Child Maintenance Overpayment

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  • #55325 Report

    Angry dad

    Hi guys quick update. Win my tribunal on 23rd Marxh 2021. Judge rules as I had 50:50 care. Girls registered at my home for school and one of the child benefits I should not have been paying child maintenance (400 a month) since 3rd Jan 2020.

    Contacts CMS 12 times by phone. 40 mins on hold on average each call. Phone went dead a few times. Spoke to several case workers who all said they will take control of the case and close it as it should have been closed. Only one call back a month ago saying they apologise and case will be closed but have to get money back from ex qnd take to small claims court  still though no contact despite 25 complaint messages I have put through the awful self service portal.

    Will call again today but they are like the bloody mafia!

    Criminal and have no one to answer to.

    Good luck guys with all your cases.

    #55371 Report


    Hi Angry Dad,


    I’m in a similar position to you.  Have a court order stating 50:50 contact (well, actually a bit more for me but let’s say 50:50) and I’ve just received the appeal response from CMS today.


    would be grateful for any advice around the tribunal process?  Was it quite straightforward and more common sense with the panel?  Or did you have to really go into the law and Regulation 50?

    #57014 Report

    Mercury Dad

    So its been a while for me posting any updates

    I have simply sat back earlier this year as i’m beaten after asking the CMS what to do now my youngest has a job and has left education…still awaiting a reply to this

    Today i logged in to my account intending to ask for an update but as i have no case open i am unable to message them, here is what it states:
    <h2 class=”govuk-heading-m” style=”font-family: Roboto, Arial, sans-serif; color: #0b0c0c; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.25; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 20px;”>My cases</h2>

    You have no current cases at the moment.

    I could cry tbh, i think its finally over but they don’t even tell you if it is or merely paused

    Needless to say the circa £2k they owe me for overpayment hasn’t had a mention

    Maybe im at the FK ’em stage…would be nice to know

    #57020 Report



    I Would suggest you get your MP involved and apply pressure to CMS.

    #57022 Report

    Mercury Dad

    Hi steve3334


    Yes ive tried that route to no avail, been over a year now


    The CMS just does what it wants to the NRP and its shameful, if i hadnt changed jobs id still have been paying the incorrect amount which is the issue here, a lack of fairness and equality


    Hope my post has helped yourself in some way whatever your predicament may be


    #60114 Report


    Has anyone had ny luck yet with using the Small Claims Court to recoup overpayments?

    Childs mother went to CSA in April 2011 and they said I had to pay., although this was then set up as a private arrangement between ourselves without their intervention, but inevitably still under the impending jurisdiction / enforcibility of the CSA.

    Found out this week that the CSA no longer exists as of Nov 2013 and under the new CMS regime I should no longer be paying as I have a minimum 50/50 shared care, although the actual figures from my diary logs show that this is more like a 70/30 care arrangement in my favour.

    So, since Nov2013 I have been making payments that I should not have been making.

    I have now cancelled the standing order to childs mother next due in 4 weeks. Upon recognition of this there is no doubt in my mind that she will contact CMS to claim, at which point I will also contact CMS to counter claim.

    I have calculated that since Nov 2013 am owed a significant, 4 figure amount of money and I wish to pursue it.

    Any advice gratefully received.


    #60116 Report


    Hi George,

    I’m not familiar with the CSA as I’ve only started dealing with CMS since last year.

    For the CMS though, they will only make any changes from the moment you notified them.  In other words, if you called them today and told them about 50/50 care, you’d be liable to pay up until today.  That’s my understanding of the law behind it and I think it would be very difficult (if not impossible) to convince a judge otherwise.

    I may be missing something with CSA.  Maybe they had an obligation to let CMS know it was shared care (if they were aware of it) and it should have been reviewed.  All I can say is CMS probably won’t care about it.

    Regarding a new claim to CMS, get your claim in first, like right now. If you truly believe your ex will make a claim to CMS, there is really no such thing as a counter claim.

    By the sounds of your post you don’t have a court order in place, is that right?  Do you have any written evidence between you and ex to show arrangement in place and that it’s 70/30 in your favour?

    If there is no court order in place, it’s your word against hers.  Normally the first person who gets the claim in is believed.  It is the on the other party (the paying parent) to prove that the care is different. From my experience the claiming parent is believed without having to provide any kind of supporting evidence.

    Ive been in the process of proving that I have 50/50 care and that’s taken over 12 months and I’m still waiting on a tribunal date.  All the while I’m obligated to pay the amount CMS have calculated until a judge overrules their decision.

    It’s totally shit and unfair but welcome to the CMS!

    Happy to share more if you want to post on here or DM me.

    #60214 Report


    After getting nowhere for years I finally got a breakthrough with the CMS – they have revealed in a phone call that they ignore all evidence (and letters, emails, messages in their portal, letters from my MP etc.) in relation to ending maintenance payments when a child has left education and started work. It doesn’t matter what you say or do, the system makes one check and automatically rejects everything else regardless.  The ONLY thing they’ll accept as proof is HMRC ending child benefit payments.

    So I got on to HMRC, and reported that my daughter had left school and started working. Nothing back from them either. Eventually I got them to admit – also by phone – as they also ignore letters/online messages etc. – they will only listen to the person to whom the child benefit is paid.

    My ex is still claiming child benefit even though my daughter is nearly 19, hasn’t attended school since May, and has been working fulltime for several months. I’ve told HMRC this is fraud but they don’t provide any updates on reported fraud and state it can take ‘many months’ to investigate.


    The only way that maintenance payments will end is if the receiving parent tells HMRC to stop paying them child benefit (knowing that this will reduce their income). So it’s all dependent on the honesty of someone who is financially motivated to lie. And there’s nothing anyone else can do about it as neither the CMS nor HMRC will listen to anyone else.


    #60218 Report

    Mercury Dad

    Hi George12

    Firstly it sounds like you have provided outside of a CSA or other oversight body as a private arrangement for your child..? You may have had a lucky escape there with a fixed amount and no hassle

    Whoever has the child claims whatever they want, whenever they want and they take it instantly but its been 3 years for me and im still waiting, if i hadnt changed jobs id still be paying that enhanced payment from when they got the calculation wrong

    As already said by badger she can only claim from date of notification to them

    For myself I would recommend seeing a solicitor that deals with child maintenance, usually first session free and maybe a paid session thereafter while they sort out a strategy, then you will see if its worthwhile pursuing

    The CSA told CMO to add £120 to my account and cant say why, i call it a tax on the absent parent. I was never in the arrears by that stage accrued when they first ‘set you up’ with their delays

    Just because you have overpaid doesn’t mean you have any recourse to get it back as i have found out

    You haven’t a ‘counter claim’ i don’t think unless the child is resident with you, the 70/30 split will probably change to less than 50/50 if financially driven unfortunately as contact/visits are linked to cash so changes things

    Worst case is they reassess you from the current timeline and increase the payment, maybe its best you keep to the old arrangement..?

    If the relationship is civil i would try to talk with her about it first (if she knows) and see where you go from there, she may want an assessment but once started you cant get rid of these people ‘the punishment is in the process’ as i have learnt and if you read this and many other threads that’s key, pay whats needed and keep the CMO out of it. The mental anguish is very telling when dealing with these people, its kids in a call centre pressing the ‘GET CASH’ button, they don’t rationalise at all, like The Terminator

    And no i don’t care that they help other families, they ruin families by making kids cash machines

    Let us know how you get on please


    As an update on my case i have been contacted by CMO and told that i cannot claim monies back via small claims, it has to come through them. Bearing in mind the lack of paperwork from them i would say its an impossible task as there is nothing to show the court, only that you paid money

    At their request i have sent across 3 years of payment history to my ex and they are arguing over the transition period from March to April as March was paid from salary on the old system and April was my first direct payment on the new system, its almost unbelievable you’d think.

    So ive sent ot all in for the 5th time and we shall see

    All the best


    #60219 Report

    Mercury Dad

    Hi again MJAG

    Yes i had the same situation as yourself, i had to make them aware, its ridiculous

    Keep thinking of the end to all this, you’re nearly there. I couldn’t imagine doing all this again, it’d kill me i think

    Start a contact strategy like i mention early on in my posts here, stick to it and press them for results, they make you do a lot that’s pointless so return the favour, get them to do pointless things that you ask for

    Seems to have helped me its fair to say

    stick with it!!

    #60220 Report

    Mercury Dad

    Just attempted to log in to my account and it rejected my password

    Oh well here goes another 40 minutes of my life on hold…

    #60727 Report


    Hi All

    My youngest son has just left 6th form college and I was expecting CSA payments to cease on 31/08. I notified CSA but my ex said he had not left. I’ve appealed for a mandatory reconsideration and written to my MP. I’ve started a new job (more than 25% salary uplift) and notified the CSA by post.

    The mandatory reconsideration states that I must keep paying until notified otherwise. She wont return overpayments so I’d need to pursue her via the small claims court.

    Are there any other options available to me?

    Many thanks in advance.

    #60734 Report


    From what I was told the system won’t even have asked your ex – it just sends a generic letter blaming your ex (and in my case also saying I’d had a chance to respond and hadn’t provided evidence).

    That’s all rubbish. What they’ve done is asked HMRC if child benefit is still being paid. If it is, your update is ignored. And HMRC won’t talk to you unless you’re the parent who receives child benefit.

    So what HMRC told me I had to do was report my ex for fraudulently claiming child benefit. Once that was done I got a letter saying my maintenance payments were being reduced.

    #60735 Report

    Mercury Dad

    Hi Divorced Dad, a couple of options for you, these are based on what I now know and how I have been treated these past 3 years by CMO et al, it may not be for you but have a read anyways…

    1. Stop paying, they will call you and ask why. Tell them the child is out of education so you don’t have to pay, put the onus on them to contact the claimant, make sure you take their call

    2. As above and when they call tell them to make it Collect and Pay if you must pay, yes it’s 20% more and yes it’s stigmatisimg BUT your money is protected from their error, had I done this I wouldn’t be arguing 3 years later and proving I made the payments, five times now i have sent the proofs in.

    3. You have no recourse at the small claims court, you haven’t any paperwork, the claimant asked them to work it out financially and now they are left with less?? Can’t see a court accepting this myself and awarding in your favour. Better to cut the monies off now and deal with those consequences rather than kid yourself at your ability to get the money back, it’s been 3 years for me and still nothing…there is no justice here im sorry to say

    4. Don’t ever think to trust them at CMO,I’ve said it before – they aren’t legal professionals, it’s kids in a call centre, they can’t help you and their remit is to take money from you, they only pay attention if you aren’t working or not paying. No other organisation works this way, no one can help, it’s legalised theft. I changed jobs so had a gap I was able to use, otherwise I’d still be paying the incorrect amount I feel.

    5. Your MP – keep at them as it’s extra pressure, will be slowwww as everyone does this, means little I feel as I haven’t got anywhere using this route. The CMO say there are routes to question them and steps to take like an independent examiner etc but it’s all delays while you’re paying out, money they can’t take back from the claimant as they have no legal powers to do so, it doesn’t matter to them

    6. They won’t keep you up to date on your case, start a contact schedule every 3 weeks, phone, email and letter, over and over and over again

    7. No manager will ever call you back, there is nothing to say to you. I complained for years about my amount being incorrect and every person I spoke with and every part of their process I followed led nowhere, they all said it was correct until I took them to court, then it took 5 months to apply the decision, tells you a lot about how they care, and no I’ve never spoken to a manager ever

    8. Get All your account notes with a Right of Access Request through the DWP website, then refer back to it in all correspondence with them, talks them in circles when you mention dates, key notes they make etc. Expect a lot of redaction here, my refund was authorised but action stopped then 7 pages of redaction so I can’t see who or why…be prepared for this as its the most distressing part and shows how you can’t win or believe in the system

    And thats me, how id do it all again, it’s emotional and painful but that’s how id deal with them.

    Appreciate there are some big concepts here to wrap your head around but what else can you do? This is how id do it so up to you how you handle it, point 2 above will guide you best when you tell them you want Collect and Pay to protect your money!

    As for my kids they’d never go without, I’d make sure they are right and care for them as I should, but their mum wouldn’t like them to know I’m providing for them, hence this third party CMO nonsense.

    So see your kids, give them cash and spoil them a little

    Hope this helps

    #60736 Report


    Thanks, Mercury Dad. That’s very useful. I’ve submitted a SAR to SWP. Ok if I digest and come back with any other questions?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 83 total)

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