advice re CSA and legalities....

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Mrs AutomanUK, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. Mrs AutomanUK

    Mrs AutomanUK
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    My friend has brought his 3 kids up with his second wife, after their mother was neglecting them and basically she never fought him for custody either. These kids are now 17, 16 and 13 and have recently been on a trip over to England to see their mother. She has one of them brain washed into going to live with her......

    They asked me some questions about maximum age for CSA maintenance payments, and since she is 16, does the mother have to seek custody.. and I have no idea. I have been googling for the last hour but even the CSA website refuses to tell me the maximum age that the kid has to be in order for CSA payments to cease. The mother has never paid him a single pence toward these kids upkeep for all these years, and is now claiming that he will have to pay her CSA payments !! The kid is about to go into 5th form GCSE year and with 2 weeks to go, she still has not sorted out a school for her daughter to start at.

    Personally, I think the girl is being a really silly kid and thinking the grass is greener over there with her mother, but this woman has messed her head up. The kid can't see the motivation behind the mother wanting her.. it's not maternal love, it's revenge on her ex. This woman did not want these kids ( which is something I just can't comprehend, but it just goes to show you that not all women are maternal). It is all going to backfire big time when the mother realises that this kid is there to stay, and the stroppiness of a teenager finally hits home, I would say this honeymoon period will be over pretty darn quick. Then what?....

    So, these are the questions I wonder if any of you clever peeps (esp any solicitors out there ) can answer for me.

    Although the child is 16, she still legally has to attend school until next summer. That being the case, is she also still eligible for child benefit & CSA assessment?

    Does the mother have to seek custody for the remaining school year? When is the child actually considered to be an adult?
     
  2. pugwashgreg

    pugwashgreg
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    unfortunately the maintenance is applicable up to the age of 19 years - as long as the child is in education - beware this can include paid plastering courses so do not think logically. My sympathy to your friend - I hate the CSA with a passion so i am biased.
     
  3. Duncan G

    Duncan G
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    As of April this year Child Benefit can be paid up to the age of 19 while in non advanced education. This applys only if the child was 19 on or after 10th April 2006. Child Tax Credits (subject to the parents income) will be payable while child benefit is in payment.

    The Educational Maintenance Allowance can be claimed again subject to parents income and after the age of 19 they can claim Adult Student Grant while at in non advanced education.

    Child Support applys to dependent children up to the age of 19 while in full time education. If the child is over 16 and finacially independent ie working, then the C.S.A are not involved.

    How close is you friend to the Irish boarder? The CSA can not collect if he is in the Republic:)
     
  4. Mrs AutomanUK

    Mrs AutomanUK
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    Nowhere near the boarder I am afraid !! Basically, she has never contributed to these kids lives apart from the occasional phone call, and £10 each at Christmas. They basically pushed their Dad to the limit and he said, right.. go and stay with your mother for a couple of weeks so you can realise how good you have it here. Little did he know that while there, she has badgered them every day to go and live with her. She has another 3 kids to various fathers, and does not work, sponging off this poor sod she has got to marry her who seems to have to work every hour of the day to pay the bills. So she wanted 6 kids in their 3 bed house, 4 boys in one room, 2 girls in another, and she and hubby in theirs. Mad. Two of the 3 kids have seen right through their mothers lies, but this kid just turned 16, needs to do her GCSE's next summer, and attends grammar school here. Since he is still paying for the upkeep of the other 2 kids, I would like to think that she won't even try it on seeking maintenance for this one kid that she is taking off him. The kid in question is a seriously stroppy, rude, ignorant, selfish little madam, and clearly has not thought this through. She has not considered her brother and sister in her decision, let alone the 2 people who have raised her from when she was just a toddler.

    19? Wow... that is well into adulthood as far as I am concerned !! When did it change from 16?
     
  5. Jenn

    Jenn
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    I know it doesn't help much but no matter how bad this woman is, to her daughter she's still her mum and you can't control love.
    The worst thing her dad could do is to badmouth his ex or call his daughter silly for wanting a relationship with her mum. the most likely effect in doing this is that his daughter will do the opposite of what he advises.

    It might just be a teen rebellion but it's still a problem for him.
    I'd say, no matter how much it hurts him, he should talk to his daughter face to face and tell her that if things don't turn out the way she was hoping that he's there for her and his house is hers if she wants to come back.
    Also try to make it a condition that she must go to school and study hard for her GCSEs (at least this episode wouldn't hurt the rest of her life).

    As regards to upkeep payments I would hope any court would count how much the ex wife would how him over the years and balance it out with what he'd owe her for his daughter now.
    By courts being what they are, it would probably not be as fair.

    Good luck to him anyway.
     
  6. John

    John
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    Can they not counter claim against the absent mother , if she claims against them ?

    John
     
  7. Duncan G

    Duncan G
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    The Child Benefit rules changed this April to allow payment up to age 19 while still in full time education. The old rules allowed child benefit to be paid up to the age of 18 while in full time education prior to this April.
     
  8. Duncan G

    Duncan G
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    He can claim child support if he wants to.
     
  9. ChildOfRarn

    ChildOfRarn
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    You say this woman is married and her husband is paying the bills.
    In this case I assume she is not claiming income support.
    From my experience, the CSA is very slow in processing claims when there is no financial incentive for the DHSS (i.e. maintenance awarded is then deducted pound for pound up to a limit from her benefits, the net effect being that the state reduces its benefits payments).
    As your friend still has his 13 year old with him I would say that his counter claim together with no benefits reduction incentive for the DHSS means effectively a stalemate.

    Even without counter-claims, my wife's ex managed to avoid paying anything for five years, whilst I was lumbered with £300 per month to my ex plus supporting my step children.
    Luckily all the kids, mine and hers, have all left education now so life is relatively rosey.

    Trevor
     
  10. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    The CSA is dead but not buried.
    Chuck any paperwork,
    Deny paternity,
    Never do anything in writing.
    Obstruction and delay are your best defence.

    Let em try to take it to court.
    If it ever gets to a claim she will be well over 19.

    It changed last summer when children in education from poor families can claim EMA upto the age of 19.
     
  11. quarry2006

    quarry2006
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    MrsAutomaton, it was never 16; it was always 19.

    pjclark, in order for someone to have a case, they must have something in writing in order to process it but obviously any father who denies paternity is a scumbag so low as to be able to freefall from a snake's belly, no? And a case for non-paid maintenance will go to court, regardless of the age of the child (a liability order will be made for the outstanding arrears and if the father's only defence to that is further delay and obstruction then he goes straight to jail, does not pass Go and certainly collects no £200).

    TrevorG, dunno what your experience with the CSA is but they certainly don't drag their feet when it's a private case. If the money is owed to the government, the Secretary of State isn't on the phone to them every day wondering where their money is. D'yer get me?

    £300 a month eh? I wouldn't complain. Last government figures that I saw had it that it costs £100 a week to keep a child.

    The only problem with the existence of the CSA is that it isn't tough enough. People will pay for repairs to their car before they pay to support thier kids and that, friends and neighbours, is serious backwards thinking.

    You miss your rent, you get booted out; you don't pay a bill, you get cut off. You don't pay your maintenance, you get sent a letter. Whooo, scary. Do as they do in the States, name and shame.

    I'm a dad, my kids come first. What a shame some people need a government body to remind them of their priorities.
     
  12. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Frankly i honestly don't know if this was posted as an inflammatory thing?
    Mate i don't think you have any bloody idea whatsoever about the misery that the CSA has bought to many.
    It has ruined many and even driven some to suicide.
    I am also a very proud father who has been on the end of the absolutely ludicrous decisions of the family courts et al.
    As far as i am concerned anyone who can avoid the CSA should do so at all costs. I have never missed a maintenance payment, always paid over the odds and yet am still on the end of the CSAs decisions which are bought about soley by my ex's 'claims' to the truth despite her being very well off with her new fella living in the house i paid for.
    Bloody joke!!!
     
  13. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Sorry :)
    It is 19 years.
     
  14. ChildOfRarn

    ChildOfRarn
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    Well said.

    I always considered myself to be financially as well as emotionally resposible for my children.

    Unfortunately it's a fact of life that some men would rather spend their money down the pub than on their children but, unless there is severe deprivation, no-one cares.
    As soon as parents separate though it is the responsible fathers (who are trying to do the right thing) that get hammered by the CSA.
    The selfish b******s who don't give a sh*t about their kids are the ones that get away scot free.
     
  15. Mrs AutomanUK

    Mrs AutomanUK
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    thank you all for your help. I honestly thought it was 16, but i don't know where I got that from !! What happens about custody ? Is it still required since she has turned 16 or is adulthood now deemed to be 18 - 19 ? The mother will surely have to get a solicitor and get that ball rolling.

    I feel it is a desperately sad situation when she is about to start the most important year in school and her mother goes and throws these cats among the pigeons. I would be trying to get the child to see sense and knuckle down to her work for this year and then next summer when she can legally leave school, make this life altering move to England.

    Thank you all again. I really appreciate your input.
     
  16. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    It is.
    If there is any chance of improving the situation by serious mediation, now is a really good time.
     
  17. Mrs AutomanUK

    Mrs AutomanUK
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    I think the kid needs to talk to someone neutral about it all and make an informed decision. The kids Dad is smarting from the pain of being told ' I am going to leave you and go to her' and the kid being a pain in the jacksie behaviour wise too, but at the end of the day he needs to be the adult here and see this behaviour as her expression of her confusion and frustration about the whole situation. She is as stubborn as her Dad though, and getting her to speak is a major achievement, let alone speak about her innermost thoughts to a stranger !!

    All this talk about Dad's not paying maintenance, and not a word about mothers being the absent parent. This kids mother never fought to keep her kids.
     
  18. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    He must rise above the personal/teenage gripe thing, and do what he has always done, what he thought best for the child.
    If, unfortunately that means supporting the childs decision, only to be waiting with a big hug and no 'i told you so' attitude then so be it.
     
  19. Mrs AutomanUK

    Mrs AutomanUK
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    that's really hard to do when you feel everything you have given and sacrified over the years for her is worth nothing. I can fully appreciate how he is feeling ( Auto's got 2 kids from first marriage) and how hard this is for him. I just need the advice about what to say to him though.....:rolleyes:
     
  20. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    I fully understand.
    The loss of regular contact with your child is something pretty uncomprehensible to any normal dad.
     
  21. pjclark1

    pjclark1
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    I'm sorry, but you clearly know little about the CSA or the British legal system.
     
  22. Jenn

    Jenn
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    Maybe he can get some comfort in the idea that all he's sacrified over the years isn't worth nothing. The values he's taught his kids will still be there. Teenagers seem to be aliens but deep down they still know what they've been taught. Also they know who's given them love and attention and that will have created some bond.

    For this girl the idea of going to live with mum probably seems like a little adventure: mum will give me more freedom, we'll go shopping together, we can catch up on lost times, it will be all rosy and lovely.
    Until she goes to school and has to make new friends and misses the old ones, until mum shouts at her for not tidying her room up, until mum tells her to be back in time for dinner, until the first argument.

    Maybe what your friend should do is have a chat with his daughter telling her that he's thaught about it hard and it hurts him that she'd want to go away and he'd be happier if she stayed for x reasons. But if she has to go she must remember that he'll be there if she needs him etc.
    It won't necessarily stop her from going but if she has her mind set, not much can change it unfortunately.

    Have her sister/brother talked to her to tell her why they think it's not a good idea? And maybe tell her that they don't want her to go either?
     
  23. Mrs AutomanUK

    Mrs AutomanUK
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    Both her brother and sister have talked to her about going, and given their reasons for staying. They can see right through their mothers tissue of lies, and always have done. This girl is being so awful to live with though, I get the impression that the whole house just want her to go now, which is terrible. Her step mother has basically been alienated by her over the last year or so, to the point where she feels there is no relationship left there to work on. I did try and explain to her that this is nothing to do with HER, it's about the child and her emotions at the moment. She said that she doesn't know how she will cope if the child stays, and refuses to see that these teenage days will pass soon and she will be an adult to reason with.

    Her Dad is so far in his cave now, licking his wounds and throwing his dummy and rattle out at anyone that comes close that he cannot see that this girl needs his help right now. There is no telling men at times like this when he refuses to see past is own feelings.

    The mother has a lot to answer for. She is supposed to be sorting out a new school for her to start at in 2 weeks time. She has not done anything yet. It would not be the first time that she let these kids down at a moments notice. They are expecting a phone call within the next week to say that she cannot get her into a school so she cannot go and live there after all. The other suspicious thing is that the Mother has not told the man she is married to that her daughter is planning to come and live with them. I find this very disturbing considering he will be the one providing financial support for her.

    Again, everyone, thank you
     
  24. quarry2006

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    pjclark, based on your posts so far, I know a darn sight more than you do, fella.

    Steve Ex, the CSA doesn't make people commit suicide, or do you have any cases you know of to back your claim up? (And I don't mean what you've read about in the tabloids, I mean stuff that you actually know about).

    "Bloody joke!" Yes, quite. Exactly how much your ex partner's fella earns doesn't matter a fig; he's not their dad, you are and therfore your financial commitment to your children should not be affected one whit. The fact that you bring such a point up is bad form indeed and implies more about you than I think you intended.

    "Anyone who can avoid the CSA should so at all costs" and you have the brass neck to accuse me of posting "inflammatory posts"? It's remarks like that that my original post was aimed at (see pjclark and his so-called "advice"). Unless, of course, you mean people should avoid the CSA if they can come to an amicable agreement, in which case I fully agree, because the CSA has so far failed so many of their clients in taking low-life non-paying non-resident parents to task. Really, if people had the money decucted directly from their wages from the get go, the amount of uncollected maintenance wouldn't be half of what it is. But no, in this nanny state, the non-resident parent is given an implied choice about paying for his/her children. Paying for your kids is not a choice; it's a legal, moral and financial obligation, end of story.

    Maintenance is dependant on how much someone earns, overtime included, not how much someone might think reasonable. It is precisely because certain parents view their children as little more than a debt that organisations like the CSA exist.

    Only in a society as sh*tty as ours could someone be accused of being deliberately infalmmatory for standing up for those who can't speak, the children. Because that's how the payments are for, after all.
     
  25. mjn

    mjn
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    No situation is black and white.
     
  26. Duncan G

    Duncan G
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    This Mirror article of 10th July 2006 backs you up.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_obj...f-failed-child-support-agency--name_page.html

    and here
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_obj...e=csa-dad--driven-to-suicide---name_page.html
     
  27. Mrs AutomanUK

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    Hey... guys... please lets not have a barney about this. I appreciate everyones input, and have experience of the CSA not working for us, over Auto's 2 kids from his first marriage. When we had our daughter and were coping on one income of £128 per week, just setting up a home from scratch and coping with a new baby and all their needs, the CSA were trying to take £42 off us (out of the £128) leaving us less than £90 to live on, pay the mortgage etc. The day our child was born we had £3 in our current account. I was desperate because there was no way out of this situation. I was on the phone to the CSA every day asking them to sort this out, because we had to have money to feed ourselves, clothe ourselves and to live a life, and they admitted they had made an error, but then within the space of 2 weeks we got 4 letters the first 3 saying we owed more and more ( which we didn't, had never missed a payment and it was down to their computers going horribly wrong) and then the final one which said that as the mother had more money coming in to her house than we did, we finally had a payment sorted out that we could achieve. I know that sort of income some of you guys earn in an hour, but that is just how desperately short of funds we were and it really was one of the lowest times in my life when having our first baby should have been the most amazing. I can see that some absent parents have been pushed to the limit over the CSA when they are asked to give more than they can afford to. When money is no issue then there should not be a greedy element, but when money IS an issue (ie you don't have any) these CSA letters are very distressing.

    This is all a side issue though when my original post was about age limits and custody so please, my friends, lets get back on track and give constructive posts.

    An update on my friends situation since Auto got home is that the child is going to her mothers next week.
     
  28. Steve.EX

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    Sir.
    I do not in anyway expect someone else to pay for my son.
    What i do object to is the Mother(s) who play this system. My own personal experience is that my ex has been given virtual carte blanche as too how much money she 'requires' for my sons continued financial support. It is always a case of her word being taken as the truth and for me to disprove. There is total denial to the presence of another income in what was my house. She has denied my access at every possible turn, i have been 'downgraded' from a full time father to nothing more than a cheque book and all because she fancied a bit 'of the other'.
    It is not poor form to highlight these issues and i would humbly suggest that you get off your sodding high horse and join the real world where there are fathers who are desperate to remain fathers to their children and paying costs is never an issue. You should not base all your opinions on the tat that is spouted by The Sun etc imo.
    i would advise a privately agreed some, perhaps backed up by a 'solicitor' type letter over the CSA.

    You have, frankly, a bloody nerve coming on here telling me about MY responsibilities. I have spent 2.5 years in the Family Courts system having spent many many thousands (as well as maintenance) in an attempt to maintain my relationship with my son.
    You can take your opinion and stick it where the sun doesn't shine mate.
    Again you tout the Jeremy Kyle type of higher than thou' crap without taking into consideration that there are some that have really tried hard to remain the 'Father' you speak of.
    I personally have lost everything in material worth but have now established regular contact and regained the very close realtionship with my son. It was worth every penny, brick, cd, whatever.
    Thank you
     
  29. BrianC

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    Sounds very similar to what happened to a close friend's sister and I'm afraid it didn't end nicely as the sister ended up in care. She hasn't spoken to either parent for about ten years. From the outside looking in it appeared that the parent she left shut the door on her coming back while the one she went to didn't really want her in the first place and couldn't handle her once she was there.

    Sometimes there is just no dealing with teenagers, I'm planning on spending my kids teenage years hiding in my shed.
     
  30. Westindieman

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    Up to about 5 years ago I was paying what the CSA had assessed me for even thought my ex wife had denied and made it so difficult for me to see my child that I gave up at the time and though I would leave it a year or so to see it the accrimony calmed down (mistake Ive been made to regret to this day). Anyway, I had enough of my manual job and decided to persue an office career which at the time paid me less than my manual job, so my assessment was less. My ex wife then insisted that the CSA take my new wifes earnings into consideration but I refused to submit my new wifes earnings so as to keep some privacy from my ex (it would be easy for her to calculate what my wife earns and I believe this takes away my wifes dignity).
    The CSA then made me pay the 'interim maintenance' which was way above what I was previously paying. I imediately left my job and worked part time so they had to assess me on the minimum £5 per week. I worked part time for 2 years and did other work on the side, bought and sold cars until I decided to get a full time job again. I contacted my ex and told her I will only take full time work when she agreed to come to written arrangement over a monthly maintenance fee (she did), and that arrangement is going on to this day even though the CSA tried to stay involved. I told her if they stay involved she can keep having £5 per week.
    Man has to also be able to live on what he earns, and mans current family and wife has to keep their dignity.
     

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