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Self employed father and child support

  • claireannette
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30 Sep 12 #358582 by claireannette
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Hi
My x is self employed and so far has paid only £100 over a period of almost 3 months for his children. It has got to the point where he now wants to use solicitors to get the ball rolling for the divorce but I am
Using every penny I have to care for our children. He does earn a decent wage but being self employed a lot of his earnings are cash and he is processing cheques through his new girlfriends bank account. What can I do? Where do I stand? I''m really starting to struggle now and have been told the CSA are rubbish in this area. I need to be able to use a solicitor in order to secure the marital home for the children and am not entitled to legal aid
Any advice please?
Claire x

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30 Sep 12 #358598 by BoysMum
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Hi,

In my experience, with Self Employed status, there is an awful lot of ''wiggle room''. You can ask the CSA to do a check with the Inland Revenue to check his declared earnings for the last financial year, and make sure that the current assessment is based on those figures. If they do correspond, you could ask the CSA to look at a variation based on your ex''s lifestyle compared to what his declared earnings are. Apart from that, I don''t know what else to suggest.

I would say that I have always had a lot of helpful advice and support from the CSA staff. You need to treat them with respect, and they will in turn, be very helpful. They have an awful lot of cases, and are often understaffed and have as big workload. I would recommend that you get the name of the case officer, and always ask for the same person when you call. Also, do not sit back and wait for them to contact you, ring them once a month regularly.

I hope this helps.

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30 Sep 12 #358602 by claireannette
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I know exactly what his last tax return was as the business was a partnership with myself. His earnings have not lessened but he is angry at the fact that I can earn more than him ( but then I need to! I have 4 mouths to feed and no one to share the bills with unlike him)
Any idea if the CSA can look into his girlfriends bank account? He''s already told me cheques were going to go through her lol

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30 Sep 12 #358604 by BoysMum
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I am pretty sure that the CSA will not be able to look into his girlfriends bank accounts. He is liable for CM, not her. But, if his lifestyle contradicts his earnings, you can ask them to delve further into things for you.

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30 Sep 12 #358672 by Fiona
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The CSA carries out a basic assessment based on the details the non-resident parent (or their employer!) provides. IF the parent with care then suspects there is diversion of income they may apply for a variation and the CSA can investigate.

The problem is the CSA often have difficulty in deciding whether a diversion of income meets the criteria a) that the NRP controls the income they receive and b) the CSA is satisfied the income has been reduced unreasonably.

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20 Dec 12 #371074 by Child Maintenance Options
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I''m Sarah, the child maintenance Options consultant. I''m sorry you are having a difficult time at the moment.

This may be a long shot, from what you say, but I''m wondering if there is any way you can try to talk to your ex-partner about child maintenance rather than going through the Child Support Agency (CSA)? If it were possible to do this you might be able to set up a Family Based Arrangement (FBA). It does need you both to be able to put any differences aside in order to look at what''s best for your children and it does need a certain amount of trust. It isn''t legally binding but some people find it helps to write things down and sign it to say what they''ve agreed. A huge advantage of such an agreement is that it keeps things between yourselves and doesn''t have to be all about money. FBA''s can include payment for clothes, lessons etc but most people include a regular monetary payment as well. If you think there is a chance this could work for you have a look at the Options website at www.cmoptions.org or give the team a ring for a confidential chat on 0800 988 0988 (free from a landline).

If this just wouldn''t work for you then you may choose to go to the CSA. If your ex-partner claims he isn''t working you could, as someone has suggested, apply for a variation on the grounds that his declared income is inconsistent with his lifestyle or on the grounds of him diverting his income. You will have to provide the CSA with evidence to support your claim and it can be hard to prove, particularly if he has a partner who works as he may say that his lifestyle is supported by his partner. You say that your ex is a director of a limited company. If your application for a variation were to fail and sometimes this may happen if the CSA feel they have been given insufficient evidence on which to make a clear decision - then you have the right of appeal. If you were to exercise this right you will be able to go before a Judge in an Appeal Tribunal to put your case before him or her. Your ex-partner will also be required to give evidence with regard to his circumstances and sometimes it is at these tribunals that a much clearer insight is gained into lifestyle and income.

If you need some more information about where you stand legally regarding your marital home, it might be worth contacting Citizens Advice Bureau. Their website address is: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

We have a web application that you may find useful, it offers help and support to separating families. The link is: www.cmoptions.org/en/sortingoutseparation/index.asp

I hope this has helped.

Sarah

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20 Dec 12 #371108 by perin123
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Hi Claire

Good luck with this, I''m in same situation. My ex and his new wife are the only directors in their own ltd company, now 18mnts old. No prizes for guessing how much child maintenance I get for our son....Yes, £0....

CSA are chasing him now, but he just claims he earns less than £5 a week so I get nothing.(I will say this £5 stretches a heck of a long way!!!)

I know you have been advised as I have, to apply for a variation, but lets face it, if ex is a director and holds the purse strings then the money will always magically disappear..:angry:

I wish you all the luck in the world :side:

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