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Help - divorced person here needing advice re: CSA payments....

Discussion in 'Personal' started by slingshotsally, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Sorry to hear about your troubles- relationship breakdown is extremely painful and the pain is magnified when children are involved. It seems to me that the children are suffering doubly. Firstly they are missing their father, and also because the are now suffering through lack of money.
    I would be more concerned about your children and the impact of the lack of money on them than anything else... As regards the rest...
    If this CSA payment has been agreed through the courts then you must go through the solicitor, provide details of your new job and salary and approach the court to have the CSA payment reduced.
    Is pride really worth losing contact with your children? Why are you avoiding going through the solicitor and explaining the situation - she will read the documents even though you may not stand the sight of each other?
    You are responsible for not communicating the reality of your situation- so she has had to make assumptions about why the financial support has not been available to the children.
    Write to the CSA through your solicitors if need be and provide evidence of your current details eg P60, letter from tax office. YOU and ONLY you can sort this out- everything else is simply a diversion to kick the ball in to the long grass.
  2. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Harry - put your earnings into the CSA calculator and that will give you the suggested amount to pay.
    Your ex is probably stressed because being the primary carer for children is very expensive as you are responsible for all their outgoings.
    However, if you genuinely had to take a lower paid job because of your own circumstances then it can't be helped really.
    It's just one of those things but kids are a big drain on any money coming in.
    I've always avoided the official route as I prefer to keep things amicable but it isn't always possible to do that so only you can decide whether that route is for you and the impact it will have on your ex.
    Witholding contact is something I would never do - it is really manipulative behaviour and I'd rather be short of money then lower myself to that sort of behaviour.

  3. To badlyparkedgirl: many thanks for your advice, much of it I totally accept. Can I provide a little more detail and seek some clarification?

    Re: "...the children are suffering doubly. Firstly they are missing their father, and also because the are now suffering through lack of money."

    I have always seen my children regularly, but after a 2 week summer holiday, I explained to them that I could not see them for a few weeks - they accepted this. (The original agreement was we share the school holidays 50/50), but due to circumstances (I'm trying to get better accomodation & job hunt), I felt they would be best off having 2 weeks with me & 4 weeks with her. But my ex-wife has basically accused me of becoming an 'absent father' as well as not meeting my financial obligations.

    My counter-view is that she initiated our separation, so she can't blame me if I'm now 'absent'. In addition, had she not pushed me into relocating within the UK (to help her career ambitions), I would not be facing the financial hardships that I'm currently coming to terms with.

    Even if I can resolve the problem with my last job reference, I fear I may really struggle to get back into a proper teaching job. NQTs are so much in favour due to the current economic climate. Even worse, on day one of the 2012 Olympics, Gove sneaked out the news that Academies can now employ people who do not even have QTS. In the meantime my ex-wife has been able to move her career forward and she is now in quite a senior position - so I'm not too worried about my kids falling into 'poverty'. However, on a personal level, it hurts that everything has gone so wrong, for me.

    Turning now to the main reason for posting again: although my ex threatened to involve the CSA shortly after our split, she did not do so. I paid what I was ordered to pay in the divorce settlement, based on a teachers salary. Last year I reduced the amount to reflect my lower wage as a T.A, but I just guessed a figure. Once my savings became low and as the summer break approached, I told her to contact the CSA and get them to compel me to pay a revised figure.

    I believe she should be contacting the CSA and although a few weeks ago she asked for my present postal address, which I duly supplied - I still have not heard from them. Your advice to me, seemed to be that I should be contacting CSA, is that correct? and if I do not, what could be the repercussions?

    Assuming the CSA do write to me, I will obviously respond - I am not refusing to make whatever legal payments I should, but how does it work if you are on supply? Obviously when I was a full-time teacher I just paid a fixed amount by d.debit each month. However, now I work through an agency and my wages are 'fluid' - can the CSA handle that ?

    Can any divorcees on supply advise me on that?

    (I have just seen your post moonpenny - and I had heard about the CSA salary calculator, but do I put in a new amount every month & change the direct debit every month??? That does not seem feasible.)

    Finally, can I just clarify on this point: "Is pride really worth losing contact with your children? Why are you avoiding going through the solicitor and explaining the situation....".

    Firstly, I really don't want to go back to my solicitor from the divorce - it cost an arm and a leg the first time & now I'm considerably poorer! However, I'm happy to divulge to the CSA my current circumstances and how I have found myself in this difficult situation. But how much information will they pass onto my ex-wife or do the CSA just deal with money matters? What I'm trying to say is this: in the future, I want my kids to know I suffered a period of hardship because of the recession, because of the banks, because of Michael Gove! etc. I don't want my ex-wife to be speaking negatively about me as my kids grow up. I don't think she should know all about the problems that I have had - the problems I had in my last (non-agency job) & the bad reference that is causing me so much trouble now. However, the other side of the coin is - I don't want her to think I'm deliberately maintaining a 'low-paid' job as a form of revenge, because that is not the case either.

  4. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Hi Harry,
    If you had it on your favourites, it doesn't take long to use the calculator and could you do a money transfer to reflect that monthly amount as that doesn't take long once you have her details in it?
    Or decide on an average based on the amount your income mostly falls at.
    We do the latter. My ex works as a TA and gives me £120 a month which to be honest hardly pays for the school dinners. He does extra 1 to 1 tuition and other stuff but I trust him to let me know if he suddenly finds himself much better off. I also appreciate his accomodation costs are high as he moved near us.
    I would like him to be able to pay more as my 2 are now teenagers and I find the living costs really difficult. For example, my son has 2 French trips , daughter went to isle of Wight which cost me 250 and son has just needed new glasses and I had to get him transition lenses as he suffers from migraines.
    I pay 20 a week for school lunches and then there is bus fair and spending money on top of that.
    Food and clothes costs me a fortune. Basically, I pay for most of the things they need.
    It can be a fine balancing line of keeping communication and feelings of the other parent not pulling weight.
    I haven't really got any answers to that other than trying to keep the lines of communication open and accepting it isn't always possible to feel as though the situation is completely even and fair.
    All you can do is your best and you probably both have slightly different perspectives - yours being partly one of being the hurt party although you are obviously trying hard to be a supportive dad to your child in difficult circumstances. Her is probably being the primary carer while continuing to be a working mum .

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