Home > Financial > Working With the CSA on Support Payments

Working With the CSA on Support Payments

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 9 Jan 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....

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
jholden - Your Question:
Go be homeless soon due to arreas to child maintenance what should I do

Our Response:
If you think you have been treated unfairly you can complain, please see gov.uk link here. Unfortunately, if you have fallen behind in your payments the CMS/CSA will try to recover the arrears through whatever means possible, regardless of your own financial situation.
SeparatedDads - 17-Aug-16 @ 2:22 PM
Go be homeless soon due to arreas to child maintenance what should I do
jholden - 13-Aug-16 @ 11:58 AM
alf - Your Question:
I went to prison in 2013 till 2014 but payments still came out my account,am I due that money back?

Our Response:
You should have notified the CSA if the re was any significant change in circumstances when you were in prison, please see link here. You would have to contact the CSA/CMS directly in order to find out whether you will be eligible for a re-imbursement.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jul-16 @ 12:13 PM
i went to prison in 2013 till 2014 but payments still came out my account,am I due that money back?
alf - 25-Jul-16 @ 3:33 PM
I have just had my review in May they are telling me the tax office didn't disclose my closed earned yearly figures in time so now they are basing my amount on the year before.....so 2 years ago and that was a year I happened to get a large bonus! Surely this can't happen? It's not accurate I don't earn that much anymore and it's not my fault if the tax office didn't give them Anything I even offered to provide it they said no too late ????!! This is plain wrong
Danny81 - 19-Jul-16 @ 7:48 PM
Hi, my partner pays £200 per month to his ex for his two kids. This is deducted straight from his wages. We've just had a baby and in October I will be going back to work full time and he will drop to part time hours and stay at home with our children Monday - Thursday. He called CSA and told them this and they said they won't actually alter the payment amount until they can see two wage slips at the new amount. Is this correct? If so this means he will be bringing home half the wages but still paying the full amount of money to his ex - which means we won't be able to pay other bills for those 2-3 months. How can this be fair? He will be working set hours and is paid hourly so we could easily work out his new earnings in advance so that they can recalculate his payments in time to take effect from his first part time wage slip. Any idea why they won't do this? I just don't see how it's fair that we will end up with no Money for Christmas gifts this year for our two kids because he has to pay his ex an unfair amount for two months while they sort things out. He doesn't even get chance to see the children in question and isn't on the birth certificate which means the whole thing is even more frustrating as he essentially as no rights it seems!
Jasmin - 7-Jul-16 @ 3:53 PM
Hi, ita 11% of your gross annual that CMS assess you on. if you pay through the service they take 20% of the assessment as a fee, your ex also loses 4%
nate - 4-Jul-16 @ 5:09 PM
Rick Scherzo - Your Question:
Hi, I've decided to speak out of my anger towards the csa. I've been dragged through hell with my ex partner, As I was subjected to a serious issue of domestic violence. My ex got convicted of common assault.This then lead to social services getting involved. After all said and done my ex is the one that as ended up with parental responsibility and therefore as taken me to the cleaners for £204 every month. My daughter as just recently turned one. I am an hardworking man and go out to work to earn a living. Where as my ex sits on her backside all day an gets everything paid, especially the £204 she gets off me everymonth. After contacting the csa to express my anger on the figure they quoted I am told there's nothing I can do it's what the mother say's that they listen to. It's absolutely bang out order the way this system works. Back in January of this year me and my ex came to an arrangement that I pay £125 everymonth, which she was more than happy to accept. But until recently she as got a bee in her bonnet and decided to ring the csa and tell them I've been underpaying her since January, After speaking to them again they take her side of the story and tell me I should pay her £204 everymonth. Now she's talking about ringing them and claiming for back pay since January.Would appreciate feedback on this please.

Our Response:
Firstly, child maintenance is based upon the percentage of the non-resident parent's earnings which is 15% for one child - you can check how much you should be paying via the CMS link here. By law every non-resident parent is responsible for supporting their children's day-to-day needs. If the arrangement is a family-based one, which you obviously had previously then it is up to both parents to negotiate. However, as a rule she cannot claim back pay on a family-based agreement. If you fall back on payments, she can only claim arrears from when she first made the claim to CMS. If you think you have been unfairly treated then you can complain, please see gov.uk link here. Regardless of whether your ex works or not, she would still be entitled to this amount from you.
SeparatedDads - 4-Jul-16 @ 12:53 PM
Hi, I've decided to speak out of my anger towards the csa. I've been dragged through hell with my ex partner, As I was subjected to a serious issue of domestic violence. My ex got convicted of common assault. This then lead to social services getting involved. After all said and done my ex is the one that as ended up with parental responsibility and therefore as taken me to the cleaners for £204 every month. My daughter as just recently turned one. I am an hardworking man and go out to work to earn a living. Where as my ex sits on her backside all day an gets everything paid, especially the £204 she gets off me everymonth. After contacting the csa to express my anger on the figure they quotedI am told there's nothing I can do it's what the mother say's that they listen to. It's absolutely bang out order the way this system works. Back in January of this year me and my ex came to an arrangement that I pay £125 everymonth, which she was more than happy to accept. But until recently she as got a bee in her bonnet and decided to ring the csa and tell them I've been underpaying her since January, After speaking to them again they take her side of the story and tell me I should pay her £204 everymonth. Now she's talking about ringing them and claiming for back pay since January. Would appreciate feedback on this please.
Rick Scherzo - 3-Jul-16 @ 1:07 PM
debz - Your Question:
My ex was paying maintenance and he quit his job he waz unemployed for 2year and now hez working again about a year now and he doesn't pay nothing wat should I do?

Our Response:
You should apply for maintenance again as your ex is responsible for helping to support your child.
SeparatedDads - 24-Jun-16 @ 12:33 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.