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Battling CMS + mental health

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Im posting on behalf of my partner.


He and his ex had a child that is 1-2 years of age I believe.

He used to live with the mother and child until they had a falling out. He then moved back home and continued to see the child by the mother bringing the baby over.

The most important part of this case is that the mother stopped him from seeing his child for no reason. I’ve asked extensively to see if there was any reason as to why she would do that and there hasn’t been one. He last recalls “I was on the phone to her explaining that I was depressed and she replied ‘I don’t care’”. Since then all access he had for he child had stopped and he has been left completely in the dark, even questioning if the child is really his because why would you make the father of your child unable to see them for no reason?

Anyway, last year August his ex contacted CMS for child support and he agreed to pay it because even though he hasn’t seen his child in over a year, he believes it is his and wants to do the right thing.

However, as aforementioned, having a child and it being removed from your life out of the blue would have severe mental effects on anybody. As a result, my partner has dealt with depression and suicidal thoughts. This led to him being unable to perform at his best at work. His income before tax has gone from £2,100 ish to £1,400 (he was offered a shift from full to part time).

He has uploaded his fit to work certificate from the GP which included a diagnosis of his mental condition and also his new income.

However, the amount he’s due to pay has increased.

How do we navigate this situation? He would be unable to afford the new amount and I believe that such a drastic change in his income has not been noticed.

Since then, my partner has informed CMS of his change of income and that he can’t afford to make a payment this month. Since then, he has received a threatening text message from CMS and £100 additional fees. 


Do you have any advice on how he can

a) gain access to his daughter again

b) lower the charges put against him,

and how much would the processes cost?


We are not keen on spending large amounts of money on court and would prefer for him to represent himself in court etc

I thank you in advance as it's really upsetting seeing my partner struggle with both this and his mental health and feeling helpless.

TLDR: Partner refused access to his child has led to depression. Depression has led to a lower income. Child maintenance pay increased despite this.

Thanks in advance!!

Topic starter Posted : 13/04/2024 7:55 pm
Illustrious Member


CMS should be able to explain the increase in payments. Has he received any bonuses, or did overtime or got pay rise? Can call them on 0800 171 2345. He could ask for case worker to look into this.

If they are not helpful, then I suggest he contact his MP and ask them to raise a complaint with CMS.

For child contact issues, he can self represent with right guidance. I can advise. Will send you a private message.

Court application costs £232. It is reduced or free if he receives any of following:

income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Income Support

Universal Credit (and you earn less than £6,000 a year)

Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)

Posted : 14/04/2024 2:21 pm

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