CSA do nothing unless I nag them

January 18, 2011

I can see why some parents with care would feel like the absent parent seems to get away with murder – I am in the same boat at the moment. Important to remember though that all cases and circumstances are different and I’m trying to keep that in the forefront of my mind as I write this, but the whole system is frustrating as hell and I fully get why some people will feel hard done by.

My story is fairly straightforward, in comparison with many on here. I divorced my ex in 1997 when our daughter was 1. All was fine for a number of years and they enjoyed a great relationship. He paid maintenance on and off for years – (I didn’t ask for it for a long time as he was on a poor salary) and was paying regularly for the last two years without a hitch. However, he married in September 2010 (he’s been living with this woman for 8 years, so not a new relationship) and the very same month, the payments stopped! Contact with our daughter has reduced to almost nothing (his decision, not mine or hers) and I contacted the CSA after my attempts to phone him resulted in getting an earful of abuse and vile text messages from his new wife telling me he ‘has a new family now’ (they have a 3 year old together and she has one from her previous relationship).

The CSA do nothing without me phoning to nag them; they sent out an assessment form to my ex and he refused to respond to it. His employer still hasn’t provided them with salary details and I was told by the CSA today that even once they make the assessment he has a right to appeal, even though he’s done everything to avoid cooperation. I’ll be lucky if I see any child support inside of 6 months, apparently.

And how much has my wonderful ex sacrificed his relationship with our daughter for? The princely sum of £75 per month. He’s earning over £20K per annum.

My experience tells me that the rules allow those who want to dodge payment to drag their heels as much as they like – if only out of spite (and in no way am I suggesting that anyone on here is trying to do that). I would also like to make a point to any second (or subsequent) wives – especially those who seem to resent their new hubby continuing to pay the CSA for his children: you go into a relationship with a man who has children to pay for and you have to accept that it’s a commitment he’s made until that child is 16/18/19. You don’t get to pick and choose if or when he pays and any subsequent children you might have together don’t somehow become ‘more deserving’ of that money, just because you happen to live together! If anything, you work within the finances that you have available, taking the maintenance payments as a guaranteed expense that has to be made every month for X number of years.

I wish I didn’t have to go down the CSA route, as it’s nothing but hassle. If only we could all be trusted to be reasonable people……


  • i certainly know how u feel.

  • Jem Pogue says:

    Sadly the csa is an unmitigated disaster for everyone they fail the PWC, the NRP and mostly the CHILDREN.By involving this mess into your daughter's life i fear you will make her life more miserable than before !I agree you should recieve regular maintenance for her but going down the road of the csa i am afraid will only lead to tears.They have NO place in ANY childs life and until we can change the csa for something that works then don't hold your breath love.

  • Mum of 3 says:

    Hi Fiona

    I was just wondering why you need the money from your ex now, you said you recieved maintenance on and off as he had a poor salary, so you obviously coped financially during those periods. Your ex is now financially supporting another family and any CSA claims will put this family under financial strain.

    The money should not be the issue here it should be the breakdown of the relationship between your child and their father and sadly the involvement of the CSA will most likely cause this to deteriorate further.

    As a child’s mother you should think about what will benefit your child more in the long run, a few extra pounds or a relationship with their father.

    I know as a single parent my children’s father now has a new family and yes it is hard when your children see other children “taking their dad” and you do feel like you should somehow punish them for it, but they have just as much right to move on as you do.

    Please think hard about what good the CSA’s involvement will bring to your child’s life and if it is possible to manage without the money as I suspect it is then drop the csae and please please please concentrate on somehow building the relationship back up between your child and their father.

  • Karen Bedford says:

    Mum of 3, why do you think its fine not to bother with the other parent, both parents are responsible for their children, they both created them and they are both responsible for their upkeep and upbringing, whether they are together or apart, fact!

    Fiona, unfortunately yes we have all experienced the problem having to nag them.

  • Mum of 3 says:

    I agree Karen but does that responsibility always have to be financial? All I am saying is that if the money is not needed which in my experience it wasn’t, and in the original post Fiona states she has recieved maintenance “on and off”, it would be much more beneficial to the child to concentrate on rebuilding their relationship with their father.

  • jayne says:

    Seems this lady only tells the truth when it suits.
    Firstly she always got maintainance from her ex husband regardless of who was with who!! secondly she blackmailed him (pay this amount or you dont see your daughter) she married moved away and didt want her ex husband to have anything to do with his daughter because it suited her for him not to be.
    Thirdly when her new husband let her destutute it suited her them after years of no contact to ask for money.
    When her husband remarried after 11 years of them being together she then thought point blank i cant cope with this i want want want
    Its never been about the daughter having a relationship with her father that was destroyed the day they moved away
    Not all fathers walk away from responsibilities some love there kids just never get the choice because resentful ex,s cant cope with seeing them move on settle down being happy

  • fred says:

    Firstly there are many flaws to this womans story from dates and time to ages of children. She says she gets “vile” messages from her ex husbands wife, when infact she is the one who sends abuse, and makes demands for money time and time again from her ex husband, she simpy cannot stand the fact he has moved on as she still insists on calling him “my husband” she ruined her daughters relationship with her father when she decided to move over 200 miles away and poison her daughters mind against him. Both of them only want to speak to him when they are after money. Quite frankly this woman is a gold digger and will stop at nothing when it comes to getting money. Her ex husband has paid maintenance money but she simply was not satisfied with the amount, even though it was more than enough each month.

    As for her EX husband “not wanting to co-operate” with the CSA, he has tried many times to come to a reasonable solution, but it is never good enough for her, bearing in mind he has other children to pay to look after, all this woman cares about is how much she can get in the bank from him.

    So to anyone reading this, do not feel sorry for her, yes the CSA may not be working for you, but also bear in mind some parents are like this, spinless, gold digging and just down right unreasonable. In a few years time when her daughter realises the reason she has no relationship with her father is down to her mother wanting money, she will only have herself to blame.

  • Fiona says:

    ‘Fred’, I see that your email on this topic has been routed via Kingston University. I am unable to ascertain whether you are on the staff there or are a student, but you should really be aware that posting defamatory comments about someone (‘gold digger’, ‘for example) via a work/university IT system is probably not a very sensible career move, so I suggest you modify your tone in future.

    Although my ex husband’s wife and I (see above) may not have the best dialogue going at the moment, I am not prepared to have an argument about it on this forum just so people like you can get your kicks. Yes, she and I have exchanged a lot of words and think the one thing we agree on is that using the CSA is not ideal for anyone, but we are where we are and that is that. However, since you claim to know so much about me (can’t see how, but there you go), let me get a few things straight.

    How can I be having such a problem with my ex husband ‘moving on’, as you put it, when I was the one who moved away from the area and remarried, 5 years prior to him marrying? Surely if I was having such a problem with him ‘moving on’ I would be pining away for him, not getting on with my life? Doesn’t really make sense, does it? Yes, I did move away from the area, but haven’t I the right to do that? Even my ex’s wife, despite her and I not agreeing on most things, understands that I moved to a better area so I could have a better life for my children, and offer them better opportunities. Moving out of the area (200 miles, you say, which was about 3 and a half hours up the motorway) does not make it impossible for contact to take place! It’s hardly the other side of the world, is it?

    Furthermore, there are a myriad of other issues, which I am sure you are not privy to, just as there are in all cases involving children and relationships. Do not presume to know me, or my circumstances. For one thing, if you did, ‘spineless’ (spelt properly, too) would not be an adjective that would immediately spring to mind, I assure you.

    Next, and as I managed to explain to my ex husband’s wife today, the amount of money was and is not an issue. Being able to rely on the parent of your child to pay the money for his child when it’s due is the important thing – and I am sure a lot of other PWC will agree that it’s that certainty that’s paramount. As any adult will know, budgeting is hard enough, without being let down when payments just stop without reason being given. That’s the crux of the matter – not ‘he said, she said’, not ‘his ex is bitter and twisted and can’t let go (because seriously, she really can) – it’s about being let down and, in turn, having to let your child down. That’s the shitty part, and one that no child deserves, but unfortunately, there are people like you, ‘Fred’, who think you know it all and are in a position to pass judgement on people you really know nothing about. In future, maybe consider that there are ALWAYS two sides to every story, or better still, treat this forum as I think it was intended – a general place to air one’s opinion of the CSA, not a medium to slag people off and get involved in individual cases that are none of your business.

    And finally, there’s something that’s always puzzled me about people like you, ‘Fred’ and, unfortunately, a number of other people on these forums: it’s the genuine sense of outrage that is behind claims such as ‘It’s all about money’, or in your case, ‘Fred’, calling PWC names like ‘Gold Digger’ or throwing accusations around like ‘ Both of them only want to speak to him when they are after money’. In the real world, where the rest of us live, children do cost money. A lot of money. A roof over their head, food, clothes, lighting and heating, hobbies, etc. do all have to be paid for! I’m really dreadfully sorry if this bursts your little idealistic bubble, or you expect single parents to be bunged off to the workhouse, or whatever, but money does have to come into it, whether we like it or not. Both parents have the financial responsibility for their children, it’s the law. Assuming you’re a man, how would you feel if it was your daughter, raising your grandchild? You’d expect that child’s father to pay regularly for his child so that s/he could have the things s/he needs, wouldn’t you? So no, I am not going to apologise, nor should any other PWC out there, for expecting an NRP to pay something towards their children. It’s real life, it’s hard, but it’s how it is. And actually, that’s another thing that my ex’s wife and I actually agree on. So maybe that’s progress.

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