What’s the point in trying to make an honest living when you seem to be penalised for doing so?

January 5, 2014

I am a mum and an NRP. My ex husband took my daughter to live 120 miles away, leaving me with a lot of debt in my name as he was bankrupt. I had to keep on working to try to pay it off and misguidedly, I thought it would be better if my daughter lived with him, as he did not work. However, he has not worked one day in the 9 years we have been apart, I have paid maintenance and at present I am working 2 jobs so that I can afford to run a car and travel to see my daughter, every 2 weeks.

Today I got a letter from the CSA saying that I now have to pay £212 each month maintenance as I owe them £552 arrears! What is the point of trying to make an honest living when you seem to be penalised for doing so. I wouldn’t even mind if my ex was contributing to my daughter’s upkeep, but he just sit’s around all day claiming benefits, and is financially much better off than I am. Yet the CSA take more money form me and for what…my daughter comes to me in clothes that dont fit and shoes with holes.

I am almost 60 yrs old and I am tired, sad, and worried about how I am going to manage to keep working all these hours to fund the CSA, it is such an unfair system for absent parents…don’t they realise that it is the worst thing ever to be separated from your child, along with the continual emotional hassle from the resident parent, and then they add to it by giving us financial worries too!!

I’m sorry if I’ve gone on a bit but today I’m feeling very upset-AGAIN!


  • linda blacker says:

    I do understand Harry, and I’ve understood for the past 9 years, I’m an absent mum with an ex husband who has made my life hell, and used my daughter as a weapon to hurt me. Between him and the CSA, I have had 9 years of absolute heartache! Caz, my daughter knows that she can come live with whenever she wants to, but I also have to make it clear to her that it’s ok if she wants to stay with her dad. She loves us both, she has her life in Durham, her friends and her school are all up there and I don’t want to mess with her head by trying to influence her to leave her dad- I suspect she gets enough of that from him-I’d LOVE to, but it’s not what’s best for her. Thank you all for taking the time to answer me, it helps to know you are there.

  • Martyn W says:

    Keep your chin up Linda. You’re in the same boat as many of us. The CSA have so many one sided, persecuting laws on their side. A few years ago I was reassessed but not notified I had been reassessed for 12 months. I had moved but had sent my new address details to the CSA. My phone numbers however had not changed anyway (and phone is allegedly their preferred method of contact . . . yeah right) so as they claim they couldn’t contact me (they could but didn’t), I ended up owing thousands in arrears which I am still paying (over £600 a month in total). This practice should be banned by law as it causes financial hardship, which the CSA are not “allowed” to do. Yet they do. And get away with it. Then my ex wife was arrested, my children removed by Social Services owing to squalid living conditions and I then had custody of my children for several months. As she was still claiming Child benefit for them the CSA continued taking my money for 2 months (and the “arrears” still “owed” to her) leaving me in severe financial hardship. To add insult to injury as she hasn’t worked for 20 years and lives permanently on benefits through choice the CSA told me I could only claim £5 a week from her! What a joke. CSA were quick enough to steal my money again when the kids moved back too (sorry but as far as I am concerned its theft to take money from someone without them agreeing to it) Also I have a “clean break” divorce settlement which means I don’t pay her any maintainence, just the children. However I pay the CSA £600 a month which she gets, but then they reduce her benefits substantially (NOT the child benefit). Therefore QED I’m effectively paying the govt for her benefits she’d get if she wasn’t getting CSA money! Again this should be an illegal practice surely? (Why should I pay for her to live on benefits? I pay hundreds in tax and NI every month so its basically another Government tax to work this way). Just because the CSA CAN apply a law it doesn’t mean they MUST? How a parent with custody can be allowed to sit watching tv all day, laughing at all the benefits she gets year after year and abuse her children, while the working non resident parent is being fleeced at every level, makes me sick. I can’t afford to do much with my kids as a result, yet my kids see nothing of the money I’m paying her other than some food and fewer clothes (ie a LOT less than £600 a month!) and thus their lives are affected. BOTH parents should pay for kids upbringing, not just the non resident parent. The appeals process is a joke. There is no give and take or independent ability to look at cases from all sides. Goalposts keep moving too, I notice CSA can be payable up to age 20 now; it was 19 in the last leaflet I saw. Perhaps the “Sheriff of Nottingham” of Robin Hood fame should be the chief exec. It would probably be a fairer system under him.

  • linda blacker says:

    Martyn, what’s happened to you is horrendous!! It puts my problems into perspective, they are minimal compared to what you have had to contend with! How on earth do the CSA get away with destroying decent people’s lives?! Not only have we gone through a difficult marriage which has ended with the loss of our childen…we are then subjected to financial abuse by the CSA and emotional abuse by our ex’s. We go through hell while these ‘resident’ parents do what the hell they want, sometimes not even looking after our children properly, yet none of this matters to the CSA. I don’t know how they sleep nights! How do they get away with it Martyn! How can they put a man through the hell they have given you!?
    Thank you for taking the time to tell me your story, it really does make me feel very humble. Take care and good luck for the future! I hope 2014 brings you much deserved happiness. Linda

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