The CSA should assess everyone individually

February 23, 2013

I separated from my daughter’s mother 4 years ago after she had an affair; I see my daughter every weekend over night for two nights, two weeks in the six week holiday and week at easter, I would have her even more if her mum would allow me (hence my contact order!)….

Well my ex-partner has now married and lives with her husband and new daughter on a wealthy £100,000 per year salary! In the mean time I am paying £300 a month to them? What is this about?

I clothe my daughter as her mum will not send any clothes; I take her on holiday, camping, swimming and feed her out of my own money. I have to drive each weekend to her mums to collect her and drive the 25 miles back, I do this every weekend there and back twice and again I pay for the petrol out of my own money as her mum refuses to drop her off. Is it just me or does anyone else think the CSA laws need to be looked at and re assessed? Every person who has money taken off them should be individually assessed?

I spoke with the CSA just a day ago and asked them for a reduced rate as I see my daughter 130 nights a year, I was granted this reduction so I asked about the petrol I use to pick her up, they said I could only have a reduction on one or the other!?!?! What the…..?

I am absolutely livid at this yet I don’t have a leg to stand on as it’s the CSA!


  • Terry says:

    Those of us paying the 30% on CS1 rules will never be refunded because the money has already been given to the PWC.

    My problem also is that although i pay £100 a week my ex still demands more money off me for things like school trips, dance tests ect. I thought the CSA money should go towards that sort of thing.
    Last year my daughter went visiting her auntie down south for 7 days. Her auntie drove up to pick her up. My ex stated that she was sending £5 a day spending money and £20 in total for food. She then asked if i would send some money also. Now £5 *7 is £35 plus £20 is £55. What about the other £45 out of the £100 that i payed that week?

    My only slight hope is that my payments may drop later this year when my daughter turns 16. Due to being on CS1 part of the money i pay is a caring allowance for the PWC. this reduces by 25 % on there 11th birthday. 25 % on there 13th and the final 50% removed at 16.
    Again this is abit of a farse as when my daughter turned 13 they recalculated my payments ans said it should drop by £8.90 but due to it not meeting the £10 fresh hold i have to carry on paying the £100. The extra £8.90 a week i now pay i will never get back.
    Now what would have been fair is after stating that they cant reduce it because it is less than £10 is waited until she was 15 and then said “After over paying for 2 years at £8.90 a week means you have over payed by £925.60 plus another 52 weeks for while she is 15 would make it £1388.40. So divide that by £52 and that is how much we will reduce your payments for this year. That would reduce payments to £73.30 a week which is still ample enough but then i wouldnt have lost out by over paying and never being refunded. I guess that is too fair towards the NRP for the CSA to even consider.

  • Sally says:

    @ Terry… Don’t forget the child benefit your ex claims for your daughter, or the child tax credits and working tax credits she could be claiming… My gripe is that NRPs get no help whatsoever and are, as you say, expected to pay extra on top of the child maintenance payments… And if the NRPs don’t pay the extras, they are portrayed as selfish!

    My partners ex is a greedy, selfish ‘person’ who has consistently spent 80% of the child maintenance on herself and has sent the kids round telling us that we HAD to pay for a school trip or they could’ve with their friends (their mum said she couldn’t afford it)… Emotional blackmail but guess what she could afford to go on holiday with her friends a few weeks later when we took the kids abroad, and better still, she gave them £5 each for a 10 day holiday….. NRPs should be allowed to keep the child maintenance money at times like this…. It’s ridiculous …

    we decided to play the system the CSA way and my partner is returning to full time education, this is not to avoid paying for the kids, this is to make sure the kids get the money direct from us and the ex gets the basic £5 per week… All assets are in my name and I can afford to keep us and the kids in a reasonable lifestyle, that way the CSA and ex can’t completely destroy us the way they have so many…

  • Terry says:

    @ Sally.

    Totally agree. If i say i wont pay 1/2 of her dance lessons and test then her mum says she cant go and its my fault.
    I just payed £200 for her prom dress.
    I had savd up some money to give to my daughter at a later date but when the csa decided to take 4 months to do a re assesment and then told me i was in major arrears i had to use that money to clear them and also max out a credit card putting me in even more debt.
    I live on my own and have a morgage so there is no way that i can leave my ob without loosing everything. Although i am struggling to keep hold of what i have now as i pay the morgage, csa and debts.

  • mik says:

    @Sally, where do the rest of ua find a woman like you? 🙂

  • mik says:

    @Terry, when you are moved to CSA3, all previous calculations go out the window. You will be paying for your kids until they are 20.

  • mik says:

    @Sally – when your other 1/2 goes onto CSA3, he’ll be paying £10 per week. Luckily he has you, an awful.lot of other NRP’s are going to have to start eating rat, or get food charity.

  • Sally says:

    @ mik… I would never have thought that a company could get away with daylight robbery, lying and cheating honest hard working NRPs out of their money/homes and their right to be a father…. It disgusts me beyond belief!!

    My partner, like the rest of you, just wants to have a normal relationship with his kids, he does not grudge them a penny and would do anything for them but his greedy ex and the CSA bled him dry and accused him of being ‘uncaring’ when he said he couldn’t afford to pay his mortgage, bills, child maintenance AND fictitious arrears… They were not interested, so we decided to go down this route…. I’m sure the kids will be lied to by the mother but hopefully they will realise they are not actually losing out… They will be getting more and we will be spending less 🙂 only the PWC will feel the pain…. Hee hee hee and I can live with that….

  • Terry says:


    I know about the CS3 but the question is when or if i will be put on it.
    I know that i will be better off on it.

  • brett says:

    Wif and J. Re your replies on 26th February to my comment,
    Surely the CSA and Child Benefits office won’t give me that information under Data Protection ?
    I realise some PWC fraudulently claim CB, but when my son reaches school leaving age at 16 and upto the new child maintenance age of 20, (Ive still not received anything from the CSA informing me of this), if the mother isn’t claiming CB, is that the only way the CSA will close the case ?

  • j says:

    “wilf on February 26th, 2013 10:48 pm

    j:- Sounds to me that your arrears accrued to the secretary of state prior to 2010.”

    Sorry I wasn’t being rude I just missed that post.

    In response, no is the short answer. Actually I stopped work due to the ridiculous amounts being taken from my pay, (apx fifty % including ‘arrears’, I’d only been in work about 6mts having previously been a single parent and earned just over minimum wage) and signed on at the jobcentre which really annoyed me as it was my first job since my divorce.

    According to my data prints the jobcentre advised csa within a week. Csa didnt apply new MA and didnt contact former employer for about a month (or two) but also had confirmation off them. Meantime csa continued the original MA (?), hence the ‘arrears’.

    Met new partner, signed off, went to college, brought up new family.

    Csa continued the original MA (maintenance assesment for the uninitiated) as though I was still working, claiming I had not told them I’d left my work (yes I bloody well had the LIARS) even though they had the proof they needed and failed to follow their own procedures and case law.

    My case ‘closed’ in sept 2011 (so after 2010 wilf in response to your post) and I’m now going for tribunal about the alleged ‘arrears’. Just about got my first tier tribunal hearing coming up (slight delay but should get it) and will win in the end.

    Meantime (and back to the point, sorry wilf) the csa rep at the last Court hearing ‘suggested’ that the reason they have not just admitted their mistake is because the money is destined for the Sec of State for DWP!

    So yes I acknowledge what you are saying, even ‘alice’ confirms where the csa went ‘wrong’ in my case, (although she hasnt offered any advice on how to get justice) but whatever the ‘theory’, some of us are living with the facts on the ground as it were.

    I have not worked, I’m not going to pay what I dont owe and the csa will lose in the end at great cost to the taxpayer.

  • j says:

    “brett on February 27th, 2013 8:49 pm

    Wif and J. Re your replies on 26th February to my comment,
    Surely the CSA and Child Benefits office won’t give me that information under Data Protection ?”

    Hi brett

    Sorry but its late (for me) and I’m ill, regular contributors will know I get tired about this time. (and I havent even had a glass of grape juice yet).

    What information?

    You can access information held on file about YOU under the data protection act, not sure about child benefit but you can ask the csa for ALL information held on file about you in your Data Protection Prints for which there is a £10 fee. (is it still £10 alice?)

    In that you will find info about yourself and the action the csa have taken with your ex plus their dealings with other agencies in relation to your case.

    Sorry I cant help more than that.

  • j says:

    Just to make the point – found an old post (look at the dates at the bottom right of this screen) about ‘arrears’ from the compulsive shyster agency – “Arrears? March 25, 2008 Written by scotland • Filed Under CSA Advice, CSA Complaints, CSA Mistakes”

    So they have been making up arrears from day dot by the look of it although I still think this activity has increased since austerity measures have kicked in.

    I cant wait for the ‘arrears’ that they claim before the csa was invented, only to be beaten by the ‘arrears’ they will claim before the NRP met his/her ex etc (I jest of course) (or do I?)

  • j says:

    Hi wilf, sorry again, told you I was tired, did I say ‘apx fifty % including ‘arrears’’? Well my partner who has made me a nice cuppa just reminded me it was 70% at the time I left.
    Whats that I hear from everyone … they cant do that… well they did thats why I left a job I enjoyed that had given me back my confidence.

  • wilf says:

    Brett:- If you call and say the case should be closed they most likely will reply no it can not be closed as child benefit is still in place or the child is in full time non advanced education if that is what they have learnt.
    They will not give further information than that because that would break data protection but you do have a right to be informed of the reason why your case can not closed when the child is over 16.
    You are more likely to get this kind of reply on the phone rather than in a written reply especially if you are friendly in your manner and are patient while they trawl through their antediluvian computer system for any information.

  • wilf says:

    j:- If your employer has at any time deducted more than 40% of your net income they have a case to answer and equally if the CSA have ordered an employer to deduct more than 40% of your net income they also have a case to answer.
    With regard to CSA knowing from the DWP that you were in receipt of benefits prior to July 2011 they were not obliged to use this information unless you had informed them.
    But it is worth pursuing this point and I would be interested to hear the result of this argument at a tribunal.

  • mik says:

    @Terry: you will be on CSA3 before 2017, or says the blurb. Is it about time all NRP’s contacted one specific uk wide media org asking when they are going to do another investigative piece on the CSA, from a NRP’s perspective?

  • j says:

    Morning all

    @ wilf – am aware of the 40% rule and already discussed this point with ‘alice’, gave up my job as a direct consequence of the amount being taken and no other reason. Currently looking at a case of constructive dismissal. Csa blaming employer and vice versa. Never seen the DEO they had or the prior notice. ‘Alice’ gave some info on procedures that should have been followed (nice step by step process would help alice?) but nothing like that in my Data prints.

    For Brett – I wouldn’t do anything on the phone, from my own experience (and that of others on here) info given on the phone can always be denied. The child benefit issue is a separate deal but the dealings csa have with other departments and reasons for the decisions they make should all be in his Data Protection Prints which he can have for £10. They also have to hand it over within a time limit (40 days?) but send the request via recorded delivery and keep the receipt. He should have that anyway as should everyone on here, you can’t argue a point with the csa without knowing what info they have on file for you and you are entitled in law to have that info.

    In respect of the info shared between the DWP and CSA, first of all I did inform them, in writing as well, usual denial of receipt. However the csa are in fact bound by the law and under the rule in Kerr 2004 the csa should utilise information received from other government departments. This is in fact accepted by the Tribunal as a grounds to proceed.

    BTW the csa often say at magistrates that you cannot argue the amount of their claim. Again this is tish. Here are some interseting cases for people reading this to check out –

    PJG v Child Support Agency [2006] EWHC 423 (Fam)
    Appeal against a CSA liability order on the grounds that the amount of the liability was incorrect.

    Howes (R on the application of) v Child Support Commissioners [2007] EWHC 559 (Admin)
    Appeal by father against Child Support Commissioner’s refusal to hear an appeal as it was considered out of time. Appeal allowed.

    Kerr [2004] UKHL 23, [2004] 1 WLR 1372
    (resulting in the rule that the [agency] should utilise information received from other government departments) (this is case law, it is not a moot point, the csa dont have the option to ignore it, they are bound by the law)

    In my case I sent written info, the employer sent written info and the DWP sent written info. The csa have less than a leg and are currently wasting taxpayers money on a case they will lose. Had large number of Court cases so far, no judge willing to proceed and support the csa application, now gearing up for my Tribunal. (wonder if I can bring a case for malicious prosecution???)

    and of course my current favourite –

    Karoonian v CMEC; Gibbons v CMEC [2012] EWCA Civ 1379
    Child support: procedures adopted for commitment to prison held not to be compliant with Article 6 ECHR. Appeal allowed and orders for commitment set aside. (as I said, the csa are bound by the law)

    The csa will try and convince everyone that they are ‘above the law’ but they talk a lot of tish (another anagram?) Not only can they be beaten but they are beaten quite often. They only get away with things as ordinary peole dont know the law so I hope anyone reading this will look at those cases and get hope.

    Just type them into your search engine, there are plenty more where they came from.

    In my case they messed up and didnt follow procedure (alice already explained that point to me) by not applying an interim MA (£5.50pw?) and have subsequently dug a much deeper taxpayer funded hole for themselves by not correcting. The local rep ‘suggested’ that this was because the money was for the government.

    If that is the case (and it probably is) then its just another example of why the csa should be shut down. (like the case where they claimed to have sent documents to an address BEFORE the NRP had moved to that address, in other words they falsified info in the data prints)

    I hope people take hope from the cases I’ve mentioned, there are so many cases that might address your specific circumstance (Brett) so just look.

    Good luck all. Off to the witch doctor now for my daily spell and potions!

  • brett says:

    Some very interesting comments and very good advice given re this post.
    To those who replied to my comments, Ive been trapped in the CSA system, CSA 1 rules ( 2 cases) since this vile organisation was set up and like Terry, I am paying a lot more than someone under CSA 2 rules. One of the comments mentioned by 2017, everyone will be on CSA 3 rules. Does anyone know how the maintenance will be worked out ?

    I did apply and receive my Data Protection file some months ago, but haven’t had the time, energy or enthusiasm to go through it.
    In 2008, despite never having missed a payment, I got stitched up with over £11,000 of arrears and I was threatened with the baliffs and a liability order. I then had a 40% net pay DEO placed on me.The CSA case worker said the money was owed to the Secretary of State. I did seek independent advice from a CSA advisor who said the arrears were correct.

    Due to change of personal circumstaces I was reassessed last year on my monthly maintenance.Will the Secretary of State “made up arrears” be included in this ? or will be I stitched up with more arrears in the coming years, saying it is owed to the Secretary of State. I take it the only way to keep on top of this is to write to the CSA every few months ?

  • wilf says:

    Brett:- No secretary of state arrears can accrue after April 2010.

  • j says:

    Hi brett

    regarding –

    “I did apply and receive my Data Protection file some months ago, but haven’t had the time, energy or enthusiasm to go through it”

    I do understand, it does drain you but really this is a vital piece of info and you really should look at it in detail, make a copy and stick with it. However much it costs to do in terms of time and money has got to be worth it compared to the ruination of your life and the making up of arrears for as long as you are in work.

    For example – the arrears of 11k when you have never missed a payment sound a bit suspicious.

    Who is an ‘independent’ csa advisor? Did they explain HOW there are arrears? Were you given notice before the DEO?

    You can still make a complaint through the process even if you have the data prints. Just dont give up.

  • wilf says:

    j:- On CS1 there are 3 kinds of interim assessments,
    category A 1.5 times the maintenance requirement where no information from the NRP has been forthcoming,
    category B used where the NRP’s partner has not provided income details and so no protected income is used in the assessment and thus an affordable amount is not determined or considered,
    category C a temporary amount is determined to be paid up to £30 per week when a NRP changes from being PAYE to going self employed.

    On CS2 there is only what is known as a default maintenance decision where no information is available to make an assessment.

    £5 per week is the amount normal deducted by the benefit agency, at the request of the CSA, from benefits.

  • j says:

    Thanks for that. ‘Alice’ who works for the csa mentioned the interim payments on another post. (I thought the deductions from benefits was £5.50pw?) In any event thanks to the rule in Kerr they should not have been ‘assessing’ me based on an income they knew in writing, I no longer had.

    It wasnt a case of not providing info or not having info available, I wrote to csa, employer wrote to csa and jobcentre also advised them through internal process, this info in my data prints so no excuses there.

    What is most galling is the money is for the government, yet here is the thing, when you count in the time spent on dealing with my case, and court cases etc I’m told its cost the csa more than the claim against me. That really is pathetic and seems to reflect the mentality, its taxpayers money so what the hey.

    Will keep all posted on outcomes.

    Good luck to all.

  • wilf says:

    j:- Alice has said previously that ”her” knowledge of CS1 is limited.
    Yes the CSA has always cost more than it ever secured.
    It would have been simpler and cheaper for the state to have paid the million PWCs rather than the 7600 civil servants and the IT companies employed to administer and construct the not fit for purpose organisation.

  • j says:

    “It would have been simpler and cheaper for the state to have paid the million PWCs rather than the 7600 civil servants and the IT companies employed to administer and construct the not fit for purpose organisation.”

    You are probably right, there has been no actual calculation of the costs to the economy in addition to the extortionate costs like the money given to that Maria Millar woman to re house her parents at taxpayers expense (all within the rules of course).

    Maybe we should look at the amount of people giving up work, working a fiddle, killing themselves etc, not to mention the cost to the economy of the broken homes, kids in care etc.

    Like I said you are probably right, I wouldn’t know the csa did nothing to help me when I was a PWC and I only got benefits for a year before getting a job again. (which I lost thanks to the csa/employer)

    Are there really a ‘million PWC’s’ or is that another ‘misleading title’? I thought the divorce rate was about 170,00pa and going down.

    You are right though that the csa costs more to run than it collects and whatever the arguments about paying a ‘million’ PWC’s its fair to say that in a private business you don’t operate at a loss, but then private business doesn’t run on taxpayers money.

  • wilf says:

    j:- The CSA have over a million cases some on CS1 the majority on CS2, each case must have a PWC.
    Many ex couples with children have never been married hence no association with divorce figures.

  • j says:

    “The CSA have over a million cases some on CS1 the majority on CS2, each case must have a PWC.”

    Fascinating, where can I see that, is it a published figure?

  • wilf says:

    j:- CSA statistics into search engine.

  • j says:

    Thank you. I just had a quick look at

    “ › Statistics › A to Z of statistics

    The latest National Statistics for the Child Support Agency were released by the Department for Work and Pensions on the 20 February 2013 according to …”

    Which is an interesting insight into the minds at work here. The graph on page 2 seems to show less than a million cases (?).

    Interesting comment on the Karoonian case as well near the end of the report.

  • j says:

    Here is an old post which shows the decline in cases handled by the csa, over a million at the time but as I saw in the dwp site perhaps less than that now. –

    “Number of cases handled by the CSA falls

    June 1, 2010

    In March 2009, CSA help was given to 1.24 million different families within the UK regarding claiming child maintenance payments following a family separation. However, in March 2010 the organisation only dealt with 1.15 million cases in total – a significant fall on the same month the previous year.

    Written by Michael – staff · Filed Under CSA News

    Related CSA Posts

    ■CSA helps 800,000 UK children to receive financial support

    One Response to “Number of cases handled by the CSA falls”
    ■chall on June 2nd, 2010 9:06 am

    One assumes that, the repeal of section 6 on 27th October 2008, which originally obligated a PWC in receipt of benefit to authorise the Secretary of State to take action under the Act OR face a reduced benefit decision, has greatly assisted the significant fall in applications.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall”

    Meantime the anecdotal evidence I’ve found suggests that it costs more than it makes, destroys lives and does more to provide work to the 7,600 low grade civil service staff in areas of high unemployment than it does to help a PWC.

    Thanks to sites like this people can find out how to take on this utterly obnoxious department and win.

    I do think that the cost to the country is a factor so happy to meet wilf halfway on the point. I have a better idea to save money though, I reckon it would be cheaper to pay a million PWC’s benefits (or even 2 million) than it has been to attack Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya (or even Syria, the next on the list) none of which attacked us by the way.

  • wilf says:

    j:- Page 10 states 1,115,400 cases, 853,600on CS2and 261,800 on CS1.
    Yes the total has decreased since 2008 when the obligation for those on benefit to involve the CSA was removed.
    Yes wars a waste unless defending the homeland. Defending oilfields for USA is unforgivable.

  • j says:

    “Yes wars a waste unless defending the homeland. Defending oilfields for USA is unforgivable”

    Best quote of the night methinks whatever colour flag you like.

  • brett says:

    Wilf and J. Once again thanks for your advice.
    Its great news to hear no Secretary of State arrears cannot accrue after April 2010, although Im sure the deceitful CSA will have other plans in place to stitch up the good guys out there.
    J… The CSA advisor, I got his details from the website. He was an ex CSA employee,( don’t laugh), now giving guidance. He seemed to know his stuff. He went through my CSA paperwork, (not my Data Protection file), and said the government, Labour were in power at the time, had given the CSA additional powers to reassess people and back date it. I also had two cases overlaping at the time, which always seemed to confuse the CSA caseworkers. Because of my occupation at the time, he said I was a sitting duck for the CSA.
    I then drove 5 hours to get a second opinion, after being given false hope on the phone from a CSA legal services company and the bloke didn’t even bother to look through my paper work. He just talked crap and took £120 from me

    J… Even if I do get the energy and enthusiasm to go through my DP file, what exactly am I looking for ? Or do I pay more money to a CSA legal company to check through the file for me. Anyone out there recommend anyone ?

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