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Stop CSA charges

The new system at a glance


The new system will be called the Child Maintenance Service and will replace the CSA.

Parents will be encouraged to make a private, family-based arrangement for their child maintenance rather than use the Child Maintenance Service to collect maintenance.

Where this doesn't work or isn't possible, parents with care will have to pay a £20 upfront fee to apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

Having paid £20 and got a calculation, parents will in almost all cases be asked to try a Direct Pay arrangement, where the paying parent pays the CMS amount to the parent with care directly.  It is only if this does not work, that the CMS can step in and collect the maintenance due.
 
Parents with care who use the Child Maintenance Service to collect maintenance from their child’s other parents will then be charged an ongoing fee of 4 per cent on any maintenance paid.

The paying parent will be charged an extra 20 per cent charge, added on to their child maintenance amount, if they are in the collection service.


What our campaign has achieved so far

With your help, we've made a huge impact on the proposals since they were first announced. Here's what you've helped us achieve:

  • A reduction in the upfront fee single parents will need to pay to use the new statutory system (The Child Maintenance Service) from £100 to £20
  • A landslide defeat of the proposals in the House of Lords, with peers voting against the government in record numbers
  •  reduction in the ongoing collection charge for single parents from a proposed seven per cent of all maintenance paid, to four per cent.

What we’re still fighting for


Fundamentally, Gingerbread believes it’s wrong to charge single parents to access money their children are entitled to. We will continue to campaign against the charges at every level.

We also have real concerns about how the new system will work practically, particularly for single parents with maintenance arrears and for those who have been victims of domestic violence.

We will voice our concerns at every opportunity to work towards the creation of a child maintenance system that genuinely helps single parent families get the money their children deserve.  

Comments

Mrsmush1 avatar
Mrsmush1
22 March 2014 18:14

I can actually see this argument from both sides of the coin. Firstly I have a daughter from a previous marriage that I receive maintenance payment for through the Csa, becausey x husband was wry violent towards me. When the changes are made, even though my precious marraige was violent, I will be willing to except direct payments from my ex. My new husband on the other hand is a non resident parent but we have his daughter every wed and thur night and every other weekend. When my husband started his current job he rang his ex and volunteered payment directly into her bank account but she flatly refused and applied through Csa instead, (that resulted in her getting less than my husband actually offered). This woman now has 5 children by 5 different men as while she is in a relationship she cheats (normally resulting in relationship breakdown). The thing is that for one of her sons she accepts payments directly from his father. My question is why should my husband have to pay an extra 20% on top of his maintenance payments when he has offers to pay directly and it is his ex who is being unreasonable?

Myla avatar
Myla
26 November 2013 06:58

I'm sorry, the government are sick in their head; First of all they can just stop complicating these new laws and regulations regarding payments with children. They should just charge the non-complying parent 20 - 25% for child support regardless of how many kids there is and take the 4% from that. The parents of care has a lot more work on their hands regarding the responsibility of their child. So that seems to me really unnecessary. Sometimes I wonder if the government wants a slap or a kick lol or attention, because the rubbish and spiteful things they come out with, it is really appalling and insulting to think that these people will take from the parent with care which are mostly single mothers and some single fathers who's already going through enough stress! We are not aliens! (They don't know how to manage England let alone parents with care) At least if all non complying parents paid 25% they would be very careful with whom they release inside with or open up to in the future. Therefore there will be a much better result in the future in regards to parents and child care.

charwood23 avatar
charwood23
25 November 2013 14:15

I personally think it is a good thing. The CSM should be there when parents cannot agree, like adults, in sorting out their affairs. It is to encourage a fair payment in support of our children. Yet many parents with care (PWC) believe they are owed more. I over paid in 2012 by £2700 and this year, having reigned it in a little, still over pay by £60 a month. I want to support my children and it is right us non resident parents (NRP) do. What irks me is my ex thinks I am working all the overtime available and wants more money as a result so is going to the CSM. So for me the fee will be for the CSM in the wasting of their time doing an assessment and also making her £84 a month worse off. We pay for any service, why should we not have to pay for this. It's free for the worst cases and those in need most and the 20% fee for the NRP will only serve for them to get their act together. 4% in most cases will be well spent if they were not in receipt of anything in the first place. For me it will deter the greedy NRP's and encourage those who don't pay to start doing so. Win win.

Lala36 avatar
Lala36
18 November 2013 22:28

I think it is disgraceful the csa is rubbish as it is I made a claim 2 yrs ago and heard that my ex would pay £20 a week for my little girl he made £40 then it just stopped I phoned csa and they told me they can't make him pay because of cut backs and now this government wants our children to pay for this service. A service that is punishing the child and stressing the residential parent while letting the non residential parent live there life with no worries how to feed, clothe and keep the child warm with a roof over there head. This government is a joke can't wait for the next election and get these robbing bastards out. They are happy to give millions to foreign aid but to there own british children they just take take take and leave them in poverty

bev6078 avatar
bev6078
15 November 2013 21:00

charging for the csa is a joke after over 10 years of bring up 4 children on my own the csa never managed to extract so much as a penny out of my ex husband after he refused to pay totally useless service. the CSA needs reforming in favor of the children but not by taking the money out of their mouths

moodymum avatar
moodymum
15 November 2013 20:34

I am a homeless mother who pays child support, I had to write to David Cameron because after paying my ex for 3 children I had £425 a month to live on, I cannot rent privately, I should only be paying for 1 child as some are not attending further education but are enroled so I still pay, still homeless living on friends sofas while my ex and his new partner choose not to work yes they have been offered work but no they get everything paid fir. Me I don't get to see my kids, who are over 16 but I hope they know I paid for them I set it up but if this new dept take more money then sorry I will have to choose to go unemployed or take home less than someone on unemployment so much for trying to do the right thing

Neil1303 avatar
Neil1303
01 November 2013 05:56

All comments taken into consideration , sometimes it's the father who ends up at "the bottom of the ladder"; 15 percent of your wage is a big chunk when you are on a low income my best friend earn minimum wage and has to pay £32 a week to his ex when he only earns £200 a week and has to pay £500 a month rent plus gas electric pol tax , food etc ... And is consequently now living on my sofa because he can't afford his rent and his is spit full enough to not allow him to see his child he has to see his child through a contact centre at the other side of the country and yet women his ex still has the cheek to complain about how much csa she gets off him yet how much csa do single fathers get when it's the other way around ?????? Absolutley nothing , equal rights? No such thing ? I am in a similar situation myself my daughter is 2 and I would love to have regular contact with her all I get is a few photos now and again as I have no idea where she is living and yet she had half the proceeds of the sale of my house with she had never paid a penny towards had my car and everything I bought for my daughter up until she decided to run off with her new partner and live a life of luxury while I'm left living on the bread line working 60 hours a week to earn enough to cover my bills and pay csa , it's not just a financial it's a emotional roller coaster to being on this side of the csa could how you would feel if the father of your child stopped you seeing your child took everything you worked hard for and left you in financial difficulty on top of that . Obviously this isn't always the case some fathers are wasters and should pay for there child instead of dosing around "playing happy family's"; but don't be so quick to judge everyone to the same it's not always the case some people don't know how easy they have it compared to others . I will leave it there because this topic really gets on my nerves I had to comment

Whippets avatar
Whippets
16 August 2013 10:07

My maintenance is supposedly collected by a deduction of earnings order, and according to the paymeny schedule I recieved should be collected on the 25th of each month. However I am informed by the CSA they do not deduct or collect anything on the 25th, the employer has a month to send payment, and I may have to wait another 2 weeks to recieve it, so all in all I have to wait 6 weeks each time to recieve my maintenance. If paying for the service means they can be called to answer more then great. If not then it's just money for an already shoddy service.

Nancy avatar
Nancy
14 October 2012 00:43

This is all wrong. It just turns my stomach. Already we are facing cuts, job loss, reduced hours, highr food bills, higher fuel costs and so on. How can this be a step in the right direction for children? How can a single mum prevent her child being in poverty? Even as a professional, who has just lost her job due to cuts, I am aware that we are close to being in poverty. I am counting pennies for my food bills. My son's clothes are too small.... what gives? Fuel or new shoes for son? The government fails to realise that we are talking about absent fathers who are not human. Why should a mother have to contact an absent father? Why have to go through all that again? And where are these inhumane fathers... do we have to search the streets for them? Do we risk them knowing where we are when the reason it ended was abuse? It is shameful. Shame on this country. For me its the straw that broke the camels back. What about our children?

Troubsy avatar
Troubsy
12 June 2012 21:01

What a joke! All i can say is that if as a consumer we have to pay then we have the right to compensation when the csa fail as they have for 3 years in my case! I have already been awarded compensation due to the numbnuts who work in the norfolk office and thankfully had my case changed to different office! Who exactly voted these toff rich loving people in, in the first place, they rob from the poor to give to the rich - bring back Robin Hood!!

Caroline1971 avatar
Caroline1971
02 April 2012 11:22

I think its totally shocking what the government are proposing, I am a single parent as my daughters father has decided he wants to play happy families with someone else. If its not bad enough that they are taking away the child tax credit for most people and charging us poor single parents money to get money from the childs parent who has caused all the trouble and then a pittyful 15% of their annual wage - makes my blood boil!

Nyrab avatar
Nyrab
21 February 2012 22:35

I don't understand this - the CSA are completely inept. if we are paying for their services are they going to become more accountable? Will the services improve? Haven't they just undergone a major overhaul in the last few years because they were so inept? Has anyone noticed an improvement? The fact that single parents are often dependent on two of the worst managed government agencies (CSA and Tax Credits) speaks volumes about our status in society. I think this is Iain D-S's stealth plan in action

cat277 avatar
cat277
20 February 2012 19:09

please sign this petition to stop the csa charges http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29768

gemma_68 avatar
gemma_68
14 February 2012 03:37

I feel very sick to this decision. I'm on benefit and still they will charge me? My ex is on benefit too so i'm just taking £1O every fornight. Maybe they will ask why should i csa the man for the tiny amount? My answer is this might be tiny to the MP's and to the people or politician who made such decision but for the poor like me who got three kids to look after this is massive. Why is it that the most vulnerable members of the public be incarcerated like this? I have worked for many years giving my tax as a lone parent until I have to give up my career. I know how to live in a limelight of a career person to a benefit one and it's always always the poor hardworking people this government is incarcerating whenever there's a flaw in the system wherein THEM on the top had created it! SHAME TO THIS LAWMAKERS WHO ALWAYS TARGET THE VULNERABLE! ITS SICKENING!!! MY MESSAGE IS HAVE MERCY TO THE CRYING PARENTS AND HUNGRY KIDS!!!

Mary-Jane avatar
Mary-Jane
10 February 2012 22:22

The CSA isn't perfect. Not much in this world is. But charging one of the most vulnerable groups in the country for attempting to provide for there children is an absolute disgrace. The parent left holding the baby will without doubt be the slowest. Any civilized society would support the weakest but all we want to do is take a tax of the tiny amount of money the CSA can collect. When I first became a single parent the absent parent of my son did everything he could to get out of paying maintenance, skipping payments changing dates of payments, refusing to review pay rises. For him to know that I would have to loose a percentage of maintenance just to have a regular fair arrangement gives him more opportunities to mess me around. Who looses from this? Everybody. My son because there is now hostility in the air again, there is less money in the pot - less food in the cupboard - no more outings this year... Me because I'm irritated, it's not fair, I have to spend more time squeezing the last drop out of each penny, spend less time with my son. When will the government realise that being a single parent means being the only one around and therefore doing everything. It should be clearly understood that we don't have time to work out the details on there numerous schemes. It needs to be straight forward so that we can give our time to the bringing up of our children. I've paid tax all my life and expect very little for it. I pay National Insurance and expect to use the NHS. I pay council tax and expect the bins to be emptied. I pay tax to a government and I expect law and order. Is that too much to ask? I have a child and therefore a court order. If I have to pay to enforce the court order it isn't worth the paper it is written on. The main point of family law is that parents have a duty to care for there children. As simple idea which should be seamless. It involves providing for the them. If this isn't given freely it should be taken. This is fair and simple. Charging children for this right is ludicrous.

Single-Mum-Student avatar
Single-Mum-Student
07 February 2012 11:58

What is the Government thinking!!!! Seriously!!!! I am totally shocked at this and feel for anyone that gets money through the CSA. I on the other hand do not get any money from them as my ex has done his up most to find all the loop holes in the system and not pay child support for the past 5 years and the system thay have in place will not catch him. But this is the Tory Government at it's best, just like Thatcher (Poll Tax) yes I understand that they have to claw back all this money that Labour left, but hitting the most vulnerable, not just single parents, but chidren ....our future generation! I know this has nothing to do with this, but we all give to charities such as comic relief etc, but in a few years we are going to have more poverty, crime rates increasing in the UK. Lets just all hope that the TORY party do not get into power in the next election. Back to the original matter of the CSA, hopefully Gingerbread can make a stand and put there arguements across. But all us single parents are doing a fantastic job of bring our children up on our own (money or no money from the CSA) and you should be proud of yourselves. I know it's hard but one thing that keeps me level headed and feet on the ground is that I see my daughter wake up and go to sleep every morning, see her smile, laugh, grow up to be a wonderful lady and look to her furture career path. That in its self is something that money can not buy and something that a non-resident parent will never see again and to be honest I am glad I do not get any money from him as I know that I have single handedly raised my child to who she is today and that is the most amazing satisfaction I will ever have in my life ..... :D

cheesefreak avatar
cheesefreak
04 February 2012 10:52

I am absolutely disgusted with this government whose primary aim to solve the economic disaster caused by the super rich is to penalise the most vulnerable! I've already had my daughters disability living allowance halved which means I no longer qualify for carers allowance. I am now eligible for work although my circumstances remain unchanged. The appalling service I have received from the CSA over the years does not justify one penny of payment to them. Perhaps we need a more visible method of protest - a march perhaps.

susanne 73 avatar
susanne 73
04 February 2012 09:04

I am disgusted by the goverments decision to keep these csa charges, it makes me so mad that for some reason they seem to have it in for us single parents!!!!! Not all fathers are the same i accept that, but some just walk away without a care in the world leaving mums to not only pick up the pieces but also financially support our children, and what do we get for it csa charges!!!!. Well how about our children where on earth does any of this benefit them. My useless ex father lives with mummy and daddy at the pathetic age of 34. He doesnt pay csa even though he works full time and avoids it at all costs. Not only is a mother expected to work when her child is five and look after the children which is a full time job in itself but also now funding the csa which is suppose to be there for the children. In my opinion they should get a WOMEN in power someone who lives in the real world and knows what there talking about. Can the goverment find anything else to target single parents seriously!!!!

Micadejen avatar
Micadejen
03 February 2012 23:25

This is really sad. I have never used the CSA as my ex partner is outside of UK jurisdiction and in the 8 years I have been a single parent I have never received a penny in support for our 3 kids. The irony is that I used to be a finance case worker for the CSA I do sympathise with all the parents who will have to pay to use the service but I also hope this will prompt many parents to become more matured about their separation and learn to work together for the benefit of their children. At least, let one good thing come out of this. I also hope the government will try and look at other alternatives to applying charges in the long run.

angeline2011 avatar
angeline2011
03 February 2012 21:24

once again, its the working class who suffer. they've cut our sure starts, libraries, post offices and other services and now this, the greedy ruthless ones at the top wont stop until they completley bleed us dry! my ex ran to the hills when i got pregnant and then tried to wiggle his way out of paying maintanance for my daughter when i opened a CSA case, there wasn't a cat in hell's chance of him agreeing to help contribute financially if I had approached him so the CSA was really my only option. They fail to understand how people really need this service as communication has broken down with either parent and now introducing a charge is ultimatley going to effect the children-WHY SHOULD THEY SUFFER!??

Debt_S_Trust avatar
Debt_S_Trust
26 January 2012 13:28

This can only be described as madness. Single parents struggling to make ends meet should pay money to pursue money which they are legally entitled to? We help single parents with debt problems - how will they afford even £50? Then, after the parent does receive child support allowance a percentage will go towards the agency? This is fundamentally flawed and a 'one size fits all solution' which cannot work in practise.

Bobberuk avatar
Bobberuk
25 January 2012 19:44

I am a non resident parent with an amazing 13yr old son who is a real testiment to his mothers upbringing. I pay my CSA payments through a DOE and don't begrudge him a single penny. This way of payment works brilliantly for us as it removes the messy affair of discussing money when we are arranging visitations. Why change our agreement, if it works for my ex partner and for me and allows us to concentrate on what matters then leave it alone. The people that should be penalised should be those parents who don't pay, don't live up to their responsibilities and should be levied a charge to dissuade them for being such a nuisance!

gaillywailly avatar
gaillywailly
25 January 2012 19:09

tax the people who rely on help.... yes lets make the poor poorer and line your own pockets.... thieving tory government..... lets hope they take a big fall soon

gaillywailly avatar
gaillywailly
25 January 2012 19:06

I am a single parent with 2 children (aged 6 and 8) I am a full-time student so receive no benefits other than child tax credits and child benefit. As well as being a full time student I work seasonally at my local supermarket and have just secured casual work as a support worker for vulnerable people in society. I rely on the money i get through the CSA in order to eat every week. I have no option but to us the CSA as my ex uses money as a control method, and I have no option but to accept the charges if they go ahead. This government is going to cripple me financially, I have no family support where I am therefore cannot afford childcare so am having to try and pick up shifts when im not at college and the kids are at school as I have no one else who can help me. So I am doing all I can to support my family. I have a few problems with this propsal.... The CSA are paid by the UK taxpayer, the absent parents who DO pay maintenance for their children must be working- therefore are already paying for the CSA via their tax, arent they?? Life as a single parent is difficult enough financially without having additional funds being taken away fro us, my children are the ones who will suffer for these changes.... Im pretty sure the government wanted to 'stamp out child poverty' so how is taking money from children helping this problem?? So fed up of the middle-class tory toffs trying to say that single parentage is affordable, it's far from it.... they should try walking a mile in my shoes! this cannot happen, they can't tax under 18's so are going to take money by other means and penalise these children because their parents have split up... HOW IS THIS FAIR????

kath522 avatar
kath522
06 November 2011 21:33

hi my ex lives in nottingham and he left me when i was 3 weeks pregent , i worked for years paying tax like every one else , i had no choice i had to get money off te ex by using the csa as the ex ,changed hes number so i could not make any other arrangements to get money ,i have no contact details for my ex so im in an impossable situation ,all i can say is i need every penny my ex pays if i dont get it m daughter will suffer with me as i need it for food and hight heating bills and also to clothe my daugher and to get he school uniforms thtat are lots of money to pay for my daughter would also suffer at birthdays and xmas due to the goverment takeing away her money she would not get any presents. we are liveing a really poor life now but if the goverment gos ahead with this then me and my daughter will suffer .....................this goverment is going to drag us all down and they dont care about poor people and children laber would never of done this to young children only the poor will suffer and the children it makes me sick that they are planning on taxing children the goverment needs to sto these plans as these plans will cause bi impacts on children

Poppy mama avatar
Poppy mama
30 October 2011 22:34

The father of my child earns two hundred pounds an hour yet declares only one hundred pounds A WEEK to the CSA. He has two other children so my daughter gets £1.67 a week. no, the decimal point is in the right place! What's 12% of that? It's an insult and yet the government allows this ridiculous system to continue.

Sarah_7638 avatar
Sarah_7638
18 October 2011 23:14

I think this is totally ridiculous and it makes me so annoyed to think money is being put before peoples needs, single parents are vulnerable financially and any sudden bill can cause major stress and can take a long time to pay off. Every bit of money counts. I was using the csa before my daughters father decided money was more precious than his daughter and moved to dubai with his parents to work (knowing that csa cant get money from there) so now i am providing financially alone. But if i could i would use csa however with charges involved it doesnt really benefit the child as an ex on jobseekers pays 5 pounds a week so itll be 20 weeks of maintenance before the charge is paid off! No way can this go ahead if it does it will devastate alot of single parents and their childrens lives!! For god sake put care and helping people before money!!

sushicookie avatar
sushicookie
07 October 2011 12:39

If the Government do this to us, myself & my daughter would have to choose between heating or eating! I rely on my Ex Partners paltry sum each month to pay Utility bills so really that money never really gets spent on her as such. i am totally disgusted that this poxy Government moan about SIngle parent families relying on benefits etc...when the REAL culprits are the absent fathers who make life difficult on the innocent children deeply effected by their lack of maturity towards their own children. We should not be penalised and made to "pay" for the collection of money -nor should we "give" them a percentage of our childrens' money! We barely exist as it is! I think that there should be more of a deterrent to absent fathers who refuse or make it difficult for mothers to get what their children deserve. Sounds extreme, but a custodial sentence would make them think twice about lying, leaving employment on purpose (so the child receives the bare minimum) and so on. I am going to start a petition locally and on Facebook and see what happens. I'd also love to see a few jumped up politicians try to live and bring up children on a pitance for a while...

Vik75xx avatar
Vik75xx
19 September 2011 09:03

My ex husband left me 6 years ago, I currently work part-time as I have to rely heavily on my parents for childcare as there is none in the area, if it wasn't for the CSA my children would be worse off then they already are, I can't afford holidays, the latest clothing, days out etc... in fact we currently live from week to week. When my ex left he said that he would give me £3;40 a week towards the children I informed the benefits agency of this when making my claim and was told my benefits would be reduced accordingly, I then had to prove I wasn't recieving this money - I have fought tooth and nail to provide a roof over my childrens heads but the onus is always left on the parent with care to provide all the information needed to proceed with a claim. I have now twice heard of how a woman has gone to the CSA claiming she gets no financial support from her ex when she has, but many more stories of how the ex (both male and female) has provided no support. The CSA is a valuable resource to all single parents and a charge should not be levied to access or continue recieving support. The fact that a government could suggest such a thing is abhorrent, we as a civilised society are meant to help those who can't help themselves - surely that includes children. The government definately needs to rethink this one.

SaraAndToby avatar
SaraAndToby
14 September 2011 12:23

It makes me ashamed to be British when I read things like this!! The CSA is suppose to be in place to help the main parent and the children. It is supposed to keep things fair and stop the children from missing out! If they do put these charges in place the children will not get all they should be entitled to. The up front fee alone is rediculous. Thats 3weeks worth of nappies, wipes, food, milk...etc that my son needs and not the government. I'm not using the CSA, as I dont want my ex to know about my son as he was pysically and emotionally abusive to me and it is safer for us to have no involvement from him....yes including financially. I just feel bad for all the Mothers, Fathers and children who will now lose out to the government and their rediculous, selfish pockets. Total pigs.

beany avatar
beany
20 May 2011 10:28

i cannot believe the goverment wants to add charges to use the CSA. as a single parent i dont get nothing from my sons father. he says why should he pay anything when i get all the money. im waiting for him to get a job and then i will pursue him for money. but if the a goverment approve these charges i shall not be pursuing it. why should i have to pay to get money from the father of my son. are these people who come up with these stupiud new laws actually human. im the one whos been there for my son since he was born. i feed him and put clothes on his back.as well as being his mum im his carer. he has behavoiral problems and is undergoing tests for autism/apsergers. i am so angry with his father for saying these nasty things about me getting money for my son. and now to know i have to aly to get money of him, makes me even more angrier. and i know that alot of dads will use this to rub in our faces. well i know my ex will. but if it comes in the it comes in but i will definitly be supporting the campaign to stop it. it shouldnt have even been an idea in the all for themselves goverments heads. they dont care about anybody below them. its all to line there fat cats lifestyle and pockets!

beany avatar
beany
20 May 2011 10:25

i cannot believe the goverment wants to add charges to use the CSA. as a single parent i dont get nothing from my sons father. he says why should he pay anything when i get all the money. im waiting for him to get a job and then i will pursue him for money. but if the a goverment approve these charges i shall not be pursuing it. why should i have to pay to get money from the father of my son. are these people who come up with these stupiud new laws actually human. im the one whos been there for my son since he was born. i feed him and put clothes on his back.as well as being his mum im his carer. he has behavoiral problems and is undergoing tests for autism/apsergers. i am so angry with his father for saying these nasty things about me getting money for my son. and now to know i have to aly to get money of him, makes me even more angrier. and i know that alot of dads will use this to rub in our faces. well i know my ex will. but if it comes in the it comes in but i will definitly be supporting the campaign to stop it. it shouldnt have even been an idea in the all for themselves goverments heads. they dont care about anybody below them. its all to line there fat cats lifestyle and pockets!

caitlin avatar
caitlin
14 April 2011 21:52

I am a parent of a 16 year old mildly Autistic son who also has a learning difficulty,up until last year and from the age of nine my son only received £5 a week from my ex partner it has been a constant battle living from day to day.I fought and got an increase in my sons maintenance last year. My ex partner is extremely angry that he has to pay at all and as i was a victim of domestic violence it made things so much harder,how the hell can they expect anyone who has survived an appalling abusive relationship sit down and work this out with such a person fills me with utter fear and dread. I use the csa as i feel slightly protected as i will never be able to reach any kind of agreement with my ex partner.My son will have to go on to further education because of his difficulty,this is going to make things much,much harder for us. I will fight all the way so this does not happen,the government needs to understand how many lives they will be destroying because of another one of their hair brained ideas!!

Nina_7062 avatar
Nina_7062
01 April 2011 18:01

The father of my child walked out on me a month before our daughter was due. He decided he just wasn't ready to have a child. We had been together for 3 years and had what I assumed was a happy relationship, I guess I was wrong. Anyway, I got on with it and moved back to where my family lived, I was fine for about 4 months and then things got very tight financially. I had to quit my job as my daughter was quite ill so I had to move onto benefits. I got in touch with my daughters father and he decided that because he had nothing to do with our daughter he didn't have to give anything for him, I never told him he couldn't be involved with her, he chose not to be involved, just shows the amazing logic some men use. Sadly he was a very clever man and he signed all his assets over to his now wife, business included, and now "doesn't work", but also doesn't claim benefits. His now wife was also pregnant at this time so the CSA told me they couldn't take money from them as she was supporting him and was also going to be supporting a baby. I can't afford to go to a solicitor and I can't afford to pursue it any further with the CSA. I'm not sure what I am meant to do, and the people at the CSA could offer me no advice. But yet my friend who is trying to fight for rights to see his daughter because his ex won't let him see her (she said she will take his money but his daughter has a new daddy now) is getting financially raped by the CSA and can only just afford to support himself, he obviously can't afford a solicitor so what is he to do? The whole system needs re-evaluating!

unta avatar
unta
31 March 2011 12:55

PUT TOGETHER ON MY BEHALF BY GINGERBREADS PRESS OFFICE Lisa became a single mother when her marriage ended in August 1996. She has two sons aged 18 and 16, both in full time education. Lisa has requested, but been refused, meetings with Iain Duncan Smith (in May 2010) as well as Chris Grayling, Frank Field and the then shadow minister for the DWP Teresa May. Lisa has spoken to David Cameron in the build up to the election via Vanessa Feltz on bbc Radio London who promised her action! She became involved with the CSA soon after she became a single parent and was forced for the first time to claim benefits. Initially the agency assessed her ex as liable to pay £87 per week (which went to the state rather than to her as she was claiming income support). It was only in 2001 when Lisa returned to work that it became apparent that he had not made any payments for 23 months. “A debt of approximately £6000 had accrued, but they hadn’t chased him,” Lisa says. He was reassessed and deemed liable to pay £117 per week and an attachment of earnings order was set up. But very soon after the reassessment he went self-employed with the result that the assessment reduced to nil. Lisa appealed against the assessment on the basis that his lifestyle was inconsistent with his declared earnings of £14,000 pa. The agency advised her to employ a private detective to collect evidence of his lifestyle but as she couldn’t afford to, she gathered data herself showing the price-tag on his home, the cars he owned and the cost of his wedding. Her ex complained to the police that she was stalking him and she was verbally cautioned by the police. She won the appeals with the panel ruling that there should not have been a nil assessment. Soon after this appeal Lisa’s ex husband declared himself bankrupt. No further action was taken for over year until her ex husbands bankruptcy was lifted. The current assessment of his liability is £100.37 per week but the money has never arrived. . The debt stands at £42,875.91 most of which is deemed ‘recoverable’. Of the £42,875.91, £12,309.53 is owed to the secretary of state (for the period on which Lisa was claiming benefits) £30,566.38 is owed to Lisa Lisa is not working at present but wants to return to work. She was working on a temp contract for the national blood service until 2008 and before that worked for a pharmaceutical company. At most she has earned £22,500, “My salary has only ever covered the mortgage and bills and the children have lost out because we didn’t get the child maintenance – they have gone without school trips and were both isolated at school as they were not wearing the school shoes I could not afford to buy them’. “I will chase child maintenance forever because I did not produce the children on my own and it is money the boys could do with. One is applying for university now and the other will sit GSCE’s in June and there will be no Education Maintenance Allowance because it stops in January 2010. ” The CSA has admitted gross maladministration. There are charging orders on her ex-husband’s house , a suspended sentence of 42 days and the court has ordered he pays £100 per month of the arrears, which he does, but meanwhile £434.94 per month current maintenance is owed each month and is not being paid. “The agency has powers to enforce arrears but not current maintenance”, Lisa says. “So month-by-month we are not receiving the £100.37 that the appeal (known as a lifestyle departure hearing) assessed him as liable and able to pay. And as for the arrears, if he goes on paying these at the current rate, my sons will be aged 67 and 69 by the time the debt is paid off”. Lisa was to be part of a Sun feature on the CSA but after her ex told the reporter that he had an injunction against Lisa, her case study was pulled from the piece – tho’ no such injunction exists!

nikkiT avatar
nikkiT
25 March 2011 14:31

I have three kids , two ex partners my eldest two are 8 and 10 years old. My first partner i suffered domestic violence in court he asked for only the eldest child , eventually the case was dropped. He currently lives with my ex best mate he went off with and his other children he has had since. He has always worked and ive recieved no money through child support, the last i heard spmeone in the office had closed the claim down without permission and then i was told nothing can be put on the system its froze and all has to be done auditiory. My other ex partner left on his sons first birthday went back to an ex and his other child from previous years before meeting myself and doesnt want to see his son or pay also works. I ve sent paper work, phoned and emailed and ive been told he doesnt exist on the system. Why the hell would i want to pay for a service that doesnt do what its meant to. This is a joke my ex's wont pay if asked they avoid all even work on the sly to avoid paying. Instead of punishing us single parents who struggle enough to raise our children the government should focus on harsher penalties for parents that domt pay. They are just finding another excuse to cover the financial mess the country is in.

Naiivegenius avatar
Naiivegenius
22 March 2011 15:07

I have received a letter from the CSA this morning. I telephoned them for the sake of clarity They have informed me that they have calculated an arrears figure of 13,515 pounds and they have arranged for it to be paid at a rate of 5 pounds per week. A quick calculation shows that this will take 52 years to pay. I applied about 10 years ago and have never received any payments. At that time private arrangements were phased out and would not be recognized legally so the CSA assumed responsibility for all arrangements and calculations. Our daughter had no legal right to pursue a private arrangement with the non-resident parent at the time of the claim and as such the CSA have assumed responsibility for collecting monies on her behalf. I shall be seeking legal advice on this matter as I believe that having assumed responsibility and not fulfilled their obligations that whilst it is not their debt they have prevented our daughter from pursuing maintenance privately and therefore they should compensate her in the sun of 13,515 and they should recoup that at 5 pounds a week. There is no time frame for arrears payments and I believe there should be. She will be 70 years old by the time this debt is paid. We have never been a party to any calculations or decisions made by the CSA and they must assume responsibility.

Helen_8625 avatar
Helen_8625
15 March 2011 13:31

I left my ex-husband because he was FINANCIALLY ABUSIVE. He took the money I was saving for driving lessons for his own purposes so that I was indebted to him. That gave him control and power over me. He sold my son's cot without my knowledge, it had been in the family for years. Me and my son never saw a penny of that money. Joint bank accounts were set up so that theoretically I could regain some control of the family finances, but in fact, this meant he could run up debts, which I was left to pay off after the divorce by myself, as a lone parent, on income support. I was forced into abject poverty, I didn't know about the CSA at the time, but as we have no contact with the boys' Dad for reasons of our sanity and safety, this is the only way to make sure he can't continue financially abusing his sons, his abject child neglect is another matter that needs to be taken seriously as well. I only took up the CSA after my Mum insisted that he should be made to pay for the children he fathered, and I find the service essential, even though I don't receive a lot from him, as I'm sure he wouldn't pay a penny if he could help it. However, taking money from my sons to pay for their father's neglect and financial abuse is not the answer.

matthews301 avatar
matthews301
10 March 2011 09:25

i can not wait for this to comne in play .. my child is nine i have no parental rights and cant afford to get them i have paid over 36,000 in csa payments i have lost my home and can no longer visit my daughter i had to pay twice! i paied voluntery contributions from 2004-2008 when in 2008 a doe order was placed on my wage as my ex claimed she had not recieved a penny infact i had given her 18,000 althou she left me and took the contents of my house including the toilet brush and every light bulb YES you read right.. i paied via direct debit weekly and they still took all the back pay from my wages they idnt even ask and she had given them false information so they could not trace me . even my csa worker says payment options is the better way as my ex is only getting drip fed payments, they rang my ex to explain this however her answer to the csa worker wss I DONT CARE ABOUT WHEN I RECIEVE PAYMENT IM STaying on this system.... WHICH I BELIEVE SUPPORTS GREEDY WOMEN HOW DO IT FOR SPITE i have no problem taking fimancial responsibilty for my child but im held over money and im not even aloud to see her this new way will allow me to seek legal help to see my child surely the best thing for the child involved

cymro78 avatar
cymro78
06 March 2011 11:49

I am a father who pays my maintenance money through the csa. Because the mother thought it would be best even though she was getting her money and more each month via a cheque off me I would have paid by direct debit if she wanted, it would not have been a problem. But then she wanted to start with the csa so I got in touch with the csa gave all my details but it took over 2 months to arrange payments by that time I was classed as being in arrears and had to pay more each month to the point where I was over paying my Ex each month and getting myself into debt as I could not afford to live and pay my own bills. I contacted the csa numerous times which cost me a small fortune in phone bills each month but my complaints fell on deaf ears. Until one day the penny dropped and they realised I was right but I had no apology and they eventually lowered my payments to the correct amount. My ex does not let my children stay over at my house even though my kids have there own bedroom made up especially for them in case she loses out on csa money. All I want is to see my children more often but with working shifts and paying maintenance and my own living costs I can't afford to pay legal fees or get legal help to go to court to fight to have my kids for over night access. I tried to set up our own arrangements for maintenance but this was her choice now this new law is coming out she'll expect me to change as she will lose out but I would prefer to continue this way. But if I do I'll get charged too there is a no win situation the kids lose out because both parents will be paying more money out each month. There are fathers out there like me who do want as much to do with their children as possible but can't get it or get stopped in some way and this appears to be another way, as being a parent should not be all about money and what new cuts and % they can take from us. Every situation is different and granted there are some parents out there that do not pay their way and should get punished but why treat the ones that are willing to do everything for our children and already pay what is due being the resident or non-resident parent. The government just want to make money and not help people.

Sharon_5190 avatar
Sharon_5190
05 March 2011 09:33

My son was a planned baby and my ex has avoided the CSA at all costs if he claims benefits they take £5 a week from him. We were married and he has parental responsibilty. My ex took every penny I had and I had to sell my house - at a loss and move home with my parents. My parents now help me pay for my son whilst his "sperm donor" pays nothing. How can they justify charging single parents who need every penny? Whether the non payer has parental responsibilty or not they should pay half towards their child. It takes two to make a baby yet so many of us raise a child alone. Supposedly "every child matters" but so many children live in poverty. The future adults of society. Is it a wonder why society is as bad as it is? Children killing other children? If you want to charge anyone charge the non resident parent - they are the ones refusing to pay. I tried a personal arrangement with my ex and for three months he made excuses even though he was getting a lot of money. I eventually called the CSA - they still didn't manage to get the money from him. Would they charge for a service they don't provide? This is crazy - plain greed. Taking from people who are already struggling? Why should single parents suffer because the non resident parent won't pay? Charge by all means - but don't charge the wrong parent. My ex husbands money pays towards his heavy drink and drug habit. I am sure many other parents are in the same boat - you can't make us suffer for their short comings.

kat39 avatar
kat39
27 February 2011 22:29

my ex is a taxi driver and deals with cash only - he does not tell the tax man his true earning - HOWEVER, this effects child support to me. On the CSA website, there is a calculator to work out how much to expect from your ex, according to his earnings. As my ex lies about his earnings, I am not entitled to much (I have a 6 and a 7 year old). However, I am relieved to read that victims of domestic abuse are exempt from the new proposed charges (being one myself). Being a newly single parent, I have not got much money and therefore would not want to be charged for the CSA (if I needed it). Currently, the divorce proceedings have covered my very low child support (covers a year only). I think the men should be charged a % for the CSA - after all if they paid up, the ex wifes would not need to use the CSA. Why put the charge on people who are struggling. When you first split up, your main concern is trying to keep a roof over your head.

Angela111273 avatar
Angela111273
13 February 2011 19:19

My husband stopped seeing and paying for our 3 children over a year ago. As far as I know he's not working or claiming benefit, I think his girlfriend is providing for him. I have given up with the CSA. All I get is the same old, same old. I have recently wrote to Frank Feild at the House of Commons suggesting that fathers who do not want to pay in any way should be took to court and told to start providing for the children or do community service. At least then we would have clean streets etc, maybe they could do the jobs that the governmet are cutting for free. It states on the government website that all father's have a leagal obligation to pay for their children but every single parent I know are not getting any help or money. CSA are about as useful as a chocolate fireguard and unless paying them to do a service will improve what they do the CSA will be invalid because no one will use it.

delta avatar
delta
13 February 2011 00:06

The CSA is a lost cause. It costs more to run than it gets right. If it were a business it would have folded at the start. The assessment for calculating maintenance is unfair. It doesn't look to see if the absent parent can pay maintenance. It doesn't take any previous agreements into consideration. If an absent parent refuses to pay, the CSA don't take any reasons into consideration. It doesn't take the point of the absent parent not being named on the birth certificate or the absent parent having PR into consideration. Where parents have not separated with an agreement about maintenance and children, that lack of agreement should remain as a default till the parents agree about something different. Where parents separate and hostility exists between the parents, the CSA should not force any issue which would increase the hostility. If a parent wants to use the CSA, that parent should pay for the service the CSA provide. One assumes that the CSA would draw up a contract between the fee payer and the CSA outlining the detail of the contractual responsibilities. I think that the payment of a fee for using the CSA is an excellent idea. It would go a long way to reducing the costs for providing a personal (legal) service to resident parents who want to extract more from an ex they don't like. There are so many resident parents who "survive" for years and years without help in the form of maintenance. Life might have been better if they got maintenance - agreed. However the concept of separating agreeably is an important one and getting an agreement BEFORE separation should be an important part of separation.

andy76 avatar
andy76
12 February 2011 22:09

I have only just this evening learnt of these potential CSA changes to the way the CSA works and suggestion of charges. Child Benefit payments first (mentioned in last post), I agree with what has been suggested by the government in part; there are people that earn more than enough and do not need children benefit, however I believe single parents should be exempt from this, quite simply as a single parent to be ‘worried’ about receiving a pay rise for achieving at work while looking after 2 children full time (as in my own in case) in case I loose child benefit but that any pay increase would not cover this is totally unfair and unjust. CSA changes - in my view most people who do not pay child maintenance are fixated on their own available finances and do not care about providing for their children. It is the CSA’s job to ensure payment is made as required by law. These people do not understand what is needed to support their own children and would rather take their chances with the CSA – this is I believe the problem. Even as a single parent myself I agree with the proposal to charge a fee to both parties and that the fee is weighted in favour of the non-resident parent. I believe that it is completely wrong however to charge additional fees to the parent with care. The use of the CSA is actually encouraged based on the current solicitor’s practices as little other option in law; I think the government need to not over hall the CSA but to look at WHY the CSA is used. My thoughts are that parents who separate assume CSA will sort everything out for them (for the resident parent this is dreaded and for the non-resident parent is either an easy way to sort out paying for their children, another way of finding a way out of paying for their children or dreaded also – the process actually creates animosity. I have another suggestion that would I believe save a lot of money, to save upfront fees. The CSA has the power in certain areas to access a non-residents parent’s bank account. Currently the CSA spend all their time (including using inspectors), to visit someone who does not pay (often to an old address) and try to contact an employer to gain the information they need many times over – without success, the non-resident parent moves jobs, and starts all over again. This takes an age and lots of man power (cost) occurred. Why instead to they not simply access the bank account of non-resident parent and order the bank to deduct the appropriate amount from ANY incomings/credits. Surely this would save a lot of time, the banks are largely state owned and make more money than almost any employer, would save the employer hassle and would also very much encourage the non-resident parent to reach an agreement with their ex-partner? Surely this would save a lot of time, cost and makes the message very clear that you do need to support your children and you are better off financially supporting your children with an arrangement outside the CSA. I really do not see what the problem would be with this– no-nonsense approach. Is morally good (which is what the government is wishing for and I agree with)… would be interested on comments to this…! The CSA should be LAST resort and should be an embarrassment for those who do not pay or those who cannot amicably make arrangements, the government’s suggestions do not fix the problem at all. My idea would I believe discourage people using the CSA as A LOT less likely to get away without paying and would pay a premium. To support this I believe that mediation with solicitors for every separating couple should be mandatory – even of paid for by legal aid – would save more money for all tax payers (as less also for what usually ends up in a divorce using legal aid) and everything could be sorted quickly and fairly and more amicably between the parties. CSA should be for those who break arrangements made mediation, and they should be named and shamed for that. CSA should be a last resort, and those at fault should be MADE accountable. Thoughts welcome!... How can I email my MP! ... now going to take a look to see if any activities arranged for east midlands area, I could perhaps do better on my weekend than talk about this issue (although it is winter I guess!), important as it is :-) Andy

nursekirrrrsty avatar
nursekirrrrsty
09 February 2011 20:49

Hi I've just read the Green Paper for the new changes it asks for feedback to certain questions however I found it hard as it seems to be aimed at families who are currently going through seperation rather than those who already are seperated. I had a few questions of my own such as when they swap existing cases over what happens to any outstanding arrears? Is states that all parents must go through the gateway so what happens to maintenance payments during this process? I've been seperated over 10yrs he refused to see our son and has done everything in his power to avoid paying child support the outcome is it has gone to Enforcement. What will happen to current Enforcement and Charging orders and is it really in the best interest of the child to have their parents forced together in mediation after many yrs? What age will the child get a say in wether or not they wish contact after many yrs of being ignored? If everyone must go through the process what happens when the parents live miles apart, I live in Scotland my ex in Northern Ireland? Who travels and who pays? When do these sessions take place during working hours? If so are employers required to give paid time off to allow parents to attend or is it more likely the case parents with care loose more money during this process? How long will the process be allowed to drag on for? I know my ex will drag it on for ever making empty promises etc if it means he doesn't have to pay for longer. Surely existing cases should be assessed individually to ensure the best interest of the child is being met? The new proposals seem to favour Fathers who have been denied access to their children while being forced to pay child support I understand how unfair and unjust this is however the proposals are making the assumption that this is how all fathers are treated when there are many who simply abandon their children and refuse to support them emotionally or financially and this new system plays right into their hands. These proposals need to be looked at again to ensure individual cases are handled correctly and fairly from the start. One final thing I don't think the government can order anyone to provide personal banking details to another party against their will there must be a human rights law or data protection law or privacy law to prevent this of course the non resident will choose to pay directly into your bank account if it saves them money and allows them to mispayments and delay things even more.

J.. avatar
J..
09 February 2011 19:54

My child has gone a year without any maintenance as ex left work, didn't work or claim any benefits for 6 months and then when he finally did claim the CSA forgot to keep checking so my child lost out on 5 months of £163;5 a week.. But now my child is due to get £163;5 a week. So potentially with proposed changes as ex is on benefits it just would not be worth making a claim. It is very nice for the government to recommend that people make private arrangements but what about issues where there have been domestic violence, or where a partner has walked out and goes into hiding. Yes lets tax the people at the bottom of the ladder. Super idea.

Hannah mummy avatar
Hannah mummy
09 February 2011 14:14

My ex husband refused to pay child support, I have had no choice but to go through the CSA, Im on a very low income and what the government are suggesting will leave me struggling. My ex is completely unreasonable and will not discuss or come to an out of court settlment, he would simply not pay. Why then should I be penalised for this? Surely he should and that is it. On a further note the system is flawed anyway, I have no back payments yet and they havent taken his second job into account, despite my chasing. This is so unfair. I am on the breadline as it is. It must NOT be allowed to happen.

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