CSA question

Could someone answer this for me please:

A mate has 2 kids to his ex wife, they are 4 or 5 years old I think. He pays her £250 per month cash. He's now making noises about marrying his new bird and his ex has started to go all radge - asking for more money and threatening him with the "I'll go to the CSA and get you cleaned out" routine out of vindictivness. He earns between £900 and £1050 a month. Would it be worth his while just going to the CSA himself and getting it all above board or would they demand back payment for however long it's been since they split up etc? From what I gather she's claiming benefits, don't know which ones exactly but I always thought she would have to declare who the father was and explain what was being paid etc?? He is apparently named on their birth certs.
Would it be good advice to tell him to call her bluff and contact the CSA himself and what sort of monthly payment could he get stung with?


And no - It's not me, it is actually a mate. I don't have kids and have been happily married for a while now:thumright:

Edit> She always insisted on the money paid cash to her and apparently point blank refused when he suggested setting up a standing order thingy. I understand that in the eyes of the law he has never paid anything-based on that???
Tell your mate to stop giving her the cash immediately or insist she signs a receipt each time he hands the money over. If they do go down the official route any cash payments won't count as he has no record of them (I assume). A better idea is to ask what the kids need and purchase it himself, keeping the till receipts in a little book with notes on when and how much he's spent. This will come in useful later in the process to prove he's been contributing. He should also include travel costs, meals out, etc. Receipt books are cheap enough from most stationary shops.
CSA will not accept any word from him,has to come from the main provider for the kids,ie her, if she has them for greater than 150 nights a year IIRC,as long as he can prove he has paid her via his bank statements which can be cross referenced against hers she should be ok. CSA dont care about over payements though,you live and learn.
Claiming benefits and taking £250 a month of the ex in cash only.
So, can we assume she is telling the social (or whatever it is these days ) that her ex isn't supporting his kids. Worth a few more bob then aren't they.

I'd plead poverty, tell her that the BSM or adjt has conviscated the old switch card etc and the only way any money can change hands is either by cheque or standing order, both made out to her current account. That way there has to be a record of payment.

and the social should get wind of it. Maybe

Has your mate tried SSAFA for advice ?
Your "friend" has been played like a two dollar banjo, he needs to get himself some profesional advice asap, CSA aren't the Bogey Man they're made out to be. Which the lady he was with seems to have played to full advantage (Top Drills that woman).
Tell your mate to get in touch with a law firm called Durham Legal Services.
They do nothing but CSA work.
The guy who runs it , Mike , is ex Army ( AAC , I think )
Top bloke and will put things straight.
He will almost certainly get clobbered for back payments as even if he can show a withdrawal record , she will say it was for presents , not maintenance. The benefits people will even prompt her into saying this to make sure.
Cheers fellas,

I never thought about ssafa etc. He is ex Rifles, would his war pension count as additional income when he's means tested for maintenance? I don't know how much he gets, think it's maybe around £150 per month.
His personal admin is gash as well so documenting all his payments to her would be hard work. It's right what you say about it being a fine balance though - his ex is the type who would overtly demonstrate monetary hardship via the kids should he reduce payments one way or another. Anything to make him look bad.
Until she registers a claim with the CSA it doesn't matter what has been paid (or not paid). As has already been mentioned make all payments from now by bank transfer with a reference of 'Child Maintenance', I would also suggest he uses the CSA calculator to work out what he should be paying; it certainly seems like he is not paying too little in which case he has nothing to fear by his ex going to the CSA. Your mate's ex may also be under the opinion that his fiancee's income is taken into account; it isn't so don't worry.

Does he have any issues about contact or visits because that is where his ex may seek retribution! If she feels she is getting done out of cash she may prevent contact to spite your mate - if this happens your mate must seek professional legal advice immediately. Also if this happens and the CSA are involved they will continue to take maintenance even if his ex is preventing contact.
He works 6 days on, 3 days off and has his kids for 2 of those days off. I don't know whether she has tried to stop contact ever, I think it's more a case of it's the only chance she gets to herself / go out etc so she needs him to have the kids.

Have told him about the child maint calculator and about the advise offered here. He says he will call her bluff and suggest she actually does contact the CSA. Like I said though, she is vindictive enough to use the kids to make him look bad - even if It meant them going without certain things -i'd reckon.
She won't want to go the CSA route. Apart from the fact already noted that he's clearly paying over the odds, depending on what benefits she's claiming she may find some of them cut when they find out she's being paid child support.

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