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  • FIRST POST
    • scitex22
    • By scitex22 13th Sep 18, 12:04 PM
    • 1Posts
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    scitex22
    Using the small claims court to collect maintenance?
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 18, 12:04 PM
    Using the small claims court to collect maintenance? 13th Sep 18 at 12:04 PM
    Could anybody advise if they have used the small claims court to collect unpaid maintenance. I have a court order in place and I am now owed over 9,000 in unpaid maintenance. I have sought legal advice and have been advised to go back to court would cost in excess of 10k to get to a first hearing, I do not wish to use the CMS as my ex partner is self employed and will hide his income, I am dealing with a very difficult person who does not wish to support his children.

    I am also considering using a debt collection agency. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Page 1
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 13th Sep 18, 12:45 PM
    • 7,682 Posts
    • 8,379 Thanks
    Comms69
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 18, 12:45 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 18, 12:45 PM
    Could anybody advise if they have used the small claims court to collect unpaid maintenance. I have a court order in place and I am now owed over 9,000 in unpaid maintenance. I have sought legal advice and have been advised to go back to court would cost in excess of 10k to get to a first hearing, I do not wish to use the CMS as my ex partner is self employed and will hide his income, I am dealing with a very difficult person who does not wish to support his children.

    I am also considering using a debt collection agency. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Originally posted by scitex22
    What kind of court order have you currently got?


    Debt collection agencies are toothless, if he can avoid the CMS (the great white sharks in this analogy) then a DCA is literally the biggest waste of time


    as for using small claims court - yes you can, it's a good idea. BUT as you've discovered getting an order and getting paid are two separate things.


    Whilst the money would be nice to have of course, is it worth your sanity?


    More info needed really to advise properly
    • HoneyNutLoop
    • By HoneyNutLoop 14th Sep 18, 5:56 PM
    • 549 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    HoneyNutLoop
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 5:56 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 18, 5:56 PM
    I would say if you want to see how effective the court system is at enforcing maintenance, take a look at the REMO thread. Different situation, but Courts none the less.
    Also take a look at what powers the Small Claims Court has to enforce, compare that to the powers CMS has and then take a look at the court fees for each process.
    I often use a tablet to post, so sometimes my posts will have random letters inserted, or entirely the wrong word if autocorrect is trying to wind me up. Hopefully you'll still know what I mean.
    • wagtail
    • By wagtail 6th Mar 19, 2:17 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    wagtail
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 19, 2:17 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 19, 2:17 PM
    What kind of court order have you currently got?


    Debt collection agencies are toothless, if he can avoid the CMS (the great white sharks in this analogy) then a DCA is literally the biggest waste of time


    as for using small claims court - yes you can, it's a good idea. BUT as you've discovered getting an order and getting paid are two separate things.


    Whilst the money would be nice to have of course, is it worth your sanity?


    More info needed really to advise properly
    Originally posted by Comms69

    Do you think the Small Claims Court can be used privately to collect maintenance that the CSA have failed to collect?

    What about the time issue?
    I have a case about to be written off and I don`t wish it to be so I would go to SCC if it would be allowed.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 6th Mar 19, 6:03 PM
    • 10,126 Posts
    • 7,751 Thanks
    pmduk
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 19, 6:03 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 19, 6:03 PM
    It'll be difficult. CSA/CMS have vast powers, if they've been unable to collect, how do you expect a CCJ to produce results?

    As Comms69 has said above, getting a CCJ paid can be difficult, I'd suggest people who will respond to a CCJ would not have let child support get to the stage where you're contemplating the small claims court.

    Indeed, do they even have money?
    Last edited by pmduk; 06-03-2019 at 6:05 PM.
    • WhenIam64
    • By WhenIam64 7th Mar 19, 9:12 AM
    • 365 Posts
    • 175 Thanks
    WhenIam64
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 19, 9:12 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 19, 9:12 AM
    Where does the 10K come from? Small Claims is cost limited and accessible for all without a solicitor.

    If a CCJ were granted, then it may stop the other person getting credit and damage their ability to generate the income you seek. Seizing goods again may be counterproductive.

    On the other hand, the six months process which a court claim takes, does focus peoples mind somewhat and may generate some form of action. You can cancel any claim without come back up to 7 days prior to a hearing.

    Often small claims are simply a way to get people's attention but the fees alone are 410 to start and a further 455 about a month prior to any hearing. If you are in receipt of benefits or low income then you may get some fee remission on this

    See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apply-for-help-with-court-and-tribunal-fees

    And whatever you do, do not let the claim go over 10K as it goes into a different track with no costs protection.
    • wagtail
    • By wagtail 7th Mar 19, 11:10 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    wagtail
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 19, 11:10 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 19, 11:10 AM
    It'll be difficult. CSA/CMS have vast powers, if they've been unable to collect, how do you expect a CCJ to produce results?

    As Comms69 has said above, getting a CCJ paid can be difficult, I'd suggest people who will respond to a CCJ would not have let child support get to the stage where you're contemplating the small claims court.

    Indeed, do they even have money?
    Originally posted by pmduk
    Well this is the issue. I don`t think the CSA have made enough attempt to collect this debt because it is historic. The SAR I have sent will hopefully show what they have or havn`t done. I have told them I do not want this amount writing off. He has money, he has chosen to evade by clever use of an accountant. Now the child he had by his second wife is an adult he can`t use that excuse for not paying what he owes for his first two children. I know he would not want a CCJ against his name which would reflect badly on him now.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 10th Mar 19, 7:43 AM
    • 10,126 Posts
    • 7,751 Thanks
    pmduk
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 19, 7:43 AM
    • #8
    • 10th Mar 19, 7:43 AM
    How historic is the debt, you need to ensure that the County Court is going to be prepared to hear that a case of that age?
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