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CSA can not cope or just dont care,9 years on still we have trouble
CSA Child Support Agency
Member Name: Petrolheadguru
CSA Child Support Agency
Date: 29/06/10, updated on 29/06/10 (624 review reads)
Advantages: None their existence hindered getting fair maintenence early on in court
Disadvantages: Loads its all very upsetting really no justice
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.
Summary: A useless waste of time