CMS help – unable to trace ex partner

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  • #54156 Report


    My partner left almost five years ago and he has visited his 8, 10 and 12 year old twice in this time and has contributed nothing financially.When he left he moved in with someone else the next day, changed his mobile number and decided to become self employed (although I have reason to believe he was never registered with HMRC). At this time. I knew where he was living as it was local. He then separated from this partner and moved onto to someone else. This lasted a few months but at the end of last year this relationship ended and he moved over 100 miles away but I know he is now employed.

    I applied to CMS but they say they cannot trace him. I’ve supplied his mobile number, NI number and last known addresses together with his mother’s address. His family have had no contact with the children since he left. He will not respond to any messages from me but he occasionally speaks via text to my eldest son. My son asked his dad for his current address and was told to send anything to his mother. I passed this info to CMS but apparently they can’t. They need 2 sources to confirm a ‘confident’ address for him to ensure he receives the letter. I then spent two full days this week trawling through old social media and reaching out to mutual acquaintances and have found his place of employment. Why can’t they direct a letter to them? He is not on the electoral role and I believe he’s only renting a room and doesn’t appear to be registered anywhere. I’ve had court bailiffs turn up on the doorstep looking for him at 7am so he’ll never officially register anywhere if he can get away with it.

    What I don’t understand is why the CMS refuse to send a letter to his mother’s address or his workplace? Surely for the cost of a letter it would make sense; even if it was sent to his ‘official’ address he could still claim he didn’t receive it. They said they tried his mobile but he didn’t answer. Don’t they keep trying or it’s try once and forget about it?

    Sorry for the long post, any ideas where to go from here? Seem to go round and round in circles and not get anywhere! Thanks

    #54157 Report


    All I can do is sympathise.

    My experience with CMS has been similar. If the absent parent wants to disappear, hide income, lie about their circumstances or otherwise not play ball; CMS are pretty useless. Not accepting evidence, refusing to act on evidence, allowing £1000’s in arrears to build up while doing nothing … seems standard stuff.
    Can’t for the life of me understand how they’re an official organisation when they don’t seem to have the powers necessary to fulfil their purpose! (Or can’t be bothered).
    Maybe someone else will have something positive to say …

    #54158 Report


    You might be better focussing on your own life and goals. You seem to know a huge amount about the life of your ex partner considering you’ve been apart 5 years. Try focussing all that energy your expending on thinking about your ex and focus instead on yourself and your children.

    #54160 Report


    I would completely ignore the really unhelpful and completely unjust post from Crscott.  You shld go to every effort to try to get financial support for your children and to me it seems you have been very resourceful in finding information.  The money is for the wellbeing of your children and it’s awful that your ex is going to such lengths to avoid paying.  CMS are notioursly useless I’m afraid.   I would advise contacting your local MP and advising your plight to see if they can help out pressure on CMS

    If you have his employers details surely that shld be enough as they can take payment directly from the employer.  Someone needs to help u out here !

    #54162 Report


    Thank you for your replies.

    Crscott, just to say, I have learned this information this week as CMS have refused to process my case without any further details. In fact, they are still refusing to take any further action and the onus is on me to provide this information. Don’t both parents have a financial obligation to their children? Obviously you think it’s ok for one parent to avoid their responsibilities. When my son was taken to hospital it took us over 3 hours to contact his father, I think separated parents are obliged to provide relevant and up to date contact information! Anyway, thanks for your insightful input!!

    #54164 Report


    Arcot30 I have had similar issues with my ex for the past 6 years. I got a call from CSA two weeks ago and they have found him, sent him an income and expenditure form to complete. He actually completed but obviously the details he submitted were totally different to what they found out.

    They are now able to go through bank accounts and get full disclosure of their bank details. My ex is now being served a court hearing in a few weeks time, if he does not show up they can do a warrant for his arrest.

    I know this is so frustrating and so wrong do what you have to do for the sake of your kids.

    If you have bank details, names give that to the CSA.

    We shouldn’t even have to go through all of this just to make sure we can feed our kids.

    Best Wishes,

    Sal x

    #54170 Report


    I would have thought if someone has a permanent job, CMS have full view of their earnings. they usually contact their employer and make them do deduction of earning order, straight from their monthly payslips. Am not a fan of CMS but believe every child has right to financial support, even if parents have split.

    #54180 Report


    Crscott, this is from their most recent correspondence to me from yesterday. It has not been open for years as they will not even open a case until an address is provided. “We have verified the other parent but we are having difficulty in verifying an address for him whereby if he ignores us we know he has definitely received our letters. The case cannot begin until he receives his first letter. We require 2 sources to verify a ‘confident’ address ie. You, HMRC, National Insurance database.”
    This was the whole point of my OP, if he doesn’t update his address with any agencies or official bodies, they won’t take any action, even if they know where he works and how much he earns. It is a completely flawed system as he has to be given the opportunity to pay directly when they could easily apply for a deductions of earnings order.
    Child maintenance is not an extra, you have a legal obligation to provide for your children financially. And yes it is sometimes a struggle to feed your children; running a house, clothing them, etc on one income. I don’t know what benefits others are entitled to or what benefits you believe single parents receive but I receive very little.

    #54188 Report


    I bet Crscott himself has been chased by CMS by the sound of things so Sal21 maybe it Is worth your while to keep at it!

    You deserve the maintenance,whatever you can get.I have read many posts from father’s whining how the courts usually favour mothers but I’m not sure how that’s true as when it comes to maintenance many mothers are left high and dry and CMS are often useless.

    Crscott: Its not actually your business how people feed their kids.If a single mum decided maintenance would be best used by her going on a cruise in the Caribbean(wellll,after a long time saving it lets say) she is free to do so.Its a small payment for a highly demanding job.

    #54193 Report


    lol gummibear. i thought maintenance is supposed to be spent on kids? I don’t think its that demanding of a job. do some school runs and feed the kids. I do that myself, and would like to do it more, but am not being allowed. most dads are being denied the opportunity to do that, as their ex partner has financial incentives not to share parenting equally. father has to work to earn money, while resident parent can sit at home and get up to £2000 a month in benefits if she has 2 or more kids.

    #54195 Report


    Hmmm…this thread has become really unsupportive, unhelpful and is highlighting a level of ignorance from non-.resident parents that is … disappointing.
    Just to clarify for these non-resident parents: you survive on universal credit / benefits.
    There is not enough to pay for decent quality clothes and shoes, toys, and books. It also isn’t enough to save up for birthdays, Christmas, day trips out or any other basics quality of life stuff. If  faced with unexpected bills (washing machine breakdown, extra high utility bills, etc); then you’re in a position where there is zero financial cushion and you’re now faced with cutting the only outgoing that is flexible: food.
    In a normal month, I regularly have to make a decision between buying fresh fruit that might get wasted / not eaten over processed longer-lasting food stuffs that are less healthy. It’s a horrible position to be in as a parent.
    I don’t drink, smoke, go out, I cut my own hair. And I’m ok with going without if it means my child gets more. But to suggest that mums are being money-grabbing, wasteful, selfish or greedy by asking for financial support from the absent parent is utterly disgusting.
    My ex dropped all attempts of contact because it was suggested by his own solicitor that he make regular financial provision for his child. If any parent is greedy or selfish, it’s the one who thinks they don’t have to put their hand in their pocket to make sure their child has a good quality of life.
    Stop shaming the parent who’s actually looking out for their child.
    Final point: “sitting at home” when you have children is a FULL TIME JOB. It is just as hard, more demanding and stressful, isn’t 9-5, you can’t just switch off your laptop and stop; and I am sick to death of it being denigrated as lazy or somehow of lesser value than those who earn money in paid employment.

    #54196 Report


    And if anyone thinks I’m exaggerating about the food scenario : the Scottish government introduced a Best Start Foods payment (£4.25 per week) to help pay for fresh fruit etc to allow parents using the welfare system to be able to afford to make healthier choices when feeding their children.
    This supports the view that benefits alone do NOT adequately provide for families.

    #54226 Report

      You are absolutely right Nope21, the replies from crscott and steve3334 are anything but helpful. The whole point and ethos of Gingerbread is to remove the stigma of being a single parent and challenge these disgusting stereotypes being reinforced here. It doesn’t matter whether the resident parent is on benefits or works, the fact is non resident parent should contribute towards their child’s upkeep. The resident parent pays more in gas,  electricity, water, food, school dinners, clothes and child care if they work, does the non resident parent have to pay childcare just to go to work? No. This horrible judgemental stance of single mums being scroungers trying to rinse the poor dad is appalling. And if you can’t be supportive, what are you even doing on this forum?? Also, if you’re on universal credit and have 2 kids, you absolutely do not get 2k a month 🙄

    • I’m really sorry you’re going through that Nope21, it is a struggle at the best of times without ignorant judgement of others, you shouldn’t have to justify yourself. Keep on keeping on, you’re doing a great job ❤️
    • Arcot30, the child maintenance system really is unfit for purpose, it’s terrible. It’s wrong that the onus is on you to do it all. But as others have said, keep at it and don’t forget about it and let it drop, as that is what they bank on you doing, which was kind of confirmed by crscott’s comment. The advice about contacting your local MP is good, I would definitely do that. It will take a long time unfortunately, but the principle of the injustice should keep you going. Good luck 🍀
    #54230 Report

    Hi All

    I’m Michelle one of the Moderators here.  Whilst there is room for individuals to express their personal views, and people are certainly entitled to disagree, please do so in a respectful and sensitive manner.

    Intentionally creating conflict in an online space may be considered trolling.  Please remain mindful of  what you say, how that may be perceived and the wider impact on the community.

    Many thanks


    #54293 Report


    Goodness.I’ve always tried to be as financially independent as humanly possible and when I read advice from complacent single parents who…don’t actually have their kids with them on a constant basis I feel like I’m doing something badly wrong and shld have a lot more spare money at the end of the month.I think what they are thinking is that it’s just ‘school runs and feeding the kids’ to quote.Well I suppose it is if you’re only seeing them a couple of days a week over the age of 2.5 or 3.But the rest of us have it more complicated.It was so hard when I had a little baby and 3 little ones and no car to Do the 8;30am,1pm, 3:30pm run and a baby up 4x per night.When a couple of kids weren’t well but I had to get another to school and back and schools a 20 min walk away,when I ran out of milk powder and only realized at 11pm,when the washing machine broke down,when the house fused repeatedly in the winter,when my Dad was deathly ill and there was no one to babysit so I couldn’t visit,when I can’t go to work bc the childcare costs more than my earnings,when the kids have behavioural issues and we need to get to 2 appointments per week besides for all the school runs(walks) and so many countless other small and bigger things over the years that make my head spin to think of.Somehow life seems to be more expensive as a lone adult….so if these single mum’s are getting £2000 per month then Good for them! But not too many of the ones that I’m acquainted with look particularly rich or well rested.So either it’s not true that they’re just sitting at home doing nothing….or they’re not getting all that money.Or  both.

    So that’s the end of that.

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