CMS Child Maintenance Service

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  • #6772 Report


    Has anyone on this site had any luck with the CMS in terms of getting their arrears? Getting their ex to pay these? Have any experience with the Employee Benefit Trust Scam? Diversion of Income in terms of their ex suddenly finding more than £100,000 in pension contributions to use against their gross income? So many questions! I am dealing with someone who uses the loop holes in the tax system to make false claims about income and the issue for us is that it appears that lying about income in front of judge can be done with impunity.

    #6784 Report


    Hi Carpediem

    Thanks for posting your questions and sharing your experience about the CMS. We hope others on the forum are able to share their experiences to help you.

    If you want advice about child maintenance in your situation you can ring the Gingerbread helpline on 0808 802 0925 to speak to the advisers. It is very busy in January but calling at different times of the day can help. You can also read through our information about child maintenance.





    #9612 Report



    Just joined and am on a crusade on partners diverting money into their pension to reduce the maintenance payments. Am at the point of going to the papers about it as it seems to be a hidden problem, with no-one taking it seriously. Like you, I’ve been there.  I’ve just spent two years going through the CMS process where my ex diverted 34% of his income into his pension which reduced my maintenance by over £250 a month. He earns a lot of money and I have 3 children with him. He got away with this by, in Scotland, agreeing a legal document with me, a Minute of Agreement, where he legally paid what he was due for a year then we got to the CMS stage. The amount he had previously been paying me was the minimum he should have, via the CMS calculation, so you’d have thought all was fine. Not so! Secretly he’d put £10k into his pension over a couple of months before the end of the MOA and that was enough ‘proof’ for the CMS that he’d ‘paid large sums into his pension’ previous to getting to the CMS. This then qualified him for reducing the maintenance. Looking back, I would have gone straight to the CMS when we separated but you can’t do so if you’ve got a MOA in place.  I wouldn’t have had a legal MOA drawn up as then he wouldn’t have that year to hatch his plan. I then went through the proper channels of the CMS, back and forth for 6 months, eventually getting him to court where a (male older) judge decided that his ‘reduced salary’ of £37k wasn’t enough for him to live off of, if he paid the full maintenance that was due. The CMS say the rules are not theirs, but the Dept of  Work and Pensions.  The judge didn’t seem to care that I work and wasn’t earning enough to get by on this ‘reduced maintenance’. My MP has been on the case for over a year, firstly to the Scottish government who say its not their rules, then to the Dept of Work and Pensions who say the CMS have procedures in place to chase such problems. The blame gets passed between them but meanwhile I’ve a father who can’t pay the bare minimum for his children. Someone needs to take this torch forward as there must be thousands of parents who don’t bother paying their financial obligations for their children but are happy to line their own pension pot nest.

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