object to is being embroiled in a ‘not fit for purpose’, ‘shambolic’, system that lends itself to repeated incompetence by staff.
    The CSA over the years have repeatedly ‘botched’ my case up, and one instance ‘dumped’ £6,400 worth of debt on to me because of their mistakes.
    There are people over-paying, under-paying and those who do not pay at all. £3.8 billion remains uncollected, whilst those who do pay are repeatedly targeted.
    It’s time to ‘ditch’ this ‘run for profit quango’, and use mediation services. Where that fails, matters should be returned to the court, with access to legal representation.
    As it stands, (as a headline stated), ” The CSA routinely breaches NRP’s Human rights”. It’s long overdue for cases to be tested in the courts, exposing the shambolic state of the CSA/CMEC!

  2. Friend says:

    The lot of them should be made redundant simply for accepting to take up a job that smacks of supreme immorality.

  3. Darren Jamieson says:

    We’ve been inundated with complaints about this on our site. There’s seems no logic to arbitrarily charging people more for the same service, when the quality of service won’t change. The mistakes continue to mount and the complaints process is convoluted, shrouded in mystery and seemingly without end. Whether you’re an NRP or a PWC, the CSA is not the way forward.

  4. JamesB says:

    I agree with all the above. I would also find it difficult to take the job, sometimes a line needs to be drawn and CSA is amoral and immoral.

  5. Reuben Donnelly says:

    just got off the phone to the CSA and i am now being made to pay until my daughter is 20, i never see my child but have always payed my dues….there are some parents out there that dodge there responsibilitys and get away with it….i am sick to death over this shambles and it is making me ill but they don’t care less about this now….i feel like giving up….

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Give Child Maintenance Options a call or have a web chat. They will be delighted to help explain things to you. Let me know how you get on.
      Best wishes

  6. colin spencer says:

    i split with my ex wife 10 years ago and the csa put an attachment on my wages direct from my employment and so continued until my youngest was 18 plus arrears
    my new partner has 2 children of her own her ex left his job 8 years ago so he doesnt have to for them. after years of complaints and arguements we are still nowhere
    he now works self employed but when contacted he claims he`s unemployed . how can the various agencies not sort this out, csa say we need proof then fob us off with more rubbish.

  7. John says:

    I too have been informed that if our child, stays in non advanced education, I will have to pay until 20.
    Like Reuben, I too am fed up to the back teeth of this shambolic system moving the goalposts to fill the treasury coffeurs up. I have paid for 14 years, I have one remaining in the system. I have probably paid around £50,000 in maintenance, and I paid £77,000 in divorce….and yet these feckless people want more.
    If I am expected to conttinue paying up to 20, is there any way that I can get mt case into the High court. Not a fixed CSA tribunal, where they fabricate evidence, and not the upper tier tribunal.
    I have been treated shamefully by these people ( I have all the documentary evidence), and I think it’s about time my story was told to a High court judge, where he may rule against the CSA and Secretary of state, for attempting to criminalise and persecute me!

  8. Rachel says:

    I am forever reading articles about, usually, fathers dragging their feet in paying CSA. What I would really like to know is what percentage of those (or in fact all fathers who pay CSA) have the level of contact with their children that they would like? Why does even 50/50 shared care still result in a payment from a supposedly NRP?
    There are plenty of greedy mothers out there who are quite happy to accept the money from the “father” but who then refuse to acknowledge that he even is one when it comes to attitude and time. If a mother refuses contact, a father should not have to pay.
    The CSA are reprenhensible in their attitude and actions. If the children really are meant to be at the core of this; then how about we stop making it about what money changes hands and instead focus on the family support needed to ensure they have two parents in their lives, whether seperated or not.

    • reg says:

      the mother of my child has refused contact, she will get less money from csa if the child spends time at mine. Run out of money from high csa costs which I’ve always paid and crazy court fee’s. What do you do when csa take so much money you cant afford to fight to see the child anymore? their now hiking the prices! still paying our joint debts as she walked off scot free I’m struggling. Why is this acceptable? The mother goes on exphensive holidays, has her own house. I rent, dont think I’ll ever get to buy now with this hike. I dont begrudge paying for my child but it takes 2 to make a child. if she cant afford to look after him i will gladly take custody and not claim a penny ffrom her! why is all the power at the mothers feet? why are fathers cash points? what about the children that live with the father, why do they have to endure poverty and hardship to pay for someone elses fancy lifestyle?

  9. JamesB says:

    Respect to you Rachel. Reading between the lines and not going with the spin and empathising with the nrp Dads (like me).

  10. Yvie says:

    I have come to the conclusion that unless the PWC is claiming benefits, the State has no business telling one parent how much he owes the other parent. This surely is a matter for responsible parents to come to a sensible arrangement regarding child maintenance payments which should reflect the amount of shared care.

    • Jezz says:

      I dont see what right the Child Maintenance service has getting involved in personal and private family matters. Children or not, its private. OR maybe they feel as tho they should because there is BIG profit for the secretary of state in break ups? OR maybe they do have a legal right to get involved because the Children belong to the corporation know as the UK Government!!? I wonder? Either way, why should any NRP pay any money to a RP to support their lifestyle? And 12% of gross income for Child support? Mmmmm. so its not really Child support is it? It’s a second income tax on divorced parents with kids! Is it legal? If a guy got divorced 16 years ago and is earning 1 million a year, then he must pay to his ex £120.000 per year. So The child and their mum needs that do they? lol.
      Wake up guys, it’s not legal or lawful, It IS NOT Child Support, it’s extortion and robbery to line the pockets of ministers who are rubbing their hands at this profit making ideological warfare. Whilst parents are whining, the government loves it even more. PARENTS, sort out your problems or you are both getting into bed with Politicians who will rape your pocket for every penny they can get away with!

  11. JamesB says:

    And respect to you too Yvie.

  12. DT says:

    Sadly, it’s often not possible

    • Yvie says:

      So why doesn’t the CSA concentrate on those fathers who refuse to maintain their children, or seek to hide their income? It seems this is far to difficult for the CSA to manage, so they concentrate their efforts on those fathers who are already contributing. Their rules and regulations are so tight that they are unable to reflect the true contribution many fathers make with shared care arrangements. In fact, when there is a court ordered share care arrangement in place, the CSA play no part in the financial arrangements between the parents.

      • Yvie says:

        Correction – the CSA should play NO part in the financial arrangements between the parents.

        • j says:

          You are right Yvie. Unfortunately think about how much money the government are making from this so called “Child maintenance” scam! I recently received a letter stating that my ex wife had made a claim against me for child support. However what they are so stupid about is the fact that I see and speak to my ex wife few days a week and she said what a load of rubbish, she never made any such claim but because she started job seekers allowance they think they can get away with getting me to pay that back to the government. Now 2 things here strike me as strange, I’m not married to her therefore legally and lawfully not obliged to maintain her anymore, and what on earth has her claiming JSA got to do with me? Lol. Talk about legalised robbery, extortion and scam artists. So just because I have a child it means that gives them a right to take more money from my wages despite the fact that I pay anyway lol. You have really got to laugh at the Muppet maintenance service haven’t you.

          • stitchedup says:

            It’s all about protecting the state. However, did your ex declare the money you give her as income? If not its not surprising they will seek to secure any other income she’s entitled to before calculating any benefits she may be entitled to.

  13. jim says:

    I respect all comments made, however how justified is all this to the child. 12 years ago my ex claimed to be a single parent and claimed for a flat and for a child, in between time she either lived with me or her mother and the flat was used as a storage place for excessive shopping she carried out. However during all this time I paid for my son, for heating, all his needs and more. 5yrs later we parted and i tried to work out an agreement with her, but the agent from the CSA told her if she made an agreement with me then any time in the future if something happened she would not be entitled to benefits. Igot an excessive bill from CSA even though I had reciepts and bank statements they didnt want to know, also my ex had put on her social security claim forms that the father was unknown and lived in Scotland. I lost my house and was unable to work as they only took into account what my bills were when my son was born . I had renovated my house and bought a better car so I could look after my son but they said it didnt count. When i sold my house they had a order took take £15000 as back payments.After struggling I got 8 weeks work helping a friend, now they have sent another bill for £3985 saying its for 5 months payment even though I havent worked 5 month, this has affected my life and my sons who I dont get to see now as his mother is living in another mans house and still claiming benefits for her flat which noone lives in.

  14. K. Singh says:

    Just wanted a little bit of knowledge/opinion, so that I could work out what to do in the uk vis-a-vis finding and instructing the relevant solicitor.
    The question is:
    A British and French National resident- working , living- paying tax etc.. in India. with one child (born in India).
    The French national takes child to France for school holidays, decides not to return, and files there (Art 13&14 French constitution)
    Can a child maintenance order for the child from the French court ( there is an apartment in UK of the British National) be enforced by the UK. The complication arises because Indian law does not allow child maintenance in the form of foreign currency- except for higher education, i.e after the age of 16. The law treats it as money laundering and comes under criminal offence indictment–India has very strict rules on foreign exchange, its permitted use and forms. Given that we have a Dual Taxation treaty Between UK and India- India,in this case is entitled to jurisdiction over the Global income/ financial assets of the British national- so basically it can send him to jail, if he makes child support payments in Euro’s or £’s.
    Incidentally the French don’t seem to like respecting their own treaties- In this case they don’t follow the Hague rules( which India is a signatory–(though not on child maintenance or parental child abduction) either on service (summons) or evidence- they simply send a letter to the Brit in India, wait until he turns up to see his child and then tell him that- since he’s on French soil- he’s served.
    Basic opinion would help a lot!
    many thanks

  15. JamesB says:

    Didn’t understand all that, but I think inviting him to see the children so you can serve court papers on him for money is both unnecessary and inflammatory.

  16. JamesB says:

    Very inflammatory and pretty much very nasty in general actually.

  17. JamesB says:

    Advise, post him the papers recorded delivery. Also advise sorting out contact with him. Do both amicably, and need not be as painful as you seem to be making it. Perhaps I am reading the situation wrong, and I have to admit to only skim reading your post. Hope it works out ok for you all and the children especially.

  18. Someone intelligent says:

    Good lord, all you men moan, moan, moan, you make my skin crawl. If you have a childm, then you have to pay, trust me 15% is nothing compared to what the parent with care has to pay, all you seem to care about is the bloody money, not one of you guys has mentioned your children, so selfish, if you don’t want children, put something on, instead of whining about paying a tiny bit of money towards bringing them up and Constantly blaming your exes, you ones that moan are cowards and cruel, imagine what your children will think of you when they grow up. STOP bloody complaining and stop shagging around and stop blaming the CSA (only doing their job because you morons won’t pay your exes direct) and take Responsibility for your actions, god help the children of so called men like you. SHAME on you!!!

    • Jezz says:

      And the same could be said for the women whom fall pregnant? The Pill! and if you were that intelligent why are you even on this forum complaining? I take it you resolved all your CSA problems with hubby and are on a nice little earner right? It’s the Woman who only thinks about MONEY, thats why she makes the Claim!

  19. JamesB says:

    Spoken as only someone who has never been a nrp could.
    The shame is that you want it both ways. 1 to take blame out of the equation and make maintenance payable to women no matter how badly they have behaved, then, 2. to put all the fault on men anyway where there is any doubt on the morality of what you propose.
    I doubt you will understand what I have written here or how to respond to it, as there really is no broad brush solution to this but to take the matter back to court rather than the woman is always right approach which you advocate, rather poorly. Indeed, not intelligent, rather stupid actually.
    Just thought I would write to stick up for the nrps again though and for those who might read this and actually think about it. I am not a full time supporter of nrps though so think will leave this there although my mind is made up on it I can’t go on saying the same thing over and over again, all I can do is try and ensure my children won’t be faced with such nonsense and lobby politicians and courts and prenups and court etc accordingly.

  20. JamesB says:

    Plus, it is a lot of money that is being talked about, not the small amounts that you suggest.

  21. Yvie says:

    That was a bit of a rant from Someone Intelligent. I have my doubts about that because she seems unable to appreciate that there are two sides to every story. The CSA do not care about the circumstances of the nrp or how much he is already spending on the children which could be considerable. That is of no consequence when child maintenance is calculated and is of no interest to the CSA.
    Parents with care are in receipt of child benefit, child tax credits and if they are working 16 hours or more, working tax family credit, plus child maintenance. They are therefore in receipt of a substantial sum, tax free.
    On the other hand, the nrp parent could be sharing care of his children for almost as much as the pwc. No benefits will be coming his way, not even working tax family credit. In effect, it could be argued that nrps pay twice, once when they have the children and again when the children are with their mother.
    I wonder how a parent with care would feel if the child support agency decided she owed money to the non-resident parent and dipped directly into her bank account to remove it, despite the fact she was sharing the care of her children with the nrp. She may question the accuracy of the amount deducted, as do many non-resident fathers, only to find her concerns are brushed aside.
    Some would consider the high handed actions of the CSA tantamount to fraud, or even theft. I would be one of them.

  22. Observer says:

    For SOMEONE who claims to be INTELLIGENT, the inability to listen, understand and empathize is quite astonishing. Intelligence is not about brains or knowledge, but about being a compassionate person. And there is no compassion in labeling separated dads as deadbeat moaners, when the reason they are complaining is because they just want to be able to have something left over after bills in order to support their kids and ensure that they can provide for them (which SOMEONE INTELLIGENT finds it hard to even entertain the prospect of).
    Yvie, on the other hand, does strike me as SOMEONE INTELLIGENT – intelligent enough to know what is going on, and know the difference between right and wrong.

  23. MrsM says:

    Myself and partner are also frustrated with the complete inflexibility of the current maintenance calculation system.
    We don’t have 50/50 care but around 60/40 therefore my partner pays a substantial amount if maintenance to his ex. In top of this we take them to and pay for several clubs every week (even when we don’t have them overnight we still see them and do this).
    The costs of this are significant in terms of the participation fees (3 kids), the kit they need to take part (judo and rugby), the license and competition costs plus petrol money to do the chauffeuring.
    Add to this we still need to purchase the kids clothing, personal items, bedding, toys, furniture etc for when they are at ours. Effectively they have a like for like home here with own rooms furnished and decorated, this costs money. We also have food costs, school uniform costs etc. we take them on holiday and buy them birthday and Christmas gifts.
    The point I am trying to make is that we have identical overheads to their mother in terms of ensuring appropriate housing, furnishings, clothing, gifts, days out and day to day costs like food and treats, medicine etc (basically anything a child needs we need to have also). Despite this she receives a substantial amount of maintenance from my partner.
    So my concern is thats she personally doesn’t make much, if any, of a financial contribution to the upbringing of the children. We pay for all those things for the time the children are with us, we them give her maintenance that covers all those costs when they are with her (£850 a month). Any money she then makes herself (or receives in a substantial sum of benefits) is left over.
    From what I can see we pay for the kids when they are with us and then cover all their costs when they are with their mother, what is her contribution.
    The current system take no account of what children actually cost on a day to day basis and makes no consideration that a mother should also contribute financially towards the kids. This case is obviously different from alot of cases as my partner makes a reasonable amount of money and so pays large maintenance payments however in my mind they are so large that the other parent is actually not paying anything towards her kids and their dad pays for 100% of what thy need. Supporting your kids is the right thing to do but as everyone here says, it take two to make a baby. It should take two to pay for it.

  24. Phoenix1 says:

    Hi need help here. My ex and I split up nearly 8 1/2 years ago we have 3 boys who are now 16, 15, and 8. He abandoned us when the youngest was 3 months old. I have been paying the mortgage, on the house which his name is on the mortgage, refurbished the house because he left it in total state of disrepair, double glazing, total rewire, central heating, put in kitchen, bathroom, reskimmed all walls upstairs and down, fence, garage, flooring, carpets removed ASBESTOS!!!! Sent the children to school ,clothing, food activities cadets for the last 7years x2boys ,holidays, haircuts you name it ive done it. Im self employed have been for 6 years to make a life for the boys, dont get any benefits Im 44 the NRP is now 50yrs old claims he hasnt worked for the last 8 years but got married in Trinidad, has another two BABIES!!! gets legal aid,has a tyre business and house in Trinidad, comes back and fourth to London annually with new family in tow Trinny wife doesnt work either. drives an 08 plate coupe. He is now forcing me to sell the roof over his sons heads so that it can live in WI. In nearly nine years has only had wait for it ……….£550.00 deducted from his JSA by the CSA but has assets in the region of 330K.
    I have raised and continue to raise our 3 children single handley to the back drop of no financial assistance and now have to sell the house.
    I didnt dupe him into a family each child was with consent and planned. Yet he can get away with duping the goverment. Surely there is legislation under the child protection act 1989 that can make him own his parental responsibility , duty of care and obligations towards his children. HELP PLEASE ANYBODY feeling very depresssed 🙁

  25. eddie says:

    Think all this is absolute bull.. and the agency clearly breaches the human rights of (mainly) us dads.
    The CSA shouldn’t be collecting anything as far as I am concerned the assessment process is problematic to say the least Immoral and probably nearer illegal and is in no way an assessment by its very nature. Thoroughly agree with Mike that the only way to deal with this is collectively; small victories should contribute to the war that is required to take on this parasitical agency who do all they can to destroy families. They state that this is for the good of the children but in the many cases I have read relationships are destroyed. We blame ex wifes who have gone to an agency who state that they would rather support amicable agreements but then who offer ridiculous amounts from NRPs many of whome are in contact and contributing what they can… only to wreck what is already had. It needs to be proven only that the assessments ant and goals and targets of the agency promote in-equality and discrimination for us to have a chance of challenging this monster and for me the way forward is ll fighting (financially and legally) for a common goal. The basis for this is to set up a team, which needs to be underpinned by a qualified barrister who is not afraid to take on the very system that pays for his existence. In the name of JUSTICE….. someone has to and I would like to start the ball rolling with others who WANT to pay for there children but want a FAIR amount and ASSESSMENT.

  26. Lukey says:

    The reason the CSA, Family Court & Government don’t deal with contact orders being broken is because they couldn’t care less. It’s generally happening to men and there is no financial or political problem for them so rather than deal with that can of worms they just ignore it.
    Simples 🙂
    So basically that is why groups like Fathers 4 Justice exist. There may be some odd balls in these groups but nothing will happen if they don’t cause the Government grief.

  27. Blowing in the wind says:

    Phoenix1 – know just what you mean. The responsibility when you are left with it all is just enormous. Coping day to day with three on your own and managing all that renovation to create a nice home for your children is a huge achievement. No financial support from their father – yet he is supporting another family. I have something similar (but haven’t managed to improve the house!) and it is heart-breaking when you have conceived; given birth to and part-raised a family together with all the expectations that brings, to have the father refuse to provide financial or emotional support to his children yet give it to a new family. And then in your particular case to have your home threatened is so soul-destroying. I do believe that one day people like this will morally struggle to live with themselves and have huge regrets. It might not help now, but reading your post and seeing the time it was posted, I thought you might need a boost!
    I also think Intelligent (though agree not best choice of name unless you want to get people having a go about it), is making a very valid point. People go into parenthood on a 50/50 basis (planned or unplanned) and any working PWC is guaranteed to be spending way more of their income to support their child than the 15% of net income expected of the father by the CSA. It may have been made a little forcefully but the point is true. Sorry if I am upsetting anyone, but I cannot see why there is disagreement over this.

  28. Mandy wheeler says:

    I have three daughters 16/15 and 12 by my ex partner . After I had my 16 year old he set up a business . After I found I was pregnant with my third daughter he left us I ended up on benefits . I managed really hard to support my children for the next 8 years without any help from the ex as the Csa said his calculation to pay was 0 I never understood why as he owned his own business but had to put up with the 0 calculation. In June 2012 I closed my case down with the Csa for 13 weeks to open it back up on a date the Csa told me to do 7th sepember 2012 . I did this and 8 weeks later was told the Csa had gave me the wrong date and I had opened it to early to recluse the case again for another 13 weeks bringing it to 4 feb 2013 .. All the waiting at finally arrived . Or so I though! The Csa found my ex to be a director of his limited business happy days you’d think but no he says he takes £100 wages his dividends are loans from his business and he pays £5 a week for all three daughters how can I get this sorted as I know he has two cars 150000 house holidays abroad my kids only have what only I put there for their survival yes i do work now I’m self employed and I take home more than him and I’ve only just set my business up his business as been running 16 years

  29. Mandy wheeler says:

    I did contact gingerbread and have advised me that unless it all goes to a tribunal there’s not a lot can be done . I have applied to the central appeals unit within the Csa and waiting on the now fourth variation outcome all other three have been refused on the grounds of not enough evadance I’ve asked for a compliance officer to be appointed to the case but all they do is say no please could you advice me more as if I had money I’d invest in a private investigator

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Mandy
      Send me a copy of his latest accounts. You can download them from Companies House. Send me a statement setting out all you know about him. I will have a look at them.

  30. Astonished mum says:

    Someone “intelligent” you are actually very blinkered in your view. My partner’s ex left him for a string of squaddies and initially left his children with him, coming back after nearly a year to take them back so she could claim more benefits (as she is work shy) and 2 relationships failed!!! She then moved away, the kids were very upset, and he has had a terrible time trying to find them although she has gone to the CSA asking that he pays more in maintenance and in fact they look at my income to supplement hers. She lives with yet another squaddie, I have 2 children myself, one severely disabled but have always worked,paid my way and never claimed benefits. So please,please do not tarnish all men with the same brush. In his case his ex is very devious and just wants more and more money but won’t give him access any more to his children who we believel ive 150 miles away now and we cannot afford to go back to court again as she keeps breaking arrangements. It actually does more harm than good to the children.
    Some women sadly use children to access money and it isn’t always the men who are to blame.
    thank god there are people like James and Yvie who have a balanced view

  31. JamesB says:

    She was referring to Someone intelligent on April 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm.

  32. Kev Hunt says:

    Hi Marilyn. What would your advice be to me?
    I separated from my wife 9 years ago. I had a private arrangement with regards to maintenance and paid what I thought was a reasonable amount. Fast forward a year and I started a new relationship. My ex stopped me having contact and I had to get two separate contact orders (broke them both). She then contacted CSA and said I had paid no maintenance. Of course when we separated I set up a standing order so I had no difficulty proving she was telling lies. The CSA assessed me and LOWERED my payments to my ex. She still continued to use them even though her payments had dropped and only two years ago she eventually got to the amount I had originally paid. She like many PWC are allowed to use the CSA as a weapon. The PWC are told that if they stop overnight contact with NRP the shared care allowance will be stopped resulting in the PWC getting more money.. This happened and my ex stopped me seeing children all together.. When I used to collect she used to tell me they were ill or they didn’t want to see me etc etc.. Her family were also very intimidating and violent towards myself. I now have a supportive wife and share two lovely children. I pay a reasonable amount every week and have very little left for my second family as the CSA do not take into account any of my circumstances.
    Anyway the point of my post is that soon my case will be moved to CSA3 and I will be assessed on my gross wage.. Money that I do not see.. Gross wage including national insurance and tax. I have a company car and pay into a private pension scheme so as not to sponge off the state in later years. My maintenance payments will rise considerably because of this and also because I will have to pay an extra 20% of the 16% of my gross wage..
    Is this how it is calculated??
    e.g.CSA2 My net weekly income is £350.00 I have two children with my ex wife and two dependants with my new wife.. £56.00 per week.. On CSA3 It would be my gross wage 28k. 16% of this £4480 div 52 = £86.15 a rise of £30.00 per week.. On top of this I will have to pay another £17.23 totalling £103.38
    Do I have the choice to pay by private agreement or again is this the choice of the PWC?? If she decides she wants the CSA to collect she will lose 7% of the £86.15 (£6.03) and will receive £80.11
    I sure that she will spend the extra £24.00 per week on the children…
    If I am paying the maintenance, and always have, why do I not have the choice how much and how I pay either direct or through the csa? As with my post, my ex doesn’t care about the well being of my children or she would not have stopped contact and she would not have used the CSA as a weapon to punish me and by doing so lowering the amount of money my children receive..
    This will also impact on my second family as I will be unable to pay mortgage payments, bills put food on the table for my new children. Apparently the CSA only care about child poverty within their cases..

    • Marilyn Stowe says:

      Dear Kev
      Thanks for your enquiry. CSA is not my specialist field so you need to contact Child Maintenance Options and they will advise you free about your specific circumstances and your specific liability. You can either speak to them by phone or have a web chat.

  33. Beki says:

    I understand why the non resident parents on here would complain at some of the ways the CSA treats them when they are willing to pay, but look at the other side of it. My sons father decided to cut contact with our son (for no reason other than he could not be bothered to walk ten minutes down the road, breaking my sons heart) and he has not paid a penny. The CSA have given him half a year already to respond and he still hasn’t, the case has only just been transferred to the legal team. It is selfish people like him who give non resident parents a bad name

  34. Observer says:

    I’m sorry, but this is absurd. The CSA will not help you. You got involved with a complete loser. The CSA spends its time instead harassing easy targets (because then it can tick its boxes), and it spends its time making dads feel like criminals. That is what it does best, and that’s all it does. Where it doesn’t envision being able to tick a box and sway the statistics in its favor, it doesn’t bother, because that is a waste of human resources. It is a criminal outfit through and through in its disgusting treatment of normal, moral, easily contactable and easily imprisonable but not very well off fathers.
    You’d be better off just writing him off and doing the best you can for your kids, who when they reach a certain age will come to see you as a model.

  35. David says:

    have read with Interest most of the posts here. And would like to say this. Each and every parent o both sides of this horrendous situation will. Always think they are right in what the do. However, if the consideration is purely Financial, then none of us are right. 8 years ago I was in a good, but sometimes turbulent relationship ship, as most are, no violence, but arguments mostly. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, shortly after my ex had an affair and left. Court over, and joint custody awarded, she systematically wrecked her relationship with our two boys. They were 4 and 5 at the time. They have always lived with me, and she has done the bare minimum over the years, financially, pretty much zero. Emotionally, definately zero. In all this time, although it was tough, and financially crippling, I tried to follow us on the fact that my boys were with me, and had me there. Yes, I complaint ex to her about money, but it always fell on deaf ears. She has now met, and is going to marry, a chap who earns well, has gone part time at work, looks after his kids, and rented out her flat, and is very comfortable. I…….. Well I still have my boys……… What more could I want. And the cancer…… Ok so for. 🙂

  36. patnerx says:

    my partner has just had a deduction of earnings of 317 per month from his 1340 per month income this is for his daughter from a previous relationship. we have a small son between us and my partner is the bread winner of our family and csa are leaving us with 48 per month to live on. surly this cant be far is there anything i can do

  37. Observer says:

    Get a job and stop waiting on handouts perhaps? Your ex has obviously decided that the rat-race isn’t worth his efforts anymore.

  38. Epic says:

    Last september the CSA told me I had been overpaying for 18 months and was owed £770. As soon as the ex saw this she cancelled with the CSA. Due to financial hard ship I recently explained that I might need to lower slightly what I am giving her (this is already over that the CSA minimum was recommended) She goes back to CSA, completely stops contact and now the CSA say I have to give her even more money and have written off the £770 I over paid as it would disadvantage the children with my ex. What about the child living with my wife and I whom are struggling? They aren’t interested there are they!

  39. Miss my kids says:

    I do not have an issue with supporting my kids. What I do have an issue with is, my financial situation worsens, and the CSA could not care. I do not have contact with my kids, yet I pay the max of close to £900 for both kids. What a shame, how Child Support is calculated.
    I love the way the CSA says, for the love of your children, not once would the Law system say for the love of your children to the parent that has custody.

  40. Shaun says:

    I see this from both sides.
    I have a ten year old son, I have paid maintenance for 10 years so far, without fail on time. I get no say in his upbringing and am afforded no real contact – just around his birthday and Christmas so that I can give him his presents.
    On the flip side, I got with my wife around 5 years ago. She has a daughter, now 10 also. The CSA found out where he worked finally around 10 months ago (took them many years) but my wife is still waiting to get payments set up – she keeps being told there is a backlog.
    Up until recently when he did a disappearing act, he was always afforded the right to see his daughter regularly. I made sure of that because of my own situation.
    I see this from one point of view – my wife’s daughter is now my responsibility and has been for some time. Morally I often wonder if my wifes csa case should be closed because of this – but then on the other side, the mother of my son is married to a wealthy man, and she has no qualms in taking my money.
    The only reason I don’t take the moral stance and say to hell with it, I paid a large debt off he left my wife with.
    I just don’t see any common sense applied, and the CSA only seem bothered once they “have” you in the system.

  41. JamesB says:

    Excellent post Shaun.

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