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TOPIC: Child Maintenance Services are a joke

Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 4 weeks ago #100087

  • stejow
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I need legal help. I’ve had a case moved from CSA to child maintenance services (CMS) in 2014 ever since then I have had nothing but problems. I have always paid for my children direct to the parent and just use CMS as an independent body to say how much I should pay for my child. All of a sudden in 2014 I owed £7,436.34 of arrears for my daughter who is now 21. I rung CMS to let them know that I have paid every month direct to the parent and supplied 5 years bank statements to prove this. After this it seemed to go away until the same time the following year where I said the same thing and supplied the evidence , this is still continuing even though I have submitted formal complaints.
It has now got more complicated due to me having another child. In December 2018 I lost my job earning 72k and decided to start my own business but I only pay myself £9,600 pa and I’m being supported by my wife until my new company is able to support a decent wage (I am classed as an employee so no tax fiddling or hiding wages)
I rung CMS to notify them of my change of circumstances and asked them to recalculate my payments for my new child of 5 years old (I pay direct and never missed a payment) they said they would, after chasing them for over 6 months they finally changed my income but due to the length of time that they took to do this, the parent rung up every month to complain that I had not paid the full amount. I used to pay around £380 pm when on £72k but advised to pay £100 pm on my new salary until they carried out the new payment schedule after investigating PAYE. As the parent was still receiving letters stating that I should be paying £380pm and she only received £100pm she complained to CMS and asked to change to collect and pay meaning that other charges would be added to me. I have now been told that I am in arrears with this parent also £1,140.53 no one can tell me where these arrears have come from I have supplied evidence that I have paid every month. Also due to CMS taking over 6 months to do a simple recalculation of my income I’m getting charged for collect and pay (I have continued to pay direct and refused to pay to CMS)

So far I’ve made 118 phone calls just in 2019, I’ve submitted 2 freedom of information acts and looked through over 3,000 papers of internal notes made by CMS where they admit fault but still refusing to sort it out, I’ve been to see my MP who has done nothing about it and not sent them a letter as promised. Submitted numerous complaints to CMS but they don’t even follow their own complaints procedures so I’m at a loss have to get this sorted out. I have done everything in my power to sort it out and I feel like I’m at a dead end. What can I do now?
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Last Edit: by stejow.

Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 4 weeks ago #100089

  • Mojo
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Hi there

Unfortunately we’re not able to offer legal advice, but hopefully one of our members will be along to share their experience with you.

There are some stickys about the fiasco of the transfer process, with many others finding themselves in the same boat as you, when their case gets moved over to the new scheme.

All that I could suggest you do, you have already done, I’m sorry that I can’t be of much help.

All the best

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 2 weeks ago #100321

  • Apb
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I’m going to try and keep this as succinct as possible but if requested will offer more in-depth detail and share my proof which leads me to this opinion. The CMS is inept, possibly corrupt, frustrating, arrogant, non professional, and potentially dangerous. If it was in any other sector it would fail to exist. It has no consideration or thought behind its actions it takes against paying parents and in my case because of its lack of professionalism, failed miserably in providing any service to both parties. Some of the operators have empathy however because of cost cutting and the way they are led by the services ethos this is being lost. I was given false information by staff at management level numerous times by 2 different managers. The services decision probably by cost cuts, to remove case workers is a fundamental error. I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone although sadly I’m certain I’m not alone to receive such low standard, poor and pathetic experience. Luckily for me I’m nearing the end of an almost 6 year relationship with this service whose standard and level of service has worryingly deteriorated.
My advice to any paying parent is to not trust anything as they can never be wrong and you’ll always pay and be liable for their failings. The system is truly rigged against the paying parent who receives absolutely no service what so ever. The complaints department is ineffective and basically non existent leaving you with no option than to take decision up in a magistrates court. Good luck.

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Last Edit: by Apb.

Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 2 weeks ago #100336

hi,

you should continue to chase this with local MP/Councillor. if they are not doing anything, you can make a complaint about them to your local council.

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Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 2 weeks ago #100337

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Hi bill

You’re probably right. If I thought it would get me any where I might be encouraged to do so. I’m beaten, emotionally and mentally with it. Like I posted I’m near the end of my torturous relationship with cms which has almost been as fraught as my relationship with my ex. A quick example of how bad they are, I had dealings with a complaints manager who along with another manager advised me I wouldn’t be liable to 20% on top of arrears I already owed!! I then begged, stole and borrowed to pay the £6000 I owed to pay off in full to end it. After I agreed for him to notify my ex he started to put barriers against it !!! Why I ask myself? Out of frustration I ended the call. I called back, spoke to someone else who told me he spoke to my ex who advised she wanted full payment in settlement. This was a big lie as it forced me to contact her and she knew nothing of this!! Smoke n mirrors. Cms deliberately imo keep it complicated, they do not profit other wise. Be careful guys.

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Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 2 weeks ago #100354

sounds nuts. if you have some savings to live off, you can consider signing yourself off from work, tell CMS all this stress and grief caused you to stop working, so you cant pay anything.

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Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 2 weeks ago #100364

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Did that over 2 years ago. It’s arrears I owe. They still haven’t given me a breakdown of what I owe, they don’t have to. Like I said, anyone just beginning with cms should tread very carefully, it’s designed to suck dry the paying parent not to provide for the children, which they don’t care about. Corrupt.

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Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 1 week ago #100469

they recently recalculated my payments due to overnight stays. so they sent me 2 letters in the post. each letter has a different payment amount, but both for same period. excellent lol. and they sent same nonsense to ex wife. they even sent me text stating that i dont need to call in, they will write to me. now have to call first thing monday morning :)

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Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 5 days ago #100567

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Quick update on my case... all settled although there is a 30 day cooling off period where my ex can claim the extra she gave up on for quick payment (£6000). The manager, John advised this to be 14 day, another example of poor and Unprofessional service.
I had a really nice call to advise me and whilst she was at it explained that I had further costs (penalty fines) to pay in order to remove deduction of earnings order. I agreed to pay £220, and the phone line got cut off. I had 9 missed calls when I regained reception from them! 9, I hadn’t had 9 calls from them in 4 months, in fact struggled to get hold of them yet 9 missed calls. Another example that this service is corrupt. They deliberately try to make things awkward to fine you.

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Child Maintenance Services are a joke 4 months 5 days ago #100569

Apb wrote: Did that over 2 years ago. It’s arrears I owe. They still haven’t given me a breakdown of what I owe, they don’t have to. Like I said, anyone just beginning with cms should tread very carefully, it’s designed to suck dry the paying parent not to provide for the children, which they don’t care about. Corrupt.


right i see what you mean. taking time off work make things only worse for you in future, as you owe arrears and have to make fat back-dated payments.

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