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Husband sent to prison for CSA, advice please.
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# 1
mrsrdj
Old 19-11-2011, 11:35 AM
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Default Husband sent to prison for CSA, advice please.

Hi, I am new on here. Yesterday my Husband was sent to prison for 84 days for two lots of CSA arrears (for the same child), amounting to 4600. We had made numerous offers to pay in installments but the CSA would not accept it, they wanted a lump sum. We have been self employed but lost our business, but they would not accept that it was cant pay and not wont pay. We provided all our bank statements, letters showing what debts we have etc., but to no avail. My husband has not seen his son for about 5 years, and the only time we hear from his ex is when she rings to find out what we are buying him for Christmas or Birthdays. She has said that my husband can see him, but when we drive the 90 miles to where they live, she either doesnt answer the door, or phones to say he is ill about 10 minutes before we are due to arrive. I do realise this is a separate issue, but the point I am trying to make is that my husband has tried to be a good father, but is not allowed to be. I am devastated that he has been sent to prison, but could do with some advice about the best way forward. I am given to understand that even though he serves the time, the debt still remains, but our circumstances will be even worse as now he will not have been able to work or look for work for 12 weeks. I am not working for the last couple of weeks but am looking although I can only work part time as I have two children of my own and I care for my disabled mother. What will happen when he comes out, will they send him back to court again, and what happens to the other arrears that are accruing in the meantime.
Sorry for the long winded post, I am just so upset and confused and seem to be going roundin circles.
Thank you for any help you can give.
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# 2
shackalak
Old 19-11-2011, 11:42 AM
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Have a look at the following website.

www.prisonchatuk.com

You're clearly in a state at the moment with everything that has happened. Have a look at the forums on that site. There are some amazing people out there and they will be able to provide you with some support and possibly some of the answers you are looking for.
I've worked in the Financial Services industry for the last 25 years. When posting on this forum I am not providing any financial advice or representing anyone but simply posting my own personal views. Always make sure you seek suitable Financial Advice from an authorised professional based on your own personal needs and objectives.
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# 3
nic_santorini
Old 19-11-2011, 11:52 AM
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I would go to the press, this is ridiculous, the courts are told not to imprison people because there is no space and they can't get the burglars in!! Waste of tax payers money. If there is an unpaid debt that the court has awarded as a fine, the fine gets spent if the debtor goes to prison, so it may be the same. I can not imagine it will still stand, as this was the penalty for not paying it. Seek advice from someone that knows.
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# 4
mrsrdj
Old 19-11-2011, 12:06 PM
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Thank you both for the replies. I couldnt go to the press, my husband is so mortified that he made me promise before he went to court that I wouldnt tell anyone. They could have confiscated his passport I believe, which would have made more sense, as clearly if he had enough money to go on holiday, then he would be taking the mickey. But they wouldnt do that. His soliitor said she thought the magistrates were a bit hard doing the two 42 day sentences to run one after the other (cant think of the word), rather than at the same time.
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# 5
headachesrus
Old 19-11-2011, 12:12 PM
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I wonder would your MP be able to help, if you look online to find out who it is, they should have a website with details of who to write to, or even surgery hours when you can go in and speak to them in person. I'm sure he/she would have to keep it confidential. I wish you well in sorting this out, it is a dreadful situation to be in.
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# 6
DUTR
Old 19-11-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsrdj View Post
Thank you both for the replies. I couldnt go to the press, my husband is so mortified that he made me promise before he went to court that I wouldnt tell anyone. They could have confiscated his passport I believe, which would have made more sense, as clearly if he had enough money to go on holiday, then he would be taking the mickey. But they wouldnt do that. His soliitor said she thought the magistrates were a bit hard doing the two 42 day sentences to run one after the other (cant think of the word), rather than at the same time.
Yet you have told the whole internet world
50 week for 2 yrs clears the arrears, I would certainley sacrifice that than forever be in fear of KY jelly
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# 7
mrsrdj
Old 19-11-2011, 12:22 PM
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LOL, I know, but no one knows who we are... I hope! We offered to pay in installments but the CSA wont accept it. Trust me, the last thing we wanted was for him to go prison, this really is cant pay and not wont pay. The CSA said all they would accept was a lump sum.
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# 8
DUTR
Old 19-11-2011, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsrdj View Post
LOL, I know, but no one knows who we are... I hope! We offered to pay in installments but the CSA wont accept it. Trust me, the last thing we wanted was for him to go prison, this really is cant pay and not wont pay. The CSA said all they would accept was a lump sum.
It is not up to the CSA though it is up to the courts, did he not have any representation?
What are you going to do for the time he is away? a lot of lonely nights ensue, let's hope he does not start batting for the other side
Sadly though the monies will still be due upon his release
As he would have been sent down for being in contempt (or similar).
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# 9
Marisco
Old 19-11-2011, 12:27 PM
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But she said they have offered to pay by installments and they wouldn't accept it. It's a dammed disgrace, and it's not even that large a sum!! I'd go to the press if only to show how stupid the CSA is, the jails are full to bursting and they are leaving real criminals out early, and you get this sort of thing!!!
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# 10
mspa
Old 19-11-2011, 12:37 PM
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I am suprised that they turned down instalments. There must be more to this.
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# 11
mrsrdj
Old 19-11-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mspa View Post
I am suprised that they turned down instalments. There must be more to this.
They said it was because what we could afford to pay wouldnt cover the arrears and the current payment and the arrears that have been building up, so it would never be paid. Ive had the conversation with them myself several times. Also, they are basing what he is supposed to pay on when he had a successful business before he met me and was earning a lot more. We have applied to be reassesed but they wont backdate anything. It will only be reassessed from the date we applied for it. Im not sure if that makes any sense.
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# 12
DUTR
Old 19-11-2011, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marisco View Post
But she said they have offered to pay by installments and they wouldn't accept it. It's a dammed disgrace, and it's not even that large a sum!! I'd go to the press if only to show how stupid the CSA is, the jails are full to bursting and they are leaving real criminals out early, and you get this sort of thing!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by mspa View Post
I am suprised that they turned down instalments. There must be more to this.
Said to whom though?
Chances are the earleir hearing was to agree to pay x per week/month and was ordered by the court.
This was not adhered to and hence the commital to prison.
The whole saga seems to have gone a long way to get this far which concluded in a jail term
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# 13
mrsrdj
Old 19-11-2011, 12:43 PM
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Thank you all for your comments, I will check back in later. Really appreciate the help xx
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# 14
kevin137
Old 19-11-2011, 12:44 PM
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1st and foremost, you are now single in regards to your circumstances, so 1st thing monday morning, make sure that you advise the DWP (benefits agency) that there is only 1 income in the house, the council tax and housing benefit should be notified as well...! It is not about scrounging, if they put you in this situation then you need to survive as best you can. And for the purpose of the next 12 weeks you are in fact a single mother.

Also write to the CSA on your husbands behalf stating that he now has a NIL income due to the custodial sentence, it may sound stupid, but if you do not notify them then there can be no change in circumstance and they will continue to accrue arrears, and it is something you need to do, but send it recorded delivery.

As others have said, contact your MP, this is essential, and you will be surprised just how much they can do in a short period of time.

Try not to stress too much about your husband, if he can survive the CSA for years and still be alive, then prison will be ok, not the nicest place, but not so hard either... People will be pleasant enough when they find out what he is "in for" and will probably side with him against the government rather than make life hard for him.

And yes it is ridiculous that they have sentenced consecutively rather than concurrently, but this is more than likely because it is a civil sentence, criminals get it easier that is for sure, and i know this is no help, but he could probably of broken the law and stolen that amount of money and got less of a sentence...!!! The lovely world of the UK legal system unfortunately...

I hope you get things sorted, but please do consider the press, albeit with no names, they will stir up a storm and bring up the downsides to what the CSA are doing, and it may make a huge difference to others in the same situation, making it worthwhile doing. I'm sure both you and your husband would hate to see others in the same situation, so do consider.

Also speak to anyone else you can think of about this, but whatever you do, stay strong, you know the truth, and others while judgemental, don't know what a strain this is...
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# 15
mspa
Old 19-11-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUTR View Post
The whole saga seems to have gone a long way to get this far which concluded in a jail term
That is what I thought
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# 16
HappyMJ
Old 19-11-2011, 12:53 PM
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Although the sentence is for 12 weeks he will be out in 6 weeks. Everyone only ever does half the sentence.
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# 17
Rorkes Drift
Old 19-11-2011, 1:17 PM
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Its not a sentence, it a committal to prison. He is a "civil" prisoner.
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# 18
kevin137
Old 19-11-2011, 1:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMJ View Post
Although the sentence is for 12 weeks he will be out in 6 weeks. Everyone only ever does half the sentence.
For criminal charges yes, for committal to prison he will unfortunately do the whole 12 weeks...

Lovely legal system the UK has when the people who want to do the right thing get a sentence twice as long as the criminals...!
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# 19
Rorkes Drift
Old 19-11-2011, 1:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsrdj View Post
Hi, I am new on here. Yesterday my Husband was sent to prison for 84 days for two lots of CSA arrears (for the same child), amounting to 4600. We had made numerous offers to pay in installments but the CSA would not accept it,
The law says the NRP goes to prison for REFUSAL to pay. He cannot be jailed if he CANNOT pay.

The law: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...ion/40/enacted

He must tell the prison service he wants to appeal. He becomes entitled to compensation if his appeal is allowed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsrdj View Post
they wanted a lump sum. We have been self employed but lost our business, but they would not accept that it was cant pay and not wont pay. We provided all our bank statements, letters showing what debts we have etc., but to no avail. My husband has not seen his son for about 5 years, and the only time we hear from his ex is when she rings to find out what we are buying him for Christmas or Birthdays. She has said that my husband can see him, but when we drive the 90 miles to where they live, she either doesnt answer the door, or phones to say he is ill about 10 minutes before we are due to arrive. I do realise this is a separate issue, but the point I am trying to make is that my husband has tried to be a good father, but is not allowed to be. I am devastated that he has been sent to prison, but could do with some advice about the best way forward. I am given to understand that even though he serves the time, the debt still remains, but our circumstances will be even worse as now he will not have been able to work or look for work for 12 weeks.I am not working for the last couple of weeks but am looking although I can only work part time as I have two children of my own and I care for my disabled mother. What will happen when he comes out, will they send him back to court again, and what happens to the other arrears that are accruing in the meantime.

When he is out, he must SIGN ON, and notify the CSA in writing. That will invoke a CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES and stop any new liability accruing.

He cannot be committed twice for his existing liability, so that has now come to a dead-end, UNLESS he stops signing and goes back to work.
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# 20
Light Speed Cruiser
Old 19-11-2011, 1:47 PM
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I dont understand why your husband was given the maximum for two liabilities totaling 4600. This is highly irregular. Tell your husband to speak to the prison governor and get an appeal lodges on the grounds it is too severe. I dont need to mention that keeping him in prison costs the taxpayer over 2500 a week.

Like your husband, I stood before a District Judge and presented my argument and it was very easy to get the application thrown out,,, all in one sitting.

I have given advice for other NRPs and on many occasions, their committals have been "suspended". That equates to a win for the NRP because the suspension expires and the CSA cannot make a repeat application for the same liability and brings the case to a close. - Unless, as someone has pointed out, the NRP takes up work. As you have a business, it might be better you (on paper) hold the financial and directorship reins. Some might argue this is "diversion of income" but hard to prove unless he admits to it, impossible to prove if he works in a low-income part-time job (I think for DSS purposes, that might be 12 hours or less) unrelated to your business.

Check the liability is genuine, has there been any mistakes you are not aware of? Theres no time limits to have a case put before the Independent Case Examiner. If the ICE finds in your husbands favour then he becomes entitled to a bumper payout courtesy of the CSA! He can ask the prison Governor to start the proceedings straight away.
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