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Working With the CSA on Support Payments

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 22 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Support Maintenance Csa Lose Your

The financial circumstances of a separated father can change. Sometimes they’re for the better, if you get a new job or you get a good pay rise. At other times they’re for the worse, for example, you get laid off or the company closes. Sadly, in the current recession, the bad instances are likely to outpace the good.

Whatever happens, if you Pay Child Support and things change, the Child Support Agency (CSA) will need to recalculate the amount you pay, if everything is done through them. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, and they really do work with you to adjust to your new circumstances.

What if You Lose Your Job

Losing your job and going on benefits obviously means a drastic reduction in your income, which will affect the amount you can pay in child support. The CSA will look at your case again if you lose your job and you’re getting Income Support or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, with no other income.

Where the new circumstances mean the amount of support will alter by £10 a week or more, then they’ll also re-open the case. Contacting them is easy, either through one of their offices or on the phone (08457 133 133 during office hours, including Saturday). Obviously, they can’t help you find a new job, but they can remove one area of stress from your life.

In some cases, your maintenance payments might have been taken off at source by your employer, so you’ll need to contact CSA about a new way of paying.

If You Become Self-Employed

If you no longer have a regular job, you might be inclined to try working for yourself to make money, and if you have a skill, it could work out – certainly it might be better than trying to survive on benefits. Obviously, however, it’s going to affect your income, and once again, CSA will work with you on calculating the amount you should be paying in child maintenance.

Normally, they’d look at the average weekly earnings you’d made as a self-employed person over the previous year. But when you’re starting out, that’s obviously impossible. Instead, they’ll see how much the business has grossed since it began, then take out all reasonable expenses and VAT in order to come up with an average weekly income, from which they can evaluate a new child support figure.

Again, it’s important that you contact CSA when you start working for yourself in order for them to make the new calculations. It’s in your own interests, as money is likely to be tight in the early days, and you’ll need to watch every penny. Remember, too, that they can obtain information from HMRC.

Getting Back to Work

If you’ve been unemployed and you’ve found a new job, you’ll be feeling relief. But it’s going to affect how much you pay each week in maintenance. The CSA website has an easy-to-use calculator that can let you see how much you’ll have to pay.

No matter what happens, it’s vital that you contact CSA as soon as possible. You’ll find that they really are there to help you – after all, you’ve been paying child support, not one of the deadbeat dads they have to chase down – and they’ll gladly work with you. Yes, they’re a bureaucracy and a government agency, but don’t let that put you off. Apart from anything else, you need them, and you should find that the process will go smoothly.

Of course, where you and your ex have come to a private agreement on child support and your income, or a large part of it, vanishes, then you’ll need to undertake negotiations through your lawyers to re-calculate the amount. Want to know how many fathers don't pay child support? read on...

Changes to the CSA

In November 2013 the CSA was replaced with the Child Maintenance Service, although the CSA is still in operation it is no longer taking on any new cases. New cases will be dealt with by the Child Maintance Service while exsiting cases will remain the responsibility of the CSA.

** NEW** Separated Dads Chat Room & Forum

The Separated Dads Forum is a place where you can discuss relevant issues and concerns including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or just have a general chat with other dads.

Please help us launch it and make it a great resource for dads going through difficult times. We hope to see you on the Forum soon....

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, My brother has been paying child maintenance the last year based on a wage he no longer earns, tax year 2014/2015. He has just had his review through and the amount will remain the same, but still His wage is 10000 less to what he earns on the tax year they are now looking at 2015/2016. I understand this cannot change as the change in his wage is not below or above the 25% threshold but can i ask how is this fair that he is paying for two years on a wage that is so much less than what they CMS are looking at?
TT - 22-Feb-17 @ 1:01 PM
I split with my ex over 10yrs ago 7 since that time she has manipulated the CSA in order to boost her income, I had an agreed (50:50)shared care pattern with my Son up until recently I did all the sports activities with my Son, paid for all his clothes at my house & funded is football activities, took him on regular holiday, coached him on his homework and supported all his schooling activities. When my ex found out that based on the new system (CMS), that a shared care arrangement would result in her not receiving child maintenance from myself & that she would have to support my son also (baring in mind she earns a good salary) she made up false allegation about myself which resulted in me being arrested, thankfully the Police said there was no issue and that it was basically a waste of their time, however, with this situation as it took month to resolve my Sons has been manipulated & poisoned against me to the point now where he doesn't want to see me, I've paid solicitors costs, court fees etc totalling just under £10k in an attempt to see my Son again, all this has failed as it comes down to what my Son wants at the end of the day. As an example of how my ex has manipulated my Son, 2 occasions spring to mind, one where she told him her partner had cancer & one where she has a brain tumour, both unfounded and on both occasions she told my Son prior to any evaluation by the doctors!! I have agreed the new costs with CMS, however, CSA have now said I owe arrears of £1500 for the last 5.5 months as I had not seen my Son, how can this be acceptable when false allegations where made up to prevent me seeing my Son & the fact I've spent a vast amount of money trying to see my Son again?? I have a debt now as a result of the court costs and cannot afford these arrears. Key question is why have the arrears only just been highlighted 6 months later???
Frustrated Dad - 20-Feb-17 @ 7:58 PM
fightingthesponge - Your Question:
Fairly general question as I don't know where to look online.I separated from my ex in 2006 after being married for 5 years and having two children. At the time of our separation I was earning £30000ish and paid £415 a month. I don't see my children now, although I did for years. They are part of their own family unit with my ex remarried.Since being separated I changed my job in 2012 and have gradually increased my annual income to £55000 a year. I have just received a letter stating that I now have to begin paying £690 a month due to their recalculation on my earnings.My question is how is this fair? I am married, have a child myself and have always paid child maintenance.even when I was unemployed for a spell in 2013. I have bettered myself, my wife has pushed me forward to better myself and I have put us in a better position financially. Only to be told that a woman I have barely spoken to for the last 10 years is now entitled to an extra £300 a month for doing nothing.This means that any increase I make in annual salary is sucked up by the ex.

Our Response:
It is not the mother you are helping support - you are paying child maintenance to help support your children. You are considered to be responsible to help finance your children's day-to-day needs regardless of whether you see them or not. Child maintenance is based upon your earnings and is considered to be an equivalent to what you may pay towards their upkeep if you were still living under the same roof. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, and you think you have a case, your only recourse is to complain.
SeparatedDads - 1-Feb-17 @ 2:57 PM
Fairly general question as I don't know where to look online. I separated from my ex in 2006 after being married for 5 years and having two children. At the time of our separation I was earning £30000ish and paid £415 a month. I don't see my children now, although I did for years. They are part of their own family unit with my ex remarried. Since being separated I changed my job in 2012 and have gradually increased my annual income to £55000 a year. I have just received a letter stating that I now have to begin paying £690 a month due to their recalculation on my earnings. My question is how is this fair? I am married, have a child myself and have always paid child maintenance...even when I was unemployed for a spell in 2013. I have bettered myself, my wife has pushed me forward to better myself and I have put us in a better position financially. Only to be told that a woman I have barely spoken to for the last 10 years is now entitled to an extra £300 a month for doing nothing. This means that any increase I make in annual salary is sucked up by the ex.
fightingthesponge - 1-Feb-17 @ 8:47 AM
J - Your Question:
If we have the children Friday to Sunday and also days through the week do we still have to pay child maintenance to the children's Mother even tho the money doesn't go on the children?

Our Response:
If you are in a family-based agreement, then you would decide between yourselves. You can see how much you should be paying via the CMS link here . The mother of the children does not have to justify what she spends the money on, as it is seen as being contributory.
SeparatedDads - 31-Jan-17 @ 2:42 PM
If we have the children Friday to Sunday and also days through the week do we still have to pay child maintenance to the children's Mother even tho the money doesn't go on the children?
J - 31-Jan-17 @ 10:56 AM
Hibby - Your Question:
Can I ask the forum if any one knows if you can avoided csa payments on a second job I work part time and was thinking about earning some extra cash doing some odd days working with an agency I heard you could earn a third of your salary does any one know if this is true

Our Response:
You would have to register with the forum, if you want to ask this question there. Please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-17 @ 2:27 PM
Can I ask the forum if any one knows if you can avoided csa payments on a second job I work part time and was thinking about earning some extra cash doing some odd days working with an agency I heard you could earn a third of your salary does any one know if this is true
Hibby - 25-Jan-17 @ 4:23 PM
DesperateFather- Your Question:
I have a question.I have been paying for my child, until I was made redundant in 2009 at which point I was on JSA. I called the CSA and told them about my situation and apparently I thought that was it, they would deduct £5.00 per week. I found employment 18-24 months later, fast forward today and they have contacted me saying I had to pay full maintenance for that period, which I think is totally unfair. The mother knows that I was unemployed and I have the evidence to prove it but the CSA don't care and want to collect 10k. What can I do, I've spoken to the CSA but their are not interested.

Our Response:
You would have to complain/appeal via the gov.uk link here . If you can prove you were unemployed for the period in question, you will not have accrued child maintenance of £10K paying £5 per week. As long as you informed the CSA when you found work and your child maintenance was reassessed accordingly, then you shouldn't have a problem. Your problem only arises if you did not inform the CSA you were earning and therefore will have accrued arrears.
SeparatedDads - 24-Jan-17 @ 11:48 AM
I have a question... I have been paying for my child, until i was made redundant in 2009 at which point i was on JSA.I called the CSA and told them about my situation and apparently i thought that was it, they would deduct £5.00 per week.I found employment 18-24 months later, fast forward today and they have contacted me saying I had to pay full maintenance for that period, which i think is totally unfair.The mother knows that i was unemployed and I have the evidence to prove it but the CSA don't care and want to collect 10k.What can i do, I've spoken to the CSA but their are not interested.
DesperateFather - 23-Jan-17 @ 2:51 PM
Next Generation - Your Question:
Hi,I'm the daughter of someone who has never paid for me or sister consistently. He is a self made millionaire, lives in a million pound home along with his wife and two other children. The CSA have done nothing because they can do nothing, he abuses the system and the government does nothing about it. I feel my sisters rights and my own have been taken away from us. I would like to personally challenge the government over the new system that they have put in place, which can do absolutely nothing unless you work. My deadbeat father works for himself, everything he owns he puts it into his company name. He constantly reinvests his money so that he doesn't pay his taxes properly etc. Meanwhile, my half siblings get a private education, full access to my deadbeat dad etc.How is this fair? He is supposed to pay £8 pw and has failed to do this for the past 2 yrs and my mother can do nothing!

Our Response:
Your mother can seek advice about taking the matter to court. If your father's lifestyle exceeds his HMRC declared income then the courts will investigate this. The court will look into your father's eanings, expenditure and property and investigate how he can send his other children to a fee-paying school and not pay to support you and your sister. If your mother wishes to pursue child maintenance she should seek some legal advice to see whether she may have a case.
SeparatedDads - 10-Jan-17 @ 12:12 PM
Hi, I'm the daughter of someone who has never paid for me or sister consistently. He is a self made millionaire, lives in a million pound home along with his wife and two other children. The CSA have done nothing because they can do nothing, he abuses the system and the government does nothing about it. I feel my sisters rights and my own have been taken away from us. I would like to personally challenge the government over the new system that they have put in place, which can do absolutely nothing unless you work. My deadbeat father works for himself, everything he owns he puts it into his company name. He constantly reinvests his money so that he doesn't pay his taxes properly etc. Meanwhile, my half siblings get a private education, full access to my deadbeat dad etc...How is this fair? He is supposed to pay £8 pw and has failed to do this for the past 2 yrs and my mother can do nothing!
Next Generation - 9-Jan-17 @ 3:20 PM
Brett - Your Question:
My ex partner is currently phoning the CSA, I will therefore pay more mmoney than our original arrangement, I have a baby due in a week so would this lower my ex girlfriends payments? Would I be better of having my newborn baby 1\2 Nights a week to lower my ex's payments?

Our Response:
You can see how much you will be required to pay via the Child Maintenance Options link here .
SeparatedDads - 6-Jan-17 @ 2:48 PM
My ex partner is currently phoning the CSA, I will therefore pay more mmoney than our original arrangement, I have a baby due in a week so would this lower my ex girlfriends payments? Would I be better of having my newborn baby 1\2 Nights a week to lower my ex's payments?
Brett - 5-Jan-17 @ 7:00 PM
I have 2 children. I live with 1st child and 2nd child's mother has gone through CSA as she didn't name me on birth certificate! CSA say I should be paying £100p/w. Want to know if 1st mother claims would 2nd mothers amount go down? Bear in mind I am not seeing 2nd child at the moment and she won't allow the child to meet my partner and child
Gaz - 19-Nov-16 @ 12:01 AM
I have 2 children born 5 days apart with different mums. I live with 1st child and 2nd child's mum has gone through CSA and works out I should pay £100 p/w If the 1st child's mum went to CSA would the amount of money I have to pay go down?? Bear in mind I'm having no contact with 2nd child as mother won't let me and won't let my partner meet the child
Gaz - 18-Nov-16 @ 11:57 PM
GR - Your Question:
I have just started having my daughter every other week & her mother has her the rest of the time. Do I still pay my Ex the same amount of child support as I was before or do I stop all together as we now share the responsibility together & have her half each. ??

Our Response:
You would have to come to an agreement with your ex if you are paying child maintenance through a family-based arrangement. If your are paying via the CMS, then you may wish to speak with the CMS directly.
SeparatedDads - 3-Oct-16 @ 1:36 PM
I have just started having my daughter every other week & her mother has her the rest of the time.. Do I still pay my Ex the same amount of child support as I was before or do I stop all together as we now share the responsibility together & have her half each. ??
GR - 2-Oct-16 @ 8:52 PM
tone - Your Question:
My eldest turns 19 next month , is it right CSA payments stop then? Even though my ex receives the money she also charges my son and daughter rent. She must have approx £1,000 a month coming in , the rent obviously being "additional" income. Should she be declaring this to HMRC

Our Response:
Please see article: At What Age Do Child Maintenance Payments Stop? here which should answer your question.
SeparatedDads - 8-Sep-16 @ 10:32 AM
My eldest turns 19 next month , is it right CSA payments stop then? Even though my ex receives the money she also charges my son and daughter rent . She must have approx £1,000 a month coming in , the rent obviously being "additional" income . Should she be declaring this to HMRC
tone - 7-Sep-16 @ 11:07 AM
@anonymous - as Jimbo says - not all dads are like your ex, some of us would love to see and have our kids more. Same with mothers not all of them are saints, take my ex for instance, she does all she can to stop me seeing the kids and I have never missed a child maintenance payment in 11 years. So please don't tar us all with the same brush.
Jake71** - 31-Aug-16 @ 1:48 PM
Hello this is a response to the below postin: anonoymous - 30-Aug-16 @ 10:35 PM I see that your upset and angry but this site is for fathers that have had a raw deal, and yes there are alot of absent fathers but there are also alot of women who completely and blatantly abuse the fact that they can use the children as bargaining tools and leverage againt fathers, some of whom HAD to leave the relationship because the woman was impossible to deal with. granted this is a smaller majority however its true. There are plenty of good men who suffer at the hands of these women and its hard for men to speak out about this because they feel ashamed and feel powerless because the law sits on the mothers side, so please lady, next time approach this subject matter with a little bit of tact and not plaster your opinion on a site for fathers who need help. Good day to you.
jimbo - 31-Aug-16 @ 11:01 AM
I am a single parent and my ex husband relocated without even telling the CSA.Don't ever say that the mother sits onon her backside as she is picking up the pieces as I had to do.My ex husband owes me 949.00 pounds but keeps changing his circumstances.He has also had alot of failed relationships and only sees his two daughters whenever he feels like it which is twice a year.Us single mothers are there for our kids, where are the fathers making other women pregnant!My kids have grown up to be decent, and respectful because I have been the one raising them and taking an interest in their education while my ex husband does nothing, not even contact them.
anonoymous - 30-Aug-16 @ 10:35 PM
Tezza - Your Question:
Hi all, wondering if anyone could help as I'm seemingly getting the run a round from the CMS. I earned 24k a year 2014/2015 and paid maintenance at 240/month, all was fine. However got laid off in October 2015 and signed on for benefit. Received this and only made payments to maintenance of about 20-30/month. Was unemployed until March 2016 and lucky enough to get a job. This being 20k /year, however CMS saying I am to go back into 240/month which I am doing but finding this a bit of a struggle. They're telling me no recalculation can be done because the change in salary isn't above 25%.I understand what they're saying, however the calculation of me paying 240/ month was 2014/2015 tax tear where I did earn 24k but in 2015/2016 tax year I'd have been lucky to have made 16k and this year I've had to take unpaid leave for 2 months due to an ill parent therefore be lucky in this tax year to make 18k.Is there anything you think I can do?

Our Response:
I can only suggest you complain/appeal the decision via the gov.uk link here.
SeparatedDads - 30-Aug-16 @ 12:03 PM
Hi all, wondering if anyone could help as I'm seemingly getting the run a round from the CMS.......I earned 24k a year 2014/2015 and paid maintenance at 240/month, all was fine. However got laid off in October 2015 and signed on for benefit. Received this and only made payments to maintenance of about 20-30/month. Was unemployed until March 2016 and lucky enough to get a job..... This being 20k /year, however CMS saying I am to go back into 240/month which I am doing but finding this a bit of a struggle. They're telling me no recalculation can be done because the change in salary isn't above 25%. I understand what they're saying, however the calculation of me paying 240/ month was 2014/2015 tax tear where I did earn 24k but in 2015/2016 tax year I'd have been lucky to have made 16k and this year I've had to take unpaid leave for 2 months due to an ill parent therefore be lucky in this tax year to make 18k. Is there anything you think I can do?
Tezza - 29-Aug-16 @ 5:47 PM
I had made payments to the child support agency over 10 years ago and out of the blue I receive a letter from CSA stating that I still owe money. I know I made all the payments but I can't prove to them I did because my bank only holds information for the last 7 years. All payments were done via the bank...help and advise please !
mike support - 27-Aug-16 @ 3:33 PM
Ash3r - Your Question:
Any advice as I've had ongoing issues with the child maintenance since January ! I've just had a new baby and currently pay my ex for two children 27.98 per week ( £121 per month) this is including travel variation and a step son. Does anyone know how the new baby will effect the money? It's finally been sorted after months of backwards and forward after my ex claimed I didn't have the children when I do have them a hell of a lot ! Thanks in advance

Our Response:
I think the easiest way around it is to factor in your new child to the child maintenence calculator here.
SeparatedDads - 25-Aug-16 @ 12:29 PM
Any advice as I've had ongoing issues with the child maintenance since January! I've just had a new baby and currently pay my ex for two children 27.98 per week ( £121 per month) this is including travel variation and a step son. Does anyone know how the new baby will effect the money? It's finally been sorted after months of backwards and forward after my ex claimed I didn't have the children when I do have them a hell of a lot ! Thanks in advance
Ash3r - 24-Aug-16 @ 7:41 PM
Tomy - Your Question:
I have just given up my job as my ex-wife and boyfriend (who has a history of violent crime) continue to seek confrontation at my place of work. I have written to them via the solicitor requesting that they stay away from the retail centre where I work. Because I find their continued presence both intimidating and stressful. I plan to have a a few month off work living on savings and support from my new partner. My question is. Will I have to continue to pay maintenance while unemployed as I left on my own accord?My understanding is that my payments will change to zero once csa (or whatever they are called these days) complete their calculation.

Our Response:
If your financial situation changes by more than 25% you should let CSA/CMS know and your payments will be changed accordingly, here.
SeparatedDads - 24-Aug-16 @ 2:13 PM
I have just given up my job as my ex-wife and boyfriend (who has a history of violent crime) continue to seek confrontation at my place of work. I have written to them via the solicitor requesting that they stay away from the retail centre where I work. Because I find their continued presence both intimidating and stressful. I plan to have a a few month off work living on savings and support from my new partner. My question is... Will I have to continue to pay maintenance while unemployed as I left on my own accord? My understanding is that my payments will change to zero once csa (or whatever they are called these days) complete their calculation.
Tomy - 23-Aug-16 @ 11:35 PM
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