Child Support Agency routinely breaching the human rights of fathers

In a robust judgement sure to cause consternation, the Court of Appeal has condemned the Child Support Agency (CSA) for “obnoxious” and “unreasonable” legal failings in threatening fathers with jail without giving them the right to defend themselves.

Sitting with the Lords Justice Patten and Richards, Lord Justice Ward said: “The procedures adopted do not comply with the rights to a fair trial and were flawed.”

This was a test case, brought by a group of solicitors and barristers to establish whether the standard working practices of the CSA breached the rights of fathers under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.  Article 6 protects the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time frame, the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven and similar legal rights.

The appeal was focused on two fathers under scrutiny by the CSA for alleged non-payment of child maintenance: Christopher Gibbons who was appealing against a prison sentence of 21 days, suspended for 11 years and Kambiz Karoonian of Ormskirk, appealing against a suspended sentence of 42 days. The CSA claims that Mr Karoonian owes more than £10,000 in child maintenance arrears but he denies this.

Amongst other criticisms, Lord Justice Ward said the wording of court summons sent to the two men had wrongly implied that they bore responsibility for proving that they did not owe the money claimed, thereby reversing the traditional legal burden of proof, when it is up to the accuser to prove their claims.

The Latin expression sometimes used to define the concept of  ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is: Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof lies with who declares, not who denies).

Lord Justice Ward said the ruling had been made with “considerable reluctance” and in the full knowledge that it could “emasculate” the CSA’s ability to extract money from recalcitrant fathers.

Stephen Lawson, a child support specialist who helped to bring the test case, welcomed the ruling:

“I hope this ruling will now end the unjust practice of non-resident parents, usually fathers, being jailed or threatened with jail without the opportunity to defend themselves properly. Parents may have heard nothing from the CSA for many years and then suddenly out of the blue they receive a demand for thousands of pounds. Many are simply unable to pay and are met with an application to put them in prison or disqualify them from driving.”

He added:

“In another recent case, a father was arrested, taken to court and sent to prison all on the same day, with no opportunity to challenge the evidence against him. The CSA has been sending summons notices through the post, often to an old address, so this has led to some parents being tracked down and arrested, knowing nothing of the court proceedings. And the onus has been on the parent to prove why he shouldn’t be sent to prison, which reversed the traditional burden of proof. Th[is] ruling means the burden of proof, the serving of summons notices and disclosure of documents will now be improved to a level similar to criminal proceedings – which is only fair if people are threatened with the ultimate sanction of imprisonment.”

No one will be surprised to hear that the Department for Work and Pensions is unhappy with the judgement. A spokesman said:

“It is extremely disappointing that parents who have flouted their legal responsibility to financially support their children have invoked the Human Rights Act to seek to continue to do so.”

Perhaps – but if this judgement is correct, hasn’t the CSA flouted its legal responsibilities too?

The spokesman added:

“Regrettably, we need every enforcement measure at our disposal to ensure the minority of irresponsible parents pay for their children.‪ It is important to stress that this judgement does not question the legality of bringing parents who repeatedly refuse to pay for their children to the attention of magistrates, who can then decide whether to send them to prison. We will of course consider any other implications of this judgement carefully and take the appropriate action.”

The department is now thought to be considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.

This result is bound to please fathers’ rights groups as well as many readers of this blog. We receive receive hundreds of enquiries every year about the CSA.

The picture painted by Stephen Lawson is an undeniably unpleasant one. The casual reversal of that most fundamental of legal principles , the burden of proof, suggests that the CSA has occasionally behaved more like the secret police in a dictatorship than the arm of a parliamentary democracy. And clearly the Court of Appeal found the arguments convincing.

Nevertheless, as much as many would like it, we must resist the temptation to paint all non-resident fathers as victims. As any family lawyer will confirm, there is no shortage in this world of fathers who cannot or will not do the right thing by their children, nor of single mothers in need. Some form of government intervention in the child maintenance process is unavoidable.

Ironically, this judgement comes just as the government begins to wind down the CSA and transfer its responsibilities to the new  Child Maintenance Service. It seems the CSA is destined to die as it lived: in the midst of controversy.

Photo by Tawel under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

View more from this author

215 comments

William T - November 1, 2012 at 12:30am

I would like to know where is the enforcement of Contact Orders?

Mothers get away with murder when flouting contact orders. My ex owes me thousands of hours of contact time, yet there isn’t even a whiff of interest or concern from the ‘authorities’. I have even tried to enforce things through the courts. They couldn’t have been more dismissive, almost laughing in my face with smug comments about ‘cannot touch the mother’.

Yet the hugely discreditable CSA will hunt down a man for every penny they, usually erroneously, think he should owe. A hugely destructive course of conduct ruining businesses, livelihoods and relationships.

The DWP should extract their ill-witted heads from their pompous backsides and wake up to the gross imbalance off justice that they ‘support’ and oversee on a daily basis.

Rosaya - May 6, 2014 at 8:43pm

My ex partner lied to his GP that hes suicidal so that he can sign on and get put on incapacity benefit, and not pay maintenance. He also changed his name. I have not had one penny in 14 yrs, and he refuses to see his only child because she is a girl and he wanted a boy. The crap that we mothers have to put up with because of vindictive, twisted ex partners is horrendous. I should be the one on sickness benefit, he gave me a breakdown. He works cash in hand and has a very good life.

Stitchedup - May 7, 2014 at 9:59am

I wouldn’t be so quick to discount suicidal thoughts. Men are far more likely to contemplate suicide than women. Here’s a link to a guardian article, a left wing feminist publication not known for its fair treatment of men, bit even they recognise it is a gender issue:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/23/suicide-rates-men-gender-issue

What the Guardian doesn’t appear to recognise is that divorce and separation, losing regular contact with children, losing the majority of your assets and being forced by the courts to start all over again at the age of 40 or 50 is one of the main causes of suicide in men. They talk about the recession causing an increase in the rate of suicides, but we all know that divorce and separation increase during recession as men who were previously good providers are routinely ditched, skipped and cashed-in by their wives and partners; as the saying goes “When poverty comes in at the door, love flies out of the window”.

Here’s a link to a CBS article that gives some more insight. It is an American article put the same issues apply in the UK:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/men-wear-divorce-badly/

JamesB - May 7, 2014 at 2:53pm

Not only starting over again, but starting over again and paying maintenance at the same time which leaves the ability to obtain a decent life (or property) massively diminished.

Before the CSA at least it was possible to get a clean-break, now lawyers and Judges will glibly advise nrp’s that a clean break is not possible and that they need to give everything up that they have worked for and that it is for the best. Not right or fair I think, maybe if the bloke had done something wrong, but where a woman (or man) is at fault and is tired of the other they shouldn’t be rewarded by the CSA or anyone else, without the consent of the other person. That the law does this isn’t right or fair. Women moving boyfriend in and the father of the kids to pay to be disenfranchised of everything, including his children is bad.

H. Hawks - June 6, 2014 at 11:01am

Why would you want a ‘clean break?’ The parent left with all the child responsibilities & financial responsibilities doesn’t get a clean break! It’s looking like the CSA will only be able to make my ex pay me £7 per week for 2 children?????!!!!!!!! Meanwhile my ex can live a near-batchelor life-style with no responsibilities…..yet I am broke, on benefits & REALLY struggling to make ends meet. When a couple with children separate or divorce ALL essential expenses for the children ( i.e. food, clothing & a percentage of the bills) should be split 50/50. DOES ANYONE AGREE WITH THIS?….THE LAW NEEDS TO BE CHANGED.

Yvie - June 6, 2014 at 3:39pm

I agree that both parents should pay equally towards the upkeep of their children. However, when marriages break down there are usually two homes to support and finances aren’t infinite. Both sets of bills need to be taken into account, not just the mothers.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:34pm

I will re-write my first sentence again for you to make it clearer.

Not only starting over again, but starting over again with nothing after losing the vast bulk of the assets in divorce, paying off the lawyers, and then paying maintenance on-going on top of that, being ‘punished’ twice and on-going over and over for the same ‘crime’ of wanting a family with a woman they didn’t know would leave them. The ability to obtain a decent life (or property) massively diminished with taking no assets from the settlement and a reduced income after maintenance.

The woman on divorce will get the bulk of the assets with children and that was the clean breaks that used to happen which I was referring to. The man loses everything he has built, but has the opportunity to start again and learn from the experience, under current law he doesn’t have this opportunity as he will have to pay in addition each and every month which gives him difficulty re-building. Hence why there are so many males on the streets.

Ann-Marie - July 8, 2014 at 11:40am

“When a couple with children separate or divorce ALL essential expenses for the children ( i.e. food, clothing & a percentage of the bills) should be split 50/50. DOES ANYONE AGREE WITH THIS?….THE LAW NEEDS TO BE CHANGED”

You cannot possibly be serious in saying this?? How would a NRP be able to afford a place to live if he was paying you 50% of all the expenses you incur??

I am a woman too with an absent father (he does pay but not much) so I am all for fathers paying for their children but seriously, your suggestion is ludicrous!!!

HKDay - June 4, 2014 at 8:30pm

Does anyone know the outcome of this hearing? My partner is being hounded by csa, he lost everything and isn’t allowed to see his daughter and hasn’t done for 3yrs, she took everything and wants more!! I’m a woman but seriously this is such an unfair system on you fathers :/

lewy - July 4, 2014 at 3:51pm

Hi.
Just want to say that it isn’t always the fathers who get away with non payment. I am the father of three daughters and was granted custody of them when my ex wife walked out. My case with CSA is ongoing, has been for 11 years now. She has changed her name and ignores all correspondence. I am owed thousands and yet she is living it up in London somewhere. No one knows of her actual income or whereabouts.. So for now I just keep waiting for CSA to catch her.

Yvie - November 1, 2012 at 8:30am

It’s not about painting all non-resident fathers as victims. The methods used by the CSA are dispictable. Fathers are threatened with prison sentences, bailiffs, loss of driving licence irrespective of whether they have the ability to pay or not. Deduction of earnings notices are imposed on fathers at the drop of a hat. As long as the CSA get the money they do not care how they get it, even if it means putting a father into debt and risking his home. They say that the welfare of children is their paramount concern. Really – that surprises me as they have no means or interest in checking that child maintenance is actually spent on the children. If there was an element of fairness such as taking both incomes into account, there might be less resentment from the fathers who are more then willing to support their children, but less inclined to support their exes lifestyle, particularly when both parents work full time

JamesB - November 1, 2012 at 11:09am

NRPs = Scum.

What a mess.

Can we go back to how it was prior to the CSA please? Didn’t seem so bad. The elephant in the room (in your post) is that it doesn’t criticise women who get pregnant without the man’s consent and then expect hefty maintenance. Having gone through that I think a degree of measuring conduct is inevitable, not USSR type CSA which is doomed. So, think let’s go back to how it was before the CSA. That way this social issue can be taken away and we can get to the more important issue of council houses rather than Feminism, which has dominated politics for far too long in this count. Wow, I really mean that last point, soo strongly.

caroline Taylor - November 1, 2012 at 12:37pm

I found it extremely heartening to read of your interest in the CSA. We have a Tribunal on Tuesday in Cheltenham to prove that we have a long standing history of support & exactly what we have paid to the pwc for the children.The CSA seem to take as ‘gospel ‘anything the pwc says and in an acrimonious situation this is completeIy unfair . I know there are a lot of people who try and use excuses to avoid payment but they seem to get away with it anyway ,for ever ,by never being traced .The NNRP who lives in the same house for years & have children regularly are targeted -often when they are working on ‘figures’ given by the pwc which in retrospect don’t even allow you to take into the consideration of the children who live with you .If the pwc is taking the money into her bank account and doesn’t tell you there is a problem -how on earth are you supposed to get them (your resident children)into the equation? Our MP tried & got the ball rolling for us and despite being very encouraging over our’ longevity & quality of the support to the children of the pwc’ cannot profess to know both sides of the story .Here’s hoping our ‘evidence’ of what we’ve done /paid speaks for itself ! Regards ,Caroline

JamesB - November 1, 2012 at 1:12pm

Far too long in this country that was.

Sola Noah - November 1, 2012 at 1:20pm

William T, please stop wasting your time going to a family court in England; it’s a failed institution.

However, please ensure that your kids are looked after financially. Because we feel mothers use children as weapon we also feel using finance/money as weapon too is appropriate, NO.

Yvie - November 1, 2012 at 1:49pm

It is also possible for mothers to use finance/money as a weapon. Some mothers will attempt to reduce contact between the children and their father because the more contact the father has, the less child maintenance the mother is entitled to.

chris - November 2, 2012 at 4:58pm

I have had the unfortunate experience of being presented to a judge for so called arrears of child support . These arrears never existed as i have met my obligations for child support . the so called arrears accrued because it took the csa 26 months to complete a review . its importanant to emphasise that during this 26 month period i was paying maintenance at my assessed amount calculated by the CSA . when your in court a judge cannot question anything the csa presents even if you have evidence to support your defence . Im pleased that the court of appeal has found that thuman rifghts have been breached by the CSA . Lets see where it goes . i dare say at appeal it will be squashed as before the CSA are drachonian and its money for the treasury not the child . isnt that corret MR Ian Duncan Smith

John - November 2, 2012 at 9:39pm

I hope that this ruling is the first of many, that will bring an end to criminalising NRP’s, through CSA incompetence and herald a class action against the CSA and DWP, for inhumane methods, that deny the accused the right to a fair trial and to be judged by their peers, in a court of law.

I will be seeking legal advice and compensation for CSA incompetence, in their efforts to criminalise me, should a class action take place….and I have been paying what they asked of me!

They should be disbanded and all Child maintenance cases should be firstly dealt with by parental mediation, and if failing to agree, through solicitors and the courts!

chris - November 3, 2012 at 1:57pm

I quite agree that the csa should be held to account for decades of incompetance and maladministartion . they do not have a duty of care to a child however this is now a step in the right direction for those reponsible parents that have met their individual financial obligations not to be tarred with the same brush as those that will not and have no intention of financially supporting their children . Bring on the compensation claims i say .

Observer - November 3, 2012 at 5:38pm

I agree Chris. Organized crime is only legitimate inasmuch as nobody stands up to it.

NACSA CHAIR - November 4, 2012 at 2:00am

We were absolutely delighted to hear the judgement. Whilst we would wholeheartedly support the need for enforcement, and for the need to make non paying parents understand that their actions cannot be tolerated, sadly our help lines are inundated with genuine NRPs paying as they should, but often put into large arrears through no fault of their own. Likewise, we receive many calls from PWCs that genuinely suffer from errant ex partners, and despite years of battling against the system, the Agency simply fail achieve appropriate recovery of debt. The Agency’s enforcement powers are harsh and adequate – but simply not used effectively.

The Other Mike D - November 5, 2012 at 10:49am

“Nevertheless, as much as many would like it, we must resist the temptation to paint all non-resident fathers as victims. As any family lawyer will confirm, there is no shortage in this world of fathers who cannot or will not do the right thing by their children, nor of single mothers in need. Some form of government intervention in the child maintenance process is unavoidable”

While I confess I dont know what the rates are in the UK, in the US, research here has shown that mothers are 66% more likely than fathers to defualt on child support. So I find this comment more that bit sexist. The courts here, like the courts in the UK, are so heavily against the fahters that even those fathers that do the right the right thing are subject to a level of scrutiny that mothers are never subject too. The US is also having its share of child support enforcement agencies being subject to lawsuits exposing Thier heavy handed tactics.

As someone who has experienced it first hand I say its about time.

JamesB - November 5, 2012 at 11:22am

I agree with Mike. I also was upset by the same section that he refers to, as I said in my earlier post. At the risk of getting a bit political, if Obama loses on Tuesday, then it will be more than a little bit due to Government (false) intervention in this area in the US also.

JamesB - November 5, 2012 at 11:25am

P.S. for that issue and if Romney is against this Government intervention into the family, then I would vote for him. It is the main issue upon which I would vote, I’m in the UK.

Jason Wallace - November 5, 2012 at 1:03pm

Hi there

I was delighted to see that the ruling was awarded against The Child Support Agency.

My experience is similar to many others in that I WAS paying a settlement which my ex-wife’s solicitor drew up. The agreement clearly stated that she would use a mediation service and would not use The CSA. The Court Order was very clear indeed.

What has happened is that my ex wife has involved The CSA and has realised that by denying the children the right to see me that she can then claim the right to even more money from me.

So, I complied with a Court Order. My ex wife did not. I work full time to support my families (as does my wife) while my ex wife does not. I am unable to see my children. Then to add to all the punishment the state comes in and makes things even more contentious.

I have repeatedly sought a non-confrontational approach with my ex wife and it has got me nowhere so I am now faced with half my salary being removed by DEO based upon calculations which The CSA will not share with me so I am having to go to tribunal for that.

Folks, while it is important to track down NRPs who actively do not pay child support why does the state have to foul up arrangements which were perfectly good?

GPiskor - November 5, 2012 at 8:28pm

A long overdue ruling with international ripple effects.

It’s staggering that Lord Justice Ward would publicly state it was done with “great reluctance” with the full knowledge that it would “emasculate” CSA’s prosecutorial capability. Amazing! That’s tantamount to saying expediency trumps Rule of law.

Hopefully, Iain Duncan Smith will use this as an opportunity to rework the DWP enforcement bureaucracy to focus on intentional non-payors while establishing humane outcomes for those simply unable to pay.

David - November 7, 2012 at 1:23am

It’s good news… so why do I feel like nothing will change in reality. It’s a shame as a citizen to have no faith in the law of the country you were born and live in.

James D - November 7, 2012 at 1:56pm

CSA yer right a walking joke…Try this….After my divorce it was decided that the children’s best interest lay with them living me, their Dad. I made an application to the CSA for maintenance, only to find some 12 months later, it had been me assessed and I owed £1400 in child support arrears that I needed to pay my ex wife who was the NRP and at this point had not seen the children for 18 months. You ask hows that..”plain stereotyping”.

“He’s the Dad, he most owe the money”

Well I didn’t and after countless phone calls and a court summons it was eventually sorted…Thankfully the Judge awarded my legal cost to the CSA. I have to say, I still have not had a penny in maintenance and after the debarkle I went though, I don’t want any….
I am thankful for the Judgement and feel that any wing clipping of the CSA is only a good thing….

Rae - November 15, 2012 at 1:10pm

Its all well and good for those that do pay, but what about those who dont?
My ex husband refuses to pay for his children in any way,shape or form.
The legal process is frustrating at best, all ways have been tried to get him to pay, after a ten year battle where he refusal to continue to pay for his children or offer even the slightest financial support to them ( he has even classed gifts, such as b/day and xmas presents from his family members as financial support) and yet demands his legal rights to still have access to his children, the system has failed us badly. I have to work to support our children whilst he acrues money hand over fist from his own business and because he doesnt give his details to inland revenue the csa have their hands tied and cannot proceed with any action because they cannot determine that he is earning anything as his money is either hidden at home or paid into his wifes bank account.
This matter swings both ways and I think a point should be put across for all those genuine single parents whose partner downright refuses to pay for their children, things are never as simple as they are painted.

JamesB - November 15, 2012 at 1:52pm

Not sure what a ‘Genuine Single Parent’ is, is this one without another partner. I think the Government bit off more than they could chew with this idea and shouldn’t have gone anywhere near the subject. Instead they have attempted to wade into family disputes and made a bigger mess. I am a NRP who pays through the csa and I resent every penny they squeeze out of me and vote accordingly.

Observer - November 15, 2012 at 2:38pm

Rae,

It sounds like you are a victim indeed, albeit rather of a system that leads parents to believe that it is acceptable that after treating each other as throwaway objects you can then still expect interest on your half-ass investment.

It really is shocking that we are walking around like zombies hurting each other and our children so that those working in the divorce industry can continue to shop at Harrods at the weekend.

Rae - November 27, 2012 at 2:52pm

Observer,
My children are not hurt by this as I do my utmost to support and help them fulfill their roles as decent well brought up children who have respect for everyone.
None of what has taken place has been told to my children as I dont want them hurt by this, all I tried to do was simply state things from anothers point of view.
I would hope I have done my best by my children who seem to be growing up into well balanced and happy individuals in their own right.

Karen Kirkland - December 15, 2012 at 2:38pm

I am a pwc. My ex has done everything posable to avoid paying any matenence. Can any one tell me why after 10 years I should carry on letting him have unrestricted access to our daughter?

Marilyn Stowe - December 15, 2012 at 6:59pm

Hi Karen.
Understandable feelings but the law is about the child and what is in her best interests. Neither of you have “rights” you have responsibilities which both should discharge in the interests of your daughter.
Best wishes
Marilyn

Rosaya - May 6, 2014 at 8:46pm

Karen – snap, our children do have a ‘right’ to a stable life and the absent parent should help 50/50. Its all about the fathers interests. Solicitors are making a fortune off the back of this but who helps us? The CSA is disbanding, and spiteful, twisted men are alleging they are suicidal so they can avoid having money taken from benefits.

Stitchedup - May 7, 2014 at 9:38am

My ex has done everything posable to avoid paying any matenence. Can any one tell me why after 10 years I should carry on letting him have unrestricted access to our daughter?

A. Because he’s her father, why cut off access to his daughter after 10 years? Your only motive appears to be to spite him for avoiding paying maintenance and use you appear to be prepared to use your child as a bargaining tool. Most fathers would like equal access i.e. 50/50, they would then be paying their way during the time they have their children. Most fathers also like to be treated as responsible, loving parents and object to being “ordered” to so something they would do willingly if they were allowed equal access. Fathers like to decide for themselves how best to meet the needs of the their children, and balance their needs against the needs of the family as a whole. They should be allowed to prioritise meeting needs against wants, sometimes children may have to do without if money is tight or unexpected expenses arise. A blanket monthly amount based on a father’s perceived earnings has no real relationship to a child’s true needs Fathers also object to being used a cash cows for children they rarely see or are only allowed Indirect contact.

Friend - December 15, 2012 at 6:44pm

Because a child is not something you rent out, duh?

Marilyn Stowe - December 31, 2012 at 8:54pm

Friend
Very happy New Year to you.
Best wishes
Marilyn

JamesB - December 16, 2012 at 1:19am

That is quite brilliant Friend. U write well. Concise and to hje point.

Yvie - December 16, 2012 at 12:07pm

There are issues on both sides regarding payment of child maintenance unfortunately.

However, the attitude of some parents who claim ‘ownership’ of the children is perhaps one of the reasons why so many parents end up in the Family Courts.

John - December 19, 2012 at 4:05pm

Now that justice is going to be seen to be done for the 96 Hillsborough victims, will justice also be seen to be done with regard to the thousands of victims of the CSA. Some of whom have lost their lives, as their Human rights have been routinely broken by the CSA?

Simon - January 16, 2013 at 7:20pm

Its to late for me the csa says i owe £10,000+. In June 2012 they finally got their way after taking me to court for the twentieth time. The court keep me waiting outside for over 3 hours until a solicitor could get there, all-the-while the csa rep was in the court talking to the magistrate. Yes im convinced it was pre planned what was going to happen to me before id stepped foot into the court 20 mins later im in handcuffs and being lead away to prison for 25 days. at this point i’ll back track to 2007 when on yet another occasion at court with the csa, i was sat outside courtroom no9 at the local magistrates when a rep from said agency came out and asked me my name then asked if i had a solicitor with me to which i replied i did not. Her reply to this was and i quote “well if you dont then i can guarantee you WILL BE sent down”
Just proves up until this that the csa are a law unto themselves.
Phoned csa on 14/01/2013 and im sick of the lies they tell, lies which i can prove as i recorded the conversations with 3 of their so called reps. I mentioned outright that they were breaching my human rights only to be told we dont care about that. typical response. im unemployed and it looks like i will be until the day i die due to now having a bad criminal record.

JamesB - January 16, 2013 at 9:19pm

I don’t think you have a criminal record just for going to prison. One of the things that cheer me up (and probably the chap who went for 2 years today) on the point of principle with regards to bad law is that these matters are not criminal.

Thus I would like you and him and many others go to jail rather than put up with bad law. I also, like millions of others would rather not marry then be subject to bad divorce law.

JamesB - January 17, 2013 at 3:47pm

Well done on your approach Simon.

simon - January 21, 2013 at 7:25pm

Thanx for that but i was classed as a civil prisoner now being told by said agency they can take me to court again for this debt. Told via legal advice that this is impossible as this would fall under the clause of double jeopardy. Statements from said agency state what i owe is and i quote “outside of the agencies 24 month collection” upon telephoning agency and stating as a matter of fact nowhere in the child support act does it say this so this statement is totally in contradiction to what the law states, only to be told by ????? that this is something that this gov agency likes to put on letters. NOT LAWFUL SO SHOULD NOT BE ON ANY LETTER.

JamesB - January 21, 2013 at 9:25pm

civil is not criminal.

simon - January 22, 2013 at 4:40pm

Yes civil is not criminal but it still shows on a CRB check. When and indeed if i’m lucky enough to find work, the vast majority of job application forms ask for a disclosure, do i mention it and take my chance that they will not check or do i be honest and put it on!!!!!!. Have to say the WORST part of all this is not actually going to prison (though that was a very low point in my life and i dont think i could have got through it without the love, help and understanding of my partner) what hurts the most is the fact that is was in the local evening paper (a one sided story , that painted me in such a bad way as to imply that i had NEVER paid anything towards my children, no mention of the £15,000 i’ve paid) its the fact that now ALL my neighbors now know my business and both my partner and I are now ridiculed because of this.

JamesB - January 22, 2013 at 8:31pm

I’m sorry Simon, I am on your side. I do believe job applications only ask for criminal records. I don’t think you have to disclose it at all.

Darren Jamieson - January 23, 2013 at 10:24am

Yvie is quite correct about the PWC reducing contact to increase the money they receive. Because the CSA has a ‘reverse pay per view’ policy for the non resident parent, usually the father. So long as the CSA works out money based on how many nights per year the child spends with the NRP, and how much they spend on contact, the PWC will always be financially rewarded for restricting or stopping access.

simon - January 23, 2013 at 4:08pm

Further update had to phone csa Yesterday as they are now sending letters addressed to my partner. Sorted that then the threats started from rep again i.e. WE will send you to prison if you dont pay the arrears or we’ll send the bailiffs round to collect the debt . My response to that was You i.e. csa can not send me to prison Only a judge can do that, i also stated send then round matey and i’ll tell them what im telling you i.e. a liability order is NOT a warrant for you to enter my property ( Yes i know the law regarding this) and by all means bring the police with you as he will only be there to prevent a breach of the peace, but there again seams as if they get what they want and Jonny muppet has to like it or lump it. Self preservation at all costs again spring to mind and yes im fed up to the back teeth of their BULLY BOY tactics.
Asked to speak to their complaints department only to be told that was not possible and i would not be give the phone number or put through.
Just read with great interest that the gov is planning on doing away with said agency and ALL cases will be closed in 2014 and how it plans to charge BOTH parents to use this service. Roll on 2014 is what i say. You can find this info at…. http://www.gingerbread.co.uk

simon - January 23, 2013 at 4:34pm

Darren J, your comment is absolutely SPOT ON stopping the NRP from seeing HIS/HER children will increase the award to the PWC. Its about time this so called gov realized it takes two to make a life. Children NEED both parents in their life, otherwise they will only see a one sided story, as indeed my own children think that i dont care or love them due to the fact their mother has mis-lead them to this conclusion, they think i was the one having the 2yr affair. If PWC refuses to allow contact with NRP then PWC should be taken to court, fined, loose any benefits or imprisoned, this i’m sure would make them think twice, but this will not happen because as i’m sure we’ve all seen money is the most important factor. As i’ve been told countless times by csa she can spend the money where she sees fit, classic example in 2007 i handed over £3000+ only for the ex to phone me a few days later to say thanx and to also say and i quote “My new decking looks really good” this i’m sure will benefit the kids no end.

mrs R - January 28, 2013 at 6:58pm

To JAMES B, (1st nov). how can you say a woman gets pregnant on purpose without the mans consent??? surely if he doesnt use protection he is just as responsible for the pregnancy! contraception is not just down to the woman. you wouldnt cross the road without looking would you, (or maybe you would need a lollipop lady), so why not take care of yourself in other areas of your life. If you only want to paddle, wear your wellies!!!!!!!!!

Steve Warwick - February 6, 2013 at 11:33am

I work my ass off 39 hours a week for minimum wage got debts coming out my ears from my ex wife and my marriage… My ex wife not long sign up for a new car on finance? ? ? My kids have everything they are living in a new house that my wife gets for FREE everything my wife gets its FREE she has NEVER worked and now im getting CSA letters for £250+ each month ??? So the only thing i can see that im paying for out of this CSA is the repayments on my ex wifes NEW car??? leaving me in more debt and leaving me with maybe the only option but to just leave my job that i love and have worked for 9 years? I might as well not work and just give up??? Where is my human rights? Where is MY life? ? ? I buy my kids things they need new clothes new trainers anything they need i do provide. Is there justice? Can anyone help me? Do i have to leave my job and just give up? Im willing to talk to news papaers or even go on TV i can’t be the only man that feels like just giving up his job all becuase the ex wife wants to live a nice life and have a new car and buy herself nice clothes???PLEASE someone help you can email me on freaks_uk@hotmail.co.uk. Steve

JamesB - February 6, 2013 at 12:12pm

mrs R. We are not going to agree on that. Try advising anyone up to the 1990s what you say and they wouldn’t even understand your argument, let alone laugh at it. As it is I barely do and certainly do not agree with it and do find the suggestion that you make that every sperm is sacred ridiculous. Just blaming the man and absolving the woman of responsibility is a cop out.

To be less confrontational, it is the woman’s responsibility as it is her womb and she has to carry the baby. Otherwise it is rape.

JamesB - February 6, 2013 at 12:15pm

You are wrong on so many levels there, but I will leave it there. Rights without responsibilities for the woman as you and the csa argue is morally bankrupt and the same as arguing every sperm is sacred and a morally unsustainable position.

JamesB - February 6, 2013 at 12:22pm

Having sex with a condom is unnatural, like the csa. Especially when you have been advised (as I was) that the woman is on the pill, or has the contraception taken care of. To be entitled to money for that behaviour as per the csa and denying contact as per family law is outrageously bad and un-fair and un-british and un-natural.

JamesB - February 6, 2013 at 12:55pm

Plus condoms are against mine and many other peoples religion.

jim - February 6, 2013 at 5:33pm

the csa are taking money from my wages because they say i am in arrears, they have been to my work spoke to my employer took me to court because they dont believe what i say i am earning is true, so people it doesnt matter what proof you have of your earnings if they think you earn more they will just help themselves and theres not a thing you can do becausr there is no one out there strong enough to fight these animals

John - February 14, 2013 at 2:42pm

Since when has Statute law preceeded Common law?

Important matters involving children belong in the courts, professional, qualified personnel, with representation for both parties and not with the incompetent, bundling amaterurs at the CSA.

Public buildings are available to house the cases, and each case could be heard on its’ merits, with full financial disclosure from both parties, where a settlement can be agreed.

As it stands, the current shambolic system, is demonising and attempting to criminalise parents, through erroneous and flawed legislation.

Name Witheld - February 17, 2013 at 1:55pm

I left my wife in 1998, her infidelity and mental abuse towards me was unbearable. I left her the house and belongings and walked out with just a suitcase. I was told by her that had to have the children every weekend and school holidays. It was difficult with work commitments but i managed. I later found a new partner, enter csa. My x told the csa i never saw children or paid towards there upkeep. Despite a letter drawn up by a solicitor under her instructions the csa still refused to accept that i had paid my dues as she believed that the money paid was for something else. I refused to pay and was threatend with court and prison, an action that never occurred as the evidence would have gone against them. Recipts, solicitors letter and proof from neighbours and friends. I fell into depression after failed attempts to sort things out and constant miss truths and downright lies. All the csa had to do was come visit me any weekend or scholl holiday, an offer they refused. I eventually left uk and my eldest daughter joined me after her mother kicked her out. I came back year and half ago and now the csa have once again taken up the good fight and ignoring all evidence, apparantly i can be judged retrospectively but alas ex wife cant. They now say i owe 7k and have decided that i have to pay 114 weekly, leaving me with 180. I get no benifits and my rates and rent is 100 weekly. How am i supposed to live ? WHERE IS THE JUSTICE WE CLAIME IS AFFORDED TO ALL !

Marilyn Stowe - February 18, 2013 at 3:05pm

Hi
I would suggest a call to Child Maintenance Options to check the calculations.
Best wishes
Marilyn

Simon - February 17, 2013 at 4:15pm

Fact 1, There is nobody and i mean NOBODY in the UK that can fight the csa, they are a law unto themselves. If your lucky enough and i’ve been told this several time by several different solicitors to actually find someone to fight your corner you NOW HAVE TO PAY OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET as you WILL NOT be entitled to legal aid.
Fact 2, The UK government IS a company, a company that IS REGISTERED at COMPANY HOUSE as ALL BUSINESSES HAVE TO BE. UK courts are part and parcel of the UK government so this is one of the reasons that a court will find in favour of the csa no matter what written evidence you have to contradict the csa.
Fact 3, CSA dont care where the money goes (if it gets passed to pwc) this is their responce and i quote ” she can spend it where she sees fit. We can not tell her how or when to spend it”
The csa are there to ensure the child(ren) have enough money for their daily needs, if thats the case then this agency are trading fraudulently , the clues in their name CHILD SUPPORT and NOT EX-WIFES SUPPORT.
Fact 4, CSA workers will have an answer for EVERYTHING EVEN MADE UP ANSWERS, i.e, one recent call to them resulted in me being told “have you notified us of this change” yes was my reply some 12-13 previous” to which i was then told, and this bit beggers belief, did you make sure it was put in your notes, now i can do many things but physically putting my arm down the phone and typing this info onto their database is a bit beyond even what i can do.
Fact 5, you could try appealing any decision that they make but just be forewarned the appeal is made up of their own csa workers and this results in what, thats right you’ve guessed it the nrp loosing their appeal.

Paul Gilbert - March 1, 2013 at 1:08am

I HAVE A CASE WITH THE CSA
ON THE DEC 2010 THE LINCOLN COURT, CSA AND MYSELF AGREED AFTER BEING MEANS TESTED BY THE LINCOLN COURT THAT I SHOULD PAY £35 PER WEEK NO MORE NO LESS OR PRISON IF I DONT PAY
WITHIN ONE WEEK WHILE I WAS PAYING THE SUM OF £35 BY D/D FROM MY BANK THE CSA WITHOUT WARNING TOOK £90 FROM MY WAGES WHILE I WAS STILL PAYING THE £35 TO COURT THE WEEK AFTER THEY TOOK £120 WHILE I WAS STILL PAYING £35 TO COURT BY D/D AND FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS HAVE TAKEN £153.45P PER WEEK YES PER WEEK AND NOT PER MONTH FROM MY WAGES WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN £35 PER WEEK
I HAVE BEEN LEFT WITH £20 PER WEEK TO LIVE ON FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS NOT EATING SLEEPING AND STRESS HAVE MADE ME HAVE A HEART ATTACK AT 47
NOW AM ON SSP OF £85 PER WEEK AND CSA STILL TAKES £35 WHICH AFTER THIS I MUST PAY FOR TABLETS FOR MY HEART OF £10 PER WEEK WHICH LEAVES LESS THAN THE RATE TO LIVE ON FROM £40 QUID I MUST PAY RENT OF £72 COUNCIL TAX £23 GAS WATER ELE AND IF AM LUKY FOOD TOO MY GP WILL CONFIRM HEART ATTACK WAS FROM STRESS FROM CSA

Marilyn Stowe - March 1, 2013 at 12:43pm

Dear Paul
You appear to be in an intolerable position but I dont have the full facts.
Why not give Child Maintenance Options a call and tell them everything, and see if they can advise you what to do? Its a free service.
There are a number of specialists online also who deal only with child support queries. You could contact them.
Finally there is your MP who may be able to assist you
Best wishes
Marilyn.

Georgina - March 6, 2013 at 9:23pm

Are the same rules supposed to apply to the pwc if they are the father? My husband was made to pay for arrears that did not exist because he had been stupid and paid cash at the insistence of his ex to ensure contact with his daughter. My step daughter moved in with us 2 years ago and whilst my husbands maintenance payment stopped he was told by the csa that he would not be entitled to receive money from his ex as she was receiving benefits. We have since been told this is not the case so contacted the csa who have adviaed that yes she should have been paying but unlike my husband is not iable to pay back any money for the last 2 years. So we are still paying back arrear s and she gets off scott free!!! Is this right??

JamesB - March 7, 2013 at 11:32am

CSA dont chase female nrps. One of their dodgy rules.

Angry Mum - March 12, 2013 at 10:27pm

My son lives with his partner and her four children that he supports as their own father is too lazy to work so contributes nothing to their care. His son who his ex girlfriend (seeing him as a meal ticket) deliberately got pregnant with lives with his mother and her husband who is also too lazy to work. My son is now at the stage where he will have to leave his partner and home to move back in with mum and dad and force her onto benefits because he cannot afford to keep five children even though he has always worked extremely hard often 60 to 70 hours a week and away from home four nights a week. The CSA just don’t care. He was forced to go bankrupt last week but they still demand more and more.

John - March 22, 2013 at 12:32pm

Ok, so what laws are in place to prevent the mother from using the money on other things like cars and nights out. my kids are kitted out in nnew clothes all the time i send them to mother and they never come back in the items i send them in forcing me to to buy clothes and pay the money each month, school tips for 300 pounds then pay CSA 348 per month were is the justice in making women stop, they abuse the system and stillg et benifits. they shouldnt have issues with the cost of benifits they get its not impossible to live a steady life on that money i have girl freinds that are out every weekend party like rockstars on the mans wages and benifits. snorting coke drinking living the dream. its wrong i recently lost 300 pounds per month from my wages i am still paying CSA my new part ner feeds me, I cant afford food for myself. when do i get a night out or the luxury of running a car. just about make it to work. women have it so easy.

Sam G - March 24, 2013 at 1:03am

Again and again im reading about the csa and their tactics in getting what they want and yes Im one of their victims after i signed my divorce and gave my exwife my half of the profit of £27,000 from the sale of the family home for the welfare of my children i receaved a letter from the csa saying that i owed £10,000 plus in arrears and if i didnt pay them i would be takin to court i explained that i didnt have arrears and that i had givin my exwife £13,000 for the children they told me that it didnt matter what i gave my ex they still want their money so i agreed to go to court and explain my position to them the day came i had my pre court interview with the csa bumbling mistake ridden offical to be told by her in her words its a waste of time fighting as she will get what she wants and the court cant do a thing about it of course she was right even after she lied in court about my statment but in my favour the sheriff did agree with my explanation but he could not do a thing about the csa and their demands I was told by the sheriff in court that i should appeal . They are above the law

Steve - March 25, 2013 at 11:24am

They finally caught up with me… Ignoring letters ignoring them and they just take it out your wages in the end after 3 months of ignoring them so it did give me 3 months of extra money. Now im kinda broke. So my questions is… My ex wife is now getting over £200 a month off me from my wages??? She does not work and never has she is living in a brand new house for FREE and claims benefits? So i want to know if this will effect her benefits claiming CSA from me? Or does the greedy cow still get FREE eveything??? Does she not have to contact the inland revenue to tell them she is getting more money? I want to know becuase if she has not told them then i will??? Does anyone know ???

Yvie - March 25, 2013 at 1:28pm

Since April 2010, even if your wife is on benefits she is entitled to the whole amount of child maintenance that you pay her.

Steve - March 25, 2013 at 4:24pm

I know that yes she has the money off me for the kids thats fine but the money she has been getting for before for the kids will she still get that? Child Support money or tax credits or what ever its called? So your telling me she gets my £200 a month and still gets the same income that she was getting before she had the £200 off me??? Do you understand what im saying?

Yvie - March 25, 2013 at 5:48pm

It might be worth contacting child maintenance options for check. They are separate from the child support agency and they are supposed to be impartial. Its worth a try.

JamesB - March 26, 2013 at 10:33am

cmoptions are the csa. maintenance doesnt affect other benefits, and rightly so. maintenance. csa shouldnt exist and is morally bankrupt, but that is another issue.

mark w - March 27, 2013 at 11:24am

i did the same as steve, ignored letters and phone calls from csa, they took me to court for £32,ooo three years ago which i pay £46.10 a week . was told i hadnt paid for my daughter since the day she was born , but my ex and i didnt part until she was two , and i had my daughter all holidays and gave my ex money but couldnt prove it . csa and magistrate didnt care at all. funny the money was mentioned a lot, but not my daughter !!!!

Lukey - March 27, 2013 at 4:53pm

William, the system could care less about whether you get contact with your child, that’s a can of worms they have no incentive to get involved in.The courts & the CSA are interested in money – and how they can extract it from you.

That’s it. If you are looking for fairness you are being naïve – they are not interested.

Mike - April 3, 2013 at 4:39am

Paul Gilbert my heart goes out to you.
Anyone who is the victim of financial maladministration I would have thought is entitled to pursue for compensation.
Through whatever is in place.Are they not accountable to an ombudsman?The tribunal service hears appeals but where the effect on someones life is as bad as your case I would be seeking damages.
The DWP are idiots these days.
A man I know could not work as he broke his arm and wrist badly and claimed incapacity benefit.A nurse (I ask you a nurse not a doctor)examined him and in extreme pain on raising his injured arm declared him fit.I helped him take it to the tribunal.He won.They (DWP)no show up.I commented to the tribunal chairman how ridiculous the DWP appeared to be behaving generally.His comment in reply was they knew only too well how stupid they were behaving.
There were 3 on the panel including a qualified doctor.
It took them 2 minutes after asking us to leave the room to award in my friends favour.It had taken 14 months to get there.He lived on bread,loans and sympathy.
Faceless nameless people playing a numbers game knowing full well 99 out of a hundred will just reel over and die.Unable to understand or face the process.
This country with the latest attacks on the poor WILL in my opinion by late this year be burning again.A repeat of Toxteth,Brixton etc of 1981-2 and the Poll Tax riots of 1990-91.
This government are hopeless with as no understanding of economics and what we face.
6 million public servants shuffling bits of paper everywhere when there were just 2 million of them 25 years back.
How I laughed when I heard Osborne state on election 3 years ago that they would lay 2 million of them off and they would all find jobs in the private sector.It was hilarious.
3 years on.No change.3 years on a benefit system of reform in chaos.Just as Real time Tax instigations have not worked Real Time Benefit administration expecting employers to do the work will not work.
Enough of that.It is heartily time someone argued that the way the CSA behave is in contravention of the Human Rights Act in regard to family life.
There is no fair trial with these people.They arbitrarily interfere with family life that is not in the interest of the child.How can that be in the childs interest to see a dad in contact (I fought for two years to May 2003 and acheived overnight wednesday,every second weekend fri and sat and sun and half every holiday for my contact taking on two barristers on my own over two days in court and walking out with a pyrhic victory.2 years to get there in something that should have been sorted round a table in two hours.
The way this country treats fathers and their children is still a joke ten years on.)on his death bed through a heart attack and so depressed that he cannot eat as he has no money left that his child in contact is affected.To see their dad ruined.Is that in the interest of the child or family life.
Methinks not.Someone should take these pratts on to Strasbourg.How can it be right that a dad who sees his kid and has no money left to spend on them when they come?

I am now on income based JSA.
I have £70 to live on.The DWP letter says that is the amount the law says I need to live on.
I travel now every week and sometimes twice to see my daughter in a round trip of 200 miles.Petrol alone is £35 for one such trip,never mind wear tear and all car running costs.Its a £200 14 year old Wagon R.Cheap as chips.
over the last three months of bad weather my daughter has not come to stay with me for the weekend due to weather and the fact that her gran needs seeing nearer where she lives who broke her hip on 2 jan.
On 6 March the CSA clerk rang me.questioned whether my daughter still stayed with me.Expained that had not happened since New Years Eve but would be starting again in spring.They said they needed to send me forms.Instead I got a letter saying frim 6 March they were taking 5 pounds a week from my JSA.When I said it was temporary and my daughter would still be overnight 52 nights in a year they said keep a diary.They have now taken 20 pounds.My ex has yet to have it.I have had to tell my daughter her £20 a month phone contract will not be paid on 7 April when due as a consequence.She was in tears.There will be further anger as when my daughter went without a phone connection for 2 days last year there were eruptions.”The child will not be safe” etc.If I can no longer eat how can that be in the childs interest.To make a child fatherless through death.When I questioned why they could not take into account my extraordinary travel costs for contact they said they could not as I was on a benefit and that was the law.I promised to go up there and rip them apart if I could not eat.They said they did not care if I could not eat.That the £5 would help my daughter.The mother is in debt.My daughter is scared.Baliiff letters are everywhere.She is worried they will be kicked out of their house.The £5 will be swallowed up in that debt.The child will benefit not one jot.She will lose her phone.The police visited me about my threat.The officer said “The CSA have a dreadfull name.try deal with it without losing your temper.He was shocked at my personal circumstances and very sympathetic.
I think its Annie get your gun time in this country.My child is nearly 15 now and could have done without a resumption of family hostilities about as much as those clowns at the CSA would appreciate a bulltet through the temple.
On one occasion several years ago when they had wrongly assessed me and it took 2 years and lots of wasted state incurred baliff and court costs on their part (that I never had to pay as they were wrong)I was constantly being phoned and harrassed by one of their collection team at East kilbride.In broad Scotttish aggressive tone he screamed at me to pay it (I was by then heavily in debt)and if I live to 100 I will never forget his wining scream…”We”ve waited long enough” Unsure on reflection on ending the call whether he was referring to Bannockburn or Culloden In have remained indifferent towards Scots to this day.For my mind that pratt would through my justice be required to spend the rest of his natural days with Gordon Brown rebuilding Hadrians wall and making sure it was 20 fooy higher.When complete he would be then be ball and chained while he dug out deeper Orfa”s dyke.
the anger I feel is all consuming.It affects my relationship with my dearly loved child.
I had the brain and resolve thankfully to fight and overcome the injustice.I now intend to take this on again.
The child cannot benefit from this nonsense one bit.
The CSA cause more damage to children through their incompetence han any errant father.
Yes we all know women use their child as the weapon and the shield in break up.To add to that great pile of ruibbish that was once deemed a relationship.
it is corrupt.state sponsored child abuse of the highest order.Mixing kids life up when all they need is the love and support a mum AND DAD can still give.
They are an institution that are without doubt “UNFIT FOR PURPOSE”.No child is better off through their involvement.
They simply wreak havoc and misery on family life that goes on after break up.
Yes we do have respponsibilty to our kids rather than rights.
The CSA and their insensitive policy show No responsibility to children in the wat they arbitrarily interfere in those relationships whatsoever.
And with that I have decided to take my case through the courts citing the Human Rights Act.To Europe if neccessary.
What a truly 3rd class country we have become that the CSA in pretending to be acting in childrens best interest can cause such misery and cause depression in familys that will stay for life.WE ARE NOT ALONE.Thank god they are finally being wound up.It seems some years since the Home Office (Home Secretary)very publically condemned them as UNFIT FOR PURPOSE.
Suffer little children whilst you weep.Your Government cares not a jot.

Yvie - April 3, 2013 at 10:49am

They have not been killed off Mike – like Hydra they have grown a new head.

George - April 4, 2013 at 6:49pm

First abuse of human rights is being classed as an ‘absent parent’ – this conjures up images of parents who do not have any contact. The definition of absent is ‘ not present, not part of anything’ which in many instances is not the case. I have always been very much a part of my children’s lives and have never been absent, I have always been available.

I personally find this to be every bit as derogatory as using incorrect language to describe other minority groups.

Fathers should have exactly the same rights as Mum does. My experience of parental responsibility has been appalling. I have had doctors turn round and say ‘I am not discussing this with you I will discuss it with the mother’. I have had endless battles with schools to get reports issued directly to me. I have even been into a doctor’s surgery to have records amended because the mother had changed the name of the children without consent, even though the surgery knew that I had parental responsibility. So much for equality, so much for wanting fathers to take an active role and that’s with parental responsibility.

The present system is not only riddled with inequality but it is incredibly biased towards the Mother.

My own experience over the last 17 years has been extremely fraught with difficulties and inequalities. I was forced to use the court system to try to gain access to my children which was subsequently blocked with an accusation made against me of sexual abuse towards my children. This was completely and totally fabricated and after several months of expensive legal battles the judge threw this accusation out of court with the judge making his point very sternly. Her bill was covered by legal aid, my bill was for me to pay and amounted to thousands. I thought that this must be something very rare, yet according to my solicitor he said it was all too familiar. He stated that it was used to wear down and financially exhaust the other party.

At that time I was a small business working closely with the public in a very small community. I watched my business disappear due to the very fact that an accusation had been brought against me. Double financial blow coupled with an already delicate state of personal worth. Psychologically I withdrew, have suffered huge periods of depression and find it very very difficult to let down the guard which is extremely high. My relationship with my children suffered and the stress that it has placed upon my relationship with my partner has been immense. (She has been my rock and I am eternally grateful to her for bringing me to where I am today) At the time I so wanted to gain custody of the children but was advised by my “children’s panel solicitor’ that it would be unlikely that I would gain this and in his opinion would cause further suffering to the children. I agreed and followed a path of contact coupled with a life of hell from the CSA.

I was determined to remain in my children’s lives and knew at that point that it would be fraught with difficulties. I wasn’t wrong, I have had several visits to court to reinstate contact along with a visit from the police when accused of kidnapping my son when he was thrown out aged 8 with all his belongings ( I collected him with 8 black bin liners with all his belongings in). I have been portrayed in a negative manner through the entire time and my children have been repeatedly prevented from having open access and are used constantly as a weapon of manipulation.

At no time have the CSA ever taken into consideration my bills for trying to maintain contact with my children. They are fixated on calculations and view anyone who enters the system as just not wanting to pay. They force people into debt, this by a government who want to regulate the loan sharks for this very reason. They use tactics that most loan sharks would love to have at their disposal and in my opinion appear to break so many of my basic human rights I find it hard to believe that it is actually a government that is behind them. Amazingly they can do all this yet allow asylum seekers, terrorists, sex offenders, criminals and those who just sit on benefit to do as they wish behind a guise of ‘my human rights’

I’m now coming towards the end of my nightmare with the CSA and it is still every bit as bad as it was right at the very start. Frustration is not the word, they are interested in one thing and one thing only, how much they can extract from the person who is classed as absent. If it does not fall into the equation they are not interested, if it is impacting upon your home life your health your work and many other factors that we all have to address in our life they are not interested.

We have seen countless cases of people taking their own lives due to the incredible pressure that they have been put under trying to maintain payments whilst maintaining contact and having some normality of life. We have absolutely no idea of the numerous people who will have become a long term cost to the NHS through depression, and stress related illnesses. Nor how many have ‘uped sticks’ and left the country, becoming nomadic, opted for self employment or just given up and signed on. Are any of those really in the best interest of creating a country where fathers are encouraged to be part of their children’s lives and taking an active role in parenting.

I have just had a £500 a month order placed upon me for my 17-year-old son and my 18 1/2-year-old daughter. I haven’t seen my 17-year-old son in over two years, the only communication I have been able to have is via social networks (when he can be bothered and I guess when mum isn’t aware). He expressed an interest in going to college to do graphics, the course stated that he required maths and English at level C, however it didn’t matter if he didn’t achieve this as the college would be able to find him a place anyway (bums on seats = revenue).

My stance was very clear, I would support him going to college as long as he achieved the required result. The last 12 months in the school year was spent drinking large quantities of alcohol, partying and smoking weed (Parenting?). As you can imagine he failed all his exams but subsequently enrolled on the graphics course that he wanted to attend (amazing, so much for supporting parents). True to my word I stopped maintenance, if he had been living with me that is exactly what would have happened. Your not going to college your going to work – which in my book is fair.

My daughter is studying A-levels and has listened to exactly what was required from her. I told her that I had no problem whatsoever supporting her through university and I would do this directly with her as she would be studying away. This is what we do with my step son and his father contributes a small proportion the same way it works its fair and its certainly not £500 a month that’s for sure.

The CSA inform me that I have to pay for both children regardless of anything that may have been agreed or not agreed or failure to meet standards. I am not allowed to enter into an agreement whereby any thing is paid directly to my daughter, even though she is an adult. What Mum says/wants goes – excuse me where do I fit in to this?

Daughter is rightly concerned now that she may well not be able to afford to go to college. I am also very aware that if I allow the CSA to take the £500 I will not be in a position to directly support her – Government, butt out your not helping. Where are my rights?

My parental responsibility for my son has been kicked all the way down the street, he’s basically stuck two fingers up at me with my ex stood there rubbing her hands because she can collect 6K per year and no one knows how much gets to the kids (do they CSA).

I am not only frustrated but appalled at how our Government passes the buck – 17 year old is kept off the unemployment figures because he is in ‘full time education’ 12 hrs per week (12hrs full time you are having a laugh) Mum has a vested interest in keeping son on full time education as long as possible because she is collecting income (payable until the age of 20 I believe). Next thing to do is make sure you keep the income below the grant level for Uni and further result because you aren’t then stumping any cash up yourself.

Daughter does what is required and deservers to be rewarded for the hard work she has put in to maintain the results that she has been getting. Uni should be achievable but will it be? How do I know that the money will get to her?

Those of us who are at the mercy of the CSA telling us how much we have to pay have no redress that is worth a jot. If its outside of the equation forget it. We are too few to have any power, we are all too busy trying to survive so we have little left to fight. Avenues of legal action are fruitless, we have no funds, no time, no knowledge – we just know that things are unjust but we can’t change it, don’t know how to change it. If I could I would fight like hell even though my benefit would be negligible at least others could benefit.

The system will just leave you a frustrated and angry father with no voice – how sad is that in country which contains the word ‘Great’

Great = Great at ripping off the easy targets.
Britain = Mess because those in charge couldn’t organise one in a brewery!

Observer - April 4, 2013 at 8:20pm

GREAT post George.

I too (along with 1000s behind me) would not hesitate for a second to class the CSA as a criminal organization.

Interesting that Marilyn has avoided this thread. I find it sad that lawyers, who have the potential to be such GREAT opponents to abuse and inequality, actually profit (if indirectly) from it and so turn a blind eye.

Marilyn Stowe - April 5, 2013 at 12:29pm

Observer
I am not avoiding anything! I just havent had the time to consider a reply due to work and personal reasons.
Regards
Marilyn

Graham Taylor - April 10, 2013 at 2:34pm

I have recently had a call from CSA about my son. My Ex Wife is very bitter that I am with someone else even though she was the one who commited adultary and broke up the marriage. She moved out of the family home, and I moved in with my partner. I pay all the bills for the home my ex and I own (still in both our names), however CSA do not take that into consideration. They have made their calculations, and despite being told 2 months ago, that I am responsible for another child where I live, they have not yet looked into that for the calculations. My Ex Wife also reduced the time my son stays with me, as she figured the less I see him, the more she gets. Basically she uses my son as a pawn to get more money. I am now wondering which debt I should stop paying so that I can afford CSA. Possibly stop paying the joint debt as this means they will chase her for the money too. This is having a huge impact on my wellbeing. I have no problem with paying towards my son, what I have a problem with is I am paying that, plus her debts off at the same time. She has her cake, and eats it too, while I struggle.

John Clark - April 15, 2013 at 3:39am

My ex told the CSA I owed a boat, sports cars and motorbikes. Without any prove, CSA said I was earning more than that issued on my payslip (living beyond my means) and increased my payments. Spent money on solicitor who told me “forget it nothing can be done”. Under the stress had 20 strokes and left the UK.
CSA cannot prove I own anything but refused to accept this.
Letter sent to where I used to live saying warrant out for my arrest. Now can’t return to UK.

Mr. B - April 17, 2013 at 2:13am

FAO: Paul Gilbert,

Paul the CSA get away with so much is because people write letters of complaint to them, even if the letters are recorded they still ignore you or send a response that means absolutely bugger all. I have had some considerable success I was ignored by them because when you send the letters that letter stays in that business unit and there is no exposure and their dirty little secret stays in that business unit. So I email the complaints team which bypasses the inbred morons in the call centres but as well as emailing the complaints team I copy in many other people like my MP – ICE, Ombudsman etc I have quite an extensive list for you to use and it does get results. In your official complaint email name the individual staff members and make a complaint about them too. People have used the document and have had some excellent results they have been ignored for years by the CSA plebs but since they have used this method cases have been closed paternity tests arranged arrears reduced, consolatory payments made the list goes on.

Best wishes

Craig

Mrs k - April 18, 2013 at 1:24pm

after 11 years and only 2 payments, one taken from earnings one from a bank account my ex is still avoiding paying.
CSA informed me today that they cannot do any more to inforce payments. my ex has as much access as he wants.
he become self employed for the same company to aviod attachment of earnings, they have informed me that they can not do any more.

there must be something more i can do but what iv no idea.
any help much apprisheated!!!

Yvie - April 19, 2013 at 1:31pm

Mrs K – would it be possible to come to an arrangement with your ex. without involving the CSA. The CSA has a lot to answer for as it seems to set one parent against the other with its high handed, one size fits all, uncompromising approach. It ‘s wrong when a father tries to avoid maintaining his children, but it is surprising the lengths that some fathers will go to avoid entangelement with the CSA. I hope you can negotiate something fair between you and your ex. which will enable you to close your case with the CSA and deal directly with your ex. In my view, that is the best way forward for the majority of parents.

Thick Bleach - April 20, 2013 at 5:54pm

Craig – Mr B,

After many years of dealing with the CSA and their intolerable bias towards so called PWC’s I am now taking the time to complain. Years ago I was awarded a piddly amount for maladministration, but now after finding out the CSA are ignoring the fact that I have a daughter and refuse to supply a new calculation I am determined to keep on top of them and further demonstrate their incompetance. I’d be grateful if yo can supply me with additional areas of complaint as you describe…..it’s the etc part of your thread that I am interested in. So far I have five different offices looking at my complaint. So far I’ve received correspondence from the Appeals Dept. This amounts to incompetance #1. I’m not appealling, I’m complaining.

Sadly this is the only pleasure i get from any dealings with the CSA. A shambolic, contrived, unfair organisation, a carbuncle on a Great Britain.

Thick Bleach - April 20, 2013 at 5:57pm

Question for Marilyn.

Where does one stand when the the PWC has lied and fraudlently claimed about child paternity? The CSA are not interested in recovering any monies paid because they were paid directly.

Thanks

TB

SteveWarwick - April 21, 2013 at 11:56am

Mrs K … You tell us YOUR story from your side you don’t tell us that the father of your kids prob buys them lots of things and takes them out and spends money on them and prob buys them clothes and does provide in lots of ways??? The CSA can ruin a mans life and make it hard for him to live yet you prob dont even work and have been living a free easy life just like my ex wife. I maybe wrong but most females tell the same sad story and dont tell the truth of the fact that your just greedy and that most men do provide and its the females greed that takes over for her own reasons not the childrens . My children see less of me now as i cant afford to take them out having £200+ each month taken from my minimum wage puts me in debt to bills i can’t afford and also makes me not able to take my kids out and treat them. So as i said its all about the females greed nothing at all to do with making the kids happy with there father in there life…

Name withheld - April 22, 2013 at 2:48pm

Hi since my ex wife devorced me and asked me to leave our familiy home, almost 20 years ago I have never missed a payment to her £150-per each month, in cash and personaly delivered by hand so i might see my duaghters grow up.
She did not alow me to visit any other time.
£150- each moth was quiet a lot of money almost 20 years ago and considering she had all of our family assets, including car, 100% owned house, shares, etc. Anyway this went on even after my 2 daughters lesft home and went to university. and since i have remarried with 3 childeren. (twins aged 6 and a nine year old as well.)
When my older childerend from my 1st marrage were in their 20s, they were no longer at home for me to see on my monthy visits, so i asked my exwife for her bank details to pay instead, which i have done for the last few years.
Over the years the CSA wrote to me damanding money as they belived that i had never paid anything.
I always wrote back, and corrosponed to advise them i was paying directly as my exwife wanted.
after not hearing from the CSA for 6 or 6 years they suddenly wrote back to me and damanded £47,000- as underpament of thier estamated assesment.
My ex-wife admitted she had recived some money but not all, so they then issued a court summons for liability order for £32,000-.
Last month I went to court with my new wife and childeren to prove i had already paid and also show them theier assesment was wrong as i do infact have depentant childeren, etc.
The majistrates just told me that they have no power to listen to my case even though i may have proof and were not [prepaired to listen to my side.
They issued the liability order without consideration of my evedence and proof of payment, for £32,000-.
I have had to raise by borrowing this money in order to pay them and have paid them in full.
My family including my wife and dependant childeren are now in direstartes finacialy due to theis life changing catastrophic and extraordernary kangaroo court hearing.
My ex-wife is now sitting on a lotter sum figure and my adullt childeren now mid 20s do not comunicate with us.
I have been told by the CSA court attendant that the only thing i can do is appeal to the sectery of state to question his law which alows this savage conduct, and told me i will need £100,000s of pounds to leagaly administer that process with all its fees and legal advisers.
My family is broken in every way.
This is an unbelivable story i know, but it must have happend to others?

mrs k - May 7, 2014 at 3:38pm

no her farther doesn’t buy her things, clothes toys ect. we were both earning £500 per week in 2002, i can only work 2 days now, he works 5 to 6. we are in the same industry so i know how much he is earning, 3 times what i i am. but he will not contribute at all. yes i agree some mothers like to sit back and let the benefits come in, but i am not one of them. when my ex fills in forms to prove what he is earning and spending his sky, jaguar ect are all taken into consideration. i cant afford sky and my 12 year old Peugeot is on its last legs. now our daughter is in senior school it costs £15 a week in school dinners alone. never mine the uniform,shoes school trips ect. He can pick her up when ever he wants but usually manages 3 to 4 times a year. for 3 to 4 days at a time.

Respondent - April 22, 2013 at 11:12pm

Name Withheld,

I suspect that your problem is putting your trust in magistrates. These people are usually even more incompetent than the CSA. Don’t waste your time with them, and take your case to the high court instead, where they are under obligation to use their brains. Also, by the sounds of it, you don’t have anything to lose by reporting your case to the media. Since it sounds like you are going to jail anyway.

Yvie - April 23, 2013 at 10:32am

Hi namewithheld – I am very sorry to hear your story. I would be surprised if yours was an isolated case.

My son was given a bill for arrears which he did not know he owed. He telephoned the CSA spluttering with indignation. He was sent a direct debit to sign which he objected to. Within a matter of days a DEO was placed with his employer. To be honest, although fuming at the high handed approach at first, my son knows that he has a record of payment which cannot be disputed. He requests a statement from them every six months or so. So far it has proved to be accurate and matches his own records.

JamesB - April 25, 2013 at 12:13pm

The problem is, like with the Border Agency, it’s not really going to sell newspapers or get politicians votes so the incompetancy doesn’t get dealt with.
The CSA is bad, the UKBA are bad. We have no working system in either, everyone knows that, isn’t news.
I think the ignoring of the two issues here is partially why the UKIP and other parties are on the up as politicians seem to be doing something far more important. Although to be honest noone really understands what it is they are doing that is so important and PMQuestsions seems to back that point up.
I think the answer is to have publicly funded political parties and give MPs a pay rise then we might get some good ones.
I have written to my MP on the CSA and the UKBA (for my wife) and he has been useless on both. As was the last MP when I wrote to him on the CSA. I don’t know if the UKIP is the solution, but the status quo politicians don’t seem to be able to do much. Theresa May for example is apparently a good one and perhaps a future PM, yet she has presided over the UKBA failing completely and the opening of the Borders.

Sick of csa - May 11, 2013 at 10:21am

My husband has nothing but grief from the csa this is due to two very bitter ex’s who although hated each other are now best buddies! They make constant calls to the csa so my husband is constantly hounded!! One case was my husband couldn’t have his daughter at the time the mother “told” him & because he stood his ground she called the csa & informed them he had not had the daughter so payments went up, the csa took her dates as truthful & couldn’t care less what my husband said, we have learnt to log all contact!! Another time my husband needed a new car( I say new it was T reg so hardly pushing the boat out!) surprise surprise my husband received a call from the other ex so payments went up again!!
The csa is a system ran by bitter twisted women who offer support to a load of bitter ex’s who have the number of csa on speed dial , this unfair system is only interested in 1 thing……. Screwing over their children’s father! Women shouldn’t be allowed to do it, the payment should be fairly decided taking both sides financial outgoings into account & not just the fathers!!
My husband totally agrees that all should pay for their kids but this does not give the right to vile ex’s using a system to get one over! My husband has had to put up with contact being limited just so the doting mothers get more money! I use doting very lightly as no doting parent would use their child as a weapon!
The money should also be shown to be used on the children! My husbands son has turned up at our house with his older half brothers oversized clothes, holes in his socks & shoes falling apart while mummy is uploading pics of her dodgy hair extensions & telling the world she can’t wait to open her Smirnoff lime vodka!!!!
The other has more wine than blood going through her veins but tells my husbands daughter she can’t have as much food in the house as daddy doesn’t pay enough!!!
The system absolutely stinks & before some woman jumps all over this I am not the evil new partner I have watched my husband go through hell , he is a brilliant dad not only to his own(when he’s given the chance!) but also to my 4 sons & our 2 daughters, he supports my kids financially as the boys father chooses not to!
The sooner the csa are wiped out the better ! It will be one less weapon ( well 2 now legal aid has gone )for greedy so called parents to use

BTS - May 16, 2013 at 4:33pm

I read this post with interest and was pleased by the ruling, will it change the way the CSA operate? – No. I am in regular contact with the CSA, I used to pay through the CSA, not any more. Despite the regular payments my daughter would come for contact with no clothes, holes in her shoes, I was constantly replacing things, I had to replace all her electrical items such as Ipod DS as mother would not allow her to bring them for contact. Effectively I was paying twice. I now pay her direct and through the bank any additional payments I have can be balanced in the direct payments being self employed its easy to manage. She told the CSA I wasn’t paying anything, Then she told them the payments were a gift to her, then she admitted I was paying her child support. Now the CSA have come back again, threatening a summons, I sent them all the info they requested and they said they would get back to me, they never did. Today I have received a summons despite may many letters them, its dated 24th April, they have held on to it for 3 weeks and sent it with a covering letter dated 13th May. In my letters I asked them to give 28 days notice of a court summons. They have evidence I have paid my ex more than they have requested plus the clothes, electrical items, mobile phone. etc. I enjoy a good conflict with them and will continue to challenge them.
The CSA will never change. the sooner they are disbanded the better. The worry is what will follow.

JamesB - May 16, 2013 at 4:48pm

Re ‘I had to replace all her electrical items such as Ipod DS as mother would not allow her to bring them for contact. Effectively I was paying twice.’

Yes, I do that, clothes, everything as ex will not give anything for contact. I have to change them from tracksuits with holes in when they arrive and put them back in these tracksuits when they go back. Some people can get very angry and bitter.

Sick of csa - May 20, 2013 at 9:21am

It disgusts me that women feel the need to go through life so bitter & twisted & use a unfair system as a act of revenge! Along with stopping contact to get more money. The system needs to take a look at these women rather than presuming all men are low life’s & don’t pay! If the system can’t work fairly then get rid! My husband was informed by some rude arrogant woman that the csa are in control of him!! The csa employee is now apparently under going communication training after we made a official complaint. All I can say is all those nrp’s who live with the stress of csa keep going , there has to be some breaking point & surely all the unfairly treated parents should be heard.

Miss B - May 21, 2013 at 9:50am

Good to see the NRP getting some support on here. My partner has been divorced for 7 years, has never missed a payment which was originally agreed between them. Two months ago (following a threat of the CSA from the ex wife purely because my partner wanted to swap a week night stopover for another) decided he would do his own calculation based on the CSA calculator as in all the years of paying support he has never taken into account the nights the children are with him. It appeared he was paying too much so decreased the original family agreement with fair warning to the PWC that this was happening and why giving clear calculations how he came by the new figure.

First we received a solicitors letter suggesting mediation (we chose to ignore) and then last week the CSA contacted my partner saying his ex wife had made a calculation enquiry on child maintenance and he would be required to fill in some forms to confirm his earnings so that they could clarify if the monies he is now paying is correct.

I must say we have found the CSA both helpful and certainly not biased towards the PWC (maybe we were lucky) – we spoke at length with them on Saturday to get some further information so we knew what to expect when the forms did arrive.

The forms did arrive yesterday so my partner called the CSA first thing to offer all the information required over the phone as was keen to get the matter sorted.

The CSA calculated that my partner is actually paying the correct new amount and they would be contacting the PWC to confirm this. We asked if she could appeal to which they said yes but she would need to get proof from the NRP that he earns more than he is claiming to the CSA. The CSA seemed satisfied with the information given to them from my partner.

Can the CSA’s calculation be overruled if the information given has been 100% correct – we felt there was no point being reserved on the truth as they will find out in the end.

We now await to see if the PWC will try and appeal.

To point out my partner is not disputing the monies he pays, he is just wanting to ensure he pays fair given the amount of time he has them overnight.

Jayne - May 24, 2013 at 12:16pm

Hi , I just wanted to say how unfair being a divorced dad is . My husband has two kids ( now 16&18) and has been paying the correct amount for 8 years . The problem is I feel is that he gave his ex wife a mortgage free house , £60 k in the bank and took all their £20 k debt with him , he took out £100 k life assurance for himself so if something happens they would be fine . At now 18 he called the CSA and they said we still have to pay until sept as he is going to uni and may have to pay until 20 yrs for his daughter depending what she does at college . We have a 5 yrs little boy and we are all struggling so much with a huge mortgage , health issues due to worry and stress over finances . He only left as she was so abbusive and shouted and yelled all the time and he couldn’t stand it any more but her solicitor knew everything to get her as much as possible . At the time he was giving her £500 a week , paying all the bills and she stayed in the house and he had to pay his rent also . She is the one that got legal aid and every financial help that was out there . The divorce took two years so she could keep getting loads of money as her solicitor wouldn’t give any of her financial information . In the end they did it without her declaring anything and two years ago she had an insurance come out and got another £30 k which my husband should have got half of . It’s all wrong , she has so much more money than we have and know debt but none of that is taken into consideration and also what he has given her already . We never go out and she goes on holidays and has new clothes and kitchen etc . She has poisoned the kids against their dad and has been vile . Any advice about what we can do , we are at our wits end , sorry for the life story but I hate it all so much and it’s making us ill and I worry about my child thanks

Observer - May 24, 2013 at 7:13pm

Jayne,

Like all of those blessed to have experienced this nonsense, I’m sure you’ve also been told over and again how this is all in your mind, and maybe you need to change the way you perceive things. And I’m sure you’ve said to yourself, oh, how doubly blessed I am now to be insulted by petty-minded bureaucrats, academics and lawyers to boot.

Now, for the sake of the kids, I suggest you ‘keep silent and carry on’.

single mum of one - May 25, 2013 at 5:58pm

All I see is Dads complaining and moaning on about how they dont have money. Firstly, id like to say it isnt DADS rights. Its the rights of the parent who no longer LIVES with said child/children. When you pay CSA you are CONTRIBUTING to the childs way of living etc. Bills clothes food transport school uniforms shoes THE LIST GOES ON. If a child needs to get to school and the parent needs to get them there then thwy will need a car or bus fares petrol car insurance MOT. So many things are not paid for that its a JOKE and an INSULT that tuis page exists slagging mothers off for doing the hardest job in the world. I do not agree that because you are paying for a child that you get to see them. Parents SHOULD have the right to see their kids and it should be sorted out with regards to individual cases. Not every family is the same. Im a single mum and I do EVERYTHING for child. Her dad sees her regularly and he pays pennys in csa. My child is lucky to see a few quid. He works 30+ hours a week and worms his way out of paying anything. So dont preach rights when you dont know ha l f the cases out there. I scrape by and he sits back leaving me to do EVERYTHING and leaves me with no money to even cloth my own child. You tell me where the justice is for me and my child??

VP - May 25, 2013 at 6:03pm

The CSA stole £2500 from wages after I’d paid my dues and they said they would refund it but when I spoke to them on the phone chasing up the refund they Laughed at me and said you will never get a refund and your MP will never be able to do anything about it.
Basically they were Boasting how they can get away with this level mal administration.
Was this punishment for having already proven through ICE that they were guilty of mal administration ?
My case has gone on for 20 years , it took 14 years before ICE found the CSA guilty of maladministration and the CSA awarded me £200 for this !!
Then in 2008 when I thought it was all over
The CSA suddenly started taking £200 a month from my wages , It took a year to stop this , I thought my MP had stopped it but when I finally got to speak to someone in the CSA at the beginning of 2012 they told me the reason they stopped was because they shouldn’t have taken it at all and that they had also received an email from my ex telling them to stop. I’d paid my dues for the liability period April 1994 to July 1997 and it took the CSA 14 years to accept the direct payments I’d made. But why did they start stealing money from wages in 2008 they Now owe me £2500 and my MP has done nothing to get this returned despite writing to him since 2008.
Not sure what you do when the government give this level of power to an Agency that has been proven time and time again of mal administration and in my case they admit overcharge but refuse to refund, isn’t that THEFT ?

John - May 29, 2013 at 8:34am

VP.

Write directly to the Parliamentary Ombudsmans office in London, giving them the full facts. Mark it as a complaint, and also state that your M.P. has not served you as they should!

Failing that, there is always the Serious Fraud Office!

JamesB - May 29, 2013 at 11:51am

CSA is to provide PWCs with ability to run a car. ROTFPML. Come off it. Running a car is surely a luxury these days. A child certainly has no need for a car. You want a car and you want the father to pay for it. Child can walk or get bus to school. Running a car is expensive. If you cannot afford it rather than moan about the father or government should pay for it. I suggest you sell it. Your entitlement attitude to having your cake and eating it I do not like. You want the lifestyle but think others should pay for it, blaming them for you not having it; therein lies the problem, right there.

JamesB - May 29, 2013 at 11:55am

PWCs wanting to have it all without the bloke there and for them to pay for it, i.e. feeling entitled to pick and choose what they are entitled to. I.e. they can do what they like and others can pay for it, really makes me sick, it is disgusting.

JamesB - May 29, 2013 at 11:55am

Absolutely disgusting.

JamesB - May 29, 2013 at 12:00pm

If she wanted to have the lifestyle, she should have kept the relationship good. Alternatively, find another mug/chap to support her in the manner she expects to be. Don’t go whinging to the government or CSA or lobbying anti men groups that is wrong. Sorry, got my goat that one. Stuck in my teeth and reminds me of my ex’s attitude as well as many others I dislike. It is self-indulgent bad rubbish and the reason for rise in Sharia law etc and other more natural law in this country. It is not good approach at all and is self defeating in the long run as men will and are voting with their feet not going with people with this attitude, e.g. marrying foreigners.

JamesB - May 29, 2013 at 12:01pm

Probably a troll, flaming. Well, that’s what they would call it if a fella wrote something counter to them on the gingerbread website and then ban him.

JamesB - May 29, 2013 at 12:02pm

Why are women given so much by the state? Seems a waste of money as it undermines society to me.

JamesB - May 29, 2013 at 12:19pm

Basically, if you want something you should have to earn it.

Name Witheld - June 6, 2013 at 3:18pm

Two years I have been fighting through the legal system to have contact with my children through a shroud of lies an deceit from my ex partner, and every public sector along they way took her word as oath and did not bother to ask my side of the story, it is terribly sad that in all this mess it is ultimately the children that suffer and we are in 2013 for Christ sake, I love my children to bits and so desperately as a father want to be able to bring them up and support them but the system does nothing to support this, I certainly welcome the judgement.

I agree there are men that do not take responsibility for children but by the same token there are women who get pregnant for the wrong reasons, I think the long term solution for this is possibly a male contraceptive pill putting birth control on an equal footing for both sexes then there is no argument for either parent not to take the full brunt of the law and act responsibly towards their children.

me - June 6, 2013 at 5:00pm

I have tried for 13 years to get something from the father of my 3 children and now sadly it looks like it will never be. I work and provide for my children never ask for handouts , I feel like my chidren and I have been let down by staying with in the law. As for him seeing the children he can but he chooses not to. Let the tax payes foot the ball (again). I am not letting this lie without a fight I t this very moment.

JamesB - June 7, 2013 at 1:19pm

There will not be a male pill, the government will not sanction it as there would not be any babies if they did.

JC - June 13, 2013 at 1:57pm

I have just read through this thread as I have just finished the almost 20 pages of submissions for my CSA tribunal. I don’t know what to say about some of the stories here but they follow a pattern. This is a pattern that I believe has been bolstered by the morally bankrupt ‘profession’ in which Marilyn Stowe works. I have not met her or spoken to her; I have just read the various posts and seen her occasionally on TV. Unfortunately like most lawyers she appears to play for both sides whilst apparently assuming everything her client says must be true and/or if not defending the indefensible. Question for Marilyn, what proportion of your clients are fathers? This creates a situation where all principals leave the argument and how children become possessions and rights. The more this conflict progresses the more money a solicitor will earn irrespective of the outcome. If any lawyer (judges included as they are nothing more than old solicitors) really believed in children’s rights surely they would ascertain facts and specialise in dealing with only Fathers or Mothers, think prosecutor and defender. They would drop parents who lied about domestic violence and other allegations used to stifle contact. The additional problem in this is the Children’s Act fails to treat the parents equally; it starts well with the premise that the children have rights but then fails to support them by the outcome. It is interesting not a single law firm publishes the outcome and the total costs of cases it deals with; I think you all would be horrified by the details.

I have been to court in family and other matters some 20 plus times and now represent myself. It is quite clear that lawyers and barristers will say anything or lie about anything couched as ‘instructions’ and these will be given value by the judge(remember lawyers aren’t allowed to accuse each other of lying, it apparently disrespects the court!) I have in my own case pointed out repeated material falsehoods by my ex’s lawyer and the judge/s do nothing about it. I do wonder what would happen if I did the same? We have a peculiar legal system where the judge is often the drinking partner of the opposing counsel or lawyer not least by membership of various associations or even worked together in the same Chambers. Ask your lawyer what family law associations they are members of and how many social events there are? Also why is it we have a legal system where you cannot adequately seek redress against an opposition lawyers behaviour? In my case I have proved the other side breached the Children’s Act in releasing information that identified my children outside of the Family Court, its apparently an imprisonable offence yet when reported to the Judge and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) they did, guess what? Nothing, Zip, Nada….

Dealing with the weird relationship of QC’s/Barristers and Solicitors I have yet to see anything done by the former that couldn’t be done by any reasonably intelligent person let alone a lawyer. Remember law is a Bachelor of Arts degree not Science or engineering therefore it is by definition not rocket science. A huge part of law is admin conveyancing is a case in point; the laws and acts behind it are readily available. If you don’t believe me google the curriculum for the LPC, it includes writing letters and arguments. Yet if you go to court as a litigant in person and are able to claim costs (family law does not have costs awards, although maybe if it did errant mothers wouldn’t waste so much of the courts time and legal aids funding) you can claim £19 an hour yet a lawyer who has ‘partner’ written on their business card and worked for 8 years(but may have never been to court) can claim over £400 ph in London and £200 outside, with even the most cabbage looking graduate able to claim over £130 per hour. And who made up these numbers lawyers! Who decided that family law should not have cost awards… you guessed it!

Why am I talking about fee’s, well it’s the oil that corrupts the profession. If lawyers really believed in the rights and well being of the child they would seek to avoid conflict and would take steps to change the law to reduce the impact of family breakdown. Has anyone here heard any lawyer (including Ms Stowe) or judge suggest simplifying the process to remove conflict and creating presumptions of contact etc? Why don’t they? Because it makes them all money; irrespective of the outcome. CSA claims are no different, just follow the money. They all just seem to moan about reductions in legal aid!

Overall the CSA is morally bankrupt just like the legal ‘profession’ I salute the lawyers who took on the case that started the thread but I do wonder what their motives were; I hope it was the principal of Justice rather than ambulance chasing. Either way it didn’t go far enough, the way the CSA works is this, first ignore the NRP and believe whatever the RP (normally the mother) says and make an arbitrary assessment of the liability that forces the NRP to appeal effectively reversing the principals of law. What should happen is once the CSA make an assessment if the NRP doesn’t agree the CSA should issue a claim (as per civil procedures) the NRP could then defend or accept the claim as they see fit. Instead the assessment becomes binding removing the claim and the NRP’s chance of a defence, therefore forcing an appeal. This means that the NRP becomes almost a de facto claimant as you are trying to undo the injustice. The basic principal of law is innocent until proven guilty so the CSA operates in a similarly unfair way to the Family Court. It is the NRP who has to prove their worth or lack of it in the case of CSA appeals, where the only winner is the legal profession and the outright loser is our children.

JamesB - June 13, 2013 at 4:12pm

I’ve just read through JC’s post and have two things to say.

1. I too would be interested and ask Marilyn the same question please? Please answer. I just think father’s struggle more to get representation in this field as lawyers think they always lose and are less likely to pay. You might be able to disprove that assumtion in my mind to a degree.
Question for Marilyn, what proportion of your clients are fathers?

2. While on the subject of degrees, the writers assumption that BScs or Bengs or Beds etc are more intellectual or cleverer than BAs is nonsense and I need to take exception to that and point that out. For instance all degrees from Oxford Uni are BA’s and that’s the highest institution in the land. I could go on on that but its a side point.

JC - June 14, 2013 at 1:11pm

Hi JamesB

The point I was making is that any half way intelligent person could do be a lawyer (and its not just me who says so eg http://www.thelawyer.com/the-pointlessness-of-a-law-degree/1011447.article). On the BA point (the BA being a bit irrelevant)in strict terms law is like doing a degree in history or sociology there is not a great deal of application or challenging reasoning compared to something like a science, engineering or maths degree. Also on the Oxford point I may be wrong but I seem to remember they used to give you an MA if you paid £10. That said I’m an employer and I really don’t care what qualifications you have, what I want is drive, ambition, honesty, courage, a willingness to follow instruction and focus on delivery. The fact you went to college for 3 years doing 20 hours of study and 40 hours of drinking each week is of no interest. If you have two degrees I am even less interested! Have I ever met a lawyer that meets the 6 tests….. not yet :-)

JamesB - June 14, 2013 at 9:50pm

I think they get a BA (even in science) in Oxford and Cambridge, and can pay £10 to upgrade it to a MA after a few (2 to 5) years without sitting further exams.

JamesB - June 15, 2013 at 12:44pm

With re to Education for Education’s sake, I agree that it can be a bit dodgy. However, I think studying and a lifelong quest for learning is a good thing. By that I do not mean watching tv or talking nonsense about feminism and banning the daily star in the student union bars.

JC - June 17, 2013 at 2:02pm

Well there is a quality set of exams! We have got off the point here are the questions for Marilyn:
1) If you knew the mother was lying about anything such as domestic violence would you still represent them?
2) if someone came along making allegations such as DV, DA, Drinking etc what evidence do you expect from your client before or during representation?
3) How many fathers as a proportion of your client base do you represent?
4) do you agree that the opposing party is able to complain about you to the SRA/Legal Ombudsman?
5) Do you agree with the principals of
a) shared parenting
b) presumption of contact between parents
c) CSA proving their assessments based on evidence
6) Do you think CAFCASS is fit for purpose?
7) Should family lawyers have to advertise outcomes?
8) Do you think that the penalty should be the same for:
a) Child Abduction (by removal from jurisdiction by parent for indefinite periods (Hague Convention))
b) Breaching contact orders for periods exceeding 3 months
9) do you think the fact that the penalties for non payment of child support is more serious than for breaching contact orders is fair?

I hope you will answer these questions fully

JC

Sjm - June 22, 2013 at 1:59pm

can some one please advise. I have been paying over the last year my maintenance through the csa . My difficulty is that my monthly wage can dramatically change depending on the availability of overtime and other forms of income. This i pointed out to the csa at the time and a monthly payment figure agreed. I made a verbal agreement with my x partner that i would compensate any shortfull if i had a good month to her direct. Last year was a good year and i have given my x over 3000 in extra money to support our son with nursery and bills. My problem is that my x is requesting that i send my p60 to the csa. She is on benefits and i fear this may be an attempt to gain money that i have already given all be it not within my csa agreement. guess my question is,if i send my P60 in will i be liable for a percentage of the extra money i earned without the csas knowledge and if so will they take into account the money i have given directly to my x.

Daimien - June 24, 2013 at 11:32am

Before I say anything I believea child should be paid for and I am doing so as I write this however I am going to challenge the CSA.

Everyone thinks this agency has God like powers and can do what they want. They can if you consent to it however everyone reading this blog beeds to be aware of a few things firstly this:

http://knowledgeispower-uk.weebly.com/the-birth-certificate–the-legal-fiction.html

All of the people how answer to Mr, Miss, Mrs are answering to a legal work of fiction designed to allow “debt collection agencies” such as the CSA to claim from you. As a HUMAN BEING this work of fiction is not you.

Second all the”Acts” such as the Section 26 92) CASE A3 of the Child Support Act 1991 are not Lawful for the Human Being they are OPTIONAL. They only apply to the legal work of Fiction/ Strawman.

I am going to challenge this, as I want a family agreement with my Ex. I don’t want to provide a loop hole for people who just don’t want to pay. It just the way the CSA treat Dad’s like we have commit a crime or by the fact anyone can point the finger and say “he’s the Dad” and the case come after you like a rabid pack of wolves. You are treated like you are guilty until you prove otherwise

Stewart Perkins - June 24, 2013 at 3:30pm

Can any body help ? The CSA was informed of changes to my employment by my company I left, they are saying that as this was a third source and have back dated arrears over 10 months. As they was inform can they do this ??

Daimien - June 26, 2013 at 11:42am

Hi Stewart,

First off were you paying your maintenance,? With what I am about to do, I am still paying money to my ex as its not the childs fault. If you have been paying was this electronic so you have records?

You have to view the CSA as a debt collection agency, they will tell you things they “can do” even when it is unlawfaul to do so. I would recommend getting past the “lacky” on the end of the phone and speaking to someone higher up.

Also the problem with UK companies, is that if presented with an attachment order they will buckle and pay it. You will need to inform you employer not to do so. The CSA have done this to a large number of people unlawfully which has then caused financial hardship.

What you also want from the CSA is the proof of what they are accusing you of.

If you have been paying and keeping them informed of the situation and they try to take money from you. You would probably have a good case against them.

Good luck

Mum!!!!!!! - July 5, 2013 at 9:06pm

To the mum of one, get in the real world, my husband and his Ex separated 11 years ago, (he left her not his children!!!!!) he has supported them mentally and financially from that day! But all of a sudden after the ex took him for everything and left him£16000 in debt through solicitors oh and had the house car and kids, she has now decided that the money is not enough and because he has worked hard and got a promotion she wants a bigger cut….oh and that’s because she is now renting out the ex marital home and buying a nice new big house….BUT in doing this the bloody CSA are taking the money from one family to another….they are nothing but a bunch of tossers who do not have a clue about the real world…..oh and not only is my husband expected to more than double the money he pays he has also since found out through social networking not the decency of the ex, tha t apparently his eldest is so disabled that she is entitled to a blue badge??????? Just a thought for you greedy good for nothing exs…..from a mother who does NOT use her children!!! X

Mum!!!!!!! - July 5, 2013 at 9:53pm

Not all fathers are bad!!!! My husband supports his children financially ad emotionally it’s the bitter exes that need to get a life & look in the bloody mirror!!! With love from a mother who does Not use her children !!!!!!

Elisha - August 25, 2013 at 5:33pm

Can anyone advise why it is the ‘word’ of the resident parent that the CSA follow slavishly? They are spending vast amounts of tax payers money pursuing non resident parents on the advise of the resident parent, despite this being lies.

We have been paying monthly for 12 years now, no problem and willingly to support the children. In addition we pay all flights in the year for visits, holidays, additional clothing etc. We also pay £1200 extra a year for one of the children’s school bus (as we were threatened by the mother that if we did not, the child would be taken out of her school where she excels).

None of the above is acceptable evidence to the CSA – despite furnishing them with bank details and receipts.

Mos recently, the eldest child has left college, and is working prior to joining the Marines.

We advised the CSA of this (and will continue to support the child) and that we would no longer pay the mother.

The CSA have advised that the mother is still claiming Family Allowance for the child and the ‘rules’ state that if she is, we must continue to pay for the eldest also directly via them to the mother.

The mother works, her new partner of six years who lives in the same house works and now equally the eldest works. No income assessment is made on the mother.

We have received a letter advising that we have not given sufficient ‘evidence’ of the changes, they know the mother is still claiming benefits, and therefore it is our responsibility and that payments must resume immediately or the alternative is to pursue one of the Kangaroo Court Appeals, where the Tax Payer will once again pick up the bills for the mother, we however would have to defend the case at our own expense.

The rules are clear, however, with one call from the mother, the CSA have taken this as gospel, no further investigations and the baton handed back with further demands for payments to continue.

Any advice anyone?

Karen - September 3, 2013 at 12:40pm

Why is all I ever hear is about the rights of the Father/ NRP? What about the rights of the children? or do they not count? My ex is suppose to pay me £47 per week he has never paid and he now owes my children nearly £5000 – this is after all what it is for isn’t it? My ex left us I have three children with him, my youngest was born after we split she is four now and he has only seen her twice! Despite ME arranging for contact which he failed to show and mediation he cancelled time and time again my children are still going without. The CSA have informed me because of this new law and him being self-employed there is nothing they can do. So in a nutshell he can have three children hold no responsibility to them whatsoever not see them or take care of them emotionally spiritually or financially but as long as he has his “humans rights” that’s ok then! Well what about the human rights of my children? or are they suppose to suffer just to keep him happy – the whole system is a joke and once the CSA say they can’t collect there’s nothing else you can do!

Tom - September 6, 2013 at 6:18pm

the csa are a law upon themselves that needs a major overhaul my 16 yr old son lnever attended school yet born in November just found out that my alcoholic exwife has enrolled him in a wade training course witch he wont attend so she can get housing child benefit and more csa payments not only that what pisses me of the legal right for the csa to take into account my wifes income child tax credits to pay my ex wife and son moneys from there tax credits to the csa to pay them this is lunacy att the highest oeder

John - September 18, 2013 at 12:34pm

Back in 2000 I had a partner, we had broken up and I later found out that she was 6 months pregnant with our child. I was young but I did the adult thing and supported her though it. Abortion is always a touchy subject, but was too late by then and is always seen as the mothers decision anyway, “my body, my decision!”

I had a fairly good job at the time and was still living with the parents. I was paying directly to her, but the mother was determined to get more money from me. Luckily my experience with the CSA was shorted lived, we got back together a year later and then she decided to cheat on me which caused us to split up. She later came to marry the guy and stated that they wanted nothing from me in regards to contact and financial support. She wanted to play happy families with our daughter and her new husband. We both thought it best for my daughter that she should be brought up in a stable family, she and her husband could give her that.

12 years later the mother is now divorced and began looking me up. Hearing that I was now married and getting on with my life, she bitterly decided that it was now time that I should start paying and contacted the CSA. I was rather disappointed that she didn’t contact me directly first, I would have rather dealt with it outside the CSA. She stated it was because she didn’t want the stress or the aggravation, since when has the CSA not cause stress or aggravation? What a moron!

I did a quick calculation based on the 2003 (Net Income) rules, which gave me a reasonable Child Maintenance payment of £600 a month which I am happy to pay and is more than enough for one child. The 2013 rules didn’t yield such an adverse result, so no quarrels there. I am however, being told that even though the case was opened again in September 2013, as it was originally opened in 2002, it would still be assessed under the very much outdated and convoluted 1993 rules. I know the CSA are incompetent, but surely they have moved all of the old cases across in the 10 years!? Am I naive to think so?!

I’m still waiting to hear back in regards to what the assessment outcome will be, but I can imagine given how convoluted and unfair the rules are, will be significantly higher. I have a very stressful job and work in excess of 70 hours a week at times. This has caused significant and unnecessary stress. I have lost a lot of sleep and has began to affect my working life. It is only a matter of time before it starts affecting my health and mental stability. It seems really unfair and outright disgraceful that I should be assessed using an outdated system that was supposed to be phased out, especially when newer cases are assessed using the newer and fairer rules. I have also been assured that there will be no backdating to 2002, since she has not claimed a penny since 2002, but knowing the ruthless ways of the CSA, but could they potentially change their mind should they wish to screw me over?

Marilyn Stowe - September 18, 2013 at 4:43pm

Dear John
Dont get so stressed. Contact the Government organization called Child Maintenance Options (Google them) for either a web chat or a telephone call and I’m sure they will help alleviate your concerns. Both methods of contact are free of charge. Contact number is 0800 988 0988.
The focus will be on agreeing an arrangement between you that both of you are satisfied with. It isn’t about “screwing you over.”
Regards
Marilyn

Stitchedup - September 19, 2013 at 9:28am

Robert or John? don’t expect you to publish this comment, just a heads-up that you may have given the real name away or simply got the name wrong.

Marilyn Stowe - September 19, 2013 at 9:33am

Thanks. I answered quite a few questions yesterday and the connection was lost hence the error.
Regards
Marilyn

mr smith ( for reasons) - October 3, 2013 at 7:53pm

I have just had a letter from the new system of csa, which is directly linked to hrmc, so they can now know exactly what ur earning self employed or employed.
the new system works the % of what nrp’s should pay on gross salary not after tax and N.I.
I only earn 6.19 ph 39 hrs pw which comes too 241.41 before deductions, how ever I have rang there so called help line an asked what living allowances a nrp is allowed i.e gas water electric phone council tax rent/mortgage even fuel so I can get to work, the reply I got was NONE I tried to explain what I am earning is barely enough to pay living costs and any further out going would end up me losing my home, job or both. I did pose the question of basic human rights, they just chuckled an said its done on gross earnings no allowances at which point I hung up. if I had time I would type out the letter word for word as the way it could be interpreted would be as a scare tack tic. it also contradicts its self as they based the workings out on my self employed earning last year on my net but later on it stats all working outs are based on gross earnings.

mr smith ( for reasons) - October 3, 2013 at 8:06pm

any information on basic human rights and basic living allowances would be handy to know..
over the next few weeks I will be seeking legal advice on this situation.
my aveage wage pm is 950 out goings around 1100 so ive been doing overtime when available (not allways available) just to cover basics needs.
what makes me laugh is that my ex has around 1600+ pm coming in via benefits/tax credit and other souces, which was just as much income as when I was living there with my old job. none of this is taken into consideration.
I can now understand why so many fathers ended up moving away an not seeing they kids as they could just not afford to pay towards there kids.

Allan - October 3, 2013 at 9:44pm

So what happens when they have got you mixed up with someone of the same name as the real father?. The csa have taken £90 a week from me for the last three weeks even though over the last seven years I’ve had to prove they have the wrong man on at least three occasions they agree then make the same mistake again. They don’t care that I’m totally innocent don’t have any kids it’s just tough that you have the same name as the said father. These people are a shower , they have stolen money from me and are very blasé about the whole thing.

larf - October 6, 2013 at 1:03pm

Its strange when all things considered that to bring up a child that an arbitary figure of 15% of NRPs earnings (which can vary on per case basis) is taken, when the law states to live things like JSA is about £70 or a state pension is about £110 per week.
I’m a trapped NRP through my own stupidity and trusting nature that contributes £800 pm through a private agreement albeit when I use the online calculator it indicates a figure closer £500. I’m not that fussed about the money, its the injustice and principle of it all and how us men are persecuted for being programmed to shag.

Andrew - October 6, 2013 at 7:26pm

What shines out is this: in disputes about contact evidence about money should be rigorously excluded. In disputes about money evidence about contact should be rigorously excluded. If necessary the entire statement should be taken off the file and if that leaves the errant party with no evidence, well, so be it. The two matters must be kept entirely separate.

ALI - October 8, 2013 at 12:37pm

thats why people in the east, middle east and other don’t give these stupid women powers, you give them a little power and that’s it they will get a big head and they are the kings and queens

Name Witheld - October 14, 2013 at 11:13pm

With case apply to cases in The republic of Ireland as well.
I have paid maintenance since my ex destroyed our home.
I recently went to court and explained I have not paid maintenance because I lost my job and I will reinstated payments and pay arrears once I find employment.
All the judge kept saying if you don’t have most of the arrears next court case you will go to prison. Also he refused to let me see my sons. So it is not only the women who use the kids as weapons. I must also add she kid napped the kids and went to Ireland but the courts don’t see anything wrong with that. Further more if they put me in prison and also I can not see my kids. But what people don’t understand, the courts and the mothers main objective is one and the same to destroy father hood and deprive us of our children.

Gary - November 3, 2013 at 3:42pm

My ex moved to N.Ireland with my 2 young sons while still under a court injunction. I stupidly did not take it any further as she promised me our agreed contact in my home of residency in UK. I did this so the children would be settle in a new home and her mother was sick. I pay her the correct amount by the CSA each month plus I have to travel/accomidation to N. Ireland which is about £7000 a year. All my money goes on this.
As at present she is only allowing my sons to see their Grandparent/cousins and friends once a year where they lived. This is because she says they are unsettled there in Ireland and wants them to them to forget about all these relatives and friends thinking she will change their minds. This is having the opposite effect on the children. Also she does not have a job and I am black mailed with the state of the children’s cloths and shoes are in and pay for her travel when they come across to visit me as she can see her friends and wants more money for this as she cant afford.
I self cantered mum like this is a crime in its self. She wants the life she had before separation and she chose this not me, things don’t work like that.

Marilyn Stowe - November 3, 2013 at 3:46pm

Dear Gary
Go and see a solicitor now. You may still be able to make an application here in England but if not then in NI. It’s worth getting advice. Don’t give up.
Regards
Marilyn

Miss my kids - November 3, 2013 at 11:55pm

My ex used slanderous allegations in 2009. Been fighting to see my 2 kids since. With my career I need a clean CRB. Guess what? CSA do not care if your career is affected, they want the ££££££, and they will take you to the cleaners. I tried working with the CSA, informed them about the CRB, they just say it is between you and the mother of your kids. I am hoping they take me to Court, then I will ask for a clean CRB in order to pay what they want me to pay. At the moment, I pay what I can and as much as I can, then I get bailiffs coming over.
All I can say, Child Support should be paid based on how many hours you see your kids i.e if you see your kids 1 hour a month, you pay £20 Child Support per child. Maybe that way, more kids will have contact with their fathers.

Miss my kids - November 4, 2013 at 12:06am

@ Karen, I agree with a father taking responsibility of the kids. I would do anything for my kids. What happens if the mother does not want the kids to have anything to do with the father? So in my situation how can I be there for my kids? How can I give them the emotional support and encouragement they need? It is 4 years I have not seen my kids, paid £30000 in legal expenses to see my kids, yet that does not get seen. Yesterday was my daughters 8th Birthday, where I can not call her or send a birthday card that if I did, I would be up for harassment. So now who should get blamed? Me or the mother?

Miss my kids - November 4, 2013 at 1:09am

@George, been there, got the t-shirt and the trophy. CSA could not be bothered about the allegations and how they can affect your work and everything else.
Maybe like I said, child support should be calculated based on how many hours you spend with your kids. £20 per hour of contact. £0 if you do not see your kids.
Is there a law in this country one has to ask?

sean - November 4, 2013 at 2:50pm

I’m self employed. By the Csa own calculation I earned £178 per week last year they wanted £30.50 Of that so sent me a bill of over a grand. I live in a one Bed flat the cheapest by far in my town and that’is £138.46 per week so there left me £10 to pay my council tax which is £25 . I’m in debt by £15 without food or any other bills. The ex stil smokes 20 fags a Day and drinks a bottle or two of wine per night while being signed off work for a non existing bad back. don’t get to see son I love dearly constantly stressed what happened to the fair society I remembered.

Miss my kids - November 4, 2013 at 6:11pm

@Sean, I know that feeling, I am self employed myself. Now the ex wants me to support her. I told in a polite way, the right fist clinched, with lower arm pointing upwards and my left on the inside of my right elbow, just like us Italians do it. With me if I do £1000 worth of work in a month the CSA want 90% of that.
I gave up in trusting the Law, Police, Social Services, CAFCASS and the government. There is NO FAIRNESS ALL ONE SIDED and we know which side. I would just like to say not all women are vindictive like some ex’s.

sean - November 4, 2013 at 10:36pm

Governments happy to bail the banks out but destroy the working mans Ability to take care of himself. I’ve tried to appeal but they obviously like sending men into desperation and helplessness with there financial slavery which is what the have done to me. My sons in counseling because he misses me and his grandparents brother extended family etc and I have no address phone Num or anyway Of contacting him because she’s fucked off with some alcoholic scumbag who beats the Shit Out off her bit of carma I suppose but not healthy for his development . And I Have no say in his wellbeing without address can’t even serve court papers on her Yeah that’s a fair system with the child’s interests being served! if your male in this country your better off in the ground. I would be better off Signing on at least my rent would be safe what a joke! Why can’t Csa give me her address so I can at least fight for his interests.

mark - November 8, 2013 at 4:59pm

So much anguish, so much anger, all of it so unecessary.
The system needs to be demonstrably fair to both PWC and NRP. To that end, the income of both parents’ should be assessed, and each parent should pay the same percentage of their income towards their children.
The details of how this may be done may be quite complex, but unless we are driven by the principles of fairness and transparency a large proportion of separated parents will remain locked in perpetual acrimony. This cannot be good for the children.

Allan - November 12, 2013 at 9:32pm

8 weeks down the line I’m still paying for a child who is not mine through the incompetences of the CSA, they don’t care they know this child is another mans I’ve even offered to have a DNA test to prove I’m not the father, they have told me this is not possible as they know I’m not the father! I am at my wits end I’ve contacted my mp but still nothing has changed. I’ll be bankrupt by the time this gets sorted, what lengths do you have to go to to get justice?

Luke - November 12, 2013 at 10:00pm

Blimey – it is hard to read some of this stuff so I can’t imagine what it is like to live it :-(
Every man should be forced to read this Blog before he gets married…

decent pwc - November 14, 2013 at 9:08pm

The fact is whether you see your child 1 hr a week or they never want to see you ( because some men really are crap dads) they are still your children and require feeding and that they s clothing. how weird that they should want such luxuries. They are..humans not robots. The CSA needs powers to deal with flagrant non providers

Luke - November 16, 2013 at 9:05pm

“The fact is whether you see your child 1 hr a week or they never want to see you ( because some men really are crap dads) they are still your children and require feeding and that they s clothing.”
==============================

They certainly need providing for – but contact should be a requirement – even if the child legitimately doesn’t want it and therefore supervised contact is required.

Not providing contact and there being no punishment for that just WON’T DO.

Gladstone - January 1, 2014 at 3:38pm

Hello. I would like to share an overview of my experiences and will remain objective where I can.

I have been paying child support through the CSA for the last 12 years. In 2004 for example the CSA claimed I had not paid around 2,000K. I proved that i had and the CSA wrote to apologise. Low and behold; in 2012 they claimed that I had not paid the very same amount of 2,000k back in 2004. The CSA tried desperately to avoid that fact until the ICE subsequently checked and confirmed that I’d already paid.

In 2007 I made a bulk payment of 1,200K to the CSA. Then in 2012 the CSA claimed I owed 1,200K from 2007. It took the referal to the ICE to show that I had already paid that amount back in 2007.

Between 2005 and 2007 the CSA failed, I only found out in 2012/2013, to assess me properly leading to arrears (around 6,000k) that I had no knowledge of. My CSA payment schedules showed that I had been paying the requested amount each month. Referal to the ICE showed that that was clearly an error on behalf of the CSA and not mine and the CSA should have managed my account much more effectively.

Between the end of 2008 and 2009 I provided the CSA with a total of 9 payslips on two occasions. The CSA said they would contact me with a new assesment. They did 18 months later in 2010 and suggested all manner of unpleasantries if I did not pay there and then. I started to pay the arrears as I accept my responibility as a father despite having, now, not seen my children for over 5 years.

A year later the CSA, out of the blue, provided me with a summons (yes an incorrect one where they palce the burden of proof on you). The CSA would not listen to my complaint that I had paid save for the period where they had not assessed me in 2008 – 2010 and that was already being collected anyway (and also consider also that as far as my bank statements and CSA schedules showed I had never not paid the required amount). The CSA claimed I owed $14,000k; my records showed nothing like that.

Fortunatley I had kept every bank statement, every payslip and every piece of correspondence received from the CSA over the last 12 years ( an beyond). The CSA were not interested and continued with their Liability Order believing they could not be wrong. The Magistrate even said in Court that they sympathised with my predicament but at that point the law stated that the CSA only needed to prove one missed payment. The CSA chose a notional date in … 2009. Yes, 2009 when they had not assessed me at all or requested any payment. No wonder the CSA Court representative; Angela Murgatroyd was trying to conceal her shaking right hand when she made her request.

Anyway, i referred the matter to the ICE who are dilligent and approachable. The CSA had already ignored the 1st letter i sent via through both my solicitor and my MP and only responded when they both wrote a second time to chase them.

In September 2013 the ICE provided a 28 page report on the failings of the CSA and stated that in their view i had received ‘exceptionally poor service’ form the CSA.

To date the CSA have ignored the ICEs recommendations and refuse to discuss them further. I am left with $5.00p a day to feed and cloth myself, etc. When I challenged a CSA manager; James Gilliver, on 24/12/13 as to why the CSA have not dealt with the ICEs recommendations he said (in a recorded conversation) “… the CSA do not need to pay any attention to the recommendations of the ICE… “.

I have written to Iain Duncan Smith (S/S DWP) and his office sent the matter back to the CSA who have done nothing. So I have written again to the DWP suggesting that i will return to Court to have the Order suspended or overturned if the CSA won’t deal with the problems and arrears they have caused and allow me to repay at an affordable rate. I have highlighted the comments of Mr Gilliver in relation to the ICE. I have also added that if the CSA does not need to pay creedance to the ICE then what is the purpose and the powers of of the ICE.

If I can offer any advice it would be to keep every single letter, every bank statement and any documents to do with the CSA. If I had not kept mine the CSA would still be trying to take $14,000k and I’d never have proved to the contrary.

Also, ask the CSA for all communication to be in writing only and for no further phone contact. The CSA have to comply with your request. The CSA have ‘lost’ some salient calls that i had requested and i reported these and other Data Protection problems to the ICO who upheld my complaints.

Thank you; I expect yet another rather challenging year :-)

Stanley - January 2, 2014 at 7:23pm

After reading the above comments and scarry stories why are we allowing this travesty of justice to continue.
The csa are a sexists dictatorship with one goal to destroy the lifes of Dads that are in the majority paying there 15% of there gross income to support there children.

I too have suffered total melt down by the csa.
Sending the police to my place of work claiming I was suicidle and depressed.

Listening to my exes ludicrass claims of my income and persuing her claims via enforcement orders debt collectors threatening phone calls and numeriouse phone calls at work.

4 years later and three tribunals all agreed with my wage and figures. The csa still ignored three apeal judges instructions and persued there imaginary claim for £14.000 under payment.
ICE ARE YOUR BEST COURSE OF ACTION AND THEY WILL INVSTIGATE THE CSA CONDUCT AND GIVE A JUDGEMENT AND COURSE OF ACTION TO THE CSA.

The csa will stillignore there judgement but you have at least got a sort of victory over the sexist csa.

I was a single dad for 6 years and never got accepted by the csa to persue my ex wife to support her son and guess what when he decided to move back to his mum.With in twoweeks they were all over me.

Even all the things that i had bought for my son were not taken into account.

I have lost all contact with my two children.

During these four years my health and business has suffered and to top it all . The csaare imune from prosecution for ruining my life my business and my relationship with my children.

Thank you Tony Blair for creating amonster the csa.

Gladstone - January 11, 2014 at 7:32pm

Hello, Gladstone here. Just reading some of the messages above and wanted to make something clear for all:-

If the CSA tells you at any time that it is LAW that the CSA collect any arrears within TWO years then this is UNTRUE. The Law does NOT state that. The TWO years is only an objective / guideline for collection created for the CSA.

I was told that this was Law on more than one occasion to find out it was completely untrue. I considered this to be misrepresenation of the Law. The CSA were asked to provide the tapes under a DPA request. The CSA ‘lost them’ within a few days of the last of these particular incidents (suprise?). However, the ICO and ICE still justified my complaints over this.

So, it’s up to you, but if it does get mentioned if I were you, I would challenge any such statement by the CSA via a complaint. Every formal complaint that the CSA have to deal with goes against the ‘figures’ for which they are measured; raise the figures for complaints (and referal to the ICE) and the CSA Senior Management have to justify the figures to the DWP…….

Forewarned is forearmed. :-)

jb76 - January 20, 2014 at 7:05pm

Can anyone give me advice.in october 2013 i received a call of the csa saying in 2011 my ex made a claim but the csa hadnt contacted me to let me know therefore running up a 2000 pound debt and also csa told me my ex had fogot about the claim.is there anything i can do.as ive tried explaining to csa how can i run up a debt i knew nothing about and why do i have to pay and also i have been paying my ex and have bank statements but they say its my word against hers.anybody got any answers please.

Gladstone - January 26, 2014 at 10:01pm

jb76: Probably the best course of action is to:-

(1) get all the paperwork together including bank statements for the period of 2011 and 2013 to show you may have been paying approximately the (subsequently) assesed amount.

(2)place a written complaint with the CSA setting out the problems that have been caused, etc.

(3) Wait the allotted amount of time for the CSA to deal with the complaint and when it is closed, and get that in writing, then have the matter referred to the ICE and bring it to the attention of your MP.

(4) from now on keep every piece of correspondence to and from the CSA and keep every payslip and bank statement you receive for the next few years.

If that does not resolve the problem then conside refering the matter to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

I would also expect, as I have found, that the CSA will try to get some of the very same money out of you again in a few years because they seem to dispose of paperwork and then run an audit and place the onus to prove otherwise on the NRP. It is really important to keep all the paperwork I have mentioned above.

Hope this helps a little :-)

ExDad - January 28, 2014 at 7:29am

Have not had time to read all the posts but the 30 or so that I did read and the skim over several more, causes me to say that you, men in particular, need to broaden your focus. I am in Australia, am an ex pat, and ‘lost’ my two children in the early 80′s, courtesy of the ‘Family Court’ here.
To make a long story short, I had since then, been denied access for years, except when it suited the ex due to ‘party time’, or ‘going away for a good time’ time. My complaints to the court got me 3 appearances over roughly as many years, with judgement going my way, BUT, admonishment was the punishment the ex got, whilst I was ‘awarded’ more and more access time!! HA! What a joke! I had as much access as before, and complaints to police and every politician that should have made a noise, got me platitudes, even ‘up’, to the Attorney General. He agreed that, “yes”, the law states that this was contempt of court and yes this was punishable by a prison sentence, BUT, “You don’t really think that they will put a mother in prison, do you??”
The ex moved with her boyfriend and our children as often as possible without notifying me or the court, and all I got from said court was that I needed to take her to court!!!!!!

The main point of my rant though is, take a look at how many other countries ‘Famiglia Courts’ have this anti-father ethos. Ours was created by a Labour (they call themselves Labor here) MP, who’s bio states he was ‘a devout Catholic’! Afaik divorce is an anathema to Catholics so why would a ‘devout’ one create a court that facilitates divorce, especially ‘no fault divorce’? I have my own thoughts on that. How does a child develop without the original father figure, with just ‘blow-ins’ as replacements?
Also forget about incompetence, and think hatred, not from you but from the types employed to administer the ‘justice’. My direct experience with the ‘authorities’ here opened my eyes and cleared the naïveté. The most obvious was the arrival of 6, yes 6, police cars, as I attempted to just drop off Christmas presents that I had had for 12 months, due to the ex moving house as per. She had, it turned out, lied to the police(I have my conversation with the police on tape and they agreed to it) and told them that there was an Apprehended Violence Order against me(look up AVO) which obviously there was not, but before our conversation I was ordered not to move except to put my hands on the roof of my vehicle. This was shouted from one officer who leapt out of his car and squatted (I swear!) with his gun in hand, behind the front of his car. Another did almost the same, sans gun. This was middle of the day, in a quiet wealthy suburb. Fortunately somebody worked out that I was not Lex Luthor, nor Sweeney Todd and it calmed down to 2 cars and said conversation. I was told by the 4 police (2 per car)after they had spoken to my ex, that “she won’t listen to reason, and it’s best that you just go”! So much for the law. I asked if I could at least leave the presents and they concurred. My 2 children were watching through a house window all this time, and I just saw the anxiety and left the presents on the door step. They waved as I went and I tried to phone when I arrived home, but natch, the phone was ‘engaged’.

I finally found and contacted my children, in 2006! They are both ‘ill’, and I was told that their ‘mother’, moved 25 times during the years I could not find them. The police told me it was “a domestic dispute” and “nothing to do with them”, when I had asked for help numerous times.

Enough, too many bads, as I saw my children only for ten days, before they went back to “tell Mum we are coming to stay with you” and finalise their stuff. That was when the vile emails started, and they never came back. ‘Mum’, removed herself and them from the electoral role, and I started all over again with the search.

SCRAP all ‘Family no-fault-divorce Courts’ and get back to ‘Actions have consequences’ courts. I have found out that 94% of divorced fathers here, do not get custody, but at least it seems that joint custody is now possible. Too late for me. Trust my grammar is reasonable etc.?

ExDad - January 28, 2014 at 7:35am

Note: My father died in the UK on 27th of December, of prostate cancer. I have not seen him since the middle 60s and he has never seen his grandchildren, nor spoken with them. Some world!

Tristan - January 28, 2014 at 2:54pm

Aussies just want to soak up as much American culture as they possibly can including guns and forms of spelling.

Luke - January 28, 2014 at 5:02pm

—————————————————
Lord Justice Ward said the ruling had been made with “considerable reluctance” and in the full knowledge that it could “emasculate” the CSA’s ability to extract money from recalcitrant fathers.
————————————————–

This is disturbing, Lord Justice Ward seems to be saying that he likes the status quo but reluctantly has to rule against the CSA because if he doesn’t he would be letting them get away with behaviour that turns the burden of proof on its head. Obviously if he did that it would have wide reaching ramifications that trump his desire to assist the CSA.

————————————————
The department is now thought to be considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.
————————————————

Really ! – and exactly what argument are they going to make ?
“Well Your Honour, we want to accuse any Joe Blow with kids of anything we like and then he’s got to prove that we’re wrong – and if can’t then we can send him to prison. OK ?

Jason - January 31, 2014 at 1:50pm

I have paid all my CSA payments until they informed me They had closed my case, then some months later They said I was in arrears, the only reason this happened was because of their (CSA) incompetence, Now having continued paying till my son was 18 they have sent me a letter saying They have closed my case, Three days later I recieved a phone call from a Joe asking me to tell him my national insurance number as they are going to take payments from my pension for the arrears, which I have incurred through the total incompetence of the CSA.
Surely this cannot be right, how do I fight this total injustice!
Can I quote they are infringing my Human Rights as per Lord Justice Ward!!
I would welcome your thoughts on this totally injust system

jm - January 31, 2014 at 8:05pm

The important message here is for the CSA and law to try and correctly and fairly determine exactly what is an “irresponsible parent”
99% of the time is the man that is called irresponsible and made to pay and the woman and children always the “victim”
so are we saying that every man that is registered with CSA had done something wrong and ran away from his responsibilities? Are we saying that the woman never did anything wrong? Oh dear, wouldn’t that be legally classed as prejudice and defamation? There are much bigger problems on the way for the future of CSA!!!

Joe - February 4, 2014 at 8:14pm

No house or job, don’t worry. Women have another option…

Find some sad bloke looking for what he naively thinks and has been indoctrinated into believing life is all about i.e. a wife and to raise a family. Make sure he has a good work ethic, a career that he enjoys is ideal PAYE is preferred as those men that are self employed can be awkward and able to hide their assets. Get pregnant, kick the guy out, no reasons required, you do not need to explain your actions for this. Phone the CSA and the benefits agency and it’s all sorted from there on. Feminism behind the scenes has ensured that a well deserved benefits package including a house await you for all your hard work and effort.

If benefits and maintenance are not enough for your required life style simply repeat the above steps to top up your child maintenance payments. Do your maths and make sure you have further children with different men. You will then receive 15% of each mans income rather than 20% to 25% of just one mans income, no brainer really.

Kick back and settle into a life of luxury, laugh at the suffering of the men you have wronged whilst all the time declaring the scales of equality are unfairly stacked in favour of men.

Disclaimer
It is unfortunate that approx 5% of cases may go in favour of the men obtaining custody of the children, so you only have a mere 95% chance of pulling this off. I’m sure feminists are working hard though behind the scenes to try to bring this closer to the magic 100%

Waksman - February 15, 2014 at 10:01am

All very interesting comments and observations. I myself have just received a Csa letter stating I owe a ridiculous amount of money based on a salary I earnt two years ago. Since then I found my wife was having an affair, was extracted from the marital home, at which she moved her boyfriend in, they sold the vast majority of my personal and joint possessions and she extracted short of £6000 additional from my bank accounts.
We are going through a legal process to resolve a divorce including what I should rightfully pay in maintenance for my daughter, who may I add I see every weekend and during the week on one or two nights as time allows (I don’t live that close). My soon to be ex wife has now jumped on the Csa band wagon despite me having lots of contact. Her mother has a life of luxury with two good incomes coming into the household, has no real time with her daughter and when my daughter is at home with her mom she goes to work at 7 and returns around 7. The money she wants is to support her abnormal activities such as spending all her time at the pub or out in town, she displays this all over social media for the world to see. I have only just received the letter from the Csa this morning and as I can’t afford legal representation I am wanting this included in our divorce, she has asked for a clean break order which I can only assume she has something to hide including a property she has been left by her nan in a will some ten years ago which she has failed to declare and that has had tenants in. We are not all absent fathers not willing to pay, it’s just sometimes we are easy targets and money quite clearly talks. My options are that I give up employment or make an application to have my daughter full time but I know her mom would do what she could to stop that like she has previously like shower her with gifts, money and days out that last a few days but being young my daughter doesnt recognise this. What do I do?

j - February 17, 2014 at 12:05am

hi everyone quick question, i was once married with 1 boy of my own between me and my ex wife and my ex wife had 3 children to other guys , i was stabbed in the face with a knife by my stepson at the time whilst my 3 month old baby was sleeping in bed beside me and my ex wife , i have been left permanently scared phyiscally and i have had no contact with my son since that day ive take threats of her family so im in a situation where i can never see my son without constant harrassment ,i pay child maintenance of my benefits and if i go back to work why is there no calculation that i dont see my son at all where as i have to press that i see him Less than 52 (less than once a week) why am i forced to go through with something thats not true i dont see him at all , CSA need to realise that i can never see my son again or if i do i could end up getting stabbed again i cant win this whole situation is wasting my life

Gladstone - February 28, 2014 at 7:09pm

Hello again.

Finally had a verbal admission from the CSA (courtesy of a Ms Kate or Kath Preston at the Agency) that the CSA were responsible for the arrears they caused on my account. The CSA has been avoiding the question all along. A very useful statement for future / pending litigation but lets see if the CSA manage to lose the call recording again ….

However, not content with having maladministrated my account for the previous 12 years they have now managed to continue that trend over the last 10 months. The CSA have been taking too much from my wages. They failed to examine the amounts despite continued representations and today Ms P said the CSA were not going to return the outstanding money because there were arrears on the account. And who caused those original arrears…. the CSA!

Sadly Ms P became quite flustered when I asked to speak to her manager and hung up! My father was present during the call and thought my conduct and tone on the phone was acceptable but he thought that Ms Preston hanging up was the height on poor manners and he is not one to side with me if I was ever wrong either.

No wonder Ian Duncan Smith failed to respond to my letters earlier in the year when he has a department that has failed in every avenue of their business towards me ……. :-)

mary please help - March 5, 2014 at 9:51pm

I have always paid for ‘my son’who is now six. In 2009 his mother contacted the csa and we began to sort maintenance via them. I have never missed a payment and have always seen my son. Last year through the admission of a friend I found out he may not be my son. I immediately rang the csa and asked for assistance with dna. I was told that I would not be helped by them as I did not question him being my son in the beginning of the claim in 2009. I did a home dna test which cost £100 and found out he was not my son. I was devastated. I contacted the csa to tell them the result and was told that I would have to keep on paying csa until a legally binding dna test was done which required his mothers dna. I was told they would not help me and to contact a solicitor. I took there advice. I have been battling with his mother to get the legal dna test done. She has delayed it every way possible. She shows no remorse for what she has done. I have to pay for the legal dna test to be done and for legal representation to free me of the csa when he is not myson. I have been told I will only get payments back from when I raised the doubt. What about the thousands in csa I paid before? She knew at very least there was a possibility I wasnt the father and never informed me of this. I am being punished for believing that the baby my girlfriend of several years was pregnant with was mine. I did the right thing. If she told me she was cheating I would of questioned paternity from day one. I have been decieved by my and punished by the csa for what was a fraudulent claim against me. How far can I take this? I will be the first case in the uk to fight this if I can. Its deception and fraud. If a woman has slept with more than one man around the time of conception and pins fatherhood on one man without telling him of the other men surely this is fraud? Where do I go next? Many thanks

Gavin Scott - March 12, 2014 at 6:55pm

Marilyn has asked me to reply to your question. I am the managing partner at Stowe Family Law’s London office.
Firstly, you must complete the formal DNA test. If that result supports your previous test, provide it to the CSA, confirm under sections 1 and 3 of the Child Support Act 1991 that they had no authority to take child support from you and request a repayment of all of the sums you paid to them. If they refuse, you can take it further, however, I would recommend that you take further advice before doing so.

Duncan - March 18, 2014 at 12:10pm

I would just like to say when I read through I realize I am not alone and the CSA have not just got it in for me, I have paid maintenance through a mutual arrangement of £90 a week along with this I have been denied access to my girls. I have never forgotten christmas or birthdays in the past 2 years. the last time I turned up to deliver a prezzie I was old through the door leave it on the step and dont come back. within a week I received a lawyer letter if I go near the house or send anything through the post it will be deemed as harassment and I will be arrested, along with a letter from the CSA upping my maintenance to £586 a month this was based on my earnings whilst working away and getting subsistance money to do so , the CSA claim this is income!!!!!!! I have tried and tried to explain this to the CSA but they dont care they will not even let me prove my income now. I am looking at the law 4th May 2006 as i was not married to the mother and the girls births were before this date then I legally have no parental rights and responsibilities . I cannot afford a soliciter and cannot get legal aid. The whole system makes me want to give up my job and the new life I have got myself.

yes yes - March 27, 2014 at 6:31pm

hello all i have just had to leave my job i worked 160 hours a month for a take home of £1000
id been fighting a csa “arrears” claim for roughly 6 years they cliamed i owed 14k for my tie in the armed forces ( 6 years)during this time i supported my ex and she has stood in court and admitted infront of a magistrate this.all my time in the forces i had never heard of the csa and certainly not reccived any letters from them.without contacting me at all they approached my employer and demanded £400 a month from my wages…( for money i didnt owe) they said i owed 21k arrears and they wanted it all paying back? i phoned them and asked why they was breaking the law and stealing money i didnt owe? there answer was asfar as we are concered you owe and your going to pay, i said i only earn a grand a month my rents £500 a month gas and electric is £100 a month and council tax is £100 a month thats before we talk about food clothes running and upkeep of a vehical and all the other things we pay through the nose in the uk for.they told me they was quite happy to leave me in debt to the sum of £200 each month if i was to pay all my bills. to which i asked them but ill have to stop paying either rent heating and power or my council tax one of which i can go to prison for the other ill simple have no power or heating where i live and unable to live there or get kicked out. there reply was “just dont pay your rent squat you have rights as a squater” i couldnt believe my ears i asked her to put what she just said in writing to me suddenly the phone went dead? i wonder why?
well i have now ended up £1400 in debt to my landlord,the council and my energy provider in total just through the unlawful activities of the csa. i had no option but to leave my low paid job but a job all the same and have a much better life on the dole. well i say better im better off finacially better off looking for work than actually doing 160 a month of hard graft. johnny two thumbs to you mr goverment agency bravo…
oh just one other thing i wrote to my local mp and the priminister david cameron they both just past the buck on several time now
sorry for the rant just see im not the only poor bastard that genuinly plays a active and finacial part of thier child/s life and just get raped by the buddy buddy system of govenment

Andrew - March 27, 2014 at 7:39pm

Which genius was it who disapplied limitation in the Child Support act?

skintfather - April 16, 2014 at 3:29pm

I have been paying my CSA and arrears for about 3 years.
Whilst being unemployed for a while – they suspended my arrears and sent me letters stating i do not have any arrears.

When i started working again, i was informed i hads £1700 of arrears.
I dont mind paying them as i believe them to be correct (i refused to pay for 3 years, as my ex wife was in receipt of cash from me – innocently i thought that would be ok) – how ever i have issue with 30-40% of my wage being taken from me inorder to pay these arrears off. My last job i earnt over £28K and was left with just £1000 a month – now i am expected to live off £800 with paying all of my bills.

I keep seeing this ICE mentioned – who are they please ??? (Just try googling ICE… amazingly its frozen water…….. LOL) – Because i do not see why i should pay this much to “Pay the arrears you owe as quickly as possible” which is incorrect because there is no debt and no money has been paid so there can be no debt……………

I want to pay this at a “reasonable rate” which will allow me to actually be better off than on benefits.

Can any one help ???

Luke - April 23, 2014 at 2:33pm

“I want to pay this at a “reasonable rate” which will allow me to actually be better off than on benefits.

Can any one help ???”
===========================================

I really hope so ‘skintfather’ but I doubt it, the CSA are basically beyond the law and you signed the marriage certificate – they have you :-(

Name Witheld - April 24, 2014 at 8:27pm

All these stories just amaze me – some similar to myself and others just like other stories I have heard. I have four different CSA departments dealing with my case, when pwc shouts money too low I am forced to pay over the top arrears – no investigation just whatever the pwc wants.

I had 7 letters from June last year stating I owe £2120 in arrears, even though I was unemployed for 48 weeks over a four year period as well as living with my child and mother for two years of this period. The mother stated I did not live with her again no investigation just took her word over mine. In February this year I paid £2000 to my arrears, then the following month cleared my arrears with £120 on top of my normal monthly payments. I kept asking the CSA girl ‘now do I owe anything else’ again she stated ‘no’

Today I received a letter stating I owe £500 to my ex. I am totally gobsmacked. Where do these people get their figures from? Why in this day and age with computers and technology can’t people read your file before sending demanding letters? However this does not matter to this dictatorship run by a sexist government.

Why are my views claiming gender discrimination? Here us some. My ex claimed I did not pay her fir five years. I then got 5 years of child maintenance payments from my bank to prove I paid. After this arrears were dropped case closed, why? Why didn’t the CSA charge her with fraud? CSA answer that’s up to you. Again gobsmacked. If that was me the police would be round with a charge sheet quicker than Usian Bolt.

Then discrimination with pwc’s word against mine. She gets what she wants as no one ever does an investigation to ask neighbours check bank statements domestic bills. I have all this on my side, however no one investigates. If this was anyone except a white male acts of discrimination would be raised and used to convict someone.

I want to take these people to court and use media to highlight the discrimination fathers receive with this organisation. Please do not state that I am being a racist, as how can you judge a statement from a housing association saying to me ‘white male no chance’

Everyone on this planet is equal, no one is better than the person next to them, some fathers do not give a damm regarding payments or kids just as mothers use children as weapons. There is fault on both sides.

SkintFather - April 24, 2014 at 9:11pm

Unfortunately – You are the father and you are NOT the main care giver and yep they will just mess with you – thanks to Mr Blair his legacy to the world, people like us are just above drug dealers, and other petty criminals.

But please don’t forget the CSA is a business EDITED.

JamesB - April 24, 2014 at 10:56pm

The CSA was the idea of Margaret Thatcher. It was put in by John Major with cross-party support and in the words of the ex Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy was the worst mistake in politics he ever made. It was certainly legislation for which the country would have been better-off if it had not been made.

Luke - May 7, 2014 at 5:15pm

Whether one approved or disapproved of Mrs Thatcher, I would suggest that it is difficult to try and blame her for the CSA in its current form now – especially as it is a quarter of a century ago that we are talking about.
Charles Kennedy was quite possibly too drunk at the time to have a view on the matter – this is of course pure speculation on my part and I do not claim it to be validated by any evidence :-)

Yvie - April 25, 2014 at 7:49am

It certainly is legislation which overall, would have been better if it had not been made. Families should work together to provide for their children without interference from the State. The majority of fathers are willing to support their children, but sometimes it has to be at a rate they can afford and not what they are obliged to pay by the CSA. In my son’s case, he has a shared residence of his children. The CSA take 25% of his weekly wages and after paying his bills there is very little left to provide for his children when they are residing with him. He has no social life of his own nor does he expect one for many years to come. He is one of the fortunate fathers as he has a shared residence of his boys, but something is wrong when 25% of a single father’s salary goes directly to a household where there are two people, both working full time. I have been retired for several years now, but I work from home most days, to ensure that my son and my grandchildren don’t go without essentials.

There are some fathers who refuse to provide for their children, but realistically if a mother makes a bad choice of father to her children that is her responsibility, and the majority of decent hardworking fathers who do provide for their children should not be hounded by the CSA, especially when they are already providing for their children through a shared residence order.

JamesB - May 4, 2014 at 6:08pm

I agree that the CSA / CMO / CMEC / CMS isn’t good Yvie. I think it should be scrapped and the rules go back to how they were in 1990, i.e. before the CSA, which was a fairer situation and with less man-bashing.

JamesB - May 12, 2014 at 10:15am

I think it also causes a lot of mental illness. By that I mean where a loving parent has a child or children of theirs taken away and they are expected to pay for being tortured like that when they have done nothing wrong.

It is difficult for the nrp to not feel themselves a victim an disenfranchised from society. Added to that you take away their ability to start again or have another child which is a reasonable, natural feeling if you have a child taken from you.

The csa / cmec / cms immoral approach of completely discounting conduct or circumstances at all is bad and further undermining people’s confidence in their representatives and government. It is not right to treat people in this way.

JamesB - May 12, 2014 at 10:18am

Added to that, they miss their children and when faced with difficulty trying to see them have a court system which doesn’t care about enforcing contact orders.

JamesB - May 12, 2014 at 10:20am

It really sucks being treated as a criminal by these people having done nothing wrong.

JamesB - May 12, 2014 at 10:25am

I also think and agree sadly with the above point made by others that they cause a lot of suicides.

JamesB - May 12, 2014 at 10:27am

They also encourage women to leave their parters and expect to be paid for it.

JamesB - May 12, 2014 at 11:05am

It’s an absolute disgrace.

Yvie - May 12, 2014 at 12:28pm

Worst of all, child maintenance need not be spent directly on the children. My son pays 25% of his weekly wages to his ex, and it is particularly galling when he sees his children coming home from school in shoes with holes in the soles.

NoLight - May 14, 2014 at 1:26pm

I am sorry that things are still going on as they were over 20 years ago and that Fathers and Children are still suffering both through enforced seperation and all the other trauma that happens during such a system.
Sad also for the genuine caring mothers that find things difficult in getting the support needed as well as the rare Fathers with custody getting the similar support.

We as a country should be getting things better for Children after years of experience of what a draconian system of what happend during and after divorce or seperation of parents and the break up of the original family unit.

My case is similar to many others here and in many respects an awful lot worse. And my mother last her granddaughter along with me losing contact with my daughter after 4 years of seeing each other from when she was aged 4.5 to aged 8.5 years old. Sadly as a 19 year old she was not interested in contacting her grandmother when she was dying. So grandparents are very much affected in the childs relationship and family unity. What society will we be in the future when tragedies happen and through the legislation and organisations in place actually end up being totally unfit for purpose and damaging Children.

My case strated in 1992 and I had an attachment of earnings starting 1992 or 1993 until 1997 with my ex¿wife getting 700 pounds a month. The family home which I bought and during the short 5 year marraige was sold in 1999 as I had during the marraige put it into joint names. I was living in the former marital home when my ex went back to her first husband. When they divorced he was not to have any contact with his 2 children or even recive such things as school reports. I thought this was unreal. After the house was sold in London I could not keep working there because of the CSA level of attachment of earning. My ex moved around the country but always around 65 – 100 miles from London and I did not get any costs taken into account for seeing my daughter every 2 weeks. The CSA also did not take into account every time my ex went to her local court with allegations and I had to take holidays and costs in going to court to defend her allegations.

During being in London and around 1997 I had a breakdown and was off work for 3 months on full salry so the CSA payments always continued. In 1999 I returned to Scotland after meeting a new partner but after 2 years that relationship ended for many reasons. It coincided with a drastic reduction of my mothers health and I went to live with her and look after her, She had carers coming in for 30 minutes morning and night but needed more. I went back and provided the care she needed.

In 2004 the CSA part of the case ended when my daughter became 16 and left school. The CSA ignored my information on this but sometime later I received a letter saying that my ex-wife had now withdrawn her claim. . I received a letter of balance I owed each year abd it stated zero and then with this final letter I thought that was the end of it.

Life has been difficult but eventually I found a wonderful woman and we have a great relationship.
I could not get employment from 1999 through looking after mum until her death.
There was a home visit by the CSA around 2003 and the guy at that time got the whole story of what happened and how my daughter was treated.

So from 2004 until 2014 there has been no contact at all from the CSA. After so long I threw away all the correspondance history and paperwork of both the divorce and dealings with the CSA

However recently I have received a letter from Child Maintenance alleging I am 4,000 in arrears and with a telephone number to contact. I am now on pension credit and have been for some time. My daughter will be 27 yearsold in a couple of months. My ex’wife has worked and I belive quite a few years ago married the business owner.

I am distraght and have not got the same ‘fight’ in me to tackle the Child Maintenance people again and cannot even face contacting them. Since this letter arrived which was also dated wrongly as supposed to be being sent over 2 months ago, my partner is in tears and I fear that it will damage our present relationship. The letter also states they have contacted me previously which is a lie.

I began looking for advice and what to do and where to go and there really seems nothing to do and nowhere to go. It looks like the remaining years of my life will be destroyed by my ex’wife and the CSA.

Our daughters life and her grandparents lives destroyed along with the effects on my life.
It has to end sometime..

This blog is excellent in seeing that it is happening to many people all over the UK but also depressing as I was also looking for hope and realising that there is none.

Yvie - May 14, 2014 at 6:07pm

I am sorry to hear your story, notlight. I am not surprised that little has changed in twenty years and I doubt anything will change in the next twenty years. My own experience of the CSA (through my son’s case), is that they have no respect whatsoever for decent fathers who are more than willing to support their children. My son has a court ordered shared residence of his two children and provides a home for them with everything that a home entails. They have all the clothes they need as well as things to make their life enjoyable such as x-boxes etc . Despite this, the CSA have labelled him an absent father, and a non-conformer. My son has always supported his boys but has a dread at the back of his mind that he will never get out of their clutches.

JamesB - May 15, 2014 at 8:12am

I like to think that there will be improvement in the next years. For example, I see the introduction of relationship classes at schools as a good positive step in the right direction. As is trying to get people to deal with this matter between them more and by default without big brother getting involved which is also a right principle to follow. Two positive steps, more are needed as I agree it has not been good. I do know men who have died following separation and I do think the csa / cmec / cms / government rigid rules approach to child maintenance is at least partly responsible for theirs and others deaths and also a lot of trouble that there needn’t be.

NoLight - May 19, 2014 at 1:57am

Thanks Yvie and JamesB for your wishes. It is a hard time for all including the children. The first system as in all system is difficult to formulate but as we all would wish that it had developed a more humane approach in difficult family matters rather than the draconian form it as taken. Especially sad that the hoped for development has not taken place and indeed the law and regulation has taken on a harder inhuman role.

JamesB, There is not the improvement that you mention. The mothers that truly care for the child have always been excellent on access and in negatiation. In my case we did attend two different mediation groups and one was ‘suggested’ by the judge. However my ex’wife had already been through a divorce with her first husband being refused any contact or indeed any information at all from anyone including any school contact or reports on teir two children. So I knew what to expect right from the start. And this is the person that she went back to with our child and then the inevitable further break up of that relationship.
So even under the most stringent law women like my ex would always refuse mediation of any kind on anything.
The welfare officer also had the personal opinion that if the mother did not want the child to have contact with the father ten indeed it was bad for such contact to take place.
All fathers in her reports lost contact as far as I am aware and the County had similar leanings towards that guidance as a general approach for all welfare officers.

Yes it is a tragic thing where loving fathers that are needed by the children have lost their lives in many different forms including the suicide option.
I also had a sort of at least short breakdown after about 7 years of courts and the CSA.

I hope that there is a more positive approach on human and loving attachments for te child takes place in te future. But while this is all based purely as a monetary collection by government then many aspects are bound to failwhich indeed damages the child but also te mother. Not least the deteriorating circumstance of a father able to work and earn effectively in the support.

That there is no light from the government to look at or even accept a human approach despite in the past many studies and experts saying that this was essential in the approch to these issues.

Yes there are very dark and painful days ahead and I fear that I will not be able to cope with this continuing and increased pressure and that my present fantastic relationship of 5 years will also be seriously damaged But this govermental approach is done wit known aims and objectives and there is twenty years of that experience.

JamesB - May 19, 2014 at 8:53am

Its like the charges for the CSA / CMEC / CMS. They are in line with the lobbying power and how much the politicians side with the pwc female single parents.

For those who don’t know, the charges are the pwc gets 4% collection fee taken off maintenance if it isn’t to be paid directly to her from her ex, whereas the nrp gets a whacking great 20% added to his already massive charge in the same instance.

To spell it out politicians and judges and establishment do not care for or tend to represent nrp fathers at all well, and certainly do not pay as much attention to them as mothers. We must try and remain positive though. It is possible to choose not to be a victim and many people (increasing numbers, probably many millions) are outside of political representation. I wish you, and people like you and me all the best.

JamesB - May 19, 2014 at 8:56am

Things will get better, we need to remain positive.

JamesB - May 19, 2014 at 11:58am

The moral of the story has to be, … don’t have children until you are 110% that you will stay together with the other parent for at least 19 years to raise them and to keep the government from interfering in your life, or sign a pre nup tjat stops them from doing so by the parents demand which is valid in law. Both these ways would and will work and stop the issue.

Andrew - June 6, 2014 at 5:13pm

No, James. Making pre-nups binding as regards the adults is right, the sooner the better, with no formality except writing and no get-out clauses.

But you can’t contract out of your obligations to the children whom you beget or bear, and the extent of those obligations must depend on your means throughout their minority.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:38pm

Re : But you can’t contract out of your obligations

Erm, what about the wedding vows, this trouble started when lawyers started disregarding them and opting out of them as being of value or obligations. You are trying to have it both ways.

I just say if nothing is of value then let people write their own wedding vows, then people can take it or leave it. If they don’t like them then they don’t have to get married. Lawyers made the institution of marriage a business arrangement (I think was the right decision) so it needs to be tidied up for what it is. I know it is not like that currently, I am saying how it should be. I think have made this point more clear than the post above which you responded to and clearly enough now.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:40pm

In America I think it is like that. Katie Holmes walked out on Tom Cruise because their pre-nup wasn’t so generous for example, I think our laws should be fairer like theirs or the Scotish family law. Both of which allow pre-nups to be written however you like.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:42pm

What I want and am arguing for is Fairer family law for England and wales please, especially for the males, but for the males, females, and children also.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:43pm

As Forrest Gump would say, that’s what I have to say about that.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:45pm

Currently the family law in England and Wales isn’t very good at all, hence why fewer people get married and that is wrong and it (CSA and family law in England and Wales) is wrong.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:45pm

Very badly wrong.

JamesB - June 6, 2014 at 9:46pm

It is in desperate need of change.

Yvie - June 7, 2014 at 9:26am

It doesn’t seem to matter to the CSA if the father is already providing for the children. Unless it fits the exact requirements of the CSA, it is discounted and considered as an ‘extra’. The word of the mother is accepted without question. My son had his children for 198 nights out of the 365 nights for one year. This was documented. It was not accepted by the CSA who used dates before my ex. dil actually put in her claim, in order to even it out 2/7 nights shared care. It went to Appeal and the Judge upheld the CSA’s decision. When my son challenged this the CSA said they had to abide with the decision made by the Judge. However, they had already made the decision award 2/7 for the period concerned, although I understand is it against their rules to use dates before the actual claim was made.

Chris - June 19, 2014 at 9:14pm

Csa caseworker calling me a liar!

I’ve yet to talk to him at this point?! We’ve never met?

This is just the beginning of bullying and harrasment iv endured by csa staff

I have at least 15 counts of Maladministration by csa staff

But they have put a DEO on me to arrest my wages even though i was paying DD until staff instructed me to cancel the DD

I have so much evidence against CSA staff iv now been invited to an interview under cation by their investigations team!!

They are bullys and no one gives a toss or stands up against them its a joke!

Btw i pay my way for my children i take my son and step daughter shared care
This case with the csa is for kids i havent seen in 12 years becuase the mother left and changed their birth certs !
Now shes back but only wants my money
Nothing else?! No contact
Her husband is the kids father shes stated
They dont need me – apart from my £300 a month for their 3 holidays a year while me and my children struggle to live
And thats my fault?! The csa allow this to happen its a joke
Becuase i stand up to them i get beaten down again and again
I wont stop until the stop!!

Listen to the evidence here NOTE The link has been removed -Editor.

I also have more evidence of breaches of laws, equility acts, data protection there actions have broken the law yet no one does anything!

Matt - August 4, 2014 at 7:14pm

Hi Chris

I feel your pain, I have much evidence to support maladministration and breach of Human Rights, I am currently fighting this with all the avenues I can but fear it won’t get very far as I feel at present NRP’s are treated as scum.

Wish you luck.

philip - August 3, 2014 at 8:41pm

If you don’t like the legislation behind the CSA/CMEC/CMS then lobby your MP for a change!
The legislation is full of holes and loopholes which can be used by either party!
You would not believe the abuse that members of staff at the Agency get when they are simply doing their job and implementing the legislation as provided by our wonderful members of parliament!

JamesB - August 4, 2014 at 11:01am

Would the system be better before the 1991 Child Support Legislation upon which cmec, csa, cms is based? Yes, it would be better off how it was before, in court, on a case by case basis. That and the 1999 pension sharing act should be deleted as they have made a bad problem much worse.

The thing is politicians don’t like non resident parents, and feminist lobbyists have a lot of power. Thus trying to advise a politician as a nrp is talking to a brick wall. What you can do is try and avoid the csa/cmec/cms if possible, some are so disgusted they even leave the country and I can understand their point of view. Its not good where politicians do not represent their public as is the case here.

JamesB - August 4, 2014 at 11:04am

The thing is politicians don’t like non resident parents, and feminist lobbyists have a lot of power. Thus trying to advise a politician as a nrp is talking to a brick wall.

Its the banging of head against a brick wall that is the problem. Doing that or giving up or adhering to the law is the choice. I think people are split about 50 50 between the last two of those three options which is sad as it is bad law and we deserve better. As I say best avoid csa/cmec/cms if at all possible.

JamesB - August 4, 2014 at 11:06am

50 50, being half and half, 50% to 50%, etc. I do like to clarify whenever possible. Had enough of this subject, have done 10 years have 10 more to go though. Hopefully will not be such an issue for my children or our children’s generation or those that follow.

JamesB - August 4, 2014 at 11:15am

Its got to get better. It is getting better (for e.g. politicians realising subject best avoided and left to the parents) and I think it will get better and be fairer and fair soon. Trying to stay positive. In the meanwhile a lot of people have been done wrong on this by politicians and the agency, the thing is we are partly to blame as it is possible to avoid them and sort it with the other parent. We non resident parents need to try and be positive faced with this and keep going rather than banging heads against brick walls. For me that involves trying to avoid these agencies as much as possible. I hope others will learn by my experiences and also that writing here will help me which is why I have written here.

JamesB - August 4, 2014 at 11:18am

Its an inflammatory subject though and I am surprised the politicians got involved in 1991. I don’t think they thought it through, perhaps a bit like their expenses claims. Especially concerning in that the Conservatives and Thatcher were and are supposed to be about less Government interference messing up peoples lives.

JamesB - August 4, 2014 at 11:24am

I need to go now as I say the subject sets me off its just so wrong poor people paying richer people money for no good reason other than it is the law, such broad brush bad law undermines the law and the establishment and should be changed in answer to phillip’s point, which set me off, I have tried my hardest and done what I could to change it and can do no more and also ask that others do and avoid it and undermine it whenever possible and I hope it is changed. I think this is my last post on here as I need to be more positive then this, I have done what I can, it is up to others now and I need to do other things.

Yvie - August 4, 2014 at 11:42am

Some of the CSA staff have no respect for ‘non-resident parents’. They seem to think that paying-parents are all trying to avoid child maintenance
. My son has a shared residence order for his children. Twice he has been through the family courts at quite a cost in order to achieve this. For the first year of separation my son had his children for over 50% of the time. Following on from that, it was as per the shared residence order 2.5 nights week l, 3.5 nights week 2. Despite this, the CSA still managed to call his an absent father and a non-complier.

JamesB - August 4, 2014 at 12:17pm

I did write to and meet with my MP on this subject on several occasions and it did not seem to help, I think in the end we reached an impasse, where we agreed to disagree, so kind of resent being advised to go to my MP on the subject as that doesn’t help. Personally I would not work for an organisation as morally bankrupt as the cmec/csa/cms it is an organisation I find abhorrent immoral and amoral, I would also find it very difficult if not impossible for friends or relatives of mine to work there.

Leave a comment