My first question here, y''all seem like a nice bunch so thought i''d ask away.
I''ve have 2 kids, 11 & 16, the eldeset being disabled, both mentally & physically. I''ve just finsihed an assessment with CSA and to their credit, the whole thing took less than 10 days! However, i''m concerned that the amount assessed (reduced rate)is not right. I''m concerned that somehow, my wife has mangaged to fleece them in regard to the amount of her income. I know for fact that she works long hours, sometimes as much as 17 a day and she has 2 days off a fortnight, so how on earth has she been ordered to pay the reduced rate (£33 a week) She has no other children with her new partner. She can however afford a brand new car and 3 weeks in the states, and away every other weekend.
I questioned the CSA about how they got the financial information used in the assessment and they said they contacted her employer.
The second part relates to the disability of my eldest child. Is it possible to get a bigger and longer award for her? Her disability is lifelong and means i cannot work as she needs 24hour care. As things stand, i believe once she reaches 19, her mother will no longer need to contribrute to her welfare, however my family expenses will only increase as she gets older and requires more dedicated care.
I''ve just found out from my local council that because i now have a four bedroomed home (we had an extension built for my daughter downstairs) i will now have to pay 14% of my income support toward my housing benefit, that''s almost a hundred pounds a month! I cannot take a lodger because of the risk toward my daughter and besides, that "spare" room is used by my father when he provides respite care for her/me on a weekend.
Any thoughts on any of the above would be welcomed.
With CSA cases, the responsibility to pay child maintenance usually ends when a child is 16, unless they are in full-time non-advanced education. However, there may be circumstances when payments still need to be made, for example if there are arrears owing. As we can''t comment on individual cases (Child Maintenance Options is separate from the CSA) I suggest you contact the CSA to check if maintenance for your daughter would continue
You should also contact the CSA straight away (the number you need will be on any letter they''ve sent you) and check that they have the correct information about your circumstances, including your wife''s income. You can also ask them to explain how they came to the amount and appeal if you don''t agree.
With regard to what financial support you may be entitled to as your daughter gets older, you may wish to view the following website www.direct.gov.uk. This may also answer questions that you have about housing benefit.
For more information about maintenance you can go online and visit www.cmoptions.org, or if you''d prefer a confidential chat you could call the child maintenance Options team on 0800 988 0988 (free from a landline).
You could buy a book on family law, you could ring the CSA (it was them that confirmed to me that courts had powers to order maintenence where a disabled child was involved!), you could book an appointment at citizens advice at a principle registry of the family Division (PRFD), I believe that there are principle divisions in various main cities, the one I have used in the past is High Holborn London, there you get advice from people trained specifically in family law.
I think your wife should be disclosing two years p60 which will show her earnings and also payslips to date for the current year.
Also the fact that you have always been the main carer and are getting respite from your dad is very relevent - I have a Downs syndrome son now 20 and have always had a lot of help from my parents - my Mum at the age of 84 gives respite at the weekends at her house.
Also it is relevent as the normal child needs some sort of life as well as you.
Going forward it is going to be harder for you as government is cutting back on respite care and also on trustee packages - once the child is 19 he or she gets a trustee package for care from trained carers but satisfying the need for care is getting harder and harder.