ADVICE AGAINST CMS
I am posting this as a preamble to further things - let me give you my background while trying to keep this short and sweet. I worked for Child Maintenance Service for 2 years between 2019 and 2021. I have a few things for you to bare in mind if this is even read by the audience I would like to establish.
-This service, the engine of it's staff (the decision makers, the people you refer to as 'case worker') is led by people who don't understand the inter-human relationship principles never mind the complexities of an issue such as spousal maintenance and the decision making practices and basic legal principles.
-The legal ground for spousal maintenance laid down by CMS' 2012 Scheme (as it's known) is absolutely clear in it's application, which is why it can be administered by under qualified agency staff who on the whole lack the understanding you would expect of someone handling cases of such a delicate and intricate financial and personal situation. Especially not in accordance with the law not to mention the immorality.
-The dead beat dad thing perception is real too - I went through 12 weeks training where literal weeks were spent depicting imaginations of the typical 'PP and RP,' on a chalkboard with A3 paper, to be thrown in the bin later on in the day. Most pictures drawn in the same fashion one of your own young children may draw in Nursery or early primary school, hung up on a board as such in a classroom setting, though depicting overweight women with caps on and smoking cigarettes hanging from their lips, speech bubbles quoting the stereo-typical 'PP,' "I'm not paying unless I see my children..." Satirical? Yes - what you think of paid civil servants spending their time like this (often drunk from lunch may I add) is not my concern though I'm trying to demonstrate the toxic and ridiculous atmosphere that exists within this service that seems to cause you all so much head-aches, frustration and in my experience often downright pain and depression.
I could poke holes in both the legal foundation for spousal maintenance while administered by CMS and the 2012 scheme at more than 3 paragraphs and most likely a dissertation but I need to keep this as short and sweet as possible. I'm a young single man, I no longer work for CMS as I said previously - I left in 2021. While there I was employed by an agency and I worked in Belfast. I won't narrow down much more detail than this because people who work there read this forum and others like it and I could be identified. I'm not too sure of the legality of this post as I think I might be legally bound by some ridiculous document you sign when you're a 21 y.o. grad with a walk in (not even the need for an interview btw) civil service job, albeit agency. I have 3 A-Levels in Law, Politics and History and also hold a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Government. I averaged something like 97.5% in the Civil Service AO Board entry exams in 2020 (wasn't hired directly of 14,000 applications I was just outside the top 400 (within the 100) who were progressed baring in mind I was already working the job that I applied for at the same level only via an agency with didn't even promote the fact that the AO Board was even open for applications...) Currently I am working as a painter/decorator. I left CMS and worked with a Housing Association covering emergency maintenance services and tech care however I have experienced a few personal losses (the lady and gentlemen that raised me a good period of my life) and trying to work in those type of environments (bureaucracy where most seniors are brown nosed and nothing else.) As you can imagine not much people are looking painter/decorators in my end of Belfast much these days. As such...
I am offering advice services to anyone who might need them. I feel I have something to offer you, if you're reading this. I know CMS operations like the back of my hand. I was a case-worker dealing with over 200 cases at any given time. I worked through Covid despite my living with my not so well family member. I promise I am a good guy and that doesn't even really matter if you're an arsehole I'll still give you advice. The thing is I need to make something to supplement myself so I am considering offering Zoom consultations/Consultation by phone or any way you want really I'm not in the position to bargain, depending on the response to this post. If you feel anyone would really be able to benefit from this then refer them to myself. I can be reached at an email address I'll provide depending on response.
-I'm trained end to end. (training is over 3 months and it's mostly a waste of time - endless powerpoint of info that takes 5 minutes to learn to apply on a computer in its most basic form but in its most complex form would take a qualified lawyer to understand properly (and a philosopher to justify morally!!). Consider mind I administered it all but was probably the most qualified in my team and maybe even on my floor including my superiors going up maybe 3 levels. That doesn't speak to my own ability or intelligence but more so the lack of such in this service. As did my team, which included some questionable characters legally never mind morally. (From the same pool of people I would say from experience maybe too smart/applied for a call centre sales job but recruited in much the same fashion for what's advertised and nearly practiced as a similar role by agencies and agency staff.)
The thing is I may ask for a fee depending on the response/legality of this. (I've some research to do as I don't remember what documents I signed but I know one was the Official Secrets Act - although nothing I am saying is secret but freely available here https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1991/48/contents/enacted but also in a few other public domains in specific details I'll disclose another time...)
We're talking maybe £10 an hours session and I will try to accommodate your own needs. I understand the nature of talking about things as sensitive as this too as such I would be consulting anonymous and you can be anonymous if you'd want. (no cam/no names etc....) I can imagine some solicitors are charging a fortune for this type of shit (I once spoke to a woman who thought her solicitors letters (plural) to CMS was worth £70 a document when legally a solicitors letter isn't worth the paper it's written on. (Look it up - no legal standing but for the fact it was written by an upstanding member of the law society charging on the sale of a lie.) As such I don't believe £10 per session/hour (whatever we'll see) is unreasonable given I would be as short and to the point as possible even if it's difficult for you to hear. (e.g. I can't do feck all for ye because A,B and C) I won't charge in that case. If I need to charge a fee in advance I will send the fee straight back after having spoken with you. Won't ask you to trust a stranger on the internet but I'm sure we could work something out.
While I'm here I'd also like to say:
-I really did try my best to make fair decisions myself at CMS, as did a minority of other Civil Servants working within CMS and the other departments such as Universal Credit. There are some good apples unfortunately the tree's in your ex back yard.
Hi I'm interested in advive too
Great post, very informative thank you.
I am needing advice, I used to have an agreement set up between me and my ex and paid her monthly and had been honest if I earned extra and would pay extra when possible. she would always ask me to buy extra things like uniform, and clothes etc from time to time, I would but not very happy about it when I already gave her money.
I have my son on a daily basis he will finish school come over for tea and then go home after a couple of hours he will stop from Fri - Sun depending or at least one night, he sleeps over more during half terms and six weeks a week or more depending on the time I take off, or long weekends when my ex goes away.
I have always been happy doing so because I get to spend time with my son, but it was one day back in July I took my son out, wasnt to happy with what he was wearing because the clothes were too small and while we were out it was raining and my son was complaining his feet were soaking. I asked him how and he shown me the holes in his trainers so I had to go buy him trainers and thought I might as well by some clothes!
what annoyed me was this was the same weekend my ex went away on a weekend with her friends, so she could afford to do that but not buy my son new trainers and clothes. when she got back I told her that she doesnt spend the money on my son but for herself and from now on I will use the money for him,
and which I did next time I was paid I bought new clothes and School uniform for him starting his first year at high school, and the next paid after that I got his shoes, P.E trainers and they require boots, I also got him stationary and back pack for school.
I recently received a letter from the CMS, just saying I had to pay X amount. I have attempted to call them but the people I got put through to were not the case workers just kept asking what my question was! I have millions.
I need to know how I can get my point a cross to defend me, and make sure my son is getting the money spent on him, because I know its not.
and is there anything I could do to help my case.
It sounds like you are doing a great job and a lot of the care for your son. If you are giving her money through the CMS then I dont think that there is a lot you can do on how she spends it im afraid. What you could do is either negotiate with your ex direct (i guess this will depend on how well you will get on) or if you are having your son at least half the week try and change the circumstances so that you become the resident parent. Im assuming that your ex receives the child benefit so you would need to start there and put in a rival claim. I would only do this if you have enough evidence to demonstrate that you are looking after your son at least half the week (including overnights), attending school nights, medical appointments, clubs etc.
What I would do from now on if you are not doing so already is document everything you are doing for your son, and also keep a timetable of when you have him as this will be important to help demonstrate what you are doing in terms of care for your son.
I managed to evidence all this and i now receive the child benefit so it can be done.
Sorry forgot to say that the point of holding the child benefit is that a person cannot claim child maintenance without it i believe.
@snooks74 hi, just a word of warning with CB. I hold the child benefit and was caring for my child 50/50 with a CAO stating 50/50 equal care day and night and the CMS made me pay maintenance for 6 months. This was simply because ex stated I had child ZERO nights per week!! Still not seen a penny back yet!.
After over 6 months of fighting the CMS they closed the case but no refund or apology.
That's with a 50/50 CAO and CB.
Currently awaiting tribunal date.
Desperately need your advice but can’t DM you as a new member. Please can you do me?