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ex's child benefits


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hello all,

i was wondering if any of you could offer some advice as to where i stand in my situation... i lived with my ex for about 6 months in a flat with her son, for which we made a joint claim for child benefits which got paid straight into her account, i never saw a penny of this as it went straight on herself and her kid. i paid for the shopping, my half of the bills etc. during this six months she gave me hell, i would get abuse verbally and physically if i tried to leave the flat on my own as she was convinced i was 'seeing someone else'. i know this is irrelevant but hopefully it will shed some light onto why i am so outraged about this. towards the end of our relationship she became more out of control, and after attacking me whilst i was driving, she then proceeded to cause £300 worth of damage to my car, for which i had to foot the bill. i know i should have reported this but at the time i just wanted to be as far away from her as possible and i knew she wouldnt be able to pay the damages. anyway, last year i recieved a letter from the tax office regarding our child benefit claim which prompted me to inform them that we were no longer together and of the trouble she had caused me. since this, the tax office have written to me on several occasions demanding i pay £154 to them because of an overpayment of child benefit.

they have ignored all my requests for them to extract the money from her since it was her account the full amount had been paid into.

my outrage is that she has already caused me alot of emotional, physical and financial pain, why should i continually have to foot the bill? it was her obligation as much as mine to inform the tax office we were no longer together, which i did as soon as i recieved a letter from them regarding the benefits. It is my belief that she continued to claim joint benefits for a period of time between us splitting up and until the tax office recieved my letter. she is the most manipulative person i have ever had the misfortune of coming into contact with and the fact the tax office are still on my back about it only makes it worse. if anyone can offer advice id be grateful, although i fear i will probably end up paying out yet again.

thanks guys

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Technically it was more her responsibility to inform them of the change than yours, she was the one getting the income and that would be a reminder to call, whereas you had no regular contact.


Morally, they should pursue the person whose account it went into, though I expect legally both parties are liable.


Keep all correspondence in writing. Write explaining that you never received the payments, she did. Also point them to the application form which you both completed as that clearly shows it went into her account.

Suggest they deduct from future payments for the same child as that will take it back from the account it went into, ie not yours. Appeal/complain if necessary but do not give in.

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