How can the CSA justify placing fathers in financial trouble?

December 12, 2012

I am once again having serious issues with the CSA. Having been made redundant I managed to find a job in my trade 35 miles away. I commute every day in the car which is costing me about £50 per week. My rent is £485, council tax £110pcm, gas, electric, water, food etc and now the CSA have taken it upon themselves to help themselves to £450pcm of my £1150 take home pay.

I have 3 kids, dont begrudge paying to support them but am baffled at how the CSA can justify placing their father in financial difficulties like they are. How it is in “the childrens” interest when I cant afford to spend anything on them, cant really afford to go get them for my weekends. (ex lives 100miles away).

My ex wife has never worked a day in her life. We got divorced and we sold the house. I was left with all of the marital debt as I was the one with an income. She was awarded £75000 by the court of the house sale, I got £10000, which immediately went on some of the outstanding debt. She has since bought a new home, remarried and had more children.

She still doesn’t work, her husband (the reason we split up in the first place) earns more than I ever have, they are mortgage free, debt free and I am forced to scrape by barely knowing If im going to be able to make it to work each week with rising fuel costs. How am I supposed to go on like this? I cant sleep, cant concentrate at work. The bills are mounting up and all I ever get from my case worker are the words, “Im sorry, we cant negotiate on your account as its your financial responsibility to support your children”.

Whats it going to take? A mental breakdown or me losing my job from unauthorised absences to make them realise I cant cope. How will this be “in the benefit of the children” the words they continuously preach.

Dont know what do, where to turn. Cant take this no more.


  • Carl says:

    Am totally with you on this one. I am in near enough the same position . Left with marital debts to the extent that I am having to consider the possibility on an IVA . The CSA just do not care at all about fathers and their well being

    I wish there was something that we can do collectively to demonstrate against all of this !

  • Alice says:

    on the net pay you quote your regular maintenance for 3 children will be £286 per month, if you are paying more than this you will be paying off arrears for unpaid maintenence.

    Your regular maintenance is non-negotiable but you may be able to re-negotiate the amount collected per month towards the arrears, this will depend on how much the outstanding arrears are.

    What your ex got from the sale of the house or her current income is not taken into account when assessing your maintenance.

  • Peter masson says:

    Totally feel for you, but the CSA are like pit bulls, once they’ve got there teeth into you they won’t let go, as it appears there’s nothing a decent paying father can do as the “rules” are all in their favour.

    How is it that the ex gets the house, benefit to pay for it, then child benefit and tax credits and our maintenance on top.

    If they can’t afford the mortgage then they shouldn’t be allowed the house as they’re living beyond their means. Or the DWP should invoice them for the amount of benefits received until the ex is self sufficient ! You watch them clamour to find work, instead of the “that’s not my problem, the CSA will screw my ex.” Or “I can’t possibly work cos I’ve got to be here for when the kids get home!”

    I wish you well, but they’re all wankers.

  • brett says:

    I was put in a similar position back in 2008. Ive been in the CSA system since it was first set up ( two cases ), never missed a payment and told four years ago I owed over £11.000 in back payment ! They then threatened me with baliffs and court. Id done nothing wrong and always been fully compliant.
    The CSA was initially set up to go after the fathers who wern’t paying. They may have had some joy, but robustly target the PAYE people like me and make up ficticious arrears. Ive tried to fight them after seeking legal advice and seeing my MP but got nowhere.
    Sadly they can just do what they like and have been given obscene powers. They know the decent people they target don’t go on demonstations/riots.
    They have to justify their existence and balance the books so thats why the good guys who are paying are stitched up to pay even more.
    Im sure my friends and family don’t believe me when I tell them the CSA horror stories.
    Its not until your in their system, you realise how bad, biased and one sided it is.
    Good luck with your case.

  • stuart says:

    What your ex got from the sale of the house or her current income is not taken into account when assessing your maintenance.

    So a PWC could win the lottery and still claim from a penniless Father, what a fair system this is.

    Your regular maintenance is non-negotiable but you may be able to re-negotiate the amount collected per month towards the arrears, this will depend on how much the outstanding arrears are.

    This is totally regardless of whether the arrears are correct or horribly wrong? The CSA do not negotiate or take into account your circumstances Alice, again you state what SHOULD happen, reading this site it cleary DOES NOT.

    The more Alice advises, The more you realise how one sided and vicious the stance against NRP’s is.

    Understand the service for PWC is also shabby but have no experience of this.

  • Alex Smith says:

    I have been trying to get sense from the CSA all this year, keep being told they are moving office & couldn’t deal with my account. Citizens Advice Beauro advised me to “get it all in writing” so sent them a demand for a statement by registered post a month ago and just today received a statement with a Deduction From Earnings Order attached stating they will take the first payment of £3, 837 arrears and £376.29 from my wages will be taken directly from my employer , starting this month- thats nine days notice! Similar to Op I earn £1250 take home, have to pay rent on my studio flat of £350 plus bills, etc. I am now to be left with less than £70 a month to live on. Bang goes Christmas now and for the next 14 years. Will go see the CAB Monday- hope the arrears can be negotiated, PWC ex wont enter into any conversation with regards to a regular ‘private’ payment- I have told her I cannot afford to see my 6 yr old boy anymore-mainly hoping she will ‘budge’ on the agreement-but shes working 16 hours or under, has a brand new 3 bed council house and all benefits. I am not bitter about the house etc, just would like to work hard and enjoy a little bit of spending money each month. Thank god as OP no house or mortgage was involved. I don’t know what to do now- why are we being made to suffer in this way? Op- please keep your chin up-there must be a way around this or some kind of solution- get the CAB to help? good luck all of you guys.

  • brett says:

    I loathe the CSA as much as anyone. Most of us who have been in the corrupt system for a while, write comments offering advice or slaging off the CSA.
    A lot of people who put their horror stories on here are new to the CSA hell. Alice doesn’t put comments on here, to offer any sympathy or apologies as to how bad the CSA is. She iust says how it is.

  • stuart says:

    But why does Alice do this? is she paid to? is it her conscience? or does she just enjoy the suffering caused due to her previous experiences ? she should share really as her comments are quiet unhelpful and blunt. I would have to quit if my bosses asked me to do so many things that were morally wrong not happily admit and promote them online for all to see.

  • Alice says:

    I do this because often ppl come on here and post wrong information and someone will read it and think that it’s the way things will go – if I can tell what the csa will or can do (not necessarily what I think they should do or what I think is fair) then someone might have a more realistic view of what they are facing.

    No system is fair to everyone – and yes the PWC could win the lottery, marry a millionaire or get an extremely high paying job and still be able to claim child maintenance from the nrp. I understand that CS1 took into account the income and household details for both nrp and pwc (I never worked the old rules cases so don;t know the ins and outs of it) and that was claimed to be a shambles, as such the new system was brought in whereby it’s a set formula for regular maintenance, negotiation for arrears as long as it is within a reasonable timescale and enforcement action for those who refuse to support their child(ren). With the best will in the world there is never going to be a system that is perfect for everyone in every situation.

    An to answer your absurd question Stuart, of course I do not get paid to visit this site. As for quitting my job, are you as a tax payer going to be happy to pay for me to claim benefits … and before you ask no, I am not a bitter twisted money grabbing benefit claiming PWC who is using the csa to screw my poor penniless ex

  • stuart says:

    Yes i would willingly pay more tax if all csa staff quit tomorrow. due to the grossly unfair and illegal practices forced on them, The german prison camp workers were just doing a job.

    I place all CSA staff in that category evil scum. No exceptions, I would rather have a clear conscience than enforce the draconian and unfair laws on decent people.

    You obviously fail to accept reading all your stuff on here the failure of your employees and the secrecy in their dealings. The way the government allows it.

    That is your choice, and you will have to live with that. I could not……….

  • chall says:

    Quote Alice; I do this because often ppl come on here and post wrong information and someone will read it and think that it’s the way things will go…

    ~ Perhaps, you may consider expanding on what ‘someone’ could do in their particular circumstances may possibly prove helpful!



    The agency can take into account some types of prior debt resulting from the relationship (see below). You would need to apply for a variation.
    Special expenses—prior debts
    12.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs of this regulation and regulation 15, the repayment of debts to which paragraph (2) applies shall constitute expenses for the purposes of paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 4B to the Act where those debts were incurred—
    (a)before the non-resident parent became a non-resident parent in relation to the qualifying child; and
    (b)at the time when the non-resident parent and the person with care in relation to the child referred to in sub-paragraph (a) were a couple.
    (2) This paragraph applies to debts incurred—
    (a)for the joint benefit of the non-resident parent and the person with care;
    (b)for the benefit of the person with care where the non-resident parent remains legally liable to repay the whole or part of the debt;
    (c)for the benefit of any person who is not a child but who at the time the debt was incurred—
    (i)was a child;
    (ii)lived with the non-resident parent and the person with care; and
    (iii)of whom the non-resident parent or the person with care is the parent, or both are the parents;
    (d)for the benefit of the qualifying child referred to in paragraph (1); or
    (e)for the benefit of any child, other than the qualifying child referred to in paragraph (1), who, at the time the debt was incurred—
    (i)lived with the non-resident parent and the person with care; and
    (ii)of whom the person with care is the parent.

    Did you notify the CSA when you were made redundant?
    Do you pay the CSA by DEO?

    You should check that your child support calculation and any arrears are correct, as it is not unheard of for the CSA to have got it wrong.


  • stuart says:

    Thankfully Alice like the CSA gets some probing questions and they do not respond.

    If she showed a glimmer of compassion to the people on here and accepted her companies failings it would be something.

    if the only job you could get was the CSA would you take it????

  • Ian Brown says:

    The CSA do not and will never take into account the parent without custoday .I am in a similar position I thought I did the correct thing in pointing out that my eldest no longer qualified. How wrong i was now been hit with an extra 216 per month they say is arrears . It also tok months to get it resolved to that.Ian

  • chris jones says:

    sorry Alice but there is a fair way of making payments. the csa is totally unfair. The fair way would be a statment of means like courts used to do or if some one has debts and goes to court a statment of means would be agreed. child maintinance used to be worked out like this through the courts. Im 43 now but when I was a kid my mum took my dad to court for maintinance he was a low earning bum the court worked out his income and outgoings and my mum got 10p a year for two kids YES thats right no mis spelling there 10p a year for two kids and my dad still bangs on about how he was stiched up by the court for maintinance. Any way the csa take what they want 15% 20% or what ever they make up they just take what ever add arrears and take that too, what they should do like i said is a statment of means. example if a dad earns £1500 a month take home his outgoings are £1200 then that leaves £300 a month disposable income then 15% or 20% should be taken from the disposable income then farthers wont get in the shit, mothers get paid blah blah how fucking easy is that? A FAIR SYSTEM. sorted…

  • Sally says:

    and to add to what you have said chris jones…. the PWC is already supported by child benefit, working tax credits (or benefits and rent paid if they don’t work) and child tax credits…

    Decent NRP’s are not given any help or financial support – no matter how often they see their kids and/or have them stay over!

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