Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder LouiseK Novitiate

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    Default CSA going to see us homeless!

    Could anyone with experience of this please give advice because we really are at our wits end.*

    Today my partner recieved a 'review' of what Child Support he must pay each month for the next year for his 2 children from his ex wife and is being collected by a DEO straight from his wages every month so he cannot do anything about it.
    Despite regular payments for his children he now has 'arrears' to pay which have seemingly appeared out of nowhere. If regular payments of the required amount on the CSA's demand have been paid then how could there possibly be any arrears?*

    To complicate the matter a whole lot further:
    My partner and his ex wife separated 13 years ago.*
    After divorcing on grounds of adultery on her part the house was sold and she kept the equity that the house had made and my partner saw not a penny of it.
    However, he still had his children at the weekends and he and his ex wife arranged and agreed maintenance payments between themselves which was adhered to. After moving on with his own life he later met somebody else, much to his ex wifes dismay. She soon made things difficult in regards to access with his children by stipulating that he wasn't to have the children around his new partner. As you can imagine things got out of hand and the poor kids involved were just trapped in the middle and soon didnt want to see their Father because of the atmosphere created and the fact their mum forbid them to go to his house if his partner was there. She made it all but impossible for him to see his children and then filed a claim for CSA despite him paying regular maintainance and wanting to be a part of his children's lives.*

    He has not seen his children for a few years now and from what she has said; they sadly do not want to see him either.

    The ex wife has since remarried. They have a very plush 4 bedroom house in a nice part of London and her and her husband both have very good jobs each earning around the 60k mark a year. My partners kids never go without and they refer to the new husband as their Dad.

    My partner and I, like a lot of working class families, are not just feeling the pinch of the credit crunch but are also suffering financially.*

    My partner has a low paid job and I am on statutory maternityicon leave only bringing in 28.73 per week.*
    We have a baby boy who is almost 6 months old and between us have outgoings and debts that exhaust our income. We live in a 1 berdoom place which we rent and only just get by every month and this 400 a month now being taken from the pittance we bring in a month is literally going to send us over the edge.
    We have tried speaking to the CSA and they do not care about what our outgoings are and say that the CSA payments much come before anything else... Even our 6 month old child who has to go without. The preposterous idea that we 'take out a loan' to cover the arrears is just laughable - we've reached our limit in credit with trying to survive as it is!*
    I must state that we do not qualify for help from the government as apparently we earn just above the breadline for the qualifying margin to recieve any benefits.

    While I whole heatedly agree that parents do not live with their child/children should help towards the financial cost of having them I do think that it should be made reasonable and affordable in a way which is fair to the absent parents as well as the mother and children.

    The very fact of the matter is this: paying this now 400 per month means we will not be able to afford anything else. Every penny we bring in is accounted for so the CSA payment will have to come out of something else, be it food, electric, the rent etc. we just cannot afford it and we will end up homeless! How can they see my 6 month old child on the street. That is inhumane when the children the CSA payment is for will not be affected at all if they didn't recieve as much or at all for that matter!

    We do not have anywhere else to go, friends and family cannot put us up so what are we to do?*
    Like I said.. I agree parents should pay for their kids but when the ex wifes situation is a pretty cushy lifestyle and ours is about to see us and our baby homeless it rings alarm bells that something's not right.*
    The 400 to the ex wife is a pittance to her but everything to us to ensure warmth food and a food over our heads. Why should my partner pay such an extortionate amount to kids his is restricted to see which results in the child he has living with him to go without essentials?
    What do we do?*


  2. #2
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    I am not a CSA expert by any means but I have has experience of the CSA and have come to the conclusion that they are not fit for purpose for either the absent parent or the parent with care.
    Under the old CSA rules, the parent with care is deemed to have no assessable income if they are in receipt of tax credits or other benefits which she might not be if the joint household income is as high as you say it is
    When I was having problems with the CSA I got my mp involved and he managed to get it sorted.
    If you go on the theyworkforyou website you can find out who your mp is and ring, write or e mail them
    Also, when your partner was making voluntary payments did he have a record of them such as bank statements?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Hi louise

    Welcome to CAGicon

    The guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder satanette Novitiate

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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Hello everyone

    I am very much hoping you can help me too as partner is at his wits end.
    Basically he has a 15 year old son from a previous relationship who he has been giving money too, buying his clothes, paying for school trips / holidaysicon etc for the past 10 years. He has a very vindictive ex who likes nothing more than to cause grief wherever she goes.

    Although said ex, is in a relationship with a man who works full time, she sits at home on benefits saying she lives alone totally milking the system. She really does want to have her cake and eat it!

    CSA have contacted my partner and demanded 7,000.00 in arrears, they simply do not care that he is self employed and has made a loss this past two years. We asked for an assessmnet based on his earnings and they have demanded he pay over 120 a week for arrears and the current CSA. He offered to pay 120 a month for assessment and arrears until his situation improves but he got threatened with court action, bailiffs and prison! They cannot serve a DOE as he is self employed - thank heavens for small mercies!

    It isn't that he doesn't want to pay, he does but this is a son who he doesn't see at all, contact ceased as every time he visited it was constant, 'where are you working', 'how much do you earn', 'how much do you spend on shopping' all the time, it was quite sad really that she had programmed her child to do nothing but ask questions!! Money money money.

    At Christmas and birthdays my partner spends over 250 on son, she spends about 40, last christmas just one xbox game!! This will have to stop if he has to pay out vast amounts of money every month.

    He is in an IVA as he only just managed to scrape by when recession hit and hung onto his business by the skin of his teeth, he struggles to pat 430 IVA every single month and the CSA told him that mortgageicon, Electricity, Gas, IVA payments etc are not priority debts???? Well hello, if he fails to pay his IVA he loses his house??

    We asked for a new assessment on his earnings, they have now asked for 36.00 per month for CSA assessment and want more for the arrears of 7k. Any advice would be so greatfully received.

    Thankiing you in advance.



  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder Turned Worm Novitiate

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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    For the first poster, the very best thing you can do is to contact your MP and ask he takes on your case. It is the best way forward to have the CSA look at your case. You are not dealing with a Government Department directly, but with a sub contracted out private agency. They very much wish to retain the contract and MP contact is black marks against their performance.

    The last poster if it is that the PWC is at home claiming benefits, she will not be receiving the money you are paying in. If she is on state benefit she will receive the first 5 (or that's what it used to be a few years ago) the rest go into a government pot. She will only receive the full amount you are paying if she is working or not claiming. Sadly this fact has caused many families who had amicable arrangements to fall out unnecessarily. PWC are told to go through the CSA when they start to claim benefits other wise their claim is affected...so effectively the ex wont be eating your cake the government will.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Post 6 is wrong if a pwc is on benefits the csa monies are not counted as income, she will be getting benefits and the full csa monies, this changed about two odd years ago wheras before a pwc only got nothing of it or about 10.00.

    PWC may not get any arrears owed from when csa monies were counted as income, but certainly will be getting ongoing csa monies.

    I know as get the support my ex pays.

    One thing do want to add for new partners painting very poor pictures of pwc as in sits on bum on benefits etc...... and sides told by exs, be careful, my ex told his new partner I was this and that and also refusing a divorceicon as to he could not marry her but so so wanted to. Told her many bad stories a bit like what told me when we were together whilst seeing new partner, you know the type. She has not been told by him however we have been divorced for years, some exs rather than tell true situation as in dont want to remarry and happy the way they are, prefer to say oh the wicked ex wife, tick tick, and the new partner starts to hate a person they do not know. Mine still has her believing we are married and that its my fault, so remember there are indeed two sides.

    Some pwc actually use their csa monies would you believe for the children.

    The post refering to a pwc on benefits only buying a child an xbox game, terrible, but perhaps that is all she can afford and if you are getting all this feedback from your new partner, then beware it may be one sided.

    As for new families with their own children on breadline with csa demanding so high amounts you have my sympathies, but you have to remember the pwc of the prior children will only have them as her concern. In my case luckily ex has not had further children as I can see really does not want to re marry and have more children, he sadly however is stringhing his new partner along by telling her it is my fault he cannot marry and therefore wont go for ivf as she cannot have children naturally. Sick eh but i wont get involved and tell her, not my place.

    I have been fortunate with the csa when the actually did seem to get cases sorted under csa 1, they seemed to at time target sorting cases with single parents on benefits as was obviously in their interesticon to regain these monies. I am a reasonable person and ex has had a huge pay increase and I have not asked for recalculation. I am hoping when changes start again as they are planned to then he will pay directrather than deo due to my being reasonable, but we will see.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Going self employed is the easiest way to deal with the CSA because they cannot touch your earnings.


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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    ps. Right way to go to fight csa is your MP.

    As ashmk says self employed does protect fromd direct payments being taken, but it very much depends on what job you do and wether can becoem self employed. Either way you still have to pay maintenace but self employed gives you more protection whilst fighting but if you earn the money and csa has allowed for what you are entitled to as in new kids, they you still have to pay.

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  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder emmahavens Novitiate

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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    We know how you feel.
    My husband phoned the CSA after he split with his ex, and asked to pay her money (as she wouldn't take it directly from him) - the told him it couldn't be done that way, so my husband left it and carried on with his life. 18months later (just before we got married) we were hit with a bill for 18months worth of arrears as the CSA had set the claim up anyway (however we didn't know this at the time and just assumed his ex had claimed).
    We are now in the situation where the CSA take 40% of my husbands earnings every month - often leaving us borrowing money off friends and family just to pay our rent - where as his ex lives rent free at her mums, has all her bills paid for - so this is just extra spending money (on top of her salary which is double that of our combined salaries!). We are now on the verge of loosing our house - and in the CSA phone operators words 'it is our problems, not that of the CSA!!!'

    We have already given up our car (only a ford fiesta, but it gave us our freedom) and moved to an area much cheaper where my little boy will not be allowed to the park or out to play because of the type of area it is.

    I'd like to say I can give you good advice on how to deal with them - however we have had no luck at all so far!

    And like most fathers - on top of dealing with the problems the CSA cause we also have his vindictive ex to deal with, who withholds contact for no reason, has made my husband quit the TA (whcih she also goes too, and provided us with that little additional income), and regularly slates us to friends.


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder emmahavens Novitiate

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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    They are really hard to ignore when they steal it straight from your wages, and I say steal because that is what they do!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    I understand that
    That's why self employment a godsend


  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder LadyJ1965 Novitiate

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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Not all ex wives are greedy so and so's

    I had to use the CSA, my ex wouldn't pay a penny otherwise, and I really needed it. We had 4 children, the youngest being only 6 months when he slept with my mother.

    The CSA make it difficult for all concerned, it seems to bully those that will pay, whilst forgetting those who won't. I have a DOE on my ex now, not by choice, by necessity.

    However.... I did find that the MPs were very useful to me, and I think they would be to those on the other side of the coin as well. Within 4 weeks of them becoming involved the CSA had got their butts in gear and sorted it out. I honestly think they are your best weapon at the moment. No new wife or partner should have to live in fear of being made homeless.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Be careful whose advice you follow with regards to the CSA. Many of what I've read is either ranting (and nowhere near helpful) or a bit of of date.
    Even if a NRP is self-employed it doesn't mean they will 'get away' with paying as it'll just mean a quicker route to the CSA's enforcement teams to go and apply for a liability order (the first step in the whole enforcement process). If the debt isn't then paid or at least an agreement to clear it, then they will try bailiffs. If that fails, it'll go to the next stage where the CSA will apply to county courticon for various things including a CCJ and applying the debt against your home.

    If the NRP has no clue how the arrears have built up, they have very right to ask for an Account Breakdown. If the CSA officer says no then immediately ask to speak to the line manager, and complain to them if they still refuse. If they send you a 'notice of intention to apply for a LO' (via a mags court) immediately request that you have the hearing at your local court as you will attend. Basically turn up and say that the CSA refused you an account breakdown and therefire you cannot contest their figures. The Magistrates will adjourn the case for the AC BD to be done. In fact you can attend their 'mass' hearing as the court doesn't allow clients to see the mags BUT a CSA court presenting officer can speak to you briefly beforehand and as they'll only have basic details, they themselves will postpone it. Basically the CSA should do the AC BD to save time and money in the long run.
    Sometimes the arrears build up through no-ones fault but it's good to check that nothing's amiss or that all your payments you have made are recorded.


  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder Stressedandfedup Novitiate

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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Another thing... Any decision the CSA makes, has to include 'welfare of the child' this means ANY child affected by their decision (regarding collecting arrears).
    Those who have a Deduction of Earnings Order at maximum and are struggling, call up and negotiate the amount for arrears. Make a point of your child is suffering. If they refuse, either write to the complaints or go to your MP about it.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Thanks
    I've just had an arrears letter claiming I owe 1600
    I wrote letters to say I was out of work
    So that's my next step
    I own nothing so a liability order is useless to them


  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder Stressedandfedup Novitiate

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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Jdes: make them show how they've worked out that figure.
    What income are you on now? Have you told the CSA what you are on AND specifically requested a new assessment?
    You would think they'd act when they received your letter but you do need to be straight to the point and send in your documents to show what income you're on etc.
    If you've done all this and heave failed to act, then you can complain for maladministration. Not rewarding but annoying to the lower senior management. If you can show them they've made a mistake, they have to correct it. If it means reducing your assessment down to nil, then so be it and they'll have to back date it to the assessment date.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    ?
    Im self employed
    If I tell the CSA I'm not working
    And I can't afford to pay does this occur arrears????


  18. #18
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    I'm self employed
    Im assessed at 61 a week
    And when I'm not working I write a letter to tell them
    And when I go back to work I write a letter to tell them
    I'm back in work
    It's irrelevant what I'm
    Earning as it gets assessed every April when my yearly accounts are done


  19. #19
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Several posts that are either bad advice, unhelpful or just plain rants have been removed.

    jdes26 - if you have posted on a thread - you dont need to "sub" to it as well !


  20. #20
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    Default Re: CSA going to see us homeless!

    Thank god I have never had tpo deal with the CSA.



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