09 Mar 2015

A question about : Just how painful is it?


I have a 3 yr old, and for various reasons her father has not paid towards her upkeep, bar Ј20 towards a new pair of shoes a few weeks a go. He's now in a well paying job and said he was going to start paying. Shock horror, he hasn't. I've been incredibly patient and reasonable with him, but I sincerely think it's time for him to start paying now. We manage pretty well (I'm frugal and good with budgeting) so it'd go straight into her bank account with a hope to save it up for big spends (new bed etc - do they ever stop growing?!) I know how it's spent is irrelevant, but this is what would help me in terms of providing for her.

So, hit me with it...just how difficult is the process. I only read horror stories! What info do I need? Is it worth it if I can manage as we are?

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Best answers:

  • As it is a new case, it'll be relatively straightforward I believe. Your case would be assessed on the 2012 scheme, so the other party's information would be collected via an interface with HMRC.
    You'd need as much information as you can supply, usually the minimum would be name and date of birth, but if you also know address and job information then that would help.
    You'll also have the option of either having payments sent via CMG or you can ask your ex to pay you directly (called Direct Pay). If you choose direct pay then you can give things a try, then ask CMG to collect the money if he doesn't pay you regularly.
  • Blimey, that seems incredibly straight forward. I have his details, and NI number. He's currently asking for more time 'to sort himself out'. I politely pointed out that I can't tell my lo that 'Mummy needs more time to sort herself out' and that he's had 3 years (during which I have been very understanding) to 'sort himself out'.
    Think I may take the plunge tomorrow. I don't know why I'm dreading it so much, I almost feel guilty for some reason!
  • Firstly, dont feel guilty, he shouldnt need you to go to the csa to pay for his child, Thats not your fault, Secondly, you only read horror stories as forums like this are for people who have problems, the VAST majority of cases, even those with some issues, are not in the same boat as most youll read her.
  • Well I bit the bullet and did it today. The lady was lovely and after some discussion we decided that it would be best if I went for the collect and pay option. I'm aware that there may be a charge for this in the future, but I have to prioritise where I spend my energies, and dealing with him, quite frankly, isn't one.
    I had to give his name, address, phone number and NI number, it was completely painless. For some reason I thought I'd feel utterly embarrassed but it was fine. I'll update this thread with how it proceeds, as it may be useful for others.
    Thanks for the support, I really was being a wimp for no reason (she says, I know it's going to hit the fan when he gets contact from them!).
  • Yes, I told him of my intentions last week. He begged me not to but I told him that I thought that it was the only way to proceed. I don't think that he will have expected me to have done it though. I've asked him in the past if he thought it would be a good idea, as the amount is set by them - he responded that the amounts they work out are too low, and he wanted to contribute more than that...the irony does not escape me!
    They said it'll take about a month to sort, if they have all the details right. I can see him saying he's been laid off from work, or quitting, as for some reason he's really scared of them. He seems to think that 'they screw you over' (another one of his many reasons for not wanting to go through them). So I know he's going to brandish me as the unreasonable one - this unfortunately is his standard perception of me, despite how patient and reasonable I am.
    Oh well, the ball is officially rolling...
  • A month is a very loose estimate, It could be less IF your ex is compliant, but if he ignores us, Its going to take longer, so the ball is now in his court, My advice would be to leave it 4 weeks, then call in once a week to check progress.
  • You have taken first step good for you. every case is different. the csa are supposed to have changed and got better. I dealt with them in 1990s and had a hard time, but that does not necessarily mean you will. good luck and keep at, you can get wore down after a while. keep notes when on phone and tell them you are, they should not mind
  • I'm a prolific note taker, so I'll keep it up
    Hopefully it won't take too long, but in all honesty, I've had Ј20 in three years, so a little longer won't make any difference. It's his response that I'm not looking forward to, the anticipation of it will probably be worse than the event though. I just need to remind myself how patient I have been and what I've done is not unreasonable.
    From the sounds of things, doing it this way means that the CMS take all the flack and do all the chasing, so hopefully they'll do their job and I won't have to get stressed over it all. I suppose at this stage all I'm thinking is if I get anything, it'll be a bonus! I'm currently doing my Masters, being a single Mum, arguing with the DWP and dealing with an acquired disability, which it now turns out is an hereditary issue and now my lo is having to undergo tests. So, all in all, I have enough on my plate. Let's hope the CMS do what they say on the tin eh?
  • Wow, is that just via info from HMRC then?
  • Don't worry, I'll be reporting back. Hopefully it'll run smoothly. I anticipate that he won't have to contribute anything after their assessment - he's been off the grid until Jan this year (the joys of cash in hand) but I know he is now working legitimately. As it'll only be a quarter of the tax year, he'll probably get a nil assessment, but from what I understand (if he keeps working of course) then it will change once his income has increased by 25% for the year.
  • ......................
  • Oh dear, so I'd suggest that so far it's not going so well. I've just been called by an 0845 number twice within 10 minutes asking after Mr.X (lo's father). I googled the number and apparently it's the CMS...I sense some crossed wires, I definitely gave them his number, maybe it's been put in the wrong field or something.
  • It's always difficult to get to the bottom of the rules and regulations of the CSA, but it was my understanding that with new child maintenance scheme, it was up to the paying parent to decide whether he wanted to pay direct or have it collected, and not the choice of the receiving parent. If the paying parent elects to pay by direct debit and then defaults, the charges will then kick in and the money will then be collected by the CSA.