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Child support arrears demand unreasonable

I suppose I fell into the age old trap of promising to provide my two children with the 'treats' for want of a better word and did not set up a formal agreement with my ex wife.

Over the years I have provided them with holidays either with me or with their mother, computers, an allowance, clothing (including school clothing).  I have helped out with the school trips, given money to my ex wife at Christmas to help her and I suppose have spoilt my children at Christmas and birthdays.

I have worked hard, paid my taxes and always been on the end of the phone to sort problems.  I have seen them pretty regularly up until the last few years as they are now in their late teens and have other priorities.

Their mother on the other hand has sat on her backside for 15 years and made no attempt to work!  She has claimed all the benefits going and sat back and allowed me to make the necessary payments for my children's needs.  I can just hear her now saying "ask your Dad he is loaded..."

letterbox - arrears demand from the CSA? I returned from holiday at Christmas to find a demand from the CSA for 23,000 of arrears.  Before I could respond my employer was served with notice to deduct close on 1,000 per month from my salary!  I appealed of course, but my hearing could be 4 months away and until that time I am risking my relationship with my new partner, my home and my job.  Requests for an amount that is more comfortable for me to pay until the hearing seem to be falling on deaf ears at the child support agency.

The arrears assessment has not taken into consideration any housing costs from 1995 to date despite me having a mortgage since 2000.  Well is this what they call fair and am I being persecuted?  Or perhaps I should just shut up and pay up, but on the other hand do I could do what many have done before me, put my foot down and make a statement?  Because right at the moment I am at the end of my tether!  Thanks for listening.

By: Wits End

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I have two children a lad who is 13 and a girl who is 11 both with different mothers i have an agreement in place with my girls mother that i pay £25 every wk which is done through the bank and we are on good terms..however my lads mum is a disgrace she wont get off her backside to open an a bank account so i can do the same wiv her so for years now i have bought my lad anythin he ever needed because if the money went to his mother it would just go on booze and fags..i recently recieved a letter from the csa saying a deduction of earnings was being enfofced which means £77 is going to come out of my wages every week this is before i pay my girls mum her £25 so that means i am paying £102 every wk which after i pay my rent and bills is leaving me with nothing i work hard with no reward and not sure where to turn next

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Mal - 25-Mar-14 19:27

oh boo hoo hoo, shut up and meet your responsibilities. £23000 csa in arrears?? shame on you.

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disgusted - 29-Dec-13 01:35

hi to all you people getting fleeced.
i am the father to two kids one now 14 another 12.i had and still have my kids every wkend buy them what they need and also give there mother money for them.a couple of years ago i received a letter claiming i owed the csa 30 grand.at the time the recession had kicked in and i was unemployed.i phoned to tell them i was not working and basically skint.all as i had to my name was 52 pence which i told the woman on the phone.the reply to that was it had to be paid immediately with a credit card or my driving license would be suspended this is the truth honest.i asked her how would i pay the credit card company back iff im skint she had no answer.so what planet this woman was from beats me.good luck your gonna need it with these half wits on your case.

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carl - 20-Mar-13 20:41

my ex didn't pay for child maintenance and has now received a letter from csa saying that he needs to pay £3500, yet when i spoke to somebody they said that i was owed £174 i don't understand why there is such a difference in amounts, we're still on speaking terms hence how i found out how much they were asking but i think it's ridiculous how much they ask for and how much the mother actually receives of it

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confused mum - 23-Nov-11 22:36

OK, so there I was paying my support out of my wages and decided to go self-employed, the thing that made me do this was a phonecall from a woman at the CSA who insisted on shouting and swearing at me and finally hanging up. I tried to call back several times to complain but had the phone immediately hung up after the NI/DOB entry, never mind, they'll know that I'm self employed when they see my NI status.

Silence for three years and then suddenly I become parent with care, I tell them and they close the case, all well and good. A few weeks later and I get a letter asking for five grands worth of arrears from the last three years so I send them my books to show that I have made zero profit and actually owe nothing, the reply comes back... the case is closed, the arrears stand!

So now I have made an arrangement of £31 a week for the next three years, they did want £50 but as my work has dried up and we are struggling on tax credits etc there was no way.

Basically the CSA are taking money off me that they assume that I made, they are threatening me with bailiffs, prison and God knows what else and all because they have no policy to re-open or review closed cases.

They are putting me and my children at extreme hardship and basically stealing off of us. I'm seeing my solicitor next week, I don't know what else to do.

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Father - 25-Oct-11 18:40

Does any one know up to what age is child maintenance paid? is it paid as long as the child stays in full time education?

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den - 3-May-11 11:40

M.P's, CAB, the Media are all in the scam together. They have 'signed up to Common purpose', where they all agree NOT to report anything negative about government agencies (especialy the CSA).

I pay and have paid what I am expected to pay.

Why is it that some have never paid, will never pay, and are 'let off' as untraceable?

Those who do pay are being discriminated against. How can it be fair and just in the eyes of the law that some pay and others do not pay? It is blatant discrimination, and I am hoping someone, somewhere will win a legal challenge against the government and the system, and they will have to repay all those who have paid!

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Rippedoffdad - 3-May-11 10:46

Many people complain to this website about the CSA. The truth is that if you’re employed you have no option but to pay or the CSA will go to your employer and hit them with a deduction of earnings order which will take money from your salary before your receive it which is only right as you should pay for your kids. The problem with the CSA is that they don't treat people fairly. The amount of money they take is ridiculous and often leaves people in poverty or in my case better off out of work and claiming benefits. I submitted all the relevant paperwork and proof of income as requested but in the beginning they were taking a few quid shy of half my wages. I tried everything I could to get the payments reduced but even the CAB couldn't help me. In the end I wrote to my MP and in turn she wrote to the CSA who reduced my payments to a manageable amount. Why I needed to go to my MP before I got the CSA to listen is a disgrace when the only alternative was to leave my job. I would advise anyone how has problems to contact their MP as the CSA don't seem to care what we think and after all it was politicians who invented the CSA which I might add has never been anything other than a big stick people with children can wield at their ex partners to cause pain and get revenge. I honestly believe any company that made as much of a mess of doing business would be out of business very quickly.

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thegrimreaper - 29-Mar-11 13:35

getting in touch with CSA is a total waste of time my ex never paid csa for the child we had together but he did pay for a child with his previous ex. Now my son no longer lives with me he wanted to live with his dad as his dad bought him what ever he wanted so they live in my ex home theres a new wife and two other children and while they were away on a lovely honey moon with my son I recieved a letter fron the csa telling me I have to pay 496.00 out of 900.00 a month wage a rang and asked about csa payments I never recieved ex the reply I got was my ex,s file is closed! because I get angry on the phone im just excepting it and not saying a word I would give all my wages to see my son but the thing is once I pay debt,household bills the csa there is no money left for me to travel and see my son.

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faith - 29-Mar-11 00:04

I sympathise completely, my husband got a letter saying that he owed £21,000. What I think people don't realise is that this money of arrears does not go to the mother but to the CSA!! I'm fuming as we agreed to pay £60 a month and they sent me a schedule of payments then took a payment over the £60 early!! the CSA is a disgraceful organisationn that just seems to want to punish those who can't afford it!! I am working part time and am a full time university student and have recently just had a baby! The stress is taking its toll on our finances and relationship!! We will be paying this off for the rest of our lives!!!

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Claire McDougall - 10-Feb-11 11:27

I am now also at university doing a full time degree, this also is costing money.. I would like to buy a car also but I cant afford the insurance each month with all my other bills etc.. I think its only fair that he pays what he should as I only have my sons best interests at heart and we are struggling not being able to have the little luxuries in life!!! Thats the least he can do since he doesnt bother with the bern and help me with my son by having him over night one night per week to give me a break, it can be stressful at times bringing up a child, running a business whilst doing a full time BSc honours degree in environmental sciences!! I am really trying to better my life for the sake of my son, so why isnt he! its not like he cant afford £40 or £60 per week, yet that £40-£60 per week would be an awful lot to me and would change our lifes alot

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mercedes - 19-Jan-11 16:18

I am a single mum with a 6 year old. My ex partner doesnt bother with my son much, always lets him down and refuses to pay maintenance. I use to be on benefits, his dad never has the bern for me and I have no family which meant I was unable to work as a 10 til 2 job was hard to come by and had no one to get my son from school. In these circumstances, if I am unable to work because of him and his family wont help me with childcare then he sould pay me £40+ per week so I could have have some luxuries for my son, as its not fair him being able to work and swan off whenver or wherever he likes and I cant becasuse he chose to leave us and i'm the one left devoting my life to bringing up my son and give him the best I possibly can give him which was impossible in which the bern would expect... nice clothes and luxuries... So I looked in to running my own business from home ( that way I could work around my son's needs ), I now work from home as a fully qualified hair extensionist and beautician but I only earn approx £100 and I also get my working tax credits. Since going self employed I telephoned the CSA and gave them my ex's details, they traced him and done an evaluation and my ex had to give me £64 per week.. this was a big help, as my rent is £90 council tax etc.. but after only a few payments my ex quit work (he told me he was going to do it) and went self employed. He now owes £600+ arrears and he is currently sub contracting and making £1500 per week roughly.. I think once they trace him again and do another valuation, the second payments start to come off his wage he will QUIT WORK YET AGAIN and go back on the books. I am currently issuing court proceedings to get the £600+ arrears, as they have sent him 2 warning letters and he has completely ignored them as he has had thousands since Nov and not attempted to pay 1p !! please read below as ran out of space

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Mercedes - 19-Jan-11 16:17

I was saddened to hear your story,i am at the opposited end with regards to child support,I myself as a single parent have brought 3 children up alone.
I have had to work 6 days a week for 10 years now and that is still the case, my ex husband has only paid me just over the miserable sum of £1000.00 thats approx 20p a week for 3 children its disguisting ,its disrepectfull not only to myself as a mother but also my 3 lovely kids.
He has never sent them a birthday cards no christmas cards and has not even seen them for years even though he only lives 3 miles away.He would walk by his kids in the street and not even recognise them now.
I have been fighting for years with the child support agency and at present they are trying to take him to court.the maximum penalty for non paying fathers is only 28 days in jail.
My kids and I sadly found ourselves homeless for a year and a half 10 years ago, when we left him.The reason I left him was because he was abusing me physically and I for one know that that enviroment was not acceptable to bring up 3 children in, So 28 days max penalty in my eyes is a total disgrace !
Child support agency has to be tougher and I really hope the law changes and the sentences are made higher.I find it unbelievable when I hear people say oh these poor absent fathers are in a terrible position and they are commiting suicide by hanging themselves etc.....,
I personally would hand my ex husband a rope and gladly see him hang himself as I have been the one that has struggled to bring up 3 children alone working full time to feed them and gave them a great upbringing that I am proud of.

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JackieJo - 3-Jan-11 05:33

Sick and tired. I agree with the theme of your comments.It is the WHOLE of family law that needs repealing in the UK. Children are the priority and it is important that both parents play a role in their lives. However, my questions are these. What has it got to do with a Politician? Answer absolutely nothing! What has it got to do with an Executive earning £300,000 a year plus bonuses? Answer absolutely nothing! What has it got to do with a grade 2 office clerk? Answer absolutely nothing!
Mediation and Concilliation between parents is the key to resolving financial and contact issues. Unfortunately, power mad politicians seem to think that financially persecuting the non resident parent is the 'way to go'! Criminalising parents in front of their own children, That's democracy, that's humane.
The only way to ensure that there is a level playing field for both parents and their children, is for politicians to withdraw from the arena and for them to set up parental meeting at the benefits office with a basic interview and introduction of mediation and open and full disclosure by parents. Perhaps then a binding contract could be agreed and signed based upon financial provision for the child/children and contact issues. Renewable every 12 months.
Neither party could have any complaints if they break their side of the agreement and parents and children would know where they stand, because at the present time the current system is a disgraceful shambles and it has no place whatsoever, in a democratic and civil society, because all those involved in this debacle are providing large bonuses and gold plated pensions for corrupt officials. This makes it divisive, and those who work within it have a vested interest, not in the child/children, but in their own ill gotten gains.

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Rippedoffdad - 9-Dec-10 18:46

LAWS THAT GOVERN IN EVERY STATE NEED TO MAKE CHANGES FOR CHILDRENS SAKES throughout the USA. There are way too many parents who are getting away with way too much in regards to their children. Children are being "used" and it needs to stop! They are being used to "punish" the other parent for any perceived or wrongful deed by the one who has custody, they are being "used" to get information about what the other parent does or doesn't do when they are away from one of the parents. There are not enough laws in place to protect children from the abuse they are suffering from one or both parents. LAWS NEED TO CHANGE. There needs to be a person who can intercede when children are being "used and abused" like this. Maybe children need to be removed from a primary parent when the children are being used. Maybe from both parents in order for the games to stop and in order for the children to live a healthier life away from the ones who "use and absuse" them. The abuse that children suffer in these sick emotional abusive relationships need an intervention. I believe that the courts should have laws in place that give them the power to remove children who are being denied the other parent in any way. Both parents should have equal amount of time with the children and there should not be ONE time when it is not permitted by one of the parents. NOT ONE! The children should be removed IMMEDIATELY when one or both parents use the kids to play their games. Its time AMERICA GROWS UP AND STARTS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY AWAY FROM THOSE THAT ABUSE THEIR RIGHTS TO THEIR CHILDREN. Children should not be used for ANYTHING. And there should be VERY STIFF PENALTIES FOR THE ONES WHO ARE USING OR ABUSING THEIR CHILDREN...............PERIOD.

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ick and tired of the lack of - 4-Dec-10 15:59

In a nutshell, been married with my husband 12 wonderful years but unfort......12 years of stress and bulls@@t with the CSA!!!.
It`s amazing that they can`t discuss with you on the phone your other halfs case but give you all the time in the world when you make a fu@@ing payment!!!
Just to point out that only four months ago they had £3500 and today the bas@ards want yet another £3200!!!!!! it was borrowed money we paid them in the first place (rob peter to pay CSA)!!
Our own children have clothes from second hand shops and we cut their hair ourselves plus they hardly get treated out as we barely can afford to run our rented home!.
Surely their threats and awful treatment they give us is not humane?.
I must admit though I did laugh after the second arrears letter as I was just wondering what the baliffs could actually take from our home in worth of that amount?? bring it on!!....you`ll have to get through one pi@@ed off CSA victims wife grrrrrr.

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wives on your side - 4-Oct-10 23:44

so sad- such a shocking terrible system - we should all get together and surround the bloody building prevent the CSA from operating -

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chris - 30-Sep-10 20:07

Happily living with a nice bloke who previously was married and divorced with a child who lived with her mother , I have 2 kids from my marriage both in there teens living with us . Sadly my partners ex died suddenly and his daughter went to live with her grandma everything was amicable between everyone and his CSA was deducted from his wages each month ..
Then the CSA sends a demand for 14k as they have reassessed the claim as it was closing ,his daughter now being 18 and in employment

Despite MPs & solicitors intervention the best response we have had is a letter of apology and a cheque for £50 , they have agreed to take the money over 4 years but this leaves us with £750 a month to keep us all before rent bills and everything else also they dont take maintenance payments into account in tax credit calculations or benefit calculations , so we cant get any help from anywhere

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Fed up skint and broke - 14-Sep-10 12:14

Dear Wits End,

While you claim that your ex wife has 'sat on her backside' for the last fifteen years, who has brought up your children? I would find looking after two children impossible to do sitting on my backside.
You choose to work and have a career, and and some point chose not to spend your life with your children. Resident parents don't have that choice. They are employed full time, 24/7, by their children, and they have made that choice when they had the children in the first place. You have made your own choices in life and now you are complainig because you have to prioritise your income to provide for your children? You might as well be complaining about the fact that you had the children!!!!
Whatever your income is, until the children have left full time education, you are required to provide a percentage of your disposable income. Whether your ex wife was working or not, you would still have to pay - it is based on what you are ABLE to pay.
Unfortunately for you, it makes your financial life equivalent to what it would be if you were still a resident parent to your children. You can't get away from that responsibility. Whatever you thought might be sufficient to provide "treats", is obviously not enough, compared to the legal required amount calculated by the CSA, based on your disposable income. Hence the buld up of your arrears.
Stop moaning and being so selfish and pay up! It is disgusting how you talk about the Mother of your children, who has been there for them every minute of every day, unlike you!!!

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smiler - 4-May-10 17:31

I meant to say I'm NOT confident it is being used for anything other than lining her own pocket! My bad :-)

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jumpingjackjack - 28-Apr-10 17:53

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