CSA encouraging appalling vindictive behaviour

February 4, 2012

I have be swiftly, unjustly and ruthlessly dealt with by the CSA. I am sick and tired of hearing and reading stories of claims against non-resident parents not getting off the ground, resident parents receiving next to nothing, long delays and non-resident parents ‘getting away with it.’ Those stories I read do not bare any resemblance to the experience I have had.

prior to the CSA getting involved I paid £550 per month for 4 years (plus paid for lots of other things), never missed a payment or paid even a day late. I saw my child Fri-Mon every weekend in term time (despite life being made as awkward as possible by his mother)and a big chunk of school holidays, a very close relationship and in excess of 104 overnight stays. My son’s mother then left the country without my consent and without giving me a forwarding address. I discussed this with the Ministry of Justice International Child Abduction Unit who told me stop by payments. A week after I was due my next payment I was in the High Court trying to find out where my son lived so i could find out if he was safe and to see him. My barrister said resume payments, i did, but 15 minutes later the CSA called and it was downhill from there.

My child’s mother called the CSA that morning, they called me within a couple of hours, my employer received a letter 24 hours later and was forced to reply within 48 hours. The following week I was told I had to pay £645 based on zero overnight stays because they knew I didn’t know my child’s whereabouts, therefore how could I have overnight stays? It was put to me ruthlessly without any tact or concern. They were not in the slightest bit concerned or willing to discuss that a criminal offence could have been committed. They just dealt with the facts: I don’t know where my son lives – therefore I can’t possibly have overnight stays.

4 months later, having spent £12k on legal costs to get contact with my son while he is abroad, I still pay £645. Last month I was buying food and petrol on a credit card for 2 weeks before I got paid. it will be similar this month. I went to the south of France to see my son, stayed in a hotel for 2 nights – zero overnight stays, hotels don’t count. I had 14 wonderful overnight stays at my house over xmas. I have to collect my son in February for a further 14 overnight stays and have paid about £500 in flights to collect him. I have a High Court order setting out contact, 14 night stays at each French school holiday and half the summer holiday. I still have zero overnight stays, the contact is ‘irregular.’ I’ve filled in the CSA variation form with details of over £1000 in travel expenses – I still pay £645.

I have explained that my previous years earnings are skewed by extra out of the ordinary earnings I will not get again, so the £645 is a big proportion of my regular earnings. Not interested.

When contacting the CSA I have spoken to some of the rudest, unpleasant and incompetant individuals I have ever dealt with in any situation. I literally begged to find out what is the definition of being under their jurisdiction, one person told me to ‘go to a library and look it up yourself.’ Finally, I dealt with a manager who was helpful plus a man recently and they spoke to me like I wasn’t criminal. Still, nothing has been done. The others have been simply appalling, an embarrassment for any decent human being working for the CSA and the politicians who created an organisation that was supposed to help to destroy lives.

What I don’t understand is how unbelievably ruthless, powerful, uncaring, swift and unjust they have been, yet I hear other stories. To rub salt in my wounds my girlfriend contacted them about her ex who has paid less in 6 years than I paid in December 2011 alone has been told they will take about a month to look into it and there is probably not much they can do about him fiddling his accounts to lower his earnings, offset tools, petrol, food etc. It’s very odd and extremely inconsistent.

I would like to know why the CSA has a culture of rudeness and mindless ignorance. Most are very poorly informed but sure they’re right. I mentioned my High Court order served by one of the most senior and high profile Family Law judges in the UK at the Royal Courts of Justice, dealt with a lot of famous cases, the thick CSA person proceeded to say that the High Court has no power over the CSA, it is above all other Government departments! I had to laugh.

Sorry for the long-winded story. I’m off to Liddl now to do my shopping.

An Angry CSA Victim


  • tony ross says:

    why are the csa chasing payment while your child is abroad. there is NO LIABILITY
    AT ALL. get your mp involved and demand all payments returned?

  • chall says:

    That’s incorrect tony, if the PWC & qualifying child remain habitual residents of the UK.

    The agency has jurisdiction to make a maintenance calculation and collect child support maintenance only when the parent with care, the non-resident parent and the qualifying child are all habitually resident in the UK.
    A person can habitually reside in more than one country or in none. Habitual residence can continue during an absence from UK.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  • tony ross says:

    chal.i i thought being out of the country voided child support thanks for the heads up.

  • John says:

    It may be worth asking the DWP if your ex is entitled to claim any benefits, and if so what are they?

    I bubbled my ex in for claiming excessive tax credits. She was handed a £7,000 bill for her over-payments. Her face was a picture at the tribunal!

    Give the CSA the same crap that they are giving you!

  • Phil says:

    Thanks for the replies. Tony, chall is right, she is habitually resident in UK although lives in France. John, she is entitled to Child Allowance and that is simply the criterea for the CSA determining whether or not this is under their jurisdiction. Child Allowance can be claimed for a period of 12 months after leaving the UK if the stay is ‘temporary.’

    You do need to give the CSA hell, keep on their backs to make sure they deal with you and you don’t go to the bottom of the pile. I’m still paying the same amount but on verge of getting a reduction for overnight stays.

    The bottom line is the CSA likes an easy target: employed, regular salary, correct contact details and a law abiding co-operative person. It appears that any sort of complication and they’re not so interested. Now my case is ‘sorted out’ in their eyes they are now really slow at correcting things.

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