Contacting an ex wife/new CSA arrangements/notarising document/Scotland

Hi All,

Looking for some advice.

As you may or may not know, the CSA is changing, i.e. they will no longer arrange child maintenance between 2 parties unless you want to pay an additional fee of 20% for each transaction.

My DH and his ex-wife separated in 2011, obviously everyone who has an acrimonious divorce thinks they are perfect and the other half is a lunatic - but she really is - even our lawyer said he hadn't seen anything like her in 25 years.

To give you an idea, during separation and divorce she has tried to have him charged with assault, his parents charged with harassment (all without merit and unsuccessfully I should add), tried things like contacting my work and threatening to go to the papers (with what i still don't know), death threats, threats of violence and various other things. As his daughter was only 10 at the point of separation, she was fed a variety of lies (rather than just saying mum and dad have fallen out of love, but we still love you she told the wee girl that her dad had left her (his daughter) and that the reason he wasn't coming back was because of me (might I add we met after they separated, I had nothing to do with their separation) and essentially he has not seen his daughter since she was 12/13; as he refused to discuss the divorce with his daughter - like a normal function adult - she only has one side and is very much poisoned against him.
Never the less, my husband (after leaving his ex-wife EVERYTHING with the exception of his clothes, car and pension) has paid maintenance to her religiously, he also still sends additional money every month for his daughter's savings account, birthday and Christmas money, in spite having heard nothing from his daughter for 4 years).

Initially money was send by way of standing order but as every week/month went by she demanded more and more money (she wanted £75 a month maintenance for a rabbit - amongst other bonkers requests) so our lawyer advised him to arrange maintenance through the CSA so that there was no more dispute about his wages, what she was owed etc., etc.

Now the CSA are asking us to arrange this amongst ourselves. I have contacted our lawyer, for fear of opening up a can of worms by writing directly to her. They advised it would cost a small fortune to arrange this and recommended going with the CSA.

We have tried to e-mail her on the old e-mail address that we have for her, but nearly 2 weeks have gone by and there has been no response so I assume she no longer uses it.

Next stage would be to send a letter recorded delivery - however, I wondered if there was any way to have the contents of the letter "witnessed/certified/notarised" as there is a very real danger of her lying about what we have sent? I don't think either my DH or I have the strength to go through her non-sense again.

I know you may think we should just pay they additional 20% but it amounts to over £2k over the next 2 years (daughter is now 17), DH and I would like to try our second and last round of IVF and that money really would be helpful.

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

L :)
Debt peak approx £30,000 :eek: now debt free!!! :j
My parents always said "If you can't afford it cash, you can't afford it!" so true!.... mind you, turns out we can't afford much lol :rotfl:


  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I don't see that 'notarising' a letter would help unless whoever did it then took the original and posted it.

    I'd suggest that your partner simply photocopies the letter he sends, and gets proof of posting.

    However, if he is paying, then the amount he pays is based on his income, so he should be able to use the CMS calculator to make sure that he patys the correct amount.

    Make sure that he keeps his proof of income, and prints off and keeps copies of the relevant calculation, so he can show that he is paying the correct amount.

    If he has bank details for her to allow him to make payments by standing order then do that - use 'child support' as the reference and make sure he keeps the bank statements.

    If he can't do that because he doesn't have her bank details, then send a letter stating "As the CMS will now make a charge for administering the payments, I propose to make payments to you directly. Please confirm in writing the account name, sort code and account number you would like the maintenance to be paid to and I will set up payment.

    If you don't provide me with bank details I will send the maintenance via cheque on the first of each month"

    Alternatively he could say "If I don't hear from you I will continue to pay via the CMS but as they now charge for administering payments this will mean that you will receive only £xx per month, instead of the full £yy"

    (The CMS charges your partner more, but they do also take a 4% charge out of the money he pays, from his ex, so she gets less, as well as him having to pay more - so if he was paying £100, he would pay £120 and she would get £96 - if he points out the extra cost to her, this may give her the incentive to provide her bank details.)

    If he goes down the sending cheques route, I'd suggest that he opens a new account solely for that purpose. Put a 'float' of £10 or so in to make sure that it doesn't go overdrawn then set up a standing order to transfer money into that account every month, and write the cheques from it. Don't use the account for anything else. That way, if she is slow to pay in a cheque, or pays in several at once, it won't matter to you and he won't go overdrawn, which could happen if he writes cheques on his normal account and overlooks her not paying one in promptly.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • MrsLWW
    MrsLWW Posts: 86 Forumite
    Sorry for the delayed response, some great ideas there. We spoke again about it and agreed to get the lawyer to send out one letter essentially saying we're changing to standing orders - thankfully we do have her bank details as we do still send birthday/Christmas money and monthly savings/pocket money too.

    Thanks for the advice, definitely will take some of those points on board!

    L ☺
    Debt peak approx £30,000 :eek: now debt free!!! :j
    My parents always said "If you can't afford it cash, you can't afford it!" so true!.... mind you, turns out we can't afford much lol :rotfl:
  • newbutold
    newbutold Posts: 752
    First Anniversary First Post
    My partner has no contact with his ex wife or kids. Like you, the kids have been poisoned. Apply to go on direct pay with the CMS (think it cost £20 to apply) Tell them you have no contact with ex, they will get in touch with her for bank details and they will calculate & furnish you with a payment schedule, using your income direct from HMRC.

    There is no 20% surcharge on this, the surcharge is only applied to collect and pay cases. Unless you are in arrears or have a proven track record of not paying, you will not have to go on collect and pay.
    If my posts have random wrong words, please blame the damn autocorrect not me :D
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