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Author Topic: Child maintenance changes  (Read 8914 times)

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Offline katie_girl

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Child maintenance changes
« on: May 21, 2014, 07:56:50 PM »
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/may/21/child-maintenance-single-parents-face-fees

What do you think?  Good move?  Are there people who currently use the CSA unnecessarily?

How will this affect you? 

Most of the articles I've read make it sound as if there'd be an element of choice in going down the payment via the child maintenance service route.

Quote
Under the new rules if an amicable arrangement cannot be reached the paying parent - usually the father - will have a 20% fee added to the maintenance payment, while the receiving parent will pay 4% to get the money. BBC News


But this article says that will only happen if payments are missed/late.

http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2014/05/child-maintenance-changes-it-right-give-abusive-fathers-another-weapon-against-their

Offline Deborah43

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 12:41:34 PM »
Whilst I have no figures to support my thoughts it seems unlikely that anyone who has sought the intervention of the CSA has done so unnecessarily.

If parents have been able to come to an amicable arrangement then they will have done so I'd have thought?  And so then those who have been unable to come to an amicable arrangement will have sought an arrangement via the CSA. 

I think the second article is more telling in that it explores how a "paying parent" might skirt around the proposed changes, and still be able to exert emotional and fiscal pressure if they choose to.  And not only that, the parent receiving the maintenance payments gets to pay a fee for the pleasure of this?

Badly and down-right stupidly thought out in my opinion.
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Offline Foggy

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 01:16:12 PM »
What was wrong with the old court order system ?  Dealt with along with the divorce and proceedings if the paying parent failed to do so.

Offline Deborah43

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 02:43:04 PM »
What was wrong with the old court order system ?  Dealt with along with the divorce and proceedings if the paying parent failed to do so.

Not all parents are married so for some that system wouldn't apply.
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Offline Foggy

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 05:19:35 PM »
What was wrong with the old court order system ?  Dealt with along with the divorce and proceedings if the paying parent failed to do so.

Not all parents are married so for some that system wouldn't apply.

Ah yes -- hadn't thought of that !

Offline Sqizzer

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 12:25:49 AM »
I've recently had dealings with the CMS since divorce finalised. Domestic abuse. Father left in first trimester. Never supported child: always agreed to but used it as blackmail. Women's aid advised, because of the continued and escalated level of abuse, to not pursue maintenance until divorce finalised. My sons second birthday was 2 days ago and we are 2 maintenance payments down the line...

This is as a direct result of the Child Maintenance Service (new CSA) and their policies including this percentage system. Yes there are flaws that could be detrimental for families but my experience has been very positive.

From my experience I have learned that from the date I opened a case with them, any missing payments can be recovered. Any from before that time they cannot. So father remains liable for that. It works via NI and HMRC which leaves loopholes for self employed and company owners/directors who have HR type swing, yes, but not for the average joe. I do not / will not have to pay a percentage unless they have to intervene when father misses payments but the threat of the 20% bump up to his payments if they have to extract the money from his bank account, as well as the added percentage if they have to go to his employer to take it at source changed his mind. My opinion was that my 4% loss of the maintenance I have never received was better than the absolute nothing I was getting. The hilarious part was that he spent a fortune on a lawyer to fight the CMS and the harassment case he was trying to go forward with for them hounding him only to be told that he had no choice - the amount wasn't a guideline and he was liable for every penny. Obviously did not go to court and he conceded to pay the stipulated amount in full every month and without the need for them taking action.

For me the threat held quite a lot of weight and got results. It's like a built in fine. If the father is absolutely determined to go the long haul in obstructing the CMS it can take up to 6 months for them to recover all the money which is another pitfall for struggling families but the entire amount can be recovered in so many ways - debt collector fashion, but that only helps if you're financially able to wait for it

This is my experience though... Not suitable for all
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Offline Deborah43

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 07:23:46 AM »
That was really interesting to read because my experience has been with someone self-employed, hence his ability to duck and weave and basically stick two fingers up at the system.

So it was really good to read how well it worked for you Squizzer, I forget that not everyone is self-employed :)
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Offline scatily

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2014, 11:43:05 AM »
I'm one of the old CSA cases who gave up at the point I was owed 7k. Yes, you heard correctly gave up. I now have an 'amicable' (ha ha ruddy ha ha) agreement of £10 per week, obviously only when it suits him though as my child supports himself when fags and beer are running low at his dads .............

Bitter? Yes. Angry? Yes. Will this new system work? No. Is it fair? No. And so it goes on.

This is basically robbing from the poorest children, no one chooses to use the CSA or equivalent, you'd have to be off your rocker, it's a nightmare!

This article sums the whole farce up well for me. I think (seriously) the solution is to publicise the names of  those parents who chose not to contribute to the child they brought into this world. End off, name and shame and take them to court if they persist. Yes it costs money but the courts can allocate costs as well to the non payer, job done!

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/those-selfish-separated-couples-plunder-our-economy-with-relentless-greed-9419540.html

Offline Ms_wormwood

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2014, 12:32:18 PM »
What was wrong with the old court order system ?  Dealt with along with the divorce and proceedings if the paying parent failed to do so.

Not all parents are married so for some that system wouldn't apply.

In Switzerland it is normal for unmarried parents to sign a legal contract when the child is born, as to what to do if they split up. It is not compulsory, but it is strongly recommended to be done around the same time as the birth certificate is written. My *cough* friend has one with his ex for their two kids, which made the split more amicable as they couldn't argue about the child arrangements. As far as I can tell they have a good co-parenting relationship, but that is just one family.
 
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Offline lostandfound

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2014, 04:52:30 PM »
My ex offered me a tenner a month take it or leave it so went down the csa road. They have been great with all dealings and have had a attachment in place for last 7+years.
As i understand it the absent parent has to pay csa 20% fee ON TOP of what they should  pay. The resident parent pays 4% of maintenance in fees. Which in the grand scale of things a 4 pence in the pound is not a great loss
 
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Offline zanywoman

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 09:38:36 PM »
My b/f has always paid child support for his daughter, but his ex contacted the csa claiming that he wasnt paying, thinking that she would get more money (even though they had come to an agreement). She actually got a whole £5 a month more.  He found out that she had tried to get an attachment of earnings but because he could prove that the child support had always gone to her via a standing order direct to her bank account and that he had never missed a payment  they didnt do this. 

So yes some parents do contact the csa needlessly despite agreements being in place.


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« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 09:40:00 PM by zanywoman »
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Offline Deborah43

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 09:09:01 PM »
Complications all round really when you start dissecting things.  My exes ex pursued him for maintenance via the CSA for the children they had together.  He was supposed to pay an amount set by them and never ever did, using the self-employed work-arounds.

It's a fair point to say that there are people who use the service unnecessarily so I'll take that back.  But I still think that it's a change that's not going to make much difference to real life situations.  But then I'm cynical ;)
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Offline Sqizzer

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2014, 09:08:31 PM »
I have not had dealings with the CSA before it changed in November last year - I know this is about the added percentage payment to be implemented soon, but I think (as far as I've understood) that they have a lot more options open to them and can now do more to enforce liability with extreme consequences and it's easier for them to enforce now. It's not a quick system because there is a process they have to follow but I don't think the mainstream avoiders can get away with it as easily as they used to
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Offline jenz

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Re: Child maintenance changes
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2014, 09:31:11 PM »
Brilliant article by the Independent Scatily!

This is as usual very confusing. So what happens to someone like me who amazingly does get a monthly payment for my self-employed ex? I assume that as long he's paying all is ok and there no charge? He's been paying for about year so I'm quite new to this and I've had the CSA re-evaluate his earnings as I knew his last tax return was higher. I'm expecting  him to have an amazingly low tax return now so if he or I ask for a re-evaluation will we pay the £20? Will the 20%/4% only apply if he fails to pay?

From Nov-April the CSA didn't pass on any of his payments to me, despite a monthly promise during my many phone calls, so if they do that again do they pay me additional out of their pot of scammed off money? Not very likely, I expect they'll still deduct my 4% and claim the extra 20% of him, whilst keeping the interest too!!


 

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