CSA is not fair to families

July 1, 2010

My partner and myself have been in a long distance relationship for over a year and recently he decided to move from England to Ireland.

He has a six year old son who he loves very much, and stayed with a woman who cheated on him and physically hurt him, because of his son. When he came in one day to find her cheating out-right he left the house with the clothes on his back and moved in with his Mum. He left everything he owned and had bought for them in the house, for his sons sake. She dictated he had to give her £70 a week, which he duly did. When he realised the money was not going to his son, he stopped paying her and decided to buy him clothes/uniforms/toys etc himself and have him as much as he could.

He has paid for everything for his child. She constantly dictatated that if he didn’t buy widescreen tvs and other items that his four and five year old child didn’t need, that she would prevent him from seeing his son. He bent to her every wish often leaving him with little or no money so he could see his son. Obviously it is for her and her partner (the one my partner caught her cheating with, though there were others) and the child is being used as a pawn in this. My partner is now an emotional wreck since the CSA has been involved, because he has no parental rights and now she has taken away access which I told him would happen – so she can claim as much money as possible because he refused to buy a flatscreen tv with freeview (only because he didn’t have the money, I discovered). This is how ridiculous the situation is.

When his son was born, she went without him to register the birth and left his name out of the birth certificate. He begged her to have his name on the birth certificate. This is something I can’t understand. She promised if he did this and that that she would put him on the birth certificate, but never did. The man she was found cheating with moved into the house directly. He’s registered on the mental health register, certified schizophrenic. This is not a safe environment for a child. Neighbours complain they see the child outside playing without shoes and barely any clothes while they are shouting and screaming upstairs. Now they have another baby. They have been fiddling benefits for quite some time (both have never worked a day in their lives) and now that the law changed regarding CSA and people on benefits in April 2010 meaning it doesn’t affect their benefit money, she applied to the CSA stating my partner has never seen his son, doesn’t want to, have never had any involvement in his life and has never paid for anything. He has proof of text messages, phonecalls, photographs with his son, receipts for things bought, but the CSA don’t want to know. They have said his ex has told them he never sees his son, and they don’t care. They just want the money, and don’t care that he won’t be able to see his son again because of this.

My partners son needed to have all his front teeth removed because the only time he had his teeth brushed was at the weekend when he had his son. He bought all his clothes, and sent him back home with the clothes. When his son came to his house (every weekend, sometimes 3 nights) he was often very dirty. He has been held back in school because she doesn’t take an interest in his education, that my partner does. He would love for nothing more than to have his son and to give him a proper safe living environment, which I think is the best thing for the child. The child screams not to go back home, that he wants to stay with his Dad. I have never heard of this from a six year old. The social services don’t want to know about any complaints he issues of neglect of violence within the house his son lives because my parnter is not on the birth certificate and as such has no parental rights, and as such they won’t investigate.

We had been planning to move in together, and I was fully prepared to move to England as my partner has a son. When I was working in Scotland for a short time, he had a phonecall from an agency in Northern Ireland offering him a job. He decided to move over, had been told by his exs family (who do not speak to her) that they would try and help get his name put on the birth certificate and he said he would go back to see his son every three weeks for the weekend. We were planning to move back to England within the year after saving a little. The CSA payments now mean he cant see his son, and even if he could he cant afford now to go over as he would like. It also means we will never be able to save and has put huge strain on everything.

He was threatened by a man before he moved here who had just been hired by his company, who turned out to be his exs father who has never been in her life and told that he was getting her to get the CSA onto him. He called his own grandson names to my partners collegues in work which got back to him. Why would someone say that about their own grandson? It makes me wonder what names the child is called by his own mother, or does this man go into the house and call the six year old names?? My partner then arrived home one day to a brown letter from the CSA stating he needed to fill everything in within a week or they would take his licence off him and fine him. He called to talk about the fact he sees his son every weekend, has paid for all his things and the woman he was talking to basically said it was tough. He said he was moving to Northern Ireland and had just handed in his notice so he couldn’t set anything up until he started work here, and she shouted at him and told him to ‘sort his priorities out,’ to which he flew off the handle. They told him that this was obviously pre-arranged when it wasn’t. He said he would still be part of his sons life and would be flying back to see him. They back-dated payment to before he got the letter at the end of may, and £200 was taken out of his wages directly. The letters they sent were odd. One on the 26th to say you haven’t replied to us and action will be taken, and one dated the 27th which was the actual application for CSA payments. That makes no sense! He got four threatening letters from four different places. Each contradicting the other, and showing different amounts that would be taken out each month. He was only on a basic wage. Some payments were over £240 a month. This isn’t right.

As he already had work in Ireland, and the ball had been rolling before the CSA, he told them he was leaving his job and walking straight into another one here. They said they would close the case for now until he got more work. This means however they think he made himself unemployed on purpose, even though his notice was handed in to his previous work before he knew of the CSA involvement. He moved over, and his new job messed him around, not starting him until two weeks afterward. Now his ex has stopped all contact with her family, and will not answer to my partner and he cannot hear from his child. He is now being reluctant to set up CSA payments until he is allowed to see his son and is planning on flying over next weekend. I am trying to tell him that these people are not to be messed with, and that he needs to get in contact with them and then try and sort things out from there. It’s not that he doesn’t want to, it’s just that he knows this money will never go to his son and he wants to be a part of his life. Paying this money means she can take his son away from him. I don’t want him getting fined by the CSA, he does want to pay for his son. He would love custody of his son! He has no rights however without his name on the birth certificate and I knew she would not let him see his son when she started getting the money. We have no money right now as I was made redundant recently and have a flat to run (the main reason my partner moved here, to help me until we had enough saved to return to England).

Is there anything that my partner can do to change the way the CSA feel about him, to prove he has been a major part of his sons life and wants the very best for him? Or any way for him to be able to get his name on the birth certificate? It’s destroying him. How can I even advise him the best thing to do is to get back in contact with the CSA to start things up while he tries to figure things out? I suggested him going to the citizens advice and sitting with them while they contact the CSA together.

I’m at a loss for what to do. We can barely survive right now. I hope this makes sense. How does he set up payments in the right way, making sure that they are set at the right amount?…..It’s destroying him. He’s lost so much weight. I wish he had custody, the child would have such a fantastic life. I can’t imagine what is being said to his son, or what his son is going through right now not being allowed to see his Dad. It’s torture.

Comments

4 Responses to “CSA is not fair to families”

  1. brokenfather on July 1st, 2010 9:47 am

    Hiya.

    You have a lot of issues going on so it’s best you try to separate some of them into what you can do something about and what you can’t do something about.

    CSA

    Your partner does not need to justify himself to the CSA in regards to his relationship with his son. The CSA wont believe him, they don’t care, and it will not affect his assessment anyway.

    Given the mothers history he must get a DNA test done. He would be crazy not to. He can do this via the CSA, it’s the cheapest method.

    There is no point in hiding from them. Always take a pro-active approach and tell them immediately of any change of circumstances. If you don’t the arrears just build up and they then start threatening all sorts. His liability will be 15% of take home pay, budget for that.

    The CSA operate under a set of rules. They cannot make allowances for travel for example if the rules don’t allow it. The rules don’t care what he has left to live on!

    CONTACT

    He can apply to the courts for Parental Responsibility and a Contact Order. This can easily be done himself and need not be expensive. Mother of the Year will probably get legal aid to fight it though. Make the application at the mothers nearest county court, if you do it at yours it will only be moves to hers anyway.

    She may well not abide by any Contact Order made, but you wont know that until you try.

    I think you can also apply to court to have his name added to the birth certificate.

    Good luck.

  2. Author of post on July 1st, 2010 11:54 am

    Hi again,

    I hope the post made sense, it’s a difficult situation to explain. Thanks for your reply.

    Before he moved over they told him they were closing the case, for him to reopen when he started work over here. He gets his first wage tomorrow and his payslip for proof of earnings. Did they actually close it, or are they pinning the blame on him and are going to fine him thousands? We are going to citizens advice next week to try and get the ball rolling with contact with the CSA. What is the best thing to do though, or the best way to set up payments?

    You are right about them not believing anything he said. The abuse he was given from the people at the CSA who called him, implying that he was an irresponsible father (even though literally the days before he had had his son for three days and nights). Anything he tried to say they looked at their paperwork and said ‘that’s not what she has said.’

    He loves his son very much. I really hope that someday he gets to have his name on the birth certificate. I have never seen a five year old screaming that he doesn’t want to go anywhere near his Mums. It’s killing him to know the safest place he could be is with him but that she’s using the child as a money grabbing excercise. I wish he had custody, they would both be so happy and the child would have a proper upbringing.

    I’m just trying to get as much advice as possible so he can do this the right way, and not be punished for lies which have been told. The CSA needs to change the way they investigate cases, and not tar everyone with the same brush. Not every father is a runaway who doesn’t want the best for his children.

    thank you.

  3. Brokenfather on July 1st, 2010 2:37 pm

    Many fathers don’t run away, many are however pushed away by the mother.

    The CSA always believe the mother regarding contact. The father needs to provide proof of his claims of contact, the mother does not. Some fathers have the mother sign a diary every contact as proof!!!

    You should never believe anything the CSA tell you verbally, they will more than likely deny it later. It is his repsonsibility to notify them of all changes in circumstances, including when he has no employment or income. Until he does, the previous assessment remains in place. The CSA rarely close a case unless requested to do so by the PWC, and I would say never if the Exchequer is going to get some of the payments.

    Always always always do so in writing and send recorded delivery, then print the proof of delivey from the Royal Mail website. I have never come across an organisation that claims so much correspondence is not received. There should be an independent investigation into that alone lol.

    Try to avoid giving them a Direct Debit, they can then take what they like. Always try to pay via a Standing Order. They may put a Deduction of Earnings in place instead, they shouldnt, they should allow him the opportunity to pay, but as far as I can gather they rarely follow that guideance.

    You may well end up with residency of his son, you need to take this in small steps though. Parental Responsibility and a Contact Order first, then residency. It has been know for residency to be changed where the mother is implacably hostile, but it is not common I’m afraid.

  4. Author of post on July 1st, 2010 3:09 pm

    They gathered his (first) payment by issuing a deduction of earnings even though he had wanted to pay them directly, then stated that they were closing the case until he reopened it again when he started work….As it stands though now I see it as him owing around £140 (even though he was not working until this week due to his new company messing him around with a start date). I’m also concerned that they will ever take my earnings into account (although recently I was made redundant but I have had a new offer of work, and though a major pay-cut will be taking it). We have no children together and we are not married. I don’t think it would be right for them to try and request my earnings. I have read they cannot but I am concerned of them throwing this one into the works too.

    Money now goes directly to her as of April 2010 and does not affect any benefits she may be on. I just feel like she’s getting a huge pat on the back for cheating, having a child and never working a day in her life. They have been reported to be investigated due to benefit fiddling by a number of people so I’m hoping that justice will be served in some way.

    He is going to make first contact at the beginning of next week again, do you have any advice on how to do it correctly? How do you tell them you want to pay by standing order and not by direct debit, especially when they issued a Deduction of earnings on him straight away before without even giving him the chance. Thats why he would like to try to talk to the citizens advice first. They have helped him before with issues regarding his ex.

    He wants to continue to be a part of his sons life as he has been since his relationship with his ex split up. I truly do hope that one day he has responsibility for him. I think it’s the only way his son is ever going to have a safe and loving upbringing. Thanks for all your help and advice.

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