I am the mother and I quit my jobs to avoid the CSA

September 1, 2012

I have to keep quitting my jobs to get out of the ridiculous amounts that these people want from me.

I am a single woman & my son lives with his father as i was unable to give the proper lifestyle that his father was able to give. I tried to keep up my payments for maintenance but i couldnt as i was travelling to see him plus staying in a hotel with him. My flat was bare because of the costs & maintenance & in 2011, after they wanted me to pay £300 per month, i had quit my flat & my job & went back to live with my mum.

After a few months i went back to work as i thought his father & his wife had stopped the claim but now i have had a letter saying they want £2,209 off me plus a monthly payment – yet i have been paying my son directly £40 per month plus all travelling costs & food etc & outings & sometimes clothes when i can afford it. In fact i have given my son £531 over a period of 7 months, since i returned to work.

As i am writing this i cannot sleep as i have to call my manager tomorrow and give up a perfectly good job & live on benefits cuz if i return to work with earning like £200 per week plus tax credits of 167 per month, after i have paid all my bills, i will have just maybe £20 per week left for going to work & food!

So yea i cannot do it – i dont know what else to do – they want £134 per month (anything from 15%-40% ) as well as paying back the arrears of £2,209 – so im screwed as i have no way of getting £2,209. I have asked his father to drop the arrears as i have always contributed & been in my sons life but he wont even talk to me & his wife will not talk to me to arrange something & it is not fair on my son. He is now 17 & will be in full time education until 19 as he is going to college & university.

His father told me back in 2011 that even if he wanted to drop the case the csa will not let him. Is this true?

Also i will be calling the csa regarding the arrears & what his father said & also if my son is working in between college time what happens regarding the maintenance payments? I cannot keep running like this & the arrears mount up – it’s so wrong as im not a professional woman & live in a small room because of them pursuing me as i cant afford anything else when i have had to make payments. It’s so wrong to ask for money i clearly do not have.

I have given holidays, my car – i have no social life so what will happen if i cannot work? I can’t stay on benefits forever – i will have to go back at some point & then when i do the arrears just keep going up & up. In 2011 it was £700 now its £2,209 – i’m stuck as they wont listen to me & say if i dont pay they will go into my bank a/c & stop monies or from my wages – they suck & are so wrong.

A friend of mine refused to pay them & in 1 month they took £600 from his monthly wage & left him with £100 to live on for bills rent etc – its so wrong for them to do this on people who barely earn enough to live on & live in 1 room lodgings – wheres the justice – this is a huge injustice & needs to be changed.


  • chall says:


    Is your case calculated on old (before 03/03/03) or new rules (on or after 03/03/03)?

    Do you live in Scotland?

    If the agency decide you are giving up your income to evade paying child support they can refuse to change the assessment.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  • Carol says:

    If your ex was to withdraw the claim for maintenance then he can. I did it with my claim and no questions were asked which was on the old system.

    It is absolutely ridiculous that no common sense is used with this Agency. People cannot afford what they want them to pay and 2nd families are separating or the Agency are causing people to walk out of work.

    You mention that you have made payments direct to your son, but the Agency would not offset that against any maintenance that would be due. They would say that is your choice to pay this money.

    As chall says if you leave work the Agency could see this as you evading paying maintenance and any assessment in place now could remain in place. If you can prove financial hardship then they wouldn’t leave the assessment in place. Have you contacted the Agency completing an income and expenditure form to see if they will reduce the monthly payments?

    Arrears will always be due to the Agency even when your son no longer qualifies for ongoing maintenance.

  • chall says:

    Quote Carol; If you can prove financial hardship then they wouldn’t leave the assessment in place.

    Wouldn’t that be a discretionary decision, based on an individual circumstances? – obviously if you can locate the legislation or procedural guide that refers to such, I would appreciate the linky.


  • pipa says:

    hi carol

    no i would like to correct ur statement if i may, im not quitting work to evade payments i had to quit my job because i couldnt afford to work any more – there is a difference – if i stayed in work & paid them & my other bills it left me with just £30 per week to live on – that £30 would be for travelling clothes food & seeing my son so yea i had no choice they forced me into this situation & yes i have tried to get the payments reduced but even with that reduction im still have do not enough to work & survive & see my son – & u know the irony of all this is that because of them (csa) in work or out of work i am not longer able to have any life style with my son – so u tell me what is the point of all this – where is the justice & common sense of it all – common sense prevails all & why wont they see this – im not rich & if i was i would certainly support my son so why do they do this when u havent no money to start with – i can understand if the `stray` parent was rich & was able then yea that should be their job not with ordinary working class people who have little funds too start with – itz an injustice & i have told the csa this – i told them they should be ashamed of themselves pursuing people who obviously have no spare funds & they have worked hard all their lives – i told them they should abandon their positions in support & not return until someone has the sense to put in order a new agenda for working class parents who are obviuosly suffering & do not need to be

  • pipa says:

    either way i lose out in work or out of work & to be honest i am very low & tired of trying to make them (csa) & his father & his new wife sense in all this as i have nothing either way if he doesnt stop this & u know this all started because his father moved away to the Midlands( im in the west) & i had to travel up to see him & stay in a hotel for 2/3 nites when he couldnt come to me so iw as spending £200 per month plus giving them £100 in cash each month & it crippled me – i had nothing in my flat because all my spare money went to this so i stopped paying them as i was sinking lower & lower but no they wouldnt listen & resorted to threats & so in comes the csa & my life has never been the same – i tried so hard to make them listen as to what was happening & that to go further with this they would destroy me – i always kept contact with my son & helped them & my son but it crippled me financially & u know his father said & i quote ` well u have to tighten ur belt more` referring to me when i told him i cant afford to pay him like this also he said that it wasnt him pushing the request with the csa but his new wife – a fellow female lolz but obviously one with issues so yea it seems if u hate someone or dont like them get the csa on them – well doesnt that say it all in the injustice of it all to let an agency liek this to be able to hurt u more for just personal issues – they need to be stopped

  • paul says:

    Your only option will be to leave the UK,If your worried about REMO
    agreements between countries,don’t be,A REMO agreement between
    states for child support only applies to arrears for a claim,The CSA
    have no jurisdiction outside the UK to continue or start a claim.
    If a REMO was applied when and if you go abroad they would only
    be able to get £2,209 they say you owe,If I am correct on this the amount of
    proof that the CSA will have to provide of arrears to a court abroad
    may vary from state to state,If you go abroad break all financial links
    with the UK,Do not work for any UK based company,open a new bank
    account in that country and make sure the bank is not registered in the
    UK,do not make any financial transactions to and from the UK from
    abroad Good luck

  • Carol says:

    Chall – yes it is a discretionary decision by the Agency.

    Pipa – I didn’t mean you were quitting to evade maintenance my comment was “the Agency could see this as you evading paying maintenance”.

    I agree that no common sense approach is used by the Agency. They do not take into account any other living expenses. It is almost as if they play with numbers and think people can exist. My partner (now ex) is in the same position. CSA taknig too much and some months leaving him with £400. We have separated because of it because my kids were struggling and he was paying for a child who he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know him. Ironic but I believe this Agency are doing more damage than good.

  • Sally says:

    I agree with you 100% Carol…. this agency is doing more harm than good…. 100% harm 0% good!!!

    My partner and I struggle because of the amount the CSA demands he pay…. he would pay what they asked if he could afford it and if it was fair!!! The fact that they don’t check his outgoings (or any NRP’s ourgoings (CSA2, CSA3)) is absolutely appauling…. they are making innocent people guilty as charged with the crime being the ‘won’t” pay for their children, when in fact THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY and live at the same time!!

    How they can consider that child tax credits/working tax credits are an ‘income’ for one household (2nd families) and not another household (all other households) beyond me ….it is discrimination and shocking!! it should one the same rule for everyone… income and outgoings assessed for the parents of the children….

    The childrens NEEDS are not even part of the equasion in the CSA system….. rant over!!

    to the author…. I sincerely hope you get something sorted out as it is 100% unfair on you….

  • chall says:

    Just out of interest pipa,
    If you leave your job, Jobcentre Plus can delay your Jobseeker’s Allowance for up to 26 weeks, how will you afford live?


  • John says:

    Unfortunately, You are not on your own in your scenario. However, it is usually men who are nrp’s and have to put up with the chaos that the CSA cause with peoples lives!

    In my experience with this lot, I continually challenge everything that they say and do. Try and obtain proof of their calculations of your payments and other information, whereby they are making up arrears etc.

    Where you have proven the CSA wrong make an official complaint to them and also to the ICE. the more people who find them out for what they really are and complain, the more the system becomes ‘not fit for purpose’ and the better chance of ridding this complete shambles of an agency from all of our lives!

    I hope that in the future that there will be a class action law suit against them, whereby their victims will have their revenge!

  • Sally says:

    Hi John…. i’m afriad there is more chance of seeing a pink elephant fly than there is of the CSA being brought to justice…..

    I can completely understand why any NRP would consider giving up their jobs…. why would anyone want to work 40+ hours per week to give money they CAN’T afford, to an ex who’s income is not even taken into account…..

    MP’s are limited to what they can do and ICE Cafcass err on the side of caution re CSA because it is fully supported by the government!!

    I’d love to see the CSA get their come-uppance…. and have those who have allowed this system to continue, go to prison!!! I’d love all the NRP’s and PWC who have been treated unfairly to get their money back…. but as I say… pink elephants will fly before that happens as the government will not admit to this mistake (CSA being a disaster)……

  • John says:

    Hi Sally,…..I can only refer to my experiences with the CSA over 12 years and associate with the comments made on this and other sites.

    Those who have been involved with the CSA, coupled with those still involved with the CSA, plus those new to the CSA, will eventually through their shared experiences and CSA incompetence in making mistakes, be able to build a case against them!

    Repeated incompetence and wilful malaldministration will highlight this not fit for purpose shambles for what it is. A complete and utter shambles!

    History will be the judge of the CSA, and when the real story comes to light, regarding their failure and corrupt methods, this will be the time when it’s victims will seek retribution and compensation. I only hope that staff and executives are brought to justice and made examples of for their inept failures and total disregard for the law!

  • j says:

    John on September 4th, 2012 1:30 pm
    I hope that in the future that there will be a class action law suit against them, whereby their victims will have their revenge!

    The uk doesn’t allow ‘class action’ lawsuits (mostly to protect the bankers I guess) but that doesn’t mean we cant all work together.

    Sally on September 4th, 2012 2:10 pm
    MP’s are limited to what they can do and ICE Cafcass err on the side of caution re CSA because it is fully supported by the government!!

    As you may be aware the csa is a part of the DWP but the ICE is also a part of the DWP so is it erring on the side of caution or is it biased findings?

  • Jessica says:

    If i were you i would keep calling until someone listens to you about your situation. The agency have the discretion of how much arrears they collect, despite how much they claim to only be able to collect a minimum of 30% of your wages. They can lower the arrears collection, the assessment itself is not something they have control over, that is legislation, but the arrears amount that they collect they can control. As long as you are seen to be making an effort (and i’m sorry to say constantly leaving your jobs won’t look good) then they will negotiate with you. If the person you speak to won’t listen, ask to speak to their supervisor. Supervisors are generally better at listening and have more flexibility with how much is collected.
    The issue is you won’t avoid the arrears forever, they will be collected in the end, so you might as well face it head on and get on the phone to speak to someone about it.

  • j says:

    You are not alone. The csa put a DEO on my pay with no warning to me, then took 4o% of my net pay plus a similar amount for arrears I wasnt aware (I’d only been working for about 9mts having previously been a PWC with NO csa support) of leaving me with about £55 pw to live on. I gave up my job. This was about 4yrs ago. The csa claimed I didnt tell them but my Data Protection prints showed they were told by jobcentre plus and my former employer. Despite this knowledge the csa carried on assessing me as though I was still working then took me to court to get a charge on my home. The courts do whatever the csa tell them and the so called ‘independent’ case examiner another branch of the DWP seems to be set up to field complaints against the csa and support their decisions. Now the csa are relying on the fact that I had not told them I was a student, even though that doesnt give you an exemption from assessment. I’m still fighting. Meantime ian duncan smith should be aware that this has cost the taxpayer a fortune in csa court appearances and I have not worked or paid any tax on wages for years. I think they are all idiots. I could be working but who wants to do a 40hr week for less money than unemployment benefit. My family are now thinking of moving to canada. This pathetic little island is finished and you can say thank you to the civil service for that.

  • Alice says:

    if you are paying travel and accomodation costs in order to see your son you can apply for a variation on your case – if awarded the variation will be applied against your regular maintenance and will reduce your weekly liability – you will have to provide proof of the costs and your ex will have the right to contest the application.

    If you have arrears on your case the CSA can impose a DEO to a maximum of 40% of your net income for reg maintenance and arrears – they must collect the arrears within a 2yr period, if this is not possible even on a 40% DEO they have to apply for a liability order – if you have no assets then a liability order is not goig to be effective as there would be nothing for then to take

  • Alice says:

    also if your ex were to contact the CSA and ask for the case to be closed they would close it without question – there is no legal obligation on the PWC to keep the case open, prior to 2006 any PWC who was claiming benefit was forced to have a CSA case as the money collected from the NRP paid back the Secretary of State

    any money or goods (clothes etc) that you give direct to your son over and above the csa payments are given by your choice and do not get off-set against your maintenance

    if your son remains in non-advanced education you will be liable for csa payments – if he goes to college and does HNC or above this is advanced education, equally if he goes to university this is advanced education

    CSA have to assess for CM if child benefit is in payment – if your ex had informed Child Benefit that your son will be in non-advanced education CB will remain in payment until he tells them otherwise, or until your son turns 19 .. if your son goes into advanced education and your ex continues to claim CB and CSA you can report to the CB dept and they will invesitigate this as a fraudulent claim, once CB is stopped the CSA will have to close the case

  • Chris says:

    the csa are indeed a lowly bunch … dont blame you for leaving your job .. how can anyone live pay bills etc with no effective money …. I personally am prepared to leave my job and go to prison .. at least i will have a roof over my head and 3 square meals a day .. plus it will cost the tax payer 10 times plus more per week to keep me in prison than the total debt i owe … BRING IT ON CSA .. i WILL SPEND YOUR MONEY TO KEEP ME IN PRISON NO PROBLEM AT ALL . then maybe you will get the message ..hang on if we lower the payment maybe that might be better … durrrrrrrrrrrrr how thick are they …. keep fighting you NRPs they will get the message ..that you cant take what you dont have .. and if enough money is drained from the government coffers to keep us in prison that maybe they will realise prison aint the answer .. but lowering the payments so people can live is the answer … it will happen .. keep strong all of youy .. the people will be heard and will win

  • Student says:

    Short answer become a student. Do a foundation degree and you will get full funding for 2 years if your skint.
    So advance your career whilst being assessed as nil income.

    Then you have 2 years to sort out , contest and pay the arrears.

    Then you will have a qualification which will help you get paid more and normally one child works out around 160 per month.

    Hope it works out for you. CSA are idiots, they dont work with you and end up getting no one anything.

  • Peach says:

    Funny that i have only read helpful comments. If you were a dad, you would have been completely slated by all the bitter ex wives/girlfriends out there for trying to dodge payments.

  • Hunkster says:

    Chris I feel your pain.

    They punish fathers who have started a new family
    or want to be involved in there kids lives… I am the main bread winner so my wages are hit hard £400 for 2 kids per month which is more than my mortgage, a friend of mine pays less than me as he is self employed csa can only take a maximum of £120 per month for 3 kids as he hides his income through his business. It just means until my kids are 21 my life is on hold stuck in a child support loop.
    If I try to do more overtime i get punished by the tax man and the csa.. Bur if my wife worked full time and i was a stay at home dad we would be £4000+ better off per year… my ex and her partner both work and bring in £4000+ take home per month..
    If it was a set amount and not proportional to your earnings payments fathers could at least try and counter the effect on ther lives buy doing overtime but the way it works now is

    I need more money because struggling to pay Bill’s. I do overtime and i pay more csa, my kids see me less, my ex gets richer.

    If I give up work my and current partner worked full time
    I wpuld need to pay Zero csa, Id have more time my ex would get nothing as I am earning nothing, but dame sure she would make me seeing the kids 10 x more agro.

    Csa punish 99.9% fathers
    Mothers who get a taste of this vile system it’s called karma…

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