I've been paying CSA/CMS for over 8 years now and have always done my best to keep up the payments for my son.
Recently however, since the Child Maintenance has taken over from the Child Support Agency, I've found out that when the receiving parents are written to and informed of how much the paying parent is supposed to pay each month, and within that letter they state how much the paying parent earns a week!! This has annoyed me beyond words!
Since the introduction of the GDPR, which is supposed to update the existing data protection act so you can keep better control over your personal data, I would have thought that this was in breach of the new act. I spoke to the CMS at some length about this stating that I did not want my details to be passed in to the mother as it was personal data and I did not wish to disclose it. They said they where within there rights to do so.
Hmmm...so I wrote to my MP, and he wrote to them. They responded to him in the same way and he just passed on the letter response to me - cheers!
The CMS tried to justify there actions by stating that they want to make sure any mistakes made are caught by letting the receiving parent have all the figures and calculations they used to arrive at the monthly figure. I think I could just about understand that IF they actually provided ALL of the information.
My arguments -
1. The letter that goes out to the receiving parents states the weekly income of the paying parent and the breakdown of any arrears owing plus the final figure. How on earth can anyone work out if the final figure is correct from that information alone. No percentages are shown, no figures to show other deductions (for number of overnight stays for example), or anything else that could give the parent the correct information to 'check' there workings out.
2. How can the receiving parent possibly know that the figure they are given of the paying parents weekly income is correct or not. They can't check it, meaning all the figures relating to the overall calcs could be irrelevant.
3. Is it not the CMS's job to do these calculations and provide a definite figure?? If not, what are they there for?!
I could go on, but the fact that they also avert my attention to The Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012 also makes me laugh as it states:
25.—(1) Notification of a decision made under section 11 or 12(2) of the 1991 Act(1) must set out—
(a)the effective date of the maintenance calculation;
(b)where relevant, the non-resident parent’s gross weekly income, including—
(i)whether that is based on historic income or current income, and
(ii)if based on current income, whether that income has been estimated in accordance with regulation 42;
Now, note section (b) where it says 'where relevant....'. In my opinion it is not relevant to state my weekly income or any other paying parents income as per the points I made previously. But to top it all; the fact that they think that they can just go off to the HMRC, look up my earnings and then just tell people what I earn is an absolute joke and contradicts everything that the data protection act stands for. Once the receiving parent has that information, what is to stop them telling anyone they like. The data is OUT in the public domain and out of our control.
I don't use the CMS and have a private (if that's the right term) arrangement with my ex. I give her a copy of my P60 each year so that she can I am paying the right amount. Don't have a problem sharing that with her. Also means that she doesn't start questioning my payments.
My partner's ex does share what his income is and there is some suspiscion that he's not paying the full anount as it varies each month even though he's on a salaried wage.
I would not worry too much, means that she's not going to harrass you for not paying the right amount.
If you assume that the CMS do get their calculation correct, then your ex could work out your income anyway from the amount you pay her, so revealing your income isn't really giving her anything she can't find out.