Lost contact with my son because of CSA greed

September 20, 2010

For the past week I have been reading the horror stories from both PWC and NRP’S and every story I have read has brought tears to my eyes.

I am a 46 year old gentleman and I served in the Armed Forces of this once great nation. I am also the father to a fantastic 13 year old son, whom like all the parents on here, we all adore our children.

I have no qualms about paying the maintenance for my child. It is my responsibility. However, I hate this agency with every bone and ounce of passion in my body.

Unfortunately I was assessed in 2001 under CS1. I was serving in the Navy at the time and like many people my marriage broke up. I have paid my maintenance religiously over all these years.

When i left the Navy in 2004, my ex received a nice healthy whack of my gratuity that I had worked 23 years for. Up till then my assessment was a £430 per month. Which I could cope with. I still paid this amount till my last day in the navy. I then informed the agency that i was unemployed. I trained to be a speciliast writer, hoping to secure work in that field, but that didnt happen for another 18 months.

I paid my maintenance for my son from my meager pension and the money i had saved for somewhere to live. Soon that all went.

In Dec 2005 I was able to get a job in my choosen field of work. Great. First thing I done was inform the CSA,. It then took them 7 months to carry out a reassessment for me. They back dated me and put me £5,500 in debt. I thought oh well… for the last 5 years i have been sub contracting, paying my regular assessment of £440 per month.. plus another £100 on top of that. Managed to get the debt down to £1,400. During this time I never recieved any support from the agency at all. They regularly took things like my hoilday pay from me, I hada a deduction of earnings order against me, the money was recovered from my wages from my accountancy company. During a bad spell last summer there were months I was paying up to £1100.00 per month..yes you read that correctly.

Anyway, at Xmas i was made redundant because the contract I was working came to an abrupt halt. I still had money coming in so i didnt contact the agency. It was only in April of this year that i wrote to them and told them of a complete change of circumstances. They said i HAD TO PAY £125 per month from my pension again. No probs, I can live with that. Bit of a struggle but i can manage.

In Mmay i was fortunate enough to start a new job, this time in my trade but as a member of staff. I have taken a pay cut of £10,000 per year. Not ideal, but hey its a job. fduly informed the CSA OF THE CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES AGAIN AND THEY SAID THEY WOULD REASSESS ME.

Which they have now done. I am now being forced to pay again through a deductions of earning order against me, money taken directly from my employer… but the charge is now £552… plus an added £337 for back arrears, because they have back dated it again till May of this year. I now find myself a further £3, 400 in debt to them.

From my monthly wage they want £889 from me. i ONLY EARN £1,600 PER MONTH.. ADD MY RENT OF £400 PER MONTH, TRAVEL COSTS OF £200 PER MONTh… DOESNT LEAVE A LOT TO LIVE ON.

I have been in contact with the debt management team and offered to pay £100 per month over 3 years (36 months). Their answer.. no that is not good enough. We have now negotiated it down to £200 per month. Which is at least something.

I have asked for another reassessment to take place because i have housing costs of £400 per month. That is now on the go at the moment and hopefully i should hear back soon.

I have also applied for departuyre due to high travel to work costs. I live in South Wales and commute by car to Stonehouse in Gloucester everyday. I avoid paying the daily bridge fee oif £5.50 because i cant afford it. I am therefore left with another 10 miles per day added to my journey. This will be soemthing I will be taking up with my local MP.

The Agency say they can only assess mileage in a straight line. What happens when their is a big expanse of water in the middle of my journey….. tits called the severn. Cars cannot drive on water.

Throughout this whole episode I am seriously thinking that I amy have to give up the job I love. Because I will no longer be able to afford to live.

In the end it will be my son who will siuffer.. but the agency are not concerned about him. As long as they get the money that is all they care about. Due to my unemployment this year I have only seen my sone once. He lives in Portsmouth with my ex. I have no animosity against my ex at all. She was the first one i turned to when i was made redundant. Without her support i wouldnt have gotten through this year.

Somebody nneds to take theis agency apart piecve by piece by corrupt piece and rebuild it from the inside out. They have to employ staff who couteous, are willing to listen, but that will never happen.

The law needs to be changed . One law one assessment. Everybody on that assessment. They nned to stop wasting money, but most of they need to stop ruining peoples lives. Full stop.

I have no fight left in me now. I am awaiting my new assessment which i hope will show i have hosuing costs etc. But i fear not. For the next 2 years until the debt is paid i fear my life will now be put on hold. Visits to Portsmouth will be sporadic, when I can afford them. If it means i have to go without the basic necessities in life to see my son then so be it.

Thank yo foir taking the time to listen to this rant.


  • graeme says:

    Being the original author of this post, please forgive my spelling throughout the post. At the time of writing I was emotional and didnt spell check the post. I have just read through this post again and I have noticed so many spelling and grammar errors.

    Apologies for that.

  • Lyn says:


    Dont worry about your spelling we all understand what you mean.

    This is the effect these horrible people have on us.

  • rach says:

    graeme, as you still get on with your ex could she not cancel using the csa and maybe come to a private agreement with you to help you out a bit? are the arrears owed to her or secretary of state? if they are owed to her then you could negotiate something privately between the 2 of you and the csa need not be involved.

  • John says:

    Ask the CSA for a clerical assessment and go to your M.P. and complain.

  • Ady Simons says:

    i feel for you, i'm having a very similar issue. i told them about my change in job after getting a promotion and demanded that they do a detachment of earnings otherwise they wouldn't even start to re-calculate payments until they had 5 months worth of payslips and then would expect me to find the cash straight away!!!!2 months down the line i find out that they haven't been taking anything as i get basic salary plus commissions and bonuses so its erratic depending on my workload that month. This has seriously strained the relationship between me and my sons mother as she has had to cancel a holiday for herself and him and blames me so as we were never married i have no legal access rights she has threatened so stop me seeing him unless i give her cash under table.

  • Allan Morrell says:

    Hold back the cash 4 a depositing account for your child, that way, your child benefits from the money and youe ex-PWC doesnt!!!

  • Duncan Edwards says:

    Under new rules they dont consider your costs. They will just want 20% of your net salary. Like you I stupidly paid whilst unemployed and have now taken a job with high travel costs. Result -now I have a large arrears they want paying in 3 months. Can't get through to anyone willing to discuss a reasonable payment schedule.

  • graeme says:


    Thank you for that. They certainly are monsters, however I have many more adjectives to describe them… a lot more derogatory than monsters. It amazes that me in todays age and society that this goverment agency can operate the way that they do.


    Many thanks for your answer. For many years I have pleaded with my ex in order that we come to some sort of private arrangement. It has fallen on deaf ears.

    The arrears are owed to the SoS. I will be writing to the Debt Management Team this week. They have given me 17 months to clear £3,400 of debt. That is 17 payments of £200 per month. That is a lot to pay. It would be a struggle for me as I said in my original post.

    It has always been her intention to hammer me financially. Although she can be supportive, she can also be greedy at the same time. She has already proved that with me.


    Many thanks for the answer. I have applied for departure for high travel to work costs. My local MP was the owner of a family run haulage business, so I will be booking an appointment to see him. Hopefully, with his haulage background he will know exactly where I am coming from with my argument with them. I have drafted a letter at the moment outlining my complaint. A copy will also be going to the CSA complaint team as well. I dont hold much hope that the complaint will be upheld.

    I am also in the process of drafting a letter of complaint to Nick Clegg, and David Cameron. However having gone through this before with Gordon Brown, again I received no answer from them. That is what they though of the people of this country. No regard what so ever.

    I will keep you all informed of any progress that I amke.

    Once again many thanks for the replies and for the advice. At least one good thing has come out of it. I spoke to my son at the weekend and we are organising a day to get together. That means the ex and I will come face to face and I have a feeling that she will be secretly gloating at the amount she will soon recieve from me per month.

    As I have already said, it is my responsibility to pay for my child, I have no qualms about that at all. But when it puts me on the poverty line to the extent that I cannot afford to eat, even the cheapest value meals from Tesco etc.. then something needs to be done about it.


  • Sylvia Dunai says:

    Isnt it 15% of your net salary???

  • CSAhell.com says:

    15% for one child, 20% for two and 25% for three or more.

  • Lorraine Moore says:

    …and if you are on old rules…could be 40%!!!

  • Sylvia Dunai says:

    I see. 40% sounds way too unfair.

  • rach says:

    im sorry for your situation graeme i really am just take a little comfort in the fact thats theres a hell of a lot of us in the same way,. I wrote to david cameron before the election and i did actually get a response saying that” the csa would be looked into”, im praying that in the spending review they see sense and abolish it all completely however im not 100% hopeful

  • graeme says:

    Hi Rach

    I guess I am one of the lucky ones after reading the horror stories on here. Yes my situation is difficult, but I realise no more difficult than what other people are encountering, both NRP’s and PWC’s.

    I agree that in principle that the collection of money for a child is paramount, but it is the way the whole system has been set up that i dont agree with.

    Is all very well for the politicians to say that “yes we agree it will be looked at “.. but looking at it and implementing the required changes takes time and its a brave man who can reform the whole agency / law/ collection methods.

    A fairer system has to be put into place for everybody. They have to target the fathers who dont pay or make life difficult for for their ex’s. The soft targets are us parents who are willing to pay, who do pay, who do care about the needs of our children. We are the easy prey for them.
    Until the goverment realise and understand the flaws, then we will get nowhere. It is up to us to continuely complain and harass them until the errors have been corrected. It will all take time. And time is something a lot of dont have because the damage has been done. Are they willing to compensate us for that ? The damage caused to our children because the NRP cant afford to see their children. How do you compensate for that damage ? Not that the CSA care.

    Thank you Rach for the support. I know I am not alone in this situtation and I realise that many people on this website are in a far worse situation than what I am.

  • Allan Morrell says:

    I was on 30% for 1 child, and had 2 children living with me, they took the other 30% on top to collect arrears, that was 60% each wage leaving me with 40% to live on… that's the greed of CSA plus at that time, the PWC had it deducted from benefits, so I supplied her benefits through income tax and stealth tax by CSA

  • Mark Moore says:

    Indeed. It seemed to be their policy under old rules. Leave the NRP to live on income support rates.

  • Paul Fielding says:

    is it 15% for one child ,because im paying 40% for my one child, how can this be ?

  • Duncan Edwards says:

    if u have arrears with them they can require 40% until its paid off, or u need to get reassessed quickly

  • Shaban Afzal says:

    go and see a lawyer quickly who specialises in welfare and benefits. You can stop this DOE. act fast and also see the citizens advice bureau for assistance and also your local MP. They are there to help and useful so use them.

  • Phil Lee says:

    If everyone on the receiving end of the CSA's incompetence told them to sod off we could bring this outrageous human rights abusing organisation to its knees . .

  • Mark Moore says:

    Paul, are you on CS1 or 2?

  • martin barton says:

    Hi graham.i sympathise with your situation as i am in the same boat.i have been paying csa for 15 yrs,and am now paying for 2 more children from a recently dissolved relationship.i have had same job for 20 yrs and,as yourself,agree us absent parents should pay for our kids.but,as the new system that works on percentages of your wage has been introduced,i find it absolutely ridiculous.i do as much overtime as i can so i can take out and treat my kids,only to be recently reassessed and my payment going up over £200 more per month.now im at the point of telling their mother i cannot have them weekends as i honestly cant afford to support them.always the same with this damn government…the hard working and honest citizens are always the ones that over pay to compensate for the lazy and selfish wasters who dont deserve to have children:martin

  • scott campbell says:

    i had a similar start to my maintanance money problems, I managed to get my ex to drop it going through csa and do it amicable. If you get on with her then she should be fine with it. Surely she would rather see you seeing your son without all this stress eh, I infact give my ex a tad little more than the csa says just to keep her happy, and she does not bat an eyelid about money now, i give her some money towards clothes for school and at xmas etc i go halfers on the present from santa. I travel 130 miles every fortnight via train to see my daughter, She is 7 and i have never missed her once, and i dont intend too,
    good luck

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