Zoe Williams says fathers shouldn’t have a say

June 13, 2008

Zoe Williams wrote on the Guardian website about the proposed change in the law that says mothers can leave the name of the father off the birth certificate of their child in exceptional circumstances.

The idea is that if the father isn’t known, is absent or the child was the product of a rape then the mother need not answer any questions she doesn’t want to, she can just say no to the father’s name being on the birth certificate.

Zoe Williams says that this works in the father’s favour:

Any father who actively doesn’t want to be on the certificate need only pressure the mother into claiming an exemption.

She goes on to say in relation to the recent protest by the Fathers 4 Justice:

And who’s this all for? To appease the very small number of fathers who are desperate to be involved with their newborns, and yet the mother, for reasons not related to violence or harassment, won’t let them. This is what you get for putting your underpants on over your trousers and capering about on public buildings and Harriet Harman’s roof. It’s not bad, is it? We should all have a go.

She has completely missed the point. She’s of the opinion that this will empower women to make decisions for themselves amidst the terror of the father of their child wanting to be a part of the child’s life. The father, according to Miss Williams, is a monster that should be locked out of his child’s life, without any reason required from the mother.

Zoe Williams is the sort of woman who the Fathers 4 Justice are fighting against. The sort of woman who thinks fathers don’t have any rights. What do you think about all of this?

CSA taking money from a pension

June 12, 2008

We received this email from John about the CSA taking money from his pension:

Is there a way of stopping money going out of my privite pension, can I put a court act to stop it which is not a lot as that the only thing i get £500pm with that 400+pm i live on and they what £170 pm i will be living?

How will i live ill will be homeless?

Can anybody out there can help?

This sounds bad John, but what are the factors here; as in how many children have you got, what are their ages, are you in arrears and where are they living and who with?

Without any of this info we can’t advise you properly.

CSA going after mothers as well as fathers

June 11, 2008

You may think that the child support agency are just going after absent fathers in order to get them to pay up to the mother? In fact that’s not true, there are over 150,000 mothers living apart from their children in the UK. This is as a result of the UK courts awarding custody to fathers.

Margaret Clarke is one such mother, she came home from work to find that her husband had left and had taken their two children with him.

My husband ended our eight-year marriage by walking out with my two young sons, then aged 4 and 2. I came home to an empty house. It was a nightmare.

Despite a court ruling that she could have her children back, her husband refused.

When it comes to custody battles, possession is nine tenths of the law. If you’ve got the kids from the outset you are in a much better position to maintain the status quo. My ex-husband was able to establish a ‘new normal’ with the children, thus initiating the elimination of me as their mother from their lives.

Eventually Margaret lost her case as she was working full time, and like so many fathers today she paid the price for being the main earner in the family. She was confined to just having contact with her children once a week and every other weekend.

This isn’t uncommon now, as the CSA have shown that the non resident parent is actually the mother in 66,900 of their cases.

Sarah Hart claims that mothers living apart from their children are being unfairly labelled as unfit mothers.

People assume that they have either abandoned their children or been deemed unfit mothers by the courts. They are perceived as bad mums, odd, possibly even heartless, selfish or cruel.

In reality, the circumstances surrounding a mother choosing to living apart from a child are often complex and emotionally charged. Decisions are often made very quickly in times of high stress, few resources and seemingly few choices.

This is of course what every father living apart from his children goes through, so while Sarah Hart is correct in that just because a mother lives apart from her children, and doesn’t have custody, it doesn’t mean she is a bad mother; by the same token every father that lives apart from his children isn’t a bad father.

For fathers though the issue is greater as many of them don’t even have access to their children due to the mother’s refusal to allow them.

When it comes to custody rights in the UK, the law is still firmly on the woman’s side.

How do I escape paying child support?

June 11, 2008

This is one of the things we keep getting asked here at CSAhell.com. How do I escape paying child support?

It’s not something we want to condone, we’re not here to offer advice and suggestions on how non resident parents can get out of paying for their children. We are here to offer advice and support on how you can pay what you owe, rather than what the CSA want you to pay.

Remember that if you have children you have an obligation to pay for them, to pay fairly for them. The CSA want you to pay as much as possible to them, when we want you to pay what is right to your children.

So rather than searching for information and help on how you can escape paying the CSA, you should be looking for advice on dealing with the CSA so you’re not blackmailed into paying too much.

This website has plenty of advice on dealing with the CSA.

Will the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission improve the CSA?

June 10, 2008

When the CSA becomes the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission do you think it will make any difference for parents with care and non resident parents? Do you think things will improve, or do you think things will get worse?

Let us know by voting in our poll, what difference do you think the CSA becoming the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will actually make?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

What is my protected income in relation to the CSA?

June 10, 2008

When the child support agency are calculating how much you have to pay for maintenance to your child or children, they’ll add on any arrears they think you owe as well. This could mean that if you have three children, you may end up paying far more than the 25% of your income that you’re supposed to pay. This figure can only rise as high as 40% however, as you have what the CSA call a ‘protected income’.

This means that 60% of your income is protected for yourself, so will go to you. They can take as much as 40% from you, and will if necessary get a DEO (deduction from earnings order) to have 40% removed directly from your pay by your employer.

For many people, having 40% of their income deducted from them by the child support agency means they don’t have enough to live on, as expenses such as your mortgage, rent, car, tax, bills, food and the like are not taken into consideration. The child support agency are only concerned with money you have already paid to your children, or are paying to have access to them. You of course need to prove this as well with receipts.

So, your protected income is 60%, means you can have as much as 40% of your pay taken from you, but no more than that.

Fighting the CSA

June 9, 2008

If you’ve just been contacted by the child support agency because you’re a non resident parent, you’ll have been told you need to make maintenance payments for your child or children. The problem is, because of the way the CSA work anything you tell with regards to how much you earn, how much you spend, how much you have paid to your ex already and how much you pay for your children will have to be verified by her. They will not take your word for it, they will take hers.

When it comes to fighting the CSA you’ll need as much evidence as possible. First off you should record all of your phone calls with them. What they say to you is important, and they’re liable to lie about it afterwards. Use a tape recorder if need be, or ideally a phone that automatically records your phone calls. You don’t need their permission, nor do you even need to notify them. Also be sure to take down times, dates and names of everyone you speak to.

Secondly, never give your ex any money without a written, signed receipt. She can deny you ever gave it to her otherwise, and the CSA will take her side of it and you’ll end up being forced to pay twice. When you spend any money for your children, keep receipts. It sounds trivial, but you will need them.

Any documentation you send to the CSA you should send recorded, and only send photocopies. Do not send any original receipts. They can and will lose them.

Also whenever you speak to the CSA you should ensure that you get them to repeat any instructions they may have for you with regards to what they want you to do, and to repeat anything they say they will do. Record it, and be sure they understand what is being said. That way if/when they don’t do what they say they will, or lie about it afterwards you will have clear, irrefutable proof of what they said.

Fighting the CSA is a long drawn out process, one that could take years, so don’t expect results in a matter of weeks or even months.

CSAhell.com offers advice and resources on fighting the CSA so be sure you use our website if you need any assistance.

Fathers 4 Justice protest at Harriet Harman’s home

June 8, 2008

The Fathers 4 justice have targeted Harriet Harman’s home for a protest today, climbing onto her roof dressed as super heroes.

Forty-Six year old Mark Harris and Forty-One year old Jolly Stanesby, both from Plymouth, climbed up onto the roof dressed as Captain Conception and Cash Gordon, armed with a banner that read: “A father is for life, not just conception”. The Fathers 4 Justice group has been campaigning for fathers rights in the UK.

Fathers f4 Justice

Both Harriet Harman and her husband, Jack Dromey, are said to be inside the house.

Fathers 4 Justice campaigner Mark Harris said:

All we did was push open the gate which wasn’t even locked, put a ladder up and climbed up.

In this time of heightened terror alerts, I can’t believe Harriet Harman has such lax security. My house is more secure than this.

Mark O’Connor is the founder of Fathers 4 Justice, and he promises that this is just the first of many protests lined up over the coming weeks, leading up to Father’s Day.

This is the beginning of a series of protests leading up to Fathers’ Day.

We’ve got absolutely nowhere in terms of dialogue with the Government and if anything the situation for fathers is infinitely worse.

Politicians don’t want to tackle the elephant in the room, fatherhood, for fear of upsetting single mothers.

They say you can abandon your children tomorrow if you pay.

The protesters say they will remain on the roof of Harriet Harman’s home until she reads Mr Harris’ book, entitled ‘Family Court Hell’ According to Mr O’Connor they have enough supplies with them to stay up on the roof for a week.

The group has been famed for their highly publicised stunts over the last few years. In 2004 they threw condoms filled with flour at Prime Minister Tony Blair, and one of their group climbed into a ledge of Buckingham Palace dressed as Batman. They’ve also invaded a live broadcast of the lottery draw on BBC 1.

Mr O’Connor says there is more to come from the Fathers 4 Justice, and the CSA are being targeted.

There will be an official protest in Bristol, when we’ll be targeting the Child Support Agency (CSA) in a way which hasn’t been seen before.

We’ll also be revisiting many of our older protests.

According to Scotland Yard:

Officers are currently in attendance at the location and are speaking to the men.

CSAhell.com offers its full support to the two men, and hope they manage to stick it out until they get the results they want.

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

June 8, 2008

We reported on the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission yesterday, and how they would have more power than the much maligned Child Support Agency. Solicitor Kim Fellowes raised her concerns over the power the new agency would have and how it could cause even bigger problems and make even bigger mistakes than the CSA have done so far, which themselves have been monumental.

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will attempt to get parents to make arrangements between themselves for payment of maintenance, though this of course has caused problems already with the CSA. Fathers who have made private payments and have no proof of the payments are having to pay again when the relationship with their ex breaks down and the CSA always take the mother’s word over the matter. They would though, that’s how they get their money.

The Citizens Advice Bureau are expected to help in these matters, though as they are already stretched it’s expected that they won’t have the time to take on the massive volumes of cases the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission would throw at them.

The new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will also have the power to write off arrears from NRPs, though whether they do that is another matter.

Since the CSA launched there have been thousands of cases that have resulted in the money being written off because the CSA never took the necessary action in time, causing the six year period to elapse; after which money could not be collected.

Kim Fellowes says:

The Government has got a lot of bad publicity in the past over the CSA and now it wants to reduce its workload – and the outstanding debt owed to the CSA of £3.3bn. To do this they are sending people packing by getting them to make their own arrangements and will be writing off arrears.

There has been no comment from the Department for Work and Pensions about the criticism the bill has received.

Earn back the money the CSA deduct from you

June 7, 2008

If you’re a NRP (non resident parent) and you’re having a couple of hundred pounds per month or more deducted from your earnings through a DEO (deduction from earnings order) you could earn that money back from the website WordsofWorth.co.uk.

You don’t need to go bankrupt, sell your possessions or worry how you’ll meet your bills. If you’ve a decent grasp of the English language and access to a PC you could register with WordsofWorth.co.uk and earn money from home by writing articles from them in your own time.

They pay £250 per month for a writing contract where you write just 80 blogs, or articles, per month on a variety of subjects. You know in advance what you need to write and how much you’ll get paid, so you can easily replace that money the CSA have taken from you.

Writing the content should take between 8-10 hours of your time per week, so for just a couple of hours a day you can easily recoup those CSA payments.

There’s also no limit to how many contracts you could take on, so if you prove your ability with one contract and feel you could manage two or three, you could even make more money than you were before the child support agency starting stealing from you.

Check out the website and see if you’re interested in earning money from home.

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