Can the CSA go back 15 years for money

September 21, 2012

2 weeks ago I had a letter from the CSA telling me that they had already tried to take £72.00 per week from my employer for my 26 year old son, when I contated them they said they had sent me several letters dating back to 2006, however I have not received anything from them since 2002 when they said my case was closed, they told me that they are claiming for the period of Dec 1997 to April 1999, my son was actually living with me during this period, I was told that I would have to prove this by getting information from the child benefit office.

I contacted the child benefit office who told me that they delete all records after 5 years, the only proof that I have is court case documentation, which they will not except.

I was told by the citizens advice bureau that there is a cut off period of 6 years, however when I informed the CSA of this they said this would only count if I was unemployed or self employed, I also asked them if I refused to pay would they take me to court, which I would willingly like to do and was told they don’t have to take me to court as they can stop my money at source.

Can they really go back 15 years? I was under the impression that the law in this country states that you are innocent until proved guilty, obviously not in this case, also why have they not asked my ex husband to prove that my son was living with him?

As I am sure he would be unable to.


  • rach says:

    unfortunately there is no cut off date for a deo so if your a paye employee then they can go as far back as they like for arrears. they cannot take enforcement action through the courts for arrears pre 2000. your only hope is unfortunately to be self employed. you need to appeal the assessments made against you for the dates they have stated and hope that the appeal goes your way. sorry to say but the csa is a law unto themselves and they will just go for 40% of your take home pay

  • Carol says:

    There is a prescriptive period in law which, as the Citizens Advice have already told you, means a debt cannot be chased over 6 years old.

    CSA brought in legislation in 2006 overturning this which effectively means CSA can go back to 2000 for arrears.

    Write a formal letter of complaint to the CSA letting them know this and also get your MP involved as the complaint may be dealt with quicker once they are involved.

    As Rach says it is easy for the CSA to get money out of you because you are in PAYE system.

  • rach says:

    they can go right back to the 90s via deo ! its only court action that cant be done before 2000

  • brett says:

    They have been given obscene powers and can do what they like. These smug two bob case workers have been given so much power. They made up over £11,000 of arrears in my case, despite me never missing a payment and then threatened to send baliffs to my house / issue a liability order.

  • jay. says:

    Yes they can, as theyve done it to us, started taking a deo for arrears from 1997 for a case he didn’t know existed, we’ve gone to the mp, it hasn’t been overturned but the arrears bring re-assessed. I three the pre 2000 thing at them, no such thing. See your mp.

  • chall says:


    For debt that became due prior to 12th July 2000 the agency cannot take legal
    enforcement. They can, however, apply a DEO or Deductions Order.

    Who made the initial claim to the CSA for child support?

    Where did your son live prior to and after the period of Dec 1997 to April 1999?

    Did you notify the CSA that your son was living with you at the time?

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  • Carol says:

    Isn’t that absolutely disgusting. They are effectively yet again abusing their powers. The debt cannot be legally enforced but because they have powers to take funds by DEO that’s it.

    If this was any other kind of debt the debtor would have to write off the money as no Court would grant that power.

    Why do the CSA get away with this?

  • j says:

    Carol on September 23rd, 2012 10:30 am

    Isn’t that absolutely disgusting. They are effectively yet again abusing their powers. The debt cannot be legally enforced but because they have powers to take funds by DEO that’s it.

    If this was any other kind of debt the debtor would have to write off the money as no Court would grant that power.

    Why do the CSA get away with this?

    Maybe its because the csa are nothing more than a huge sham, a massive fraudulent tax collection exercise on behalf of the government (and previous governments) who all have similar policies designed to keep the rich in funds while the rest of us face austerity? I mean we can afford to give £500 million in aid to potential terrorists to overthrow a government but we cant afford social care? Why is it the csa can go above the law and have authority over the courts, is this Nazi germany? The csa is there to keep low grade civil servants in work thats all, where does the money for the PWC end up when its delayed or not handed over. A BIG FAT SHAM!

  • Vic says:

    Hi i’ve been fighting the csa for many years now…
    but just today i get a letter saying there going to take monies from my employer… anyway this is whats happen,
    over the last few weeks… they ask me for money. so we agreed on so much per month which i have been paying and now this!! as they did agree with our arrangement and i have been paying can they now turn around and change our verbal agreement. i did get the court order but didn’t bother with it, as i (more fool me) thorough it had been sorted out ??? btw my son is now 24 years old

  • JCM says:

    Ok, just been reading all these comments here, Look, Anyone who wishes to pay CSA money to support their child, then you go ahead, but there are many Laws here in the UK that protect YOU as a working class taxpaying citizen. Listen, the CSA are NOT the DWP, nor do they have any powers over and above any law.

    Firstly, “and I am speaking from first hand experience” (and won) is that the CSA CANNOT impose a DEO on anyone until they 1. Submit evidence to your employer that by law you are in fact the liable person, and 2. They MUST submit evidence to your employer that shows you are liable, this is done by the CSA obtaining a liability order and a court has granted this liability order, then they must give a copy of this to your Employer or else, You employer is steeling your salary for no legit or legal evident reason and can be sued!

    NEVER speak to the CSA by telephone, they are a bunch of lying corrupt con artists who wont think twice about forging your signature on any paperwork just to get your money!

    If you have made a payment agreement and arrangement with the CSA then you have contracted. The biggest problem is that this agency can strip you of everything you earn and own and trust me, they dont give a damn if you end up on the streets.
    Dont be fooled into thinking that whatever money you pay is going to help children. It costs 12 million per year just to run the CSA, where do you thin g that money is coming from? They will be on your back until the day you die.

  • Lisa says:

    Actually due to new legislation they cannot persue for arraers prior to the 12 july 2000, thats there rules, they are trying it on, tell them to get stuffed your not paying it,

  • Dave Thompson says:

    According to the latest guide, a Court Order is not required and they can impose a DEO at will, although it does also say that they impose one when they have been unable to obtain payment by other means.

    In my case, they recently decided that an earlier assessment from 2005 was wrong and I now owe £4000 arrears. Rather than write to me to discuss things they slapped on a DEO which leaves me unable to pay my mortgage as of the end of this month. My family now risks losing everything because of a lying cheating thieving ex-partner who faked medical documents showing she could not have children, but then disappeared one day with half my belongings and leaving me nearly £30k in debt. 10 months later I get a letter from the CSA demanding money !!!!!!!!!!

    Whats worse is that she contacted the CSA the day after my Dad died presumably thinking I am due an inheritance and can afford to pay more.

    The CSA is just a money making scheme for the Govt. It needs disbanding soonest !

  • Tom says:

    What about the kids? My father is a high earner and never paid any CSA payments. He lived the high life while I lived in clothes from the car boot as it is all my mother could afford. If you are the father, you should pay – simple.

  • Patricia McBride says:

    i have read through all of these comments and every one of them are of parents moaning about the csa persuing them for unpaid money to support the children that they brought into this world too …regardless of whether that child is 4 or now 24 that money is still owed as far as im concerned …i struggled as a single mum for years and never recieved as much as 50p from my son’s father birthday card’ xmas cards…no aknowledgement whatsoever ….the excuse he didn’t know where i lived which im sorry is complete bs …my mum still stays in the same house i was brought up in and my dad stays round the corner from him ….i have spoken to my sons father on many occassions ( my son is 27 with 3 kids of his own and lives with his gf )he has also recently become friends with his biological dads brother yet his dad still seem’s very standoffish with him …but does have an interest in my sons kids (not that they have recieved anything either …i did ask his wife years ago if he ever mentioned our son and she said NO HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY GIVE HIM MUCH THOUGHT …i was speechless how can someone who created a life feel like that it’s disgusting to me now that my son is a grown man and he see’s him through his brother he will say hi and talk to the kids ,i honestly think this is because i persued him for csa when he was born and decided to drop the claim and now i feel like he thinks he’s got off scott free…i too had to buy second hand clothes and hand me downs for my son while his sperm donor went on to buy a house and cars and live a relatively confortable life …every comment on here is parents moaning that they shouldnt need to pay csa or that the children are grown up ….WELL MABYE YOU SHOULD ALL SIT BACK IN YOUR BOUGHT HOUSES WITH YOUR FANCY CARS AND THINK ABOUT THE PARENT WHO STRUGGLED FOR ALL THOSE YEARS TO GIVE YOUR CHILD A DECENT LIFE ….WHO SACRIFICED EVERYTHING TO MAKE SURE THAT THEIR CHILD WAS FED ,DRESSED, WARM ,AND HAD A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS …WHY SHOULD YOU GET OFF SCOTT FREE WHETHER ITS WHEN THE CHILD IS WEEKS OLD OR A GROWN MAN OR WOMAN ..IT TAKES 2 PEOPLE TO CREATE A CHILD AND IT SHOULD BE A LAW THAT BOTH PARTIES HELP TO RAISE THAT CHILD FINANCIALLY ( ILL BET NONE OF YOU WHO ARE HAVING A GO ABOUT BEING PERSUED FOR MONEY HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH IT TAKES TO BRING UP A CHILD FINANCIALLY )…ONE MORE THING FOR TOM I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE WITH YOU 100% YOUR THE ONLY PERSON THAT MENTIONED THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN ALL THIS ….THE CHILD !!!!

  • neil robinson says:

    not all dads are a waist of time I would have loved to bring up my children instead of their two timing mothers who were at it like rabbit’s behind my back while I was out working, I was never there but they wanted the homes and the holidays I paid for. the CSA got their pound of flesh even though I was paying via a court order until their mother found out they could get more via the CSA , and yes I did pay right up to my children leavening school to work. however my ex carried on claiming benefits for my daughter. even after my daughter started work and now 8 years after she left school they say I must pay another £1300 as they assume she was still at school for five months after I stopped paying, she was not but her mother did not tell them and kept claiming. I asked them to provide evidence, I should pay and was told its not up to them to prove anything they just want the money

    the best thing is a taught my daughter to drive helped her when she bought her own home and fitted a new kitchen and a new bathroom in it, giving her a lovely home she is independent and a home owner on her own at only 24 the CSA have caused so much trouble we now don’t speak and they have destroyed my family,

    they really are there to help the children aren’t they.

  • michael robertson says:

    i have a letter from csa dating back 10 years saying they are not going to chase me for money owed (reason being i privately agreed to give my ex a final pay off) now 10 years down the line they have written to me demanding the full amount and threatening me with all sorts if i don’t pay !!!! not even a payment option just pay up now or go to court!

  • Sharon says:

    I have 4 children in all my son who is now 28 lived with his dad for a few months at the time I had my daughter and 2 younger children as babies at the time I was struggling to put food on the table still am now I could only manage part time if that at the time my ex hardly paid much csatoward my daughter who was living with me at the time but my ex manage to get csa from me even though I had all 3 living at home he had my oldest I still have 2 dependent children and apparently I still owe over 500 poùnds how is it justified they are taken the money weekly just like to say my 28 year has his own business

  • Nicole says:

    Absolutely right my ex paid nothing towards the children when they were growing up. Suck it up and don’t be a wanker pay for your children .

  • >