Pay Idiots wont let me change Maintainence

Not sure if this is the right place but it's yet another tale of woe about maintainence. I have been paying my ex-wife for the past 14yrs without ever seeing my child and now that I have an ever expanding family (4 with another on the way, I know should have got a tele for the bedroom :wink: ) I want to cut the £220 that I have paid through private arrangement from my pay every month by allotment book, for the past 14yrs to £75 but Glasgow are refusing with little or no explanation. (I hasten to add that did start off by paying her £350 pcm until started dating the now Mrs FS). Having been divorced by post, as I was away on operations for 6 months in NI, I had never seen a maintainence order which Glasgow seem to think was issued. On further investigation by current Mrs Firemansam there is no arrangement made through the courts or the CSA so can Glasgow legally stop me from reducing the amount I pay? The court clerk that Mrs spoke to said that there was no need to go to court to ask for a reduction as I could legally stop it if I wished because no maintainence order was ever made, not that he was advocating such action of course! Any help from a pay wallah or someone with experience of this situation would be much appreciated.
Couple of points FS

1. If there is no Court Order and no Deduction from Earnings Order (issued by the CSA), then the "private arrangement" set up years previously, is what the pay office must be working off.

If this private arrangement was voluntarily signed by you and your ex-wife, then normally it would require your signature to change the terms. Eg. some form of instruction from you that the previous arrangement is no longer extant.

2. If you reduce your payments without the agreement of your ex-wife, and she decides that you are not paying enough, then her recourse would be to approach the CSA. The CSA will then carry out a re-assessment, based on the information available to them. They will then issue you with an assesment, that you are now legally bound to. You can appeal against their' assessment, but be under no illussions - THE AMOUNT THE CSA STATE THAT YOU MUST PAY, MAY BE GREATER than your current voluntary agreement. If you appeal, or choose to pay a lesser amount (what you can afford), the CSA will issue a Deduction from Earnings Order straight to Glasgow. And, if you think you've got problems now, you ain't seen nothing yet!

Before doing anything, my advice would be to visit the DWP website for the CSA and sit down and do your maths. If this worries you (maths isn't everyone's bag), find a mate, or visit the CAB, to get them to go through the numbers with you. In order to properly assess you, the CSA will also take into account the income and outgoings of the Parent with Care (PWC), so the more information that you have about your ex's financial position the better position you will be in to self assess what the CSA would assess you at.

Be under no illussions, if at all possible, you should avoid the CSA involvement on pain of death. However, if your ex is claiming any form of State Benefit, your ex's declaration to Social Security that you are no longer paying her "x" per week / month / or less than previously, will automatically bring you to the attention of the CSA. The DWP will then offset her benefits against the maintenance amount that you pay. This is patently unfair. In practice you could end up paying more money to the CSA, and your ex could receive less money than the amount you would choose to pay voluntarily. In case your wondering, the difference gets pocketed by the exchequer.

Good luck!

Latest Threads