CMS trying to claim arrears my child is nearly 26!

Several years ago when the CSA changed, the new CMS wrote to me a couple of times asking me to pay some arrears to my ex husband, as my health was declining and I was unable to cope at that time with my teenage daughter so she went back to live with her Dad, who in fact actually eventually evicted her when he too had had enough of her awful behaviour! Anyway on asking when the arrears were from they unable to give me any information whatsoever so I basically said well if you have no idea when I didn't pay my £5 a week (as I live on Disability Benefits) and cannot prove that I do actually owe my ex-husband anything (he owns a Jag, a BMW and a Discovery and him and his new wife probably earn over £200K a year between them) then you can 'poke it'! That's like me going up to someone and saying they owe me £500, what for? Don't know wouldn't be a satisfactory answer! Anyway they took the hint and vanished - until today ...

Today I received a Standing Order Form as I am apparently due to make payments - no amount filled in so no idea what or what for?? It's made out to be paid to the CMS not my ex - but if they are unable to prove that I missed payments and do owe someone something,am I within my rights not to fill it in, and ignore it? Surely, if they do want it back the onus is on them to actually prove it?

I would be grateful for any advice!

Lottagelady

Comments

  • huckster
    huckster Posts: 4,818 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I think you send it back not completed with a letter raising a dispute, that you believe that this is a mistake and no amount is legally due. That they need to prove that you are legally liable for any sum, by providing documents to you supporting their claim.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • Comms69
    Comms69 Posts: 14,229 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Several years ago when the CSA changed, the new CMS wrote to me a couple of times asking me to pay some arrears to my ex husband, as my health was declining and I was unable to cope at that time with my teenage daughter so she went back to live with her Dad, who in fact actually eventually evicted her when he too had had enough of her awful behaviour! Anyway on asking when the arrears were from they unable to give me any information whatsoever so I basically said well if you have no idea when I didn't pay my £5 a week (as I live on Disability Benefits) - so you weren't paying child support or you were, but they have no record of it? and cannot prove that I do actually owe my ex-husband anything (he owns a Jag, a BMW and a Discovery and him and his new wife probably earn over £200K a year between them - sorry how is that remotely relevant? ) then you can 'poke it'! That's like me going up to someone and saying they owe me £500, what for? Don't know wouldn't be a satisfactory answer! Anyway they took the hint and vanished - until today ...

    Today I received a Standing Order Form as I am apparently due to make payments - no amount filled in so no idea what or what for?? It's made out to be paid to the CMS not my ex - but if they are unable to prove that I missed payments and do owe someone something,am I within my rights not to fill it in, and ignore it? Surely, if they do want it back the onus is on them to actually prove it? - Well eventually they'll just deduct it from your benefits

    I would be grateful for any advice!

    Lottagelady



    The simple answer is did you or did you not pay the child support
  • lottagelady
    lottagelady Posts: 19 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 7 December 2018 at 2:55PM
    Comms69 - As far as I am aware, and it is now probably 10 years ago, yes I paid my £5 a week to my ex husband who had to have the children at the time as I was and still am unwell ...... he doesn't and didn't need the money, that is why it is relevant and I struggle to survive anyway as I am a homeowner - so no free housing for me - any reason why you feel the need to be so rude?
  • Comms69
    Comms69 Posts: 14,229 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Comms69 - As far as I am aware, and it is now probably 10 years ago, yes I paid my £5 a week to my ex husband who had to have the children at the time as I was and still am unwell ...... he doesn't and didn't need the money, that is why it is relevant and I struggle to survive anyway as I am a homeowner - so no free housing for me - any reason why you feel the need to be so rude?



    Yes, you weren't capable of providing care to your children (no fault in that, you were unwell) so your ex husband did his parental duty.


    You were providing £5 a week towards this, again not your fault, but lets be fair it doesn't cover anything.


    It doesn't matter if he did or did not need the money. The money isn't for him; its for your kids.


    What's you being a homeowner to do with it? Who pays your mortgage? Or if you own outright then, you do have free housing.


    I'm being blunt, not rude.
  • pmduk
    pmduk Posts: 10,655 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 7 December 2018 at 7:33PM
    Did you pay your ex by a traceable method or was it just cash?

    The amount of money your ex-partner has at his disposal is irrelevant, the concept is every parent should be contributing at least something to the support of their children.
  • pmduk - Yes it will be on my bank statements - I was paying him by SO when he had the kids. I suspect that it stems from the point that he evicted them and moved house without telling them where he had gone, and he probably didn't tell the CSA and I stopped the payment. I have always contributed as it is me that has stood by them into adulthood, but directly to the children. He only gave them half of what I was paying for pocket money - ie £5 a month each! They couldn't even choose the sanitary protection they wanted and he regularly had stand up rows with them in Boots as he would only buy them the cheapest - in the end they got the Deputy Head of their school to actually speak to him about it as he wouldn't discuss it with me. My eldest now has severe MH issues over her father and how she was treated by him then and now and has tried to take her own life several times as she is so unhappy - getting treatment on the NHS seems to be virtually impossible - he could afford to help her, but he won't, so he doesn't even know what is happening. Therefore, I do begrudge giving him anything more, and in any case it isn't him that is asking for it, it is the CMS, he knows nothing about it .....
    Comms69 - I pay my own mortgage hence why I have no money spare to live, just exist, so at least my kids will get something back from me once I have pegged it. I have no intention of stringing it out and spending money on care homes.

    Huckster - I wrote my letter, went to pop it in an envelope and guess what - there is NO ADDRESS anywhere on the paperwork! Have since found one online so will try that!
  • pmduk
    pmduk Posts: 10,655 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    ...I stopped the payment. I have always contributed as it is me that has stood by them into adulthood, but directly to the children.

    I suspect that this is where your problem will lie. Support is meant to be paid to the parent with care (under CSA terminology). Paying directly to the child is not the same as paying child support. Nor should any payment of pocket money be related to the amount of support received. It looks as though you've left yourself with a gap in child support payments that will need to be rectified.

    Unless another poster has a good idea you'll need to make arrangements to make this amount up or get your ex to waive the debt.
  • lottagelady
    lottagelady Posts: 19 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 9 December 2018 at 12:22PM
    Oh no I paid HIM what he was due via SO - but also gave the children some extra if I had it, I can only think that he evicted them and he didn't tell the CSA and I stopped the payment as he no longer had the kids - but surely the CMS cannot ask me for something and not give me any details whatsoever to prove their point, ie dates and times etc, as I may be able to prove otherwise? They haven't even said which child it relates to, as I have had both over the years .... or any amount either?
  • pmduk
    pmduk Posts: 10,655 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    Then ask them for a full account breakdown, if they can't/won't provide it go to your MP.
  • Thanks pmduk - I have done, I will update if/when I get a response!
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