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CSA Child Support Agency

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26 Reviews

The CSA operate to assess, collect and pay child support maintenance, ensuring that parents who live apart meet their financial responsibilities to their children.

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    26 Reviews
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      30.10.2013 23:36
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      Full of issues

      We have 2 children together and when he decided to up and leave, he thought his responsibility towards them also ceased. I let things go for a number of months until eventually I decided to go down the CSA route as why should my children have to go without whilst I had to strictly budget on just my wage? They had 2 parents so surely a little help from both should be available? The paperwork was really easy to fill in but that is about all that is easy with the process. I have to keep ringing to chase updates about the case and it often takes at least 10 minutes to get through to actually speaking to a human. They then take a further 10 minutes trying to scan read the case as the number you have to call goes to some kind of call centre and not your own individual case worker. I did eventually receive 2 payments from their father after a number of months when it was confirmed he was working for a company. The money came directly from his wages before he even received them. This was his cue then to leave and become 'self-employed'. My case has now been sent to their 'self-employment' team. This brings up another heap of problems and still means that my children receive a grand total of nothing from him. They have to do traces with HMRC and investigate 'things' ~ I have no idea what these things are but every time I call they are still doing their investigations. In all this time, they have spoken to him a few times but the process seems so long-winded that circumstances change and they have to start from scratch again. For example, he moved so any letters they sent were being returned. I have read many articles and comments from other parents about the CSA and in particularly if self-employment is involved. The power just isn't there for the CSA to act quickly and set up payment schedules if a parent decides they don't want to pay anything. All in all, the CSA can only work on information that can be supplied or that they can slowly find out themselves. This leaves the whole system open to abuse by parents that are adamant they just don't want to pay for their own children. Many times I have felt like just closing the case and calling it a day but then this is the only route open to me for my children to ever receive financial support from their father. I receive yearly a copy of the payments he should be making. Handy! It's a bit like Bullseye, "look what you could have won". My folder for CSA is getting full of random pieces of paper with empty promises on them including booklets saying what they can do if the non-resident parent doesn't pay. It mentions taking their driving licence from them and even a prison sentence. My case has been going for a good couple of years now and I still never get an answer to my question of just when will any of these further actions take place? The CSA are firmly stuck here with me between a rock and a hard place. I know alot of people may assume that the parent left with the children are being bitter and money-grabbing and that may be the case for some. However, I now feel like I have to speak out for my children and show them that with family comes responsibility ~ both financially and emotionally. The CSA is supposedly meant to help with this but it just isn't at the moment for me and as such only receives a 1 star rating as it is barely doing anything in my case.

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        28.05.2012 10:34

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        The system is flawed with too much fear of pushing matters that should be pushed.

        I am a single father with 3 children, with the same ex-partner, of which one lives with me full time and the other two 40% of it. My ex has to date refused to pay her maintenance and this has resulted in a Deduction from Earnings Order - as most will know this is when her wages are legally deducted by the amount she owes in maintenance payments. However, since day 1 of this arrangement, her employer has not once paid what they are supposed to pay nor have they paid on time. Every single month I phone as the payment is later than their deadline of 19th of each month (3 weeks after the deduction was made) and I usually don't get it until the 4th or 5th week and when I do get it, it is substantially lower than the schedule states it should be. When they get questioned about this they claim a change of circumstances has altered the schedule, but they never back this up with evidence nor do the alert the CSA to the change, they generally wait until a month or two later when they are asked to explain. My ex is now at a stage in arrears that 40% of her wages (the max. legal amount) should be paid to clear the balance. The CMaED threaten them with court action and legal sanction month after month but have yet to follow through. After nearly two years I thought we had a result when I was told a Criminal Compliance (CCT) case was going to run, which effectively was going to bring the employer to court for non-payment in breach of the law. Yet again though, this was "postponed" as a new change of circumstances was claimed. I was furious and asked what it was - my ex was apparently working less hours and therefore the schedule was wrong. Now, a CCT cannot run apparently, if an outstanding change of circumstances exists so I would have though to back this up the employer would be expected to demand evidence, and given the nature of the claimed change, surely a simple print-out of recent payslips faxed or posted would take a matter of days at worst. Two months have since passed and not one shred of evidence has been sent OR EVEN ASKED FOR AGAIN. So, when I called today to find out why not, I was assured that they would send out threatening letters to the employer - the same threatening letters that have been sent out a multitude of times over the last year or two. I'm sure this time it will send shockwaves through their hearts. Do your job CMaED - ENFORCE payment.

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        12.05.2012 01:59

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        broken

        my son is 18 and started work two years ago go even a letter from a judge saying my son started work two years ago but my ex still claims child benefit i have asked the csa why am i still paying when this is clearly fraud they agreed its fraud but will not do anything about it because on there screen it says she still gets child benefit sent letters to child benefit not one reply back sent letter to the police but you would think fraud is fraud but nope they say its up to csa and they will not get involed and csa told me its nothing to do with them so she gets away with fraud i pay £80 per week now times that over 2 years ya no wonder she still claimes even sent letter to my MP what a waste of time that was

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        29.06.2010 00:32
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        A useless waste of time

        The Child Support Agency is a joke.It took my wife over 9 years to start getting any kind of payment from her ex husband,beat that!!! You can not operate an honour system where non resident parents honestly disclose their true income voluntarily.Unfotunately alot lie because they wrongly assume its down to the mother or her new partner to pay for the kids letting them off the hook. The CSA case workers are in the main powerless individuals that you talk to,overwhelmed by the system,too many rules,too many complaints and red tape abound.Most get tired of hearing the same over and over,hearing too many complaints would get anybody down. I can not believe what we went through,even worse when my wife eventually got her divorce case to court herself by paying for it out of my pocket (no legal aid!)she only managed to get a proportion of their joint property.He claimed to have no money to pay my wife so a forced sale had to be made,but he had 30 days to come up with his half to stop her taking control and selling at true market value.Low and behold he came up with the money in full knowing he was getting it cheap.This was because the valuation was so low by the jointly appointed surveyor.He had run the place down deliberately damaging it,it looked like a bomb had hit it. He even came to court without a solicitor and this made a mockery of proceedings and even though we won we paid most of our own costs because even though the judge awarded "reasonable costs"to us,her ex said £7k was unreasonable and paid just £2K,ouch!!The judge proclaimed that maintenance was a job for the CSA and not this court.We could have sorted the matter right there and saved time and tax payers money,that was back in early 2001.What was wrong with the courts deciding child maintenance like in the old days? For the court her ex husband presented accounts that were a real joke,a child could have done it.He is self employed,pays no incometax,lives with his partner who owned a lovely 4 bed detached house down on the south coast and they even regularly went to Florida to stay in her villa,very nice for them!The CSA are not interested in investigating peoples life styles,they seem to accept whatever the non resident parent says. When the CSA tried contacting him he would evade them by returning letters unopened writing "Not at this address" that worked for years even though his kids had stayed there for short breaks just a couple of times in the early days.He then broke contact with them about 7 or 8 years ago,his choice,he could not care if they were alive or dead! We tried contacting our local MP,this did help a little as after months of no or little news the CSA did respond.Try this,it may help because the CSA are not scared of jo public but they do care about the Government breathing down their necks.So called MPs cases get noticed! CSA failed us big time,they never even sent officers to his address to check our story out,so frustrating.By the time they eventually did go years later they had moved house! By luck and my own hard work I found out where he was living and reported this to the CSA.After much wrangling with them to take action as they were on the verge of dropping her case,a helpful case worker finally telephoned him.He was there at home and claimed to be someone else! Luckily the CSA officer was very helpful,contacted the local council and found out he did live there and they remembered him because he had delayed in paying his community charge,even argued about paying it in full.This prompted another call as this proved he was living at this new address,his own flat,he even had a mortgage on it claiming he earned £40K per year to get it!We asked for a proper assessment of the non residents income to be made but this was rejected without further investigation even though we had hard evidence he had a business and property overseas,this just did not count. After so many court cases we have lost count,the CSA were thrown out by Magistrates again and again for not being prepared and unable to answer his barristers questions.Yes thats right,the guy paid thousands to solicitors etc rather than pay for his own children.Just think of the waste of tax payers money for the CSA going into court back and fourth a dozen times or more! Eventually the CSA came back to us with an award of about £6 per week!! We appealed against this taking the CSA to a Tribunal,her ex was in attendance and it was a great day.The judge was assisted by an ex inland revenue officer and they tore his accounts appart and proclaimed the CSA incompatent.Unfortunately due to lack of evidence of income,re- accounts,they could only disallow his unreasonable business expences which were considerable.Worse than a dodgy MP he claimed for as much as possible including holiday flights 4 times per year to Florida and hire car etc etc.It added up to thousands,even disallowed his "rent" he claimed he paid his partner at their house.He said she was just his landlady but unfortunately for him there was enough evidence from his own mouth and things he had written to prove she was his partner.Even his own kids wrote letters confirming they shared a bedroom when they visited. When quizzed at the tribunal about the Florida villa he said the one year he went the pool was green,hardly luxury!When asked about his Volvo with private registration he claimed it was scrapped!! I would like to visit that salvage yard.When asked about his mortgage application where he claimed income of £40K+ he said he lied,it went on and on.Poor guy,this evidence he provided really shocked the Tribunal and its a wonder he has never been fined or put away in gaol. The story goes on and on,breath taking really,trying to claim he was ill too,all sorts of rubbish,these kind people really do exist you know and the CSA were useless never questioning him and always taking his word as true with no hard evidence.Finally she was awarded £13K for 9 years backdated money,a tiny sum from a guy claiming on one hand to have a jet set lifestyle with £40K a year,then on the other paying no tax as he earns less than minimum wage! Even now the payments are spread over I don't know how many years,crazy.He has his place in the UK on the market to sell and will be off to Florida,you can bet on it. We gave up really,better than nothing.Then he decides to fight the Tribunal ruling way after the deadline for doing so.Pays more solicitors etc but delayed making any payment.He was buying time hoping to do a runner on the liability order and would rather waste the money than see his ex get anything. Finally he lost his appeal but who really suffers? The kids.The eldest boy is 22 and youngest nearly 18,too little too late for us. I am a far better father than he could have been anyway but the kids still have hangups about the father that rejected them as a liability,shame. Some officers in the CSA were understanding,others were not and seemed to believe everything my wifes ex partner said,crazy!We need a better system to handle the bad eggs,CSA claims to have powers but they never use them.Some poor guys are getting nailed to the wall,totally wrong,after setting up a second family home some are getting treated like criminals,losing their new homes to pay the ex wife and kids.This is all wrong,all I ask is play fair,CSA don't seem to care or can not cope. Hope you found my review of interest and take the time to review it,much appreciated.I have reviews on DooYoo and Ciao website too,please take a look.

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        26.05.2010 20:43
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        We are letting our children down with a flawed system.

        My experiences with the CSA are different to the other reviews I have read and I wanted to give a more positive angle on this government run body. It hasn't let me down on the contrary it has supported me and offered invaluable help in securing maintenance for my children. The CSA or Child Support Agency is part of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. They will chase up, find and collect money from non-supportive, non-resident parents. In other word those parents who bring a child into the world but do not want to help the child financially. It recognises that parents have a duty to provide for their children. The CSA have enforcement powers that allow deductions from earnings and will even prosecute a defaulter. My ex was a very high earner having worked in the City all of his life. He threatened to give up work when we were separating because he said that he would never support us. He was eventually made redundant as a result of poor performance. He has since worked abroad to dodge maintenance. I do not want to take him to court because I don't want the contact with him, although I would be better off. I contacted the CSA when I found out he had been working back in the City for some time. My ex hasn't given me a penny for the children for three years. They are teenagers and I think it is just that he should be giving them something to make their lives easier. The CSA is without doubt a seriously flawed system. It needs to be straightened out immediately. It needs to listen to those who have used the system and have experienced its failing's first-hand and it needs to learn from their experiences. It does however have some very caring people running the operation, these people are as frustrated by the procedures as the users. I have encountered many helpful people who have made my journey easier. I have been handled with care and have been kept abreast of the numerous developments that my ex has instigated. The first huge flaw in the system is that a parent doesn't have to volunteer to pay child maintenance; it is the burden of the resident parent to find out if the other parent is working and then inform the CSA or take the case to court. There are a few parents who volunteer to support their children and contact the agency themselves, I admire those few. If the parent has been working for years you cannot claim back maintenance because you failed to notify them. What a fantastic system we have! It is the children who suffer and something should be done to amend this ridiculous rule. Both parents have a responsibility to their children. We should be supporting our children not making it okay for parents to dodge their financial responsibilities. There must be a new law put in place that enforces this. As a mother and a foster carer I know the cost of picking up the pieces financially and emotionally. The second rule which I found ludicrous was that the CSA has up to six weeks to enter the case into the system. I was lucky I was told because my case only took just over two weeks. The non-paying parent is then contacted. In my case he pretended that he wasn't the person they were looking for, he tried to delay the initial contact which didn't work because the calls are recorded, so when he did finally admit he was who they were looking for, they had recording to verify they had notified him months before. If you think the calculation is unfair, you have the right to oppose this decision; the appeal will go forward and be reviewed in a court of law. If your circumstances change you have an obligation to notify the CSA, this however isn't a legal obligation. When an assessment is made of their earnings it only takes into account the earnings over the last year or however long they have been in that employment if shorter. If they are paid out dividends or bonuses this won't show immediately and won't be calculated. Again it is your duty to ask the CSA to do an update on earnings. I was advised to do this annually. They say it is a criminal offence if someone fails to give the CSA information or gives information that they know is false. Realistically they are not going to chase all parents up or check their salaries. It should be a legal requirement although the CSA will take them to court if they found out and the parent could be fined up to £1,000. They say they are successful in around 95% of these cases. In my ex-husbands case £1000 is nothing, what does he have to loose? nothing! and the financial gains are substantial if he keeps quite about his substantial bonus. There is a nice little loophole in the calculations, if you pay into a pension this can't be calculated towards maintenance. My very clever ex-husband discovered this and immediately dissolved half of his salary into his pension fund. I am fortunate that I was made aware of this and I am now appealing. I have been told that because it is an unreasonable amount that he will not be allowed to continue to do so and the pension will be included in the calculations. I have the CSA to thank for advising me and sending me a variation of assets form. I am appealing against this decision and hope for my children's sake that it will be upheld. I am fortunate that the people I talked to at the CSA were supportive and very helpful. I felt that they were all against the rules and red tape that govern them. They went out of their way to patiently explain and guide me through the process. Five months later I have had my first payment, it was taken directly from his earnings, and without the CSA I wouldn't have seen a penny. My conclusion is, fight for your children. I let them down by not doing anything sooner. It is both parents right to support their children. We have a government body that will help us do that. It isn't perfect but there are kind, warm caring people on the other end of the phone. I had heard many stories over the years, completely annihilating the CSA. Don't be deterred as I was. They care and I was dealt with, with respect and dignity. I am giving this a 4 star for the lovely, helpful staff that I encountered and not for the system.

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          15.03.2010 22:39
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          Why Do They Work In The Manner They Do

          CSA - CHILD non-SUPPORT AGENCY I'm sure I cant be the only one that's un-impressed with the service "provided" by this Government agency, I use provided in the loosest term possible. If it wasn't bad enough that before you speak to anyone you have to go through the automated system to allow them to connect you to someone dealing with your case, only to speak to someone who 99% of the time knows nothing about your case. They then tell you some cock and bull story, take a number and tell you that your caseworker will call you back, this has been told to me on many occasions and never has it happened. They then send you letters telling you that they have set up a payment schedule for you to receive the monies owed to you. I received one of these letters in the middle of last month telling me that my first payment on the new schedule was due on the 8th of this month, given that it was a Monday and processing of BACS payments can take an extra couple of days depending on when they are processed I waited until the end of the week before calling them to find out what was happening. You can imagine my shock when I was told that the date they gave me ( 8th ) was when the payment was due but in fact the paying party had until the 19th of next month to make the payment and only if it has not been received by then will they pursue the monies. Am I the only one to fail to see the point in sending out letters with dates that really are not worth the ink it took to print them. I asked them why they send out letters that are giving misleading information and all I got as a response was that they had received several complaints about this and it has been mentioned to "management" and they would be addressing it later this year. Pathetic!!! The other gripe I have with the CSA is that when you start your case, if you do not know where the non resident parent is or how to contact them then the CSA will look for then in their usual lackadaisical manner and then once they track them down they will open the case. In some cases if the non resident is the father, some will deny paternity leading to DNA tests. My point in this part is that the CSA will only start the case when they make first contact with the non resident & whilst things are being set up they will incur arrears & these get added on to the payment schedule. Why do they only start the case from then? In my case they took over a year to find my childs father as he had changed his name, but they don't then start the case from when I contact them, and the year it took for them to find him does not get taken into account or the years he missed but only from the time they make first contact. And I found this frustrating as I had been in touch with them years earlier but as I said he had changed his name so they closed the case, it wasn't until I then saw him and reported where he was working that they would start to try and make contact with him. Anyway, my rant is over I just wanted to share my experience with you so that you know roughly what to expect before going to them for help.

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            07.02.2010 22:08
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            Some cases may be solved...but my advice...dont even bother.

            So this is my own personal experiences of the service they give. Im sure others have been successful. I want to give the a rating of 0 stars for this but it won't let me! I know that the majority of reviewers will probably be mothers but I have known fathers that are having major problems with this excuse for a help line. *****Background The Child Support Agency (CSA) is part of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. Their role is to make sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upkeep by paying child maintenance. Price**** A high price to pay if you engage with these people. Case Number 1: A mother splits from her partner and when she approaches her ex partner to help with the bringing up of their child he replies no. She then is meant to call the CSA, and try to resolve the problem. After trying to get through for days, being put on hold, passed from pillar to post and then finally getting a human voice in the form of a spotty foreign teenager, you kind of want to throw yourself off a cliff than be spoken to by someone who knows nothing about children and barely has passed the legal age themselves. When filling them in on the details, they then inform you that nothing can be done for all the time that the ex hasn't paid anything. So you only receive payments from the date you have called up. A few weeks later they get in contact with her to tell her they cant find the father. But as we all know, facebook is a well known source for finding things out on people, and she logged on to find where he was working. When she told them where he was it was another 5 weeks till her 'case worker' got in contact and again the payment was delayed for several more weeks. Payments were scheduled to go into her bank and then they weren't as he was un-contactable. Then he was found then 3 weeks later one payment of £12.50 went into her bank. £12.50 I hear you say. By this point she knew that the father had 2 jobs and was on very good money. So she called them again to inform them that he wasn't telling the truth. 3 weeks later her 'case worker' called again to say that they are working on this case and will be in touch. This was 18 months ago and she hasn't heard from them at all. Case 2: A father splits form the mother and has a two year old son. He pays £40 per week in cash to her. 1 year later she decides she doesn't want him anymore and drops the child off at the fathers house. He takes full responsibility for him and the mother sees the child once a week. The father has to call CSA for help getting money from the mother, but she moves around all the time and they can't get hold of her. After weeks of calling, he gives up and goes through the court. That was 1 year ago and still she doesn't pay. Basically, it doesnt help to call them. They take so much from the other parent and the parent with responsibility only gets a certain percentage of that money. Then if they are on benefits themselves, they get some money knocked off from them as tax credits class it as income?!?!? The best way of dealing with it is between each other. If you can come to a amicable agreement and pay in cash weekly then everyone is happy. The above two cases are myself and my boyfriend. we can do without the money but its not the point. Both absent parents still get to see their children but dont pay a penny. One even keeps the child benefit payments for themselves and doesn't pass it on. Both me and my partner work full time just to provide our children with the things they like, want and need. We don't get handouts, just our wages. The CSA needs to cease trading. They aren't reaching those that need it, they are confusing, time consuming and basically (based on my own experiences) rubbish. *Please note that this is my opinion and experience. It does not reflect other cases.

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              06.02.2010 11:58
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              If you can go privately..do it! If not be prepared to wait

              The CSA, child support agency. Where do I start? Firstly, this is more about my experience with this 'service'. I can't tell you any more than what I know. *What is the CSA?* This is a service which is meant to help parents with care receive regular maintenance payments from the non resident parent. They calculate the amount of maintenance by considering the non-resident parents income and arrange a payment schedule. Apparently if the non-resident parent denies being related to the child the CSA can order a paternity test which is charged to that parent. *First impressions* I first heard about the CSA when my best friend had her baby. She knew the dad from school but as they weren't in a relationship at the time of conception she didn't know his address, just the area he lived. She managed to get a result within 3 or 4 weeks after they had found him from only a small amount of information provided by her. She has had no problems and 4 years later is still receiving regular payments. Well done CSA...you might think...yes they hunted him down but the fact of the matter is this bloke is a rather decent bloke anyway and even when he decided he couldn't handle the responsibility of a child he continued paying. A year later he came to his senses and now sees the child regularly, the payments come out of his wages and everything is friendly. *About my case* My case is completely different. I won't go into too much detail but I feel the information I give is relevant. My ex left me when I was pregnant, after having my son I started a relationship with an old flame from the past. We moved in together when my son was about 7 months old. I receive Child tax credit and child benefit. That is all. From the day he was born my ex visited every now and then and from the age of about 2 or 3 months he would care for our son every other weekend for 2 nights. He promised to help with buying things etc but over the first year he provided us with about £200 worth of nappies, milk etc. That's it. A lot less than I was buying for him, aside from that it wasn't regular. I never knew when he would turn up with things so would buy it all anyway so it wasn't saving me anything. After a year of living day to day I had had enough of not knowing what was happening and contacted the CSA. I was contacted a few weeks after applying saying that he had agreed to make payments etc. However it wasn't as simple as that. He had told them that he gave me £50 a week!!! AND that he had our son every weekend!! LIES! The lady on the phone told me in a really matter-of-fact tone and I disagreed asking if he was paying me £200 a month would I really be bothering to go to them to get less?? A week or so after my maintenance schedule arrived. After applying in September 2009 I was due my first payment in December. I was rather impressed...but again it wasn't so straight forward. Come December he changed jobs, he told me he had informed them and I called them to make sure. 'Yes he has told us, there will be no re-assessment periods everything should go ahead as normal'. Well the payment date came and went, 3 or 4 phone calls and I was told to bear with it and wait. The fifth call I was told that 'he has changed jobs and we don't know where he is working'. I KNEW! I informed them of the date he started, where he was working, what hours and listed the dates he couldn't collect our son because he was working and even when he had bragged on facebook about how much he had been paid! They thanked me and said they could use that information. I finally got the reassessment sheet and was told that because he wasn't working I would get ...NOTHING! Again, I informed them of where he was working and AGAIN, was told to wait. More recently I have been assigned a case worker...I am yet to actually speak to her though as she is never in and when she does call back its at 7:50pm when I am putting my son to bed. This morning I received two letters telling me how much I am entitled to. Though both letters state different amounts. I was told he would have to pack pay from September when the claim was submitted, however the letter say December. I don't see how it could take 5 months when they have all of his details. I feel the reassessment is wrong as he has changed to a higher paying job with more hours and can manage to run a brand new car and go out every night... but that's just my opinion. I suppose I'm bitter but I think I'm allowed to be at this point. I am due to be getting the payment schedule soon but to be honest I'm not holding my breath. We got this far last year and I'm still waiting so unless they have magically grown brains I don't see how this time will be different. *A better option* My partner also has a son, his ex left him when she found out she was pregnant and he continued to offer help and support her. He has given her £100 a month and has his son every weekend. Because him and her failed to get on she contacted the CSA and was told that he would have to pay £135 a month, of which she would get £80. She decided to go ahead with it, but my OH suggested they kept it privately as he would pay less and she would get more. They agreed and both are happy. *conclusion* If I could have don things privately I would have, but as it is I waited a year and nothing came from him. The CSA was my only option and I assumed things would be sorted. They are not. However IF/WHEN they are then at least it will be regular and mediated. Some people are impressed with the service, but then some people have exs that are willing to help and give information. Well that's a given...if the bloke is decent enough then I'm sure the CSA wasn't needed anyway, but in the case of those who want to dodge it for as long as possible I think the service is awful! It shouldn't take 5 months to 'track down' someone whose information you have, if they fail to comply within the first 2 months you should repossess their car or something! Why should they be allowed to 'forget' to pay for their child?

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                15.06.2009 16:05
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                Go private if you can

                I am from both sides of the Child Support Agency sides. I have a son from a previouse relationship who I have never received any money for but that was my choice. The farther was an idiot he never had his name on the birth certificate and told me to have an abortion in the begining because he wasnt ready to be a farther at 26 years of age. I told him I would do it on my own with no help and have done ever since. He was sub-contract employed anyway so they wouldnt have been able to prove how much he earnt he also knew how to get away with paying due to friends of his that had been doing it for years. A few years later I met my current partner who I have a child and one on the way with he had also got a son from a previouse relationship. Every week he was paying £31 that we were going into the local post office and paying it by their payment slips, but most weeks when we were going to collect his son we were getting a mouthful because she hadnt received her money how can that be our fault when I had the slips to prove we had paid. We tried phoning for her and csa would only shun us it is up to her to phone and that they had our payment recorded. We decided because she had got married that we would do it as a private matter and give her the money with a book for her to sign to prove we were paying. This worked out great she got her money we had no greif from her it was lovely. A few months after she decided £31 wasnt enough and contacted the csa who did confirm that this was an appropriate amount for one child on an earning of £223 per week we still have rent and bills also other children to take care for. Recently my partner has been made redundant which means we can now not pay her the money. We contacted the CSA and they informed us that we would have to pay £5 per week because that is the minimum. We continued to do this privately until we received a letter from the Jobcentre explaining that they were already taking out £5 per week from his jobseekers allowance even though we had had an agreement with the csa, luckily the week that they started taking the money we hadnt paid her due to being away on holdiay so we havent over paid her. We also pay for karate lessons for him and I will always make sure he has clothes and shoes and well fed when he is here with us because I still work I would never see him go without. 2 weeks after being made redundant we received a phone call CSA "you owe us £1300". This was backdated payments that he had missed I asked for a run down of these payments and they sent me a letter through with all the information for the first 4 months my partner hadnt paid anything and I asked him why. He was out of work at the time and that he wasnt claiming jobseekers due to being self employed before. He told me the csa had told him he didnt need to pay anything. When he contacted them he told them he was out of work and was there any way that we could pay a small amount each week. They told us no it had to be paid in full. "how are we meant to find that money" was my partners response. Little did we know they could see all the credit cards he owned and informed him that he had £2000 on a credit card not that it bothered them that this credit card was already at £4000 and that he owned another 2 over £2000 that were full not that they cared that there was another family they were making suffer for this. Best thing is she wasnt getting a penny of the money that they wanted because she wasnt working at the time it was state money and that was who had it. It is a sin that now it is back through the csa when us or her have even asked for it to be done that way when he gets a job again this will all be changed I can assure you of that. They are the most impolite service who will ruin the peoples lives who will always pay for their child and wants to be there for them and will let the no good scum fall off the radar and they will probably be dead before they even find them. If you can go private if you have a good farther in the childs life I would advise it. If you have an idiot like me go to work part time if you can and they will not get involved because it is seen as a private matter it is a 3rd party that you dont need.

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                  19.05.2009 02:06
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                  They don't think realistically about a childs' need and seem to fall for the lies.

                  I am the mother of a 3 month old child and have recently received a letter from csa saying that my baby's dad has only got to pay 2.50 a week as he's claiming benefit and that its not getting backdated. He doesn't want to have any contact with our baby but has said he will pay. But all I've received since the birth is 20 pounds. He hasn't even brought our baby anything for when she was born. I disagree with their decision because I know he does work when he can get work, and that he has several times since I've given birth (he's self-employed), but I can't prove it as I don't live in the area anymore. He even gets money in a dodgy way so he can go out with his mates and does what he pleases. I've called the csa but they've said there's nothing I can do as I don't have proof of him working. Its so annoying as he lives at his mums rent free, has no bills and to me it feels like he is not taking any responsibility. You would think he's a child but hes not as hes 28. I've even asked him, before getting in contact with csa, to come up with our own agreement. I mentioned about writing down what our child needs and then going half but he said no and to do it through csa. I now know why he's done it this way. I feel so let down by the csa as I think he should pay a little bit more. I'm not asking for loads just for the right amount, as what can I get for 2.50. It doesn't even pay half the price for nappies. I'm thinking about cancelling the payment and do it completely alone as that is what I've done so far. How can they let people like my ex get away with this. It take two to make a baby and it should be both to make sure that the child has what it needs. How can csa think 2.50 is acceptable.

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                    15.04.2009 00:32
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                    Get your act together CSA

                    The CSA make sure parents who live apart from their children contribute financially to their upkeep by paying child maintenance...... APPARENTLY !! Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support that helps towards a child's everyday living costs.... ALLEDGEDLY!! The non-resident parent pays child maintenance to the parent with the main day-to-day care ....SUPPOSEDLEY The CSA can take payments from the non-resident parent and pass them straight on to the parent with care.......SELECTIVELY You can probably see a pattern emerging here and lets face it, its not looking too good for the CSA. Now Id heard plenty of negativity regarding the CSA but had also heard from some fathers how money was taken straight from their wages etc so I was in no doubt that when I applied to the CSA, after three years of being promised or messed about with regards financial support by the ex, that they would sort out a fair and suitable agreement. I checked out their website and after logging in thought that it was comprehendable and I subitted an online request.... fast forward two months and it was still all quiet so I called to speak to someone. That someone turned into four different people at four different branches, general enquiries, Dudley, Litchfield and Shrewsbury. Eventually a guy on my sixth phone call took pity on me and admitted that although I had a reference number there was no trace of my application on the system. He re-took all my details over the phone and gave me a case number. Finally I thought Id reached someone who could help, someone who knew what they were doing only for him to end the conversation with 'Please leave 12 weeks before chasing this claim as we have a back-log'. Well Id waited three years so I guess three more months couldnt harm ... I phoned on the three month deadline date to be told that my case had been moved to Falkirk !! To be honest I think that at this point I may have cried so the lad on the phone out of only pity Im sure tells me that this must be because there is a previous case open up North. I assure him hes mistaken and he assures me that there is an open case with in excess of 20,000 outstanding! Obviously this isnt the time or place to go into my thoughts as I realised that my child wasnt actually his first and secondly how the hell does one dodge the CSa for so long to reach that amount in arrears? I dont want to stray from the subject anyhow but seriously how are the CSA not able to trace this father in all those years? What hope does it leave me? Anyhow I chased this up for the next three months only to get some smarmy letter from the ex solicitor (Yes despite owing 20,000 he is still able to obtain legal funding for a solicitor who will shortly be dragging me and my hard earned cash through the courts) stating that CSA papers have now been filled in and I will be receiving news shortly. ....And I am entitled to ....drum roll please .. ........ .... please bear with me on this as I approach my climax Zilch, nada, zip, niente, rien, a big fat £0.00 And how? In the months that he mananged to stall he gave up working and became a full time student - Now Im sure there will be comments passed amongst you and Ill perhaps get the odd nasty PM but in my minds eye that is one serious loophole? The CSA seems to work perfectly for those fathers (non resident parents) who actually want to support their children but as for those that dont the CSA really do in my opinion need to toughen up. Needless to say Im going to rate the CSA with a one lone star and Id like it to be awarded to the guy that actually had the decency to tell me the reason that I was getting nothing as the paperwork tells me nothing except the big fat £0.00 staring at me. I have / have had no guidance as to what I could do next or when I could re-apply. I have no tabs on the ex so know nothing of his business or if he is indeed or still a student although have since learned that he works at the weekend. I must apologise now if there is garbling, if its hard to read or if it just offends anyone as Im sure that you can imagine it is a subject that causes my head to pound and my heart to race .. in fact is it possible that im having a panic attack sat here at my keyboard ? ...

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                      04.11.2008 19:14
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                      unite for fair change

                      Sadly a lot of parents experiance problems with the CSA, whether its due to delays, errors or maladministration, or whether they are PWC or NRP. Ultimately its our children that become the real victims. Take a look at ~ http://afairercsaforall.co.uk The site is packed with information, with more due to be added. For help, advice and support, you can access the forum by clicking the forum link ~ it's all completely free. If you have an experience with the CSA that you are happy to share with others, please add it to the site. afairercsaforall have now started a PETITION for 'A FAIRER CSA FOR ALL'. The petition covers ~ # The CSA having no legal duty of care. # Tax Credits & Disability elements. # Non residents parents accrual of arrears courtesy of the CSA. # Assessing Income. # Shared Care. # Complaints to the CSA. ~ the full petition can be found at afairercsaforall.co.uk, please come show your support. afairercsaforall are proud to support the 'End child poverty campaign'.

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                        21.10.2008 23:23
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                        God help us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        Child support agency.. What a joke.. I have been with the child support agency since August 2007 .. Since that date I have had 4 payments from my previous partner.. The arrear currently stand at £1300.. As yes it makes my blood boil that he will not help with my daughters living costs and yet I cannot stop his access due to the law. Since the payments have stopped I have been chasing the csa weekly to try and make them do something and anything to enforce the monthly payments and to get the arrears paid off. The csa is a waste of space and money as they will not do anything until the arrears reach £2000 and even then they have told me that it will be a long time before anything happens. I have to say that if you are claiming through the csa good luck to you all we will all need it.

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                          10.10.2008 23:24
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                          they need to pull their finger out!

                          CSA......supposed to stand for child support agency!! ive been with the csa for 4 years and its been a right pain to try and get help with my childs funding,i went the first year with no financial help at all from "the father" it was an immense struggle as my child was a baby at the time and needed clothes, nappies, milk, and not to mention all the accesories needed all of which i had to save up for. when payments did finally start i wondered why there was a deduction for his step children as 15% is allowed for the first one and 10% for each one after,even though they get csa support from their father,it was a farce.not to mention the endless phone calls i had to make to sort it out and then had a bigger phone bill to boot!!! meanwhile i got £10 a week and my childs father was having abroad holidays left right and centre, bought a house with his mistress, new kitchen built, new cars, all designer clothes...the list was endless, but couldnt even bring his child a packet of sweets on his not so regular visits!!! then came the arrears,and even though for months my child went without,because i was then on benefits i was allowed my £10 but the rest went to the government,so my child never got her arrears,in the end my ex paid £25 and my child got £10 of it. the payments have been sorted for a year now,and have been recieving it ok,but got a letter last month saying its all going to change,and there are two choices given either: ALL the amount will come to me but my working tax credit will change to make up for it or: make an agreement with ex that he pays the amount to me(which after all the fuss in the first place he will agree but never stick to it) so really there is only one choice to be had. i think in principal the csa is a good idea if it was done properly,but in practice its just made life difficult as its the child that suffers in the end because they have gone without

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                            10.10.2008 22:31
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                            CSA is a complete waste of resourses!

                            Well I just have to write a review on these guys!! CSA- child SUPPORT?? Agency is meant to be a way for whomever (mum or dad) to get cash from the child's parent to help toward the cost of the child! It is only fair isn't it? CSA actually cannot co-ordinate themselves well enough to manage anything (other than putting people on hold) I have been a single mum for a few years and I was luck enough that my daughters dad agreed to pay me some money for our daughter. When I lost my job and began claiming income support they told me my ex partner had to pay through CSA so I informed them of his details etc. UpOn receiving a letter from CSA my ex stopped the payments he was making leaving me on hardly any money as I was on income support. CSA took forever to sort thing out and get his detail and a payment set up. The payment CSA requested my ex to pay were just under half of what he was paying before. I really cannot understand how CSA work my ex earns about £340 a week! From that, I receive £23 a week for my daughter! It takes the ****. So when I see him driving around in his flashy car or I go to his house and see his new plasma TV, sky dish etc it makes me feel sick!! We are coping on the money we get but it is so unfair and I know I am one of the luck ones because we actually get some money and many people do not. But we live a very basic lifestyle while he is living it up I am sure more than 50% of my wages go directly on feeding, clothing, care for etc my daughter so why shouldn't his!! Oh, I feel better now rant over. Thanks for reading.

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