Government considers new powers to punish parents who don’t pay up

July 25, 2011

In yet another move to attempt to repair the Child Support Agency’s tarnished image, the government is considering even more new ways it can tackle parents who don’t pay maintenance to their children. Under proposals, absent parents could have their driving licences and passports taken away from them if they refuse to pay maintenance.

Recent reforms to the Child Support Agency have been heavily criticized in the past, and it seems almost no one feels its efficiency has improved in the least. Although the Child Support Agency has some degree of power over absent parents, the measures it enforces are often ineffective.

In addition to the possibility of losing their driving licenses and passports, non-resident parents could also have money taken directly from their bank accounts. However, these proposals have already received criticism, with many calling attention to the fact that, without driving licenses especially, parents could end up losing their jobs and would therefore be in an even worse situation for paying child maintenance.

At the moment, the CSA can take a parent to court in order to remove their passport or driving license, however these proposals would mean being able to do it almost instantly if a parent refuses to cooperate, without any legal action needed.

Matthew Elliot, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, heavily criticised these plans, stating that removing a parents’ driving license would likely stop them from being able to earn money to provide for their children. For the moment, it is unknown whether these proposals are likely to be implemented.

Comments

  • John says:

    Once again we see ill thought out ideas from people who have not got a clue, about family and maintenance issues. It shows that the government and its’ cronie advisors, are just targeting money at any cost, with little or no thought for those involved with the ‘shambolic’, ‘not fit for purpose’ CSA!

    We all know what will happen! Those who are trapped and ensnared in the current shambles, will yet again be targeted and punished, and those who will not pay, and have never paid will be ‘let off’ once again! £3.7 nillion remains uncollected, whilst those who do pay are being discriminated against!

    Instead of denigrating and criminalising parents Cameron, should keep his mouth shut, and concentrate on sorting the whole mess out! Including, giving NRP’s more say in what is going on in terms of contact and benefits being claimed by the PWC!

  • Terry says:

    I totaly agree John.
    How can it be right that a PWC can be out of work and still receive all the benefits with no reductions due to maintanence money.
    My ex is on Job seekers so that is about £62.50 a week.
    Add onto that childrens benefit £20.30. That makes £82.80
    Then add on the £100 from me. £182.30
    Then she gets her rent payed for her and her council tax. I offered her a fair amount of £60 a week. The current system calculater works out my payment shopuld be £55. But due to me being on CS1 rules she refused because she knows i have no say and she gets to keep all the money (30%) and her benefits.

  • John says:

    My ex is the same. She has had £77,000 divorce settlement from me. I have paid £35,000 in maintenance to date. She is encouraged by the state to work minimum hours in order that she claim her benefits, She has had two large inheritances of £40,000 and £30,000 recently. She has joint income of around £57,000 a year. She has bank accounts in the childrens names to hide her financial activites from the CSA! Total £ 239,000……. and she is allowed to claim benefits?

    The CSA have repeatedly botched my case up, recently stitching me up with £6,500 arrears……..because of their mistakes.

    I have been on both sides of this shambles as an NRP and a PWC. I have raised a child on my own. His mother failed to pay any maintenance for three years, because the CSA ‘let her off’!……. It’s one rule for her and different rules for me!

    I have not even attempted to calculate what maintenance I should be paying, because I have had so many different variations over the years, by the bungling idiots who run this charade.

    NRP’s are expected to accept what the CSA state is fact. We ALL know that they are incompetent beyond belief. I don’t contact them any longer. I write to Cameron, Clegg and the moron quiet man!…..to tell them that this system is’ not fit for purpose’, and that they are criminalising decent, honest people for being parents.

    Our elected representatives have got this totally wrong. They should scrap this shambles, and speak to parents, instead of alienating them from their children because of money! It is for parents to make financial arrangements for their children. NOT politicians. NOT civil servants, and NOT executives!

    I hope that somebody will drag the government into the courts at some time in the future. Prove that they are interfering in private family lives, and have the court rule that the government have to repay all the maintenance money paid to date, with interest and compensation to their victims!

    Then, I will financial arrangements for the children!

  • Terry says:

    Again i agree. Having to pay £100 when my take home pay is £360 and still trying to pay a morgage is near on impossible.

    How many NRP are there that come on this asite?
    How much would it cost for a joint challenge through the courts against the CSA?
    Maybe ifevery NRP on here donated say £5 we may have enough to make a joint case.

  • Maurice Milsom says:

    The CSA is without doubt very bias and unfair to the NRP. They have consistently targeted those that are willing to pay and treat them as criminals but have failed to catch those that are unwilling to pay.
    I left the country in June last year about being left no other course of action but I still support my daughter through my father, not because I feel it is my duty but because I love her and want to be part of her life. I can not return to see my daughter and when I phone her she cries because she misses me. I thank the CSA for destroying my daughters life.

  • Brian Delahunty says:

    Unfortunately you and I put these people into POWER! here is what I sent to my MP.

    Dear Mr Jim Dowd MP.

    I write to you as a very concerned hard working, non-resident parent “father” about the serious if not illegal, immoral actions and threatening intentions of the following government department CSA – Child Support Agency.

    I would like to visit you at your office to discuss the unjustified harassment, criminalisation of “Non Resident Parents” many of whom are good, hard working, law abiding citizens with no avenue of mediation or consultation on matters regarding the CSA – Child Support Agency.

    This government department continues to operate in a cloak of secrecy, under its own law, without regulation and is unlawful “this is NOT Russia or Libya” in demoralising hard working employed non-resident parents. Turning many of whom are only too willing to pay for their children needs. Into unemployed, suicidal, poverty dwellers some of whom have been made homeless because of the financial strangulation methods used against non-resident parents, even if they are paying. Some have committed suicide caused and influenced by the criminal behaviour of the CSA.

    CASE.1. https://www.csahell.com/lance-corporal-young-commits-suicide-after-csa-persecuted-him-111.html

    CASE.2. https://www.csahell.com/csa-staff-member-tells-fathers-to-commit-suicide-1828.html

    CASE.3. http://www.mrdaz.com/csa-worker-wants-fathers-to-kill-themselves/

    As outlined by the Conservatives here http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Where_we_stand/Family.aspx the final point regarding – it reads..

    · We will conduct a comprehensive review of family law in order to increase the use of mediation when couples do break up, and to look at how best to provide greater access rights to non-resident parents and grandparents.

    1. Why are so many good non-resident parents condemned to a life of poverty, struggle in work just to meet the financial demands imposed by the CSA to pay the debts without any form of redress for the calculated mistakes, the harassment, financial errors and emotional distress that the CSA – Child Support Agency causes which ultimately destroys all concerned.

    2. Why is there no ombudsman to oversee and regulate the CSA – Child Support Agency, no one to listen/understand the non-residents financial concerns after all a deceased or unemployed non-resident parent is no use to anyone.

    3. Why is there no financial assessment of the mother or child retaining parent as there should be.

    The CSA – Child Support Agency only exists to reduce hard working non-resident parents from being employed to unemployed, face being criminalise, having their possessions confiscated and some resorted to even committing suicide because of the horrendous actions of the CSA – Child Support Agency.

    This website outlines many horrendous experiences had by non-resident parents at the hands of the CSA. https://www.csahell.com/

    I would like to know what you can do with regards how the CSA – Child Support Agency operates and what Parliament intends to do by introducing a fairer system by means testing both parents.

    I’ve had to cc others as my previous email to your office never received a response, I await your reply.

    Kind Regards,

    Brian Delahunty

  • Brian Delahunty says:

    This is what I received back having sent my email to local counsillors and many other MPs including Maria Miller MP.

    Dear Mr Delahunty,

    Thanks for your e mail. I assume that you have some connection with the Penge and Cator area? I think as this is a national matter with no local council related issues that are apparent, I will leave this to Jim Dowd to respond.

    Regards
    Councillor P.Fookes

  • Brian Delahunty says:

    So I replied back with this..again CC’sd all MPs including Mr Iain Duncan Smith.

    Dear Councillor P. Fookes,

    Many thanks for your prompt reply and yes I live in Anerley, have done for nine plus years.

    I do understand that this ideally is a national matter but the impact and effects of the CSA – Child Support Agency are devastatingly local and goes unheard by the MPs nationally. It affects me as a local resident and as a tax paying citizen of 20 hard working years in this country to see that the CSA – Child Support Agency want to make me homeless with phone threats of taking my home away, reduce me to another unemployed statistic for the first time in 20 years, bullying and demoralise my human rights by “mudding” the (family law) legal system as to deny me any chance of a fair hearing.

    I am trying to raise this issue of the malicious and scandalous tactics used by staff at the CSA – Child Support Agency with my local MP and to voice serious concerns over the actions and operations of a Government Department clearly out of control and hell bent on destroying the lives of law abiding, hard working, non-resident parents. I’ve never had to confront or deal with a Government Department like this before.

    I don’t want to be reduced to another unemployed – homeless statistic as I’ve work all my life. However, the CSA – Child Support Agency operates clearly in secrecy, is a law unto itself, as there is no one to oversee what they do and the horrendous impact of such activities of CSA staff are unfair, malicious in its tactics, benefit no one but to increase the earnings for the CSA. The CSA – Child Support Agency “helps you” rack up more debts on par with the banks!.

    The end result of what the CSA does is to induce the only remaining option for anyone like myself is to become “unemployed” because you can’t talk to them, they don’t consider your own bills/debts and no fair assessment is done on the mother or resident parent which should be.

    So I may very well “disgracefully” have to go to Bromley unemployment benefit office at some stage to sign on, become homeless and let the tax payer pick up the bill as I can’t see how I can work full time, pay CSA what they demand and still threaten you with court or prison if they don’t get you to submit. The CSA financially is strangling me, and many many other non-resident parents and wants us all to deemed criminals – Why.

    As I said this might a national issue but the effects are very much local too.

    Thank you for listening.

    Kind Regards,

    Brian Delahunty

  • Michel Rodento says:

    ‘parents’ means fathers. 1 % of mothers pay CSA (CSA’s own figures). Yet many many women leave a marriage and their children. How long is this fascism going to continue?

  • bangers & mash says:

    please read my comment in the post “csa keeps makeing up arrears”

    thank you.
    bangers & mash

  • Andy says:

    I HAVE PAID AND YOUR MAKING ME PAY AGAIN!!! ALL BECAUSE MY GREEDY VICIOUS EX WONT ADMIT THE CHEQUES AND STANDING ORDERS WERE MAINTANANCE PAYMENTS! This is totally illegal the system and her are actually committing fraud,, if my eveidence was used in a court for an offence it would be enough proff to convict why cos she wont admit it was maintance am l a liar? I have done everything possible to prove l have paid and its not good enough. the system is so wrong… do you realise the misery and negative health impact this is having on not just myself but my family? Its a disgrace an utter disgrace unbelievable big fat mess!

  • Jason Parker says:

    I too have been onto the CSA today to ask them why I havnt been credited for payments made to my ex-wife of £50 per week (this amount was agreed between us then she went to them and its double now).

    On the Direct Debit to her account I included a referance number of “GXM CHILD MAINT”, so any payments would have looked like this :-

    23/05/2011 Jason Parker GXM CHILD MAINT £50.00
    etc.

    Because she has told the CSA that these payments were not for child maintenance they are dismissing the fact that I have paid for them, I said to the bloke, why else would I pay my ex-wife money through Direct Debit AND include a ref with “CHILD MAINT” on it.

    He said that they are just words and numbers and anyone can do that when they make payments, so I then said, if I had been paying for say 5 years through the bank, instead of cash etc. and she turned around saying it wasnt child maintenance then you would say I am 5 years in arrears, he replied YES

    So it seems that if you are paying child maintenance outside of the CSA then you cant rely on bank references either, so we are screwed whatever we do.

    The ONLY way that the CSA and NRP rights will change is if an MP is treat the same way, until then, were knacked!!!

  • Joey says:

    i can understand u guys i really can but i wana give u the slant of one of the people u are talking about. i dont know your ex’s and trust me i know there are some real characters out there. men and women.
    me and my ex split about 3 1/2 years ago. my ex was out of work for the first 5ish month where i supported a four bed house and two kids on benefits. thankfully the ex had decided to take a mortage holiday during this time which relieved me a bit. the house was also in ruins due to half finished jobs. my dad helped with a lot cos of the necessary impending sale of the house due to separation. no word of a lie my ex did nothing, didnt help clear out the house, did actively look for work for tht time. but even though he had met someone else while we were together. every reason to be the predictable estranged ex. i did not make a big deal of any of this because of the emotional welfare of the kids. even though now things are still really bitter i still stand by and forfill where i can the same road unless of course its at the detriment of my kids. he started work in the june sort of time. he paid me 200 per month for the kids. i stuck with tht for 6 months and said to him one day cos i thought it was how people did things tht i would go through csa so tht we wouldnt have to worry about it. he agree and said yea sure. finally after another 6 months i got around to doing it because i was made redundant from my part time job. when i did it he became nasty, refused to contribute to any odd change for the kids clubs, even refused to want to take them to anything over his weekends even parties which upset the kids. well got worse and worse. his payments went to 270 per month and has been the same for 2 years. i new he’d earnt commission over tht time too but didnt say anything to csa as i didnt want abuse or harrassment over it. only recently have i decided tht i want the csa to force him to take responsibilty and revue the case as he refuses to contribute to any school trips or my daughter new high school uniform which will probably amount to £200 give or take. he flatly refused using my kids as messengers. upset and angry as i do believe it took two of us to make those two diamonds. i have also recently found out that he changed his job about 6 months ago and is suspected to be earning a significantly higher wage. there is a chance tht he should have been paying 400 a month. now i can kind of understand what u guys say about all the help us mums get with benefits etc. i currently live with my mum and have found out that i may be able to achieve a three bedroom place independently. i work hard in two jobs, i feed and clothe my kids the best way i can. i struggle yes. i have my times where i let my hair down but i do earn my own money. he earns a full time wage and is probably do well for himself and good on him. i am entitled to have a good life too, i will work also aswell as get help, for my kids i dont care what it takes. i will not be unfair on him, and hopefully i can trust csa to be fair and calculate what these two kids should be entitled to. he hardly sees his kids much anymore.
    we are not all out to screw the ex. i just want to be able to get on and live my life. and no offense guys but i would so love to do it without the help of another man. ha woman power.

  • Joey says:

    ps the year he paid me cash 200 per month i told the csa about didnt insist on underpayment rebates etc.
    i could have said he’d paid me nothing cos there was no record of it. im a fair person just wish he was.

  • claire says:

    I do feel for you guys. This country seems to have lost its perspective on family values and what is being forgotten in all of this what all the ill feeling toward ex’s etc is potentially doing emotionally and the impact on the kids! There is only so much you can hide from them, they aren’t as stupid as you think.
    I don’t agree any parent should be screwed over in any circumstance and I really do not agree that as seperated parents we are so insistant on pushing each other to the brink. I hugely appreciate and support that some sort of system needs to be in place and a huge overall all round needs to be conducted.
    1. Where the NRP are concerned, everybody needs to adjust and no I don’t agree that you should be bulldosed for rediculous payments, when to be fair you have every right to start another life to! If the RP has moved on also then potentially/possibly they have some sort of additional financial back-up with their new partner. However in some cases regardless of these new relationships finances in these new partnerships aren’t always joint nowadays, because of fear of breakup again.
    2. I am a mother that has always worked dame hard and never claimed any benefits, but because after time i got involved with somebody else and have managed to sustane hopefully a successful relationship til present, that is good to me and most importantly my daughter. My daughters father was so consumed with issues, regardless of moving on himself and producing another child instantly, that not only did he abandon our daughter emotionally and physically he then with drew all financial contributions and has done for at least half of her life approx 7 years.

    I cannot do a thing through the CSA as what money he earns, which is approx 5-8K a month, working in maritime security 6-8 weeks at a time abroad 6-7 times a year and is paid into an offshore account, so he is not responsible for paying tax in this country, but yet he resides here on his stints off and reeps what this country has to offer. But because he is not a UK tax payer he cannot have a judgement on his earnings made for any child maintenance. The only way I can achieve any fianancial support is to have a private arrangement made between ourselves as the CSA cannot accommodate for this or enforce any paymen by voluntary contributionst. This private arrangement of course is not an option, due to my ex’s lack of communication skills and his lack of willingness to do anything right by his first born child, because if it was any different and possible to have an amicable agreement I would never have gone through the CSA in the first place, I was ieft no choice and did not know his whereabouts.
    My ex-husband of 10 years has pulled out every stop out to avoid paying any contribution toward his daughters upbringing and I am sure that by obsconding from some sort of duty toward her he thinks that he has one over on me. He chose to walk away from his daughter. He chose to not strive to try and build some sort of relationship or bridges and trust with me as her mother, when it was being quiet willingly handed on a plate. Unfortunately his new relationship would not allow this to be possible and that was the choices he made.

    My ex-husband has not so much as provided a pair of pants to put on my little girl for nearly 7 yeasr or more. I wrote and asked if he could provide any sort of contribution straight into the bank regularly to contribute toward her upbring and thus ensuring her that he had her best interests at heart and wanted to provide something for her even if he could not be part of her life at this time. I did not stipulate any amount. I provided him with all the necessary details for him to make this possible! That was 6 months ago and not even £5.

    I cannot persue any court orders because of this tax avaision, I cannot enforce anything tangiable as he isn’t resident in the country he is paid in.
    Unless the law is changed and the likely hood of that happening while my daughter is of school age is highly unlikely! I will never recieve a penny for as long as he is in this line of work! and lets face it, he will work the next 5-10 years and probably retire and when he is of age he can draw then on his handsome military pension also.

    I am a fair person! but guys there are always 2 sides to the coin.

    In my ex-husbands case, if he isn’t contributing toward this country’s taxes leave and go to the country your paid in and pay theirs. That way at least some chance could be gained of being able to obtain some sort of an order.

    Either that or confiscate his passport if he isn’t going to uphold his responsibilities and stop him from earning this sort of money and glorifying his fat cat ways. Let him feel crippled and helpless to provide anything for himself, just as he has done to his own child. Force him to make provision to that first born and to the country that so far other residents (you & I) are having to pick up his portion of the tax bill. These tax bills that are so high, that it is making it impossible to survive.

    Us ex-wives aren’t all going through the CSA to screw our ex’s over, we are left no other choice sometimes and as mothers we also hit brick walls legally as to what we can do to improve life for the kids, which in alot of cases are left with us holding them.

    I have also written to My Local MP, House of Commons and the PM. I’ve had acknowlegdements but nothing to say if anything is going to be looked into seriously and anything done to irradicate these loop holes. These loop holes that make it the country’s people a problem to also by seeing them off financially by having to over compinsate for people like my ex.

    I take my hats off too you guys that are being there for your kids in all ways and I do hope on your side of things you reep some justice also. Why don’tt hey listen to both ends of the spectrum as its here in black and white. As suppposed intellectual people how can they not find happy mediums that is fair to all across the board and not let any job’s worth chip in thinking they are improving matters. It is quite simple!!!!!! Keep it simple. Communication is the key! If its not done willingly find ways to mediate force it, threaten penalisation and put it in court if necessary. Go straight bank accounts take into account reasonable living expenses as everyone has got to live. Luxuries should come 2nd to kids. People need to accept adjustments on both sides, live within your means. I don’t know.
    just some ideas. Please lets bring back family values, respect, manners. We are all such slaves to society. why can’t the country see constant disputes etc is contributing to the next generations downfalls, they are getting bigger and bigger. Examples of anger and bitterness are causing a circle of a angry society that have lost their perspective on the fact that our children are the future. Love them, nuture them, help develope good esteem. Just be there for them and do whats right.
    Government do something quick that helps all, as this big mess is contributing to the conflicting and angry society that we find our selves in now!

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