Legal Help Against Child Maintenance Service

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    I’m a non-resident parent. divorced 10years ago from my ex-wife. Originally we had a direct payment agreement based on the CSA calculator. I was travelling 150 mile round trip to pick up my children every other weekend, no allowance given from the CSA or from my ex-partner.

    Long story short. I was made redundant 5 years ago, taking me alomost 12 months to find new employment. During my unemployment period I advised the CSA at the time that I was unemployed and they confirmed I was not liable to pay anything at this time. (During this time as well I had stopped seeing my children due to my ex’s new partner becoming increasingly threatening and intimidating when picking and dropping off my children. A very difficult decision and one I regret everyday).

    I had created a limited company a year before my redundancy with my partner (at the time) who was also in and out of work, both of us were luckilly enough to be able to provide consultancy in our areas of expertise but had not at the time and the company was dormant for around 2 years.

    When I finally found new employment I had taken a lesser paid role with less pressures and stresses after nearly reaching burnout in my last role.

    At this point I did mess up and did not confirm with the CSM that I had started eaning again. I recieved letters from the CSA & CSM at the time of my annual review stating that they could see my previous years earnings via the Inland Revenue but were basing my current annual Child Service Payment on the earnings from the year I was made redundant and by the way we’re back-dating it to a number of months and you have an arrears of £11k making your monthly payment £1500.

    I replied back numerours times to the CSM providing paylsips, querying why they had made this decision and asking how they had calculated the arrears and was provided with no clear reason why they had applied the previous earnings.

    Roll on 2/3 years, I’ve been ignoring the letters from the CSM (bad idea!), an enforcement order was sent to my employer adivsing to remove £1500 from my £1200 a month salary, which they coudl not do so my employer has been taking 40% and paying it to the CSM. The order stopped a few months ago, I was ordered to setup a Standing Order to pay the CSM directly but was not informed what figure I should be paying . The CSM are going to court to have a liability order against the £38,000 I have in arrears.

    I have not been able to think about anything else since, I can’t sleep, I can’t concentrate at work, I’ve now lost my relationship and have no way of paying £38k and living a normal life.

    I have since got in contact with the CSM and made an offer to settle the amount with support from my family, who I will need to pay back. The offer was rejected. I have since been able to pay 31% of the arrears off and but I am now paying money back to pay a loan back and the Child Service for arrears.

    I contacted a company called NACSA, who advised that becuase I did not dispute it at the time, the opportunity to now dispute it via HM Tribunal service has passed.

    I’ve just had my 2021-22 annual review finalised and they are still applying the 2016-17 income which means I am not earning enough to pay the monthly amount and the arrears will increase. Another kicker is that 20% of the arrears are fees applied by the Child Service Maintenance, what they do for 20% I don’t understand?!

    If this was a finacial institution, they would not be able to behave this way, has anyone used a private legal company to engage with the Child Service Maintenance? I’m reluctant but I am at my witts end.

    Thanks in advance,




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