Child maintenance please help - £7 a week only
I am wondering if someone would be able to offer some help or advice please. Quick background broke up with ex around ten years ago and was sharing care of our daughter 50 / 50. There was always problems for my daughter at her mums and at the start of this year she came to live with me full time. I asked Mum for a contribution and got no response so I reluctantly contacted CMS who calculated £70 a week child maintenance based on last years earnings. Couple of weeks later the mum starts paying me £7 and a quick look through companies house I see she has registered a limited company. It looks like she is now paying herself the bare minimum through this in order to reduce her maintenance payments and CMS has accepted this (presumably sent in her new wage slips). I spoke with CMS and they asked me to write in with the information. She is still working at the same business, has same properties, vehicles etc, I just cant believe there is this loop hole.
I have written an appeal letter to the CMS, but is there anything else I can do here? Im now receiving £1 a day to support, roof, feed, clothe my daughter it just does not seem right.
You could look up her accounts on companies house. Send it to CMS as evidence. You can request variation to take into account her turnover amount, or dividends etc. If you get. Nowhere they have option to ask for mandatory reconsideration, and if that is rejected, you can appeal and take it to tribunal to get her company/earnings investigated.
Hi thanks but it is a new company set up just one week after I was awarded the original amount, so there are no figures to show for the company but CMS has accepted her new low wage and now only has to pay £7.
Hey, I have had the same problem. My ex started a new company and was paying me a total of £60 a month for 2 children, (£30 each), this has gone on for 2 years while I had to wait for her first years company accounts to be published.
You are in for a ride with CMS, but keep on pushing but before you start I suggest doing some investigation work. If she is renting get online and try to find the rental advertising for the property. If she belongs to a gym call the gym and ask how much the membership is. If she posts stuff on social media of her out and about, having a good lifestyle, vacation etc, screen grab it.
You want to document as much as you can to CMS to show how her ‘salary’ does not equate to her living. Explain how can her ‘salary’ cover rent, food, utilities, council tax, fuel costs etc.
If you can get enough evidence and a decent person on the end of the phone tell them you want to talk to case worker. Explain to the case worker your hardship and ask if it can be put to the Financial Investigation Unit. The FIU are the guys that will get to the bottom of it, but they wont open an investigation without adequate information or reason, so you really have to get as much information as you can and put the best case forward.
I will warn you though, the CMS wait times on the phones are terrible and will suck all life out of you while they play the same message over and over for an hour, (I am sure they do this just to get you to hang up).
But if you are persistent you will hopefully get somewhere.
If you constant crap from CMS and poor service make a complaint. If the complaint is not handled will let them know you will contact your local MP, and be prepared to follow up with the MP. You will see a remarkable change in CMS’s responsiveness.
Anyway, good luck and be prepared for a long battle, but don’t give up. (I’ve been at it for 3 years 😫)
I'm not sure if this would work or not, but is she paying herself below the minimum wage? As far as I know, you're not allowed to do that even if it's your own company.
Thanks for all the replies. I was meaning to get back sooner and thank you but unfortunately my ex picked up my daughter from school, sent me an email to say she my daughter will be living with her from now on, and I have not seen her since. I shared care till the start of this year when my ex no longer wanted my daughter living with her and she has been living with me full time for the last ten months. Im heart broken and assuming a big motivation for this has been to try and stop the CMS claim.
She has already stopped the £7 i was receiving. I have no idea what to do from here on in but i have been texting my daughter so there has been some contact.
@snooks74 hi sorry to hear that. when was last time you saw child? there is option to take legal route, but a long process. would need to try mediation first.
have look at this list and see if you may be exempt from mediation: