CSA Advice

How can the CSA expect me to survive on what they leave me with?

I have been split from my ex wife for 5 years next month, and had an agreement to pay her maintenance direct which i did.I also paid off all outstanding bills and the mortgage for the first 6 months. We used the CSA calculator to ease her mind that i was paying the going rate which i did. In May 2011 i was made redundant and had to accept a job paying £10000 a year less.

I went on the CSA calculator and filled in all the details faithfully and my monthly payment came out at £177.50 again which i paid.

In July last year, somehow the CSA slapped a deductions of earnings order on me for over £500 a month completely out of the blue, since which time i have tried to fight them but they are virtually untouchable.

My MP has taken my case up for me and we are now at the stage that an Independent case examiner has been appointed.

During divorce proceedings we had to make a financial disclosure, at which her nett wage plus benefits and maintenance came out at £32000. With the extra £3600 that i am paying this year that will be nearer to £39000 as she has also had a pay rise.

This year i am having to provide for myself and my kids (70 days a year) on less than £10000. Are these people for real?
Any suggestions?

23 thoughts on “How can the CSA expect me to survive on what they leave me with?

  1. when you were making the payments direct to your ex was your case set to MD (Maintenance Direct) or was it set to agency collection? If your case was set for agency collection their system will not see payments being made, as such your accounts will show as in arrears.

    Do you have a record of the payments you made direct to your ex?
    Has your ex confirmed that she has received these payments?
    Do you have evidence of the payments made – bank statements, receipts signed by your ex?
    Did you inform the agency when you were made redundant?
    If you were unemployed after being made redundant did you claim benefits and if so did you inform the agency of this?
    Did you inform the agency when you took a new job with lower income?

  2. Graham,

    in addition..

    Were you aware that the CSA were involved and had you received any communication from them?

  3. Hi,

    Have you had your data prints or complained about the way your case has been handled?

    Here is some general advice –

    ‘This isnt the csa its an open forum so don’t give names/details etc especially of children. (your own name can be used to identify the kids, and your case)

    Don’t deal with the csa by phone, everything in writing, sent recorded, keep the receipts.

    Copy your MP into everything and try and get them involved as your advocate.
    Make a formal complaint about any decision you are unhappy with from the outset as time limits are involved. Always go for an appeal tribunal asap following the internal process.

    Get a copy of your Data Protection prints from the outset so you know what you are dealing with, again follow the correct procedure in wording your request to get ALL information, send it to the right department, send the correct fee.

    Don’t be afraid to complain about any csa staff, or their superiors if you feel you have just cause.

    Remember the process, internal complaint, ‘independent’ case examiner (the csa protection department), appeals tribunal, parliamentary and health service ombudsman through your mp for maladministration.’

    There are a couple of sites you can also look at –

    © ChildSupportLaws – general info. – not sure it will help but worth a look. – they don’t help you if you are getting advice elswhere. – I’ve heard of them and they get a good review but cost money. (£30pm I think)

    Read the various threads on here eg ‘Court ruling leaves child maintenance authority ‘emasculated’ – ‘November 1, 2012′

    You may pick up some useful info.

    Finally a specialist csa solicitor may be worth talking to but can be expensive and usually end up putting you in touch with a specialist barrister. Still worth an initial interview though but to reduce costs you can use a ‘direct access’ barrister (find through internet) and save on solicitor costs.

    Good luck.

    ps the csa will claim they tried to contact you prior to the DEO being applied but are know to have committed ‘fraud’ in this regard as there is info somewhere of a person finding a letter in their data prints with the correct address but allegadly sent on a date prior to them moving in. I’m sure someone can give you a bit more info about that.
    Check your data prints carefully and dont rely on the ICE who seems to be there to ‘protect’ the csa.

  4. To Alice call me paranoid as i know that the CSA watch this website, but if you use the dot phonetically from your e-mail address alice(dot) weatherston and you rearrange it you get


    Are you trying to tell me something?

  5. @ Graham – far be it from me to call anyone paranoid.
    As you may have gathered from other threads on here I do actually work for the CSA, the name I post under is an alias neither 1st or surname have any bearing on my true identity, the surname was a name mentioned on the TV playing in the background when I was considering my alias, I was not sharp enough to spot the anagram.
    I think you will understand that need for me to use an alias, my purpose for posting here is not out of any malice or personal vindictiveness towards any person who has a problem with the csa, I hope that by posting relevant information on how the csa system works and what can and cannot be done, someone may benefit.

  6. Hi ‘alice’

    just commented on another of your posts.

    Don’t want to get involved with your current ‘conversation’ with the gentleman (BTW just ‘cos you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you) and don’t care what your name is.

    Call me ‘old fashioned but I think everybodies privacy should be respected.

    I just wanted to say that while your comment seems ‘altruistic’ enough (by posting relevant information on how the csa system works and what can and cannot be done, someone may benefit.) you seem not to concentrate on the ‘what can be done’ bit.

    You seem to paraphrase the original post confirm what the csa should be doing, move away from what they are doing wrong, and while appearing sympathetic to the post you don’t seem to give too much detail on how to ‘beat the system’, in a couple of posts I’ve found how to catch the csa out (rule in Kerr) and you know the rules better than me so how about a bit more info?

    Anyway, thought I should mention it. Gosh you seem to get lots of days off or are you on the works computer?

  7. @ J – I agree I do not post on how to ‘beat the system’ , I will always ( to the best of my knowledge) post information on how the system works so that both PWC and NRP know what the rules are.

    In this instance it could be that the NRP has paid money to the PWC privately without either NRP or PWC knowing that the account side of the case is active (as per agency collection) and as such the agency system shows the NRP to have arrears. If this is the case and the PWC contacts the agency and informs them that she has received payments direct the accounts can be adjusted accordingly and the arrears will no longer be shown on the case.

  8. Alice_ the NRP is me and i have been living through utter hell because of your organization.

    The PWC has gone to your organisation on the advice of a solicitor who says that my paying directly to the CSA will help her to get a mortgage.

    WHY WHY WHY could you not have contacted me prior to placing an unbelievably crippling financial situation upon me?

    Did you ask me once if the arrears that she submitted to you were correct? NO your organization has taken her word for it…

    Did you stop to consider my current financial predicament? What are my outgoings for rent/ mortgage any loans or other things that a bank would classify as priority debts….i am not being left enough money to cover these and am spiralling into debt…please do not patronise me here because i dont want your pity

    How can you not factor in the extra yards that a NRP has to put in to maintain a relationship with their children? I do over 9000 miles a year collecting and returning my children which represents 225 gallons of diesel which in fuel alone is approaching £1500 while the PWC does zero miles and incurs no costs whatsoever…….This is also unjust

    I asked the PWC to contact you to stop this nonsense, and that she knows it is wrong….she is aware that it is wrong but i was told to f*** off….Your organisation is supporting her monstrous behaviour.

    I divorced her on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, which she accepted under the observation of a learned judge in a county court, most of which was linked to her compulsive spending…..yet you support her

    She has a good job, child benefits, probably tax credits my maintenance and she is engaged to be married to someone with an equally good salary who has sat back and allowed her to do this ( i do pity him)

    One of many,many xmas presents they got my 5 year old daughter was a mini i pad, the cheapest i have seen is £279. My son got a lap top which cost over £300 as well as many many other things….

    My collective spend on the pair of them was under £150 coz i couldnt afford anymore because of what your organisation has done to me..They are sat there in a beautiful , 4 bedroom house that i built from the bottom up which the court ordered me to sign over to her as part of the divorce settlement while i have been living like a nomad for the last 5 years.

    They are taking the piss out of me, and your organisation. I cant sleep at night, my work is suffering and that is leading to further anxiety and stress

    I wonder if anyone at your organisation has any idea what they are doing to men and women across the country. If your systems are failing you, change them


  9. “Alice on January 31st, 2013 10:00 pm

    @ J – I agree I do not post on how to ‘beat the system’ , I will always ( to the best of my knowledge) post information on how the system works so that both PWC and NRP know what the rules are.”

    Thats fine for what it is but the pwc or nrp can get an ‘overview’ of how the csa works by phoning the csa.

    I think people come onto this site to get actual advice on how to deal with the various situations where the csa have done things incorrectly.

    Yes in many of the cases it is that they simply dont understand the procedures and explaining that is ok but I’m pretty sure that if you go through the cases on here you will find plenty where you can actually help them, it isnt just ‘beating the system’ (not that the system is ever perfect) it is a case of getting it right.

    Just collecting money isnt good enough, loan sharks can do that, and I have no time for collecting money for the state. Collecting the right amount of money from the right people and paying it on for the children has my support

    Just because its ‘the law’ isnt good enough ‘alice’, thats why I support ‘whistleblowing’ in the csa. There used to be a ‘law’ in a country in europe in 1936 that a certain group of people had to wear a little yellow star to identify them in public. Just because it was the ‘law’ didn’t make it right.

    So I’ll ask you again, you have the info, you can make a difference. If a child was starving would you help if you could? I’m pretty sure you would, well ian duncan smith isnt starving, the head of the csa isnt starving, but ruining the lives of nrp’s, not paying money on to pwc’s doesn’t help the children, giving useful, pragmatic advice does. (how to make a complaint, where to send it etc etc)

    You know what I’m on about ‘alice’ I’ll be watching your posts and if I can add to them I will, maybe you can do the same for me but please do try, pragmatism not procedure.

  10. Hi Graham
    Briefly if I can. This site is on facebook so people can read the various threads on there. If they read something they agree with they can ‘like’ it, that doesn’t mean they like whats happening or they ‘like’ your situation, they might have some empathy with the situation and the ‘like’ facility just shows they agree or have some sympathy. I think Paul has read the post you put up and some of the responses and is agreeing.

    Alice does work for the csa apparantly and tries to give what advice she can. I do think she could possibly ‘expand’ her advice a little (and hope she will) but she is one person and there are lots of posts on here.

    I agree with you completely Graham. I am an NRP but have also been a PWC. In my experience the csa have been utterly useless and completely abstract to the real life problems we have to face on a daily basis. The trouble is they are just a ‘debt collection agency’, they put you in debt then collect it! We both know its wrong, all we can do is keep it together, keep plugging on and know that we will get there in the end. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  11. Graham Stephenson….read your reply to Alice and nearly cried.

    Too many similar tales like yours. I dont know how some people can even look at themselves in a mirror, let alone sleep at night.

    Whole system is set up evil.

  12. Would like to apologize for my rant to Paul o Callaghan, i didn’t realize this was on Facebook and don’t know how that works…Sorry!

    To j…thank you for your input and i took inspiration from your Mahatma Ghandi comment..a man who could truly see all sides of a story, perhaps his best quality was the ability to assess a situation from third position.. outside of the ranting and bickering and bitterness, and alter his own position accordingly…oh for the strength to do that!

    To carol…i realize my story is one of what must be millions across the country..I cannot believe how poor the CSA are in dealing with people,ive read loads of postings on here and understand there are many people worse off than myself…Maybe the biggest crime of all is the level of bitterness and hatred their behaviour breeds between former partners, i was with her for 16 years and ultimately the effect that has on the children.

    To Alice….I suspect that you are paid by the CSA to monitor this website and that is part of your and some of your colleagues daily routine.

    Have you ever stopped and wondered why your managers, with consent from their hierarchy are spending public money for you to do your job, and why you aren’t employed actually bringing cases to successful resolutions where both parties are treated with equal respect…

    I have worked for local authorities before and imagine that full blown government departments are mind bending places to work.

    I imagine you feel undervalued, and understaffed and without the tools to finish the job properly…most of which will stem from a lack of understanding of what it is you are setting out to achieve, constantly moving goalposts in terms of procedures and systems, and an institutionalized inability to communicate even the simplest messages? A lack of responsibility/accountability from senior management and a climate of fear regarding any part of it…i understand that you have bills to pay too…

    Forget about my case….what is being done to improve the CSA? Please dont say it will be replaced by the CSM and we will charge both parties 7% to handle each side of the dispute…because whoever thought of that wants sectioned!!!!

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