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TOPIC: Private arrangement maintenance

When does Child Benefit stop 6 months 5 days ago #109166

Having trawled various sites round-and-round looking for answers I found you guys. Hoping I can get some advice on my situation. I shall keep it as concise as possible!
I’ve paid maintenance for one daughter solidly for the past 13 years or so since divorcing. This has been a private arrangement, no CSA / CMA involvement and I’ve always used the GOV.uk calculator as a guide.
This was working fine, until I turned self-employed as a contractor. All seemed fine to begin with, payments varied as the work did. However, still using the calculator as a guide the minimal payments I was able to afford (at times of being out of work and claiming Universal Credit) were not enough for my ex. Much agro via text ensued, at which point she stated, “we don’t need your money” and a kind of ‘stick-it’. I said I was cancelling the standing order in that case. Since then, I’ve lost all contact with my daughter and ex around November of 2019. Weekly efforts to mobile numbers for both go straight to answer-phone, I suspect they have blocked my number.
SO; it was a bit shocking for my new wife to receive a text message asking where I am, and that I owe at least 18 months of maintenance. Her words, and poor maths.
I write to find out if anyone else has had a similar situation, and where I stand. It has been 14 months since she declared she didn’t want payments anymore. I have the text conversation as a transcript, as I suspected she would do this. I’m currently without work and so wouldn’t be able to afford back-dated payments if I am liable for them now that she has U-turned.
Do I just wait until CMA contact me on her behalf?

Depressed Dad

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When does Child Benefit stop 6 months 5 days ago #109170

  • actd
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Hi and welcome.

OK, a couple of things on here.

Firstly, did you reply to your ex on your wife's phone - my thoughts on this are that you should perhaps reply to say that you will not accept messages on that number, and that you will be blocking the number, and future messages to be directed to your own mobile phone. And then block her number on your wife's phone.

Since you haven't paid via CMS (and I assume a case was never opened with CSA, as it was called at the time), then there are no arrears (also assuming maintenance wasn't written into the divorce court order), and the calculation only starts from the date CMS open a case. I would consider opening a case yourself (costs £20, one off fee) - that way you have more control over when the case is closed, and they can assess you on your current situation, which will probably be £7 per week if you are currently on benefits, you are under no obligation to pay any more than this amount.

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I am not qualified and any information given should be checked with a professional.

Whatever your situation Zoom counselling with qualified counsellors can help. You might like to be in touch for your secondary school aged children, or it could be you need support for yourself. To find out about costs or whether you qualify for funding (for example if you are on a low income or benefits) leave your details on this link and we will be in touch:

www.dad.info/online-zoom-counselling
Last Edit: by actd.

When does Child Benefit stop 6 months 5 days ago #109171

hi,

when my marriage ended, i was quickly contacted by her family about child maintenance. back-dated payments was a hot topic lol. i told them to sod off and i registered with CMS.

as you have a private arrangement with her, she can register with CMS any time. but they are not going to backdate payments for 18 months. if she registers today, then CMS will work out what you have to pay from her date of registration with CMS.

however they may believe her story that you paid her nothing for 18 months, and that she wants them to take enforcement action. that means CMS take money from your wages/account and they add an extra 20% collection fee each time! but if you send them proof that your out of work, they will make you pay nothing until you start working again.

How old is your daughter? you could take legal route if she continues to block access to your daughter.

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Please consult a qualified professional for legal advice.

Whatever your situation Zoom counselling with qualified counsellors can help. You might like to be in touch for your secondary school aged children, or it could be you need support for yourself. To find out about costs or whether you qualify for funding (for example if you are on a low income or benefits) leave your details on this link and we will be in touch:

www.dad.info/online-zoom-conselling
Last Edit: by Bill337.

When does Child Benefit stop 6 months 5 days ago #109174

Hi,

Just touching on the enforcement action and not paying for 18 months. I recently asked the CMS about this. I hadn't paid CMS for 12 months and then my ex opened a claim and she chose 'Collect and Pay' where CMS collect the payment and apply fees and forward payment on to my ex.

I was informed that unless I have a history of 'non compliance' as they term arrears or not making payments on the agreed dates they could not force me to go onto 'Collect and Pay'. They only count things from when a case is opened with them and the previous 12 months of non payment is not considered. They actually advised me not to back date payments if it would cause me financial difficulties and risk going into arrears in the future with CMS as this could result in them moving me from Direct Pay to Collect and Pay thus incurring additional fees.

So I am now on 'Direct Pay' where they do the calculation, obtain my exes bank details and forward on to me and I make payment on the agreed date each month directly into my exes bank account.

If I were you I'd contact the CMS directly, pay £20 and open a claim and explain your current situation, do not even mention the arrears, select Direct Pay and the date you want to pay and let them do the calculation and contact your ex with an update and obtain her bank details. Even if you have her bank details tell them that you would like them to confirm with your ex what bank details to use. That way the CMS are aware of everything.

Hope this helps.

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