The system is flawed as absent father gets away without paying while I lose benefits

May 27, 2018

I have a question about CSA that I dont seem to have had any answers on so wondered if you can help?

We live in a world promoting equal rights and fighting against discrimination but I feel the CSA allow discrimination and no equal rights.

I will give myself as an example but I am one of many of thousands of lone parents in this situation.

I left my husband 9yrs ago because of domestic abuse which ended up having a severe effect on my health, I was left with depression, anxiety and severe high blood pressure. I became a single parent with 3 young children, I was unable to work because of my illnesses so ended up in the first time of my life on benefits. I done what most single parents end up doing and went to CSA to get money from my estranged husband for my children. Like many absent parents he refused to pay, CSA took years to eventually get a deductions of earnings from him as he refused to respond to their letters/phone calls, eventually they went to his employer and took a deductions of earnings order out on him, by then I had got into debt from borrowing money to make ends meet, he owed me over £3000 in CSA arrears and he was assessed at paying me (cant really remember the full figures as it was quite a few years ago now) but was assessed to pay around £280 a month CSA for his 3 children and a further £40 a month towards the £3000 CSA arrears.

I was over the moon as it meant I could now pay my rent, bills and put food on the table for my children. Well this only lasted a few months and he gave up his job and told CSA he was being supported by his partner and did not need to work so CSA payments stopped. It was all lies as he started working cash in hand and not registering as self employed and not declaring it to HMRC so he could get away without paying CSA and that was the end of my CSA case, he is assessed every year at zero and not told to pay any of the £3000 arrears.

This left me in a terrible financial mess living on arrears for years. Recently I met my new partner after being on my own for years and we have discussed moving in together and now this is where I see discrimination and no equal rights. I found out the moment I move in with my partner I loose my ESA sickness benefit, my tax credits and even my child benefit gets reduced as my partner earns £50k a year. Now you may be thinking to yourselves wow your partner earns £50k a year which is plenty for you all to live on. My partner has his own depts to pay and if he took me and my 3 children on he would then have all the rent, bills to pay, pay for my children, put food on the table and pay my debts. Yet if I move in with him in the eyes of CSA and benefits he then becomes financially liable to pay for me and my children but in the eyes of the courts he has not rights over my children ie he cant change their surnames to his, the childrens father is still in control of all the legal issues in their lives etc etc.

So looking at all that why is it that the absent parent (my now ex husband, the father of my children) can walk out on his children, refuse to pay CSA (because he says he is not working) move in with another women yet CSA dont then say that because he is living with his partner that his partner should be financially responsible for his children and they dont go to his partner demanding CSA money for his children yet the parent with care who finds a partner their partner is suddenly financially responsible for the children and the parent with care looses all their benefits. Surely is this not discrimination and not equal rights?? Has anyone ever looked into this or raised it or tried to fight it at court or with the government as this to me is a very big and unfair situation. I would love it if people would get together and challenge the government on this. What do you think or am I missing something??

Comments

3 Responses to “The system is flawed as absent father gets away without paying while I lose benefits”

  1. Sonja on June 5th, 2018 1:50 pm

    Most benefits are payed based on a household income like tax credits. Dont think of it as discrimination, it also works the other way.
    My husband payed every week in cash for his child, then his ex thought that she might squeeze a few pennies more my going through the CSA. Hubby’s ex had a new live in partner who worked (she chose not to work) so my husband was the only person expected to contribute to his child (fair enough, new partner shouldn’t be expected to financially support another mans child) However, new partner claimed a tax credit top up on his earnings as his partner didn’t work and there was a child in the house!!!

  2. Rafal on October 1st, 2018 1:58 pm

    Hi
    So I am off sick from work for 6 weeks already .My question is can CSA make any deductions from my ssp?
    As my ex is so unreasonable and stubborn she don’t even want to hear that I can’t afford payment of £278 pcm when i getting £92 ssp p/w.How this will work out?

  3. Ember on December 16th, 2018 4:29 pm

    Yeah, well the joint household income thing isn’t one way discrimination. Everybody is subject to joint household income rules.

    My partner is now a NRP of three children, and his exes recent claim to CMS means he has to pay out 300 a month for them.. meanwhile I’m currently on statutory maternity pay as our first child is expected.

    When my maternity pay runs out we are in a situation where I either have to go straight back to work or we split up our household because the Universal Credit system entitles me to nothing under the joint income rules because of my partners earnings.

    What they don’t take into account is there’s 300 of his earnings that me and the baby don’t see, because they go to his ex.

    And that’s the least of it, he still has to pay 80 in petrol to see them and we rent a 3 bed as opposed to 2 bed so his kids can stay over here alternative weekends.

    Between the maintenance payment, the extra room, the petrol and my lack of benefit entitlement, we can’t afford the new baby due next month.

    Going back to work with a 6 month baby isn’t going to be easy for me because we’ve just moved to a new city, we have no child care or support network to help, and my partner works 40 hours a week and commutes 10.

    Therefore I can try really really hard to find 20 hours to cover the bills, or we split up the household.

    Don’t see why my baby should suffer, or why I should have to work for the 700+ monthly expense of his previous children… When we could just split up the household, and I’ll get full benefit entitlement as a new mother.

    That’s not how we wanted it to be, we want to be a family and be a part of all the kids lives, however even his (decently sized) pay check isn’t enough to cover our living costs and everything for his previous children.

    I’ve always worked so only recently looked into what benefits I can claim as a single mother, and it turns out that it’s more than ample.. I’d be better off than when I was in my low paid jobs working full time.

    There’s lots of inherent flaws in this system, both ways.. and I think it needs a radical over haul.

    As currently, it’s incentivising more families to split up rather than stay together.

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