What can I do.

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  • #14289 Report


    I left my ex 4 years ago. I was with him 13 years, we have 3 children. He was a horrid bully, I got the courage to leave him and never looked back.

    I’d never stand in the way of the children seeing him, they love him he is their father no matter what. I let him choose the arrangement of seeing them and he rarely showed up! Even now its very sporadic. He was the main earner in our house, I worked part time so I could be there for the children. When he left he said to me that I wouldn’t get a penny from him for the kids – I can go into more detail but keeping it brief so you don’t lose interest reading through.

    As you can imagine, 3 kids, single mum I struggled. He gambled so I had a lot of his debt to clear (He used my bank accounts and my name – he was a bully) I contact CMS as I needed financial help, he had a good job, was on £2300 a month. For the first few months they managed to get money out of him, by then he was getting used to us being apart and chatted a bit whilst picking up the children, he used to say things like ‘my mates have told me ways of getting out of paying CSA but I wouldn’t do that I am a man of principle so would always pay my way’ (he was a blagger/empty words) but when he started to see I was adamant about the split and didn’t ever want him back – he left that job and went self employed. He never declared this and as far as CSA know he is not working and not claiming JSA.

    I eventually met someone else, I moved in with him with the children, we had a baby together, I still fully financially support my 3 children with my ex. My bf doesn’t see why he should help with them seeing as they aren’t his children, I agree and wouldn’t want to put financial strain on him, however he pays utility bills and its his house so I don’t pay rent.

    Ex met a girl and they have a baby together. He is still declaring he’s not working. I know he is, I know the company and I expect he’s getting the wages paid into his girlfriends bank. She also works which is probably irrelevant but just mentioning.

    I phoned CMS a couple of days ago. A very uninterested man went through the stages of my personal details and we found they had my address wrong!! They had taken it when I first moved and obviously had it wrong for all this time, apparently they have had letters returned but didn’t think of calling me to check anything!! so I gave him my actual address. I gave him my ex’s new address and the new details of his work. I swore he didn’t actually take any of it down and just wasted my time. It’s mentally draining.

    About a year ago I had called them with the details of where he was working. They sent a letter and the letter came back saying hes not employed there. He was but self employed so the company was clever with words ‘not working for them’

    I am at my wits end. Our eldest daughter is starting college in September and I am faced with a £795 bus fare and other monies for her course. I don’t know what else I can do.

    I can’t claim help from anyone as my boyfriends wages are more than annual allowance accepted despite the fact I get nothing from him (not that I’d want him to pay for my 3 children) but because we live together its seen as a joint wage.

    I literally feel like I am sinking, I have been just going along with everything and not pushed the CMS as everytime I have called I just feel so sad and despairing. If my ex was struggling and not actually working then it would be a lot easier to accept then he just pretending not to work and getting away with not helping one bit.

    Up to now he owes £5k but he would have owed more had they kept it open as they had closed his monthly owing payments due to him ‘not working’ I had a case opened so thought they would sort it out. But they were just palming me off.

    #14296 Report


    Hi there,

    what an awful situation for you. Sadly it doesn’t seem unusual. I noticed that Gingerbread are running a campaign to get CMS policy changed so that non payment of maintenance is treated like non payment of tax. I think that’s a much needed change.

    You don’t say whether you were married and got divorced, or not married and now separated. In divorce there are two parts – arrangements for children (contact with non resident parent ) and financial settlement. Part of the latter is the application for maintenance. All the finances have to be declared, so any self employed earnings which are registered would come to light. If he’s working but not registering his income that obviously is a little more difficult. I would probably ask HMRC to investigate.

    Maybe you should book a free half hour with a solicitor to see if you can bring a claim for child maintenance. If you can , perhaps advising your ex that this is the action you are going to take, that it is costly (he will have to participate) and that you will make a claim to have your costs reimbursed (by him) as you have been forced to take this route? He might consider it easier to pay up?

    I don’t know how much your new partner earns, have you checked if you (as a couple) are entitled to; child benefit, working tax credit and/or child tax credit, (or universal credit), and childcare funds?

    Hopefully another parent on this site may be more knowledgeable on your particular situation, as I still remain a single parent.

    Good luck 🙂



    #14297 Report


    Sorry, I tried to keep it brief but I suppose a proper background helps.

    No we weren’t married, we lived in a council house and it had both our names on, I took him to court to remove his name as he wouldn’t do it, there was police involvement as he was horrid and threatening. He threatened he could move back in anytime and make my life hell. So I took him to court and removed his name. The solicitor and court fees were supposed to be paid by him but as they couldn’t get the money from him it was down to me to pay. I have had a whole bucket of unfairness. But try and keep positive for the children. Hence why I have no confidence in taking him to court again as it would be down to me to pay for it all..

    I had reported him anonymously to HMRC on their website but I don’t know if they followed it up as he’s still getting away with it. I had someone tell me they saw him working in the capacity he did before but didn’t know which company, which I have recently found out.

    My new partner doesn’t support me financially, Its an awkward situation as I didn’t want money to bog down our relationship. My partner is self employed (and does pay csa for his child with his ex wife). his income would certainly be too much for me to get any help. Its so frustrating for me.

    Its just really unfair, even if he helped towards clothes/food would be help. My daughter recently had her prom to which he promised her he would take her out and buy shoes and a dress. he kept her on right up til it was too late and let her down so badly. Luckily I had a contingency plan and had borrowed a pretty dress for her. You can see he literally does not care and will talk his way out of anything. He has no care or I think even any idea of life or how his actions effect anyone.

    Thank you for your reply, writing this out brings it all back to me, hence not wanting to pursue it. but things are just so hard at the moment I don’t know where to turn


    #14309 Report



    Hello again,

    It really is a nightmare situation and as you say so unfair.

    I really feel the system as it stands in the UK at present is appalling. Maintenance payments for children don’t seem to be approached with any degree of urgency or importance. It is an absolute scandal.

    I have been lucky with maintenance thus far. Many of my friends have not. Some ‘noises’ were made about new partners and income (hypothetically) by my ex who I think was worried that at some point in time I might be better off! I remember he wanted a clause to say payments would be re-calculated if I lived with someone for over 12 months. I refused to agree to that (not because I had a new relationship) simply because I don’t believe it is someone else’s responsibility to provide for our children.

    I’m really sorry I couldn’t offer you any more helpful advice. I hope someone else can. I agree the court system is a nightmare, and your ex obviously just doesn’t care, so it would just be frustrating and a waste of money that you haven’t got.

    We appear to have a maintenance collection agency that can’t enforce the law? It’s hard enough raising children when you do recieve maintenance…. perhaps the government should make deliberate evasion a criminal offence, because the current approach doesn’t seem to be working.

    It sounds like you have done (are doing) an amazing job in extremely difficult circumstances. You should be proud of that, and I really hope someone here can give you some more positive advice on CMS, benefits, etc

    wishing you you all the best 🙂





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