If I cancel the case, can he still open it?

November 30, 2013

Over the years it has been a nightmare. In mid 2009 they even pressed the wrong button and cancelled the case altogether. I only went to them because my ex walked out in 2006 with another woman and wouldn’t pay anything to help with the three kids, all under 8 at the time.

He has worked out it takes three months at least for them to assess the case so he changes jobs every four months and avoids paying anything at all. It’s a nightmare because he is deemed compliant even though he always phones up a week after the schedule is issued saying he has lost his job. He either walks out or gets himself fired and this has been going on for 7 years. He has built up arrears by doing this but it never gets paid obviously. They phoned today to say he had lost his job again so I am cancelling the case. I’ve had enough and can’t be bothered even talking to them anymore. My time is worth more than that. He doesn’t see the kids at all despite being told he can see them anytime at all and living only three miles away. I only stayed living up here so he could see them but he just cannot be bothered.

I don’t care about the money so I told him I was cancelling the case as it’s too much hassle. I said he could choose to pay the kids direct or not at all and that it was up to his conscience. The CSA closed for applications yesterday but they told me if I cancel the case he can still reopen it for thirteen weeks. Is that right?


  • jo says:

    He can but can you really see him doing that? Plus if he does you can supercede the case and take it over as your the parent with care!

    Csa with ex’s like yours just makes a bad situation worse, like you said its time and energy best put elsewhere.

    It’s not fair and its nrps like your ex that give decent nrps a bad name, yet csa cannot be bothered tp trace the bad ones because they know they’re not guaranteed any money!

    Good luck with your 3 kids, sounds to me you’re doing a fab job!

  • Jo says:

    And now the case is ‘paused’ because of an ‘IT incident’ which means the computer won’t let them see the income details he has provided that they have been using for ages anyway. They can’t give me a timescale for fixing it nor for progressing the case and get rude and stroppy when I press them. Every time I call up they tell me they will do something to escalate if it isn’t fixed by the end of the week. I call up at the end of the week and they just say the same.
    I made a formal complaint which they logged then completely ignored so I made another one by email. They called me up saying they would respond in 15 working days from submission of the complaint. I reminded them that I had already submitted a complaint which they had ignored and they said they were allowed to do that and just decide not to deal with it as a complaint! Slippery or what? The whole time the arrears is building more because of an ongoing liability they are not pursuing due to the ‘pause’ caused by the ‘IT incident’. When they finally calculate it he will change circa again and they will tell me they need to start again and can’t pursue payment until they recalculate. No doubt there will be another IT incident causing more delay.
    These process caused arrears are a nightmare as they don’t seem to get it that it’s their fault. I am now applying for advanced payment of arrears due to unreasonable delay and maladministration. Trouble is that my ex blames me that he has an arrears because he claims that he always pays what they ask but that they are incompetent and don’t ask for payment.
    Csa act like I am scrounging when I call up and try to hold them to account for all the delays. They act like I am some idiot that can’t understand when all I am trying to convey is that I understand full well but consider their inaction unacceptable .

  • jo says:

    Your ex could be telling the truth, csa are known to take money from the nrp and hold onto it in high interest accounts, how do you think they get their bonuses?

    Have you contacted your mp?

  • Jo says:

    I tried but he said he likes using the CSA because it ‘works for him’ in that he has learnt how to play the game. He went berserk when I said I was going to cancel the case so that if he decided not to pay he wouldn’t have the excuse of CSA process driven delays. I even suggested that he sit down with the kids and sort it out with them and pay it to them directly, including his arrears- said that I didn’t want a penny of it- he could give it to them and then they could spend it on what they felt they needed or save it for college etc. I have been paying for everything else day to day for the last 6 years so I would rather it went straight to them. That’s when he went berserk – I suspect it’s because it’s easy to hide behind the CSA change of circs delays but having to deal directly with your kids means that there is no hiding place if you decide not to contribute.
    I offer an open door in terms of access. He can see them any time but always makes excuses. He only lives three miles away.
    The CSA incompetence is also to blame as my ex is a bit thick and can’t understand complex processes. He takes the attitude that every time he changes jobs they tell him to stop paying whilst they work it out again so he does. He doesn’t have the sense to work out that putting aside 25% of his net income is all he needs to do.
    The eldest is 16 now so sorting it out directly with them is quite feasible- the bottom line is that he doesn’t want to parent but doesn’t want that exposed. The CSA incompetence just plays into it.
    I honestly think having no Csa case and no maintenance would be better than having all the hassle and their bullshit rudeness and no maintenance anyway.
    Like I said I’m used to supporting them so thought him giving it to them direct for them to decide was a good idea. I guess it makes it difficult to portray me as a greedy monster bleeding him dry then though – which must be shockingly inconvenient and hence his reaction.
    By the way we were married for fifteen years but I divorced him for adultery when he moved in with a woman who bled him dry, stopped him seeing his kids at all and then kicked him out. He blamed me for that too – apparently she couldn’t deal with him having an ex family and so I guess the non payment is revenge or something twisted. I don’t know.

  • Jo says:

    I also think that all the conspiracy theories about what they do are also bulllshit – it’s just sheer incompetence. Their processes are rubbish and their staff are probably mostly people who used to process benefit claims for a living – hence the stroppy attitudes like anyone contacting them is after something for nothing.
    I am really hoping the new scheme replacing it will offer something better. I would be happy to pay charges if it actually meant they would do something – as not doing something would mean they couldn’t charge do that would be motivation to do something. I would be a paying customer too so hopefully would get less ‘lip’ off them. It’s the high handed patronising stupidity that’s the worst of everything really

  • Jo says:

    I agree that time and love are important but I’m not really sure what that comment refers to? I would gladly do without the maintenance if he would actually see the kids- at all. But you know what they say- you can take a horse to water etc. Sorry guys – I know a lot of you have issues with ex wives that won’t let you see the kids but in my case I bend over backwards to accommodate but he just makes excuses. After 15 years of marriage before the divorce I think I expected a bit more involvement with the kids than that. And before anyone suggests it might be due to distance he only lives 3 miles away.
    Re the 3 months to process a change of circs – yes I am totally sure about that. Every time. He last gave up his job 4 weeks ago. No new schedule as yet but all payments have ceased again despite the fact that the new income used is done thing that was already included anyway along with his employment income ( before he gave the job up). They tell me they will have to try a few more times to call , then write a letter, then if no response after two weeks they will set a payment schedule. That all takes about 12 weeks – every time. He will make one payment ( if we are lucky) then get a job. We will go through the process again and then he will make one payment then give up the job. It’s the same every 3 or 4 months. Last time they had to process 9 changes in a row and that took almost a year and gave rise to a £3 k arrears. They never asked for payment the whole time as they said they had to do all the changes if circumstances first – and that took over 9 months as I said.

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