CSA can’t tell me how much my ex owes in arrears

November 18, 2012

I have been trying to get maintenance for my son for 3.5 years now since he was born dont get me wrong i have had some money from my ex but only when he is on benefits and can be traced and after the intervention of my MP.

Since jan 2012 when i received the last payment of £5.00 I have contacted the CSA regularly to try and keep track of what is going on, my ex doesnt return paperwork or have a contact number that he will answer so everything takes a long time to sort, he has been ordered to court but didnt turn up he has had the bailiffs after him and now he is back on benefits so the bailiffs cant touch him and the arrears wont be getting paid, this is the second time this has happened where he pays over christmas then it starts all over again where he stops paying and i spend the rest of the year spending money on phone calls trying to find out if they can be bothered to press a button to send out paperwork.

My other problem is trying to get an answer as to how much is in arrears as of August 2011 he apparently owed £355.00 but then in March 2012 they said it was £466.00 then on the 15 November 2012 it is £797.00 which at the minimum of £5.00 a week it doesnt balance but according to one letter from the CSA he was supposed to pay £16.00 a week due to his being in work. why is everything so difficult the child has done nothing wrong but deserves a decent way of life just like every child in the world .


  • Alice says:

    if the NRP is on and off benefits or changing jobs with different incomes and they do not keep the CSA informed of the changes as and when they happen and back this up with the necessary evidence ie payslips employment start and end dates etc this results in several changes on a case, all of which must be completed on the same day in order to allow each maintenance calculation to be made effective to the date the change occurred.
    As you have stated in your post your ex refuses to communicate with the csa and as such they need to gather all the evidence needed and unfortunately this all takes time – if your ex signs off benefit they will need to track down where he is working, if he refuses to provide that information then they will have to trace it via HRMC records. An employer has up to 12 weeks to register a new employee with HMRC, HRMC in turn updates their database every 90 days – this means it can be months from a person starting a new job to the HMRC passing the info to the CSA – if the employee meanwhile has left that job and signed onand then off and started another job that means yet more changes.
    The CSA must contact every employer that HRMC inform them that the person has worked for and ask for wage information, this all then has to be looked and an an assessment worked out. I have seen cases where there have been up to 20 changes and every change needs to be processed.

    If there are changes outstanding on the case the accounts will continue to charge at the last assessment rate until all the changes are implemented. Every new maintenance calculation will adjust the arrears either up or down in relation to whether the assessment is higher or lower than the last once processed. If there are several changes outstanding then the CSA will not be to give you an accurate arrears figure until every change has been completed.

    You can ask for a client statement which will show every charge and every payment on your case, but if there are outstanding changes the bottom line figure will change when everything is up to date. You can also ask for copies of all your past maintenance calculation letters and these will tell you how much each assessment was for and when it was effective from.

  • chall says:


    If your ex is non compliant and continually on and off benefits your case should be dealt with by a complex case worker.

    If your ex refuses to give employment details/cooperate, the agency can impose a Default Maintenance Decision – which can be altered if/when the NRP cooperates and provides the CSA with the info they need.

    Has a Liability Order already been secured for CSA arrears, if so what period did it cover?

    Quote Sara; ‘My other problem is trying to get an answer as to how much is in arrears as of August 2011’

    Is this an amount on top of the Liability Order?

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  • Alice says:

    The criteria for cases being dealt with by complex case workers has been tightened up, they will not automatically take cases on simply because the NRP is frequently on and off benefit, there are teams in the Agency which deal specifically with cases where the 1st outstanding change is where the NRP is either on or off benefit but if the 1st outstanding change is an NRP employment to employment change it will be dealt with by a regular team, either in client service or debt enforcement.

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