USA – CSA Hell

Up on Ration Shed – Egroup and BLOG – with thanks to CSA Hell

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Onward – Jim

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CSA Hell

 

Do I have a leg to stand on?

Posted: 17 Sep 2009 10:35 AM PDT

I am a NRP and see my son regularly – more than 104 nights a year – and always have. His mum is long term unemployed and my sons carer. He is disabled. My son is now 19 and at college and my CSA case closed last year. Just prior to this I was assessed at NIL. My case started around 1997 and I paid regularly for a couple of years – around £50 per week. Then I decided to cut the CSA out of the equation and pay my ex directly, sometimes cash and sometimes goods or services.

The CSA were very quiet over the years until Feb 2008 when They finally woke up and words began flowing between myself and Them.

Last September I was taken to County Court for @£17000 arrears. I was talked out of going into the court by the CSA lady at the courthouse. Bad move. I have argued with them that I have given my ex thousands over the years. They wrote to her asking, and she replied that I only paid her car insurance. They say this doesn’t count. She doesn’t want to get into trouble with the dole people.

The Child Support Law of 1992 states that the cases should be reviewed by the CSA every 52 weeks. And DWP leaflet no.2008 from December 2005 entitled CHILD SUPPORT a Technical Guide states on page 3 ‘After the assessment has been made it will be looked at on average every 2 years.’ and ‘ There is no need for parents to report any changes in their cicumstances….’

When I asked the CSA (on the phone unfortunately) why they hadn’t reviewed my case for 8 years, I was told they’d been short staffed. They now say by letter that its up to me to tell them. I’ve asked for evidence of the relevent laws under the Freedom of Infornation Act. Waitng for a reply.

In May 2009 I received a piece of paper from the local Court entitled ‘Order for recovery of award’. I didn’t give it a 2nd glance and put it in my CSA folder.

August 2009 I found that my bank account has been cleaned out. Nearly £800. Well I’m just an average guy who lives from hand to mouth and gets the bills paid. Rented accomodation, no savings or pensions, just the money in the bank which tends to run out just before each payday.

Well I went to the bank to see whats going on. They tell me its the CSA. The bank’s allowed to take £55 for the service and CSA get every penny of what’s left. Coincidently an £8 bank charge came through just afterwards for a bounced cheque last month (not CSA related) so I’m now £8 overdrawn.

So now I can’t pay my bills or buy fuel to get to work and the car insurance installment is due. So I take a day off work losing £120 as I’m self employed) and march down to the courthouse to fill in a hardship form. I have to declare what I need the money for and the court lady takes it off to show the judge. She comes back and says I have a court case coming on 4th September (knew nothing about it) to decide how they’re going to get £17000 out of me, and the hardship issue will be dealt with at the same time.

Well I still want to fight the CSA and hopefully get through this with nothing to pay. I’ve been a good dad to my boy and he and his mum have had no complaints with me and my responsibilities over the years. I HAVE paid my way – just did it direct and cut out the incompetent middle man. Looks like I may have to pay twice.

 

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