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Appealing Child Support Decisions

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 15 Aug 2017 |
Appeal Child Support Submission Csa

The Tribunals Service handles appeals relating to child support decisions, both those that are made by the Child Support Agency and Jobcentre Plus. The tribunal can also vary decisions made by the CSA and Jobcentre Plus. If the tribunal makes a decision that is wrong in law, this can be appealed to a child support commissioner.

Timescale for Appeals to be Made

Appeals must be made within one month of receipt of notice of the decision, which is deemed to be the date when the notice is issued. An appeal may be lodged outside the time limit (‘out of time’), but only by making a written application, which must comply with certain requirements. In these circumstances there must be compelling reasons to allow an appeal to be considered, and the later the appeal, the more compelling the reasons must be.

Evidence for the Appeal

The CSA will prepare a submission, which will vary in length depending on whether, in its view, the CSA considers the appeal to have merit or not.

When you decide to appeal a decision, you should consider whether or not you have any further evidence that you want the tribunal to consider in relation to your case. You should also give thought to whether or not you have any witnesses. If you require further information or evidence from another source, you can ask the tribunal to give a direction that the information should be released for the purposes of your appeal.

Appeals can be struck out by the tribunal’s clerk in several circumstances: if the appellant does not pursue the appeal properly; or by failing to comply with a direction given by the tribunal (if it has been specified that such failure will result in a striking out), or if the appellant doesn’t notify the tribunal that he/she requires an oral appeal hearing.

Hearing the Appeal

Either party in an appeal can apply for an oral hearing. In the alternative, the tribunal can direct that there is a need for an oral hearing. In all other cases, the appeal will be decided on the papers. Hearings are usually held in public.

The Appeal Decision

When the evidence has been heard and submissions read, the tribunal members will consider the case. The decision will usually be provided to all parties on the day of the hearing.

Appealing a Decision in Law

If the tribunal makes a decision that is wrong in law the decision can be appealed to the child support commissioner. This is not an appeal that can be made on the facts of a particular case, but must essentially be on the basis that the law relating to the decision was either misinterpreted or used incorrectly in the appeal. Either party can appeal a decision in this way.

In order to appeal a point of law you must first obtain permission from the tribunals service to do so, and within one month of the tribunal’s decision. Unlike other appeals, these cases are usually determined with written submissions only. However, some cases do have oral hearings, in which case the commissioner usually reserves the decision to a later date (i.e. does not provide a decision there and then in relation to the outcome.)

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The cms continued to put me in debt even after they knew I was no longer working , they rang my previous employer and the director confirmed that I no longer worked there but they still continued to run up a debt . I rang them recently because they have froze a large amount of cash from my bank account to cover the debt . I questioned them about why they didn't contact me regarding the case earlier but they couldn't answer , I also questioned them about the time they rang my previous employer and I was told that they have lost the evidence (conveniently).... Basically they knew but ignored the fact that I wasn't working and continued to charge me is there anything I can do about this ??
Jay - 15-Aug-17 @ 5:56 PM
Sdcakt - Your Question:
My son, has a 0ne year old, he has paid maintenance since the day he left, but his ex is bein unreasonable with acsess, at first he had her alternate nights, then because he spoke to someone ske didn't like she dropped it to one day during week, n one at weekend, she threatens him that if he does anything she doesn't like she ll see her less, he's scared to go to mediation as she ll stop him seeing her while the process goes through, what should he do

Our Response:
I'm afraid your son is in the difficult position of either allowing his ex to control the situation or trying to take control of it and suggesting mediation in order to come to an agreement and if she refuses taking the matter to court. Many fathers wait to take this route when do only when access has been totally withdrawn. I'm afraid there is no middle ground - he either has to bite the bullet and risk having access withdrawn while the matter goes to mediation or court - or continues to let his ex dominate the arrangements.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-May-17 @ 11:43 AM
My son, has a 0ne year old, he has paid maintenance since the day he left, but his ex is bein unreasonable with acsess, at first he had her alternate nights, then because he spoke to someone ske didn't like she dropped it to one day during week, n one at weekend, she threatens him that if he does anything she doesn't like she ll see her less, he's scaredto go to mediation as she ll stop him seeing her while the process goes through, what should he do
Sdcakt - 22-May-17 @ 12:57 PM
I've had issues with CMS changing my address and blaming a third party, I have went through everything via the correct legal channels and they have managed to get away with as far as I'm concerned fraud! But police in England claim its a mistake and police in Scotland claim its a civil matter....if I give false information that's fraud! But if they do it, it's acceptable?!? They have used my income where I had to do overtime as they were over charging me. I have lost my house, my relationship with my now ex partner, I'm further away from my kids as I had to move in with my family and it cost me my job! Despite informing the judge of all this he still upheld the CMS decision! They claim to be there for the child but they're not, they're there to make a profit by lying and getting away with it! And they wonder why dads commit suicide over this? And then they deny it's their fault! If I was an absent father and lied then by all means screw me for everything you can but the fact I do everything I can for my kids and you then decide you want money because my case has been open and honest since day 1 you'll lie and use income based 4 years ago and send relevant letters to an address I've never lived at just to show you've followed procedure in order to get an attachment to earnings! Which you don't have to apply to court for anymore! Robbing, cheating, lying, thriving, corrupt organisation and I'm going to bring the system down!
Contemplating life - 26-Apr-17 @ 1:49 PM
Hello can anyone tell me I have a part time job can I earn 25% of a second job with out the csa taking further money I was told this by the csa officer I was dealing with but not sure if she was telling the truth or not as they tell so much lies.i am struggling to support my self I want to pay for my kids but I need to be able to support me as well.imean it's crazy my ex erns 4 times what I do the the csa system is all wrong...
Doc - 26-Feb-17 @ 4:40 PM
I have arrears of 47 grand!! I have children by two ex partners. I had been paying both cash as they were on benefits and also basically said if i didn't pay cash i wouldnt be seeing my kids. At the time i didnt even know that there were CSA arrears building up as i'd had no letters asking for information or stating what i had to pay. Happily trotting along paying them both until suddenly out the blue, a liability order for over 50000 pounds. The long and short of it is that 1 ex partner told the CSA that i had been paying and wiped off 27000 quid and closed the CSA case. The other ex partner who strangely enough at the time of the CSA contacting was not allowing me access and we was not getting along, very very very bitter and is to this day. She has continued and is pushing for the money, basically wants to destroy me. Alas my issue is that i am self employed and have been for many years, the CSA approached a company that i sub contracted to for wage details, not the Inland Revenue but a firm that my ex partner told them I worked for. So basically the figures were around a 1000 a week, but thats before i take out my business cost etc etc. So the CSA wanted 250 a week for nearly 3 years and I didn't even know about it. So obviously the appeal time frame is gone. My tax returns for those years show i earned half of what they calculated. Yesterday i have been told that 47000 quid arrears stand and i have to pay money that i never even earned. It like a massive black cloud hanging over you, i have been offered a great job but cant take it, i am actually considering just packing it all in and going on the dole. The CMS said my only option is to make my ex partner an offer of a lump sum. Any thoughts and ideas will be appreciated
Steve - 7-Jan-17 @ 4:58 PM
My experience tells me that CSA is an absolute rubbish. A waste of money and resources. My stepson's father has been lying to CSA for a good 3 years. They know it and they still say that people need to be believed. Recently he told the CSA that he was leaving the country and that he made private arrangements with my wife. My wife never heard from him. Suddenly it comes one bank transfer by standing order from a British bank, from him of £5. Two transfers on the same amount have been made for the child one month apart. Therefore I assume that he "decided" that the child needs £5 per month. I contacted CSA with my wife's permission and the staff was rude to me and said that CSA is not an investigating Service and that they have no reasons to believe that he is lying even after I told them that he keeps writing to his son with no sending address but the stamp from the post office is from the same city where we live in the UK. When the lady on the phone told me that they care about the children i, obviously, told her that she cares about her wage. Now the CSA refuses talk to us because, apparently, in one occasion, I Was Rude and thew staff had to finish the phone call. I honestly do not understand why a service that is meant to take the steps to ensure that the children get the support they need is covering up for the parent that is just refusing to pay. According to them the father told them that he was moving to Russia although he does not have any links to that country. I thin they believe that he flies from Russia to England, posts a letter for his son, and flies back to RUSSIA! Really???? He damages the kid's head because he is 11 and one day his father tells him that he is going away for good, weeks later writes to him form the same city and tells him that he is abroad. Then he tells his son to write back to him to his uncle's address in the UK as his uncle will make sure the letters will be given to him. I know that this guy must have a very fertile imagination as this looks like a soap story but CSA is allowing him to go on with this and he laughs!!!
nr200 - 11-Nov-16 @ 5:00 PM
Hello When they want Cms want money it's gone taken but if they owe you money and been truthful in a tribunal how is this system fair to keep taking money out of a low income The new system doesn't allow housing or household bills it's not means tested But car insurance is ??? Funny thing without an address you cannot get car insurance or have a job This system is flawed it's stealing no gain for children it's corrupt about profit Using scare and blame tactics to brain wash men mostly that we lawfully have to pay Ok I'm paying I'm still being bullied over access and cocersive and controlling behaviours I work ill phone the police if you knock How is that about my children's needs I need to pay my child support ok not your administration chargers I'm in debt because £84 it started out as wasn't enough in profit So this year 3200 out of 13,500 after tax that's so far they want another £295 month till March £5500 in one year How is this system allowed to be legal Children need fathers want The mother has and the law is an arse and so is child maintenance system
Dave - 31-Oct-16 @ 3:53 PM
I was paying csa on an attachment of earnings and now I'm paying direct debit, up till last month when it was an aoe I paid £288 for my daughter yet despite not owing a penny in arrears or missing any payments the direct debit went out today and they've taken £384 how can this be right, I've supported all my kids from birth never got any benefits always paid through hard work, she hasn't given our boys a thing since she walked out on them 5 years ago, I now have set them up in there own flat, again she did nothing, yet I'm killing myself every month to pay my bills make sure I help our boys and pay my csa while she sits at home everyday with her partner raking cash in,surely the law needs to change as like many good fathers there is no help off csa for us
toosoft - 11-Jul-16 @ 4:45 PM
I disputed a claim of arrears to the CSA on a case that I opened myself, I told them all my details and complied with all of their requirements up to the point when I started paying my ex-partner directly, after which CSA claimed that I owed arrears. I asked for an invoice and it said that I paid CSA from the day my son was born. I asked them by telephone "Why would I be paying CSA for a family that I am living with?" I was then asked if I could prove this. My council tax records show that I lived with my ex-partner and I told them that I wanted to go to court as CSA obviously made some fraudulent claims on my case, instead however they have moved my case to some Ireland based enforcement team who will no doubt try to get the funds directly from my bank account. I am awaiting word to eventually reach me from these enforcement goons but I have NO DOUBT that by the time I get this mess sorted out they will have already helped themselves to the money that they say I owe. This is a disgrace and I hope that karma visits these thieves soon!
Highlander - 11-Jun-16 @ 11:49 PM
I have been chasing my ex for payment to his son for 6 years.He has been on and off benefits and lives in his mother's house which is in her name (she is 83) which he and his partner have completely converted (whilst he was on benefits) into a two storey three bedroomed house with a new garage built on the side.He now owns his own car sales business and declares that he pays himself only £150.00 per week salary, the cars he sells are all in his company name.He owes nearly £5000 to my son who is now 10! There is actually no hope of ever receiving anything from him because SCOTTISH LAW allows the unpaying parent too many loopholes to hide in and the child is not supported at all!!
janey1458 - 27-Jan-16 @ 4:25 PM
I have now been on the phone again to the csa, having been told that they can't do anything, My ex husband has been criminally convicted of benefit fraud. Him and his partner were claiming benefits while working really well at Avon(doing very well by all accounts) he falsified his bank statements, his conviction has made their local press!. Not really holding much hope of getting anything as they don't know how to deal with it, not usual to be found out, could go on for months and I was told they have to ask him first!
caroline benson-lusc - 23-Jan-16 @ 10:48 AM
Despite my daughter not returning to school after AS results in June/July 2015 her mother has not declared this and I believe is still fraudulently claiming child benefit. I believe my liability ceased at the end of approved education. My daughter has not attended school or further education at all since beginning of 2015 2016 term (September) and in ignorance of this I continued my direct debit payments for 4 more payments totalling £1200 . While she continues to defraud and flout her legal requirements to give informationI am told by CSA that i should continue paying until they themselves decide but without information from the mother this may take for ever ! I have other children which need this money desperatelyincluding my daughter in Canada (which despite CSA acknowledging the the proof of regular monetary transfers to her has never included thisin my assessment because i pay voluntary !!!). CSA splits families and apportions unfairly and arbitrarily. My ex partner is committing fraud so why should i have to pay further !!
Stitched up by fraud - 31-Dec-15 @ 7:02 PM
my husband owes 15000 in child support im going to a tribunal soon because he has said he has no income but i have evidence that he owns his own fishing lake and is running it as a business i have a feeling that everything will be put in his partners name as she sold her house for 250000 to buy it for them how can i enforce payment
zee - 21-Oct-15 @ 10:34 PM
Hi I was wondering if anyone can help . I have a 3 Children with my Ex and he has stopped paying CSA . Evert time i ring the CSA they say they are looking into this. He stopped paying at Christmas and is now in £3000 of arreas. He is saying that the payments he is being asked to pay is unrealistic and if true is fine BUT he is not declaring his Earings as true . He is self employed and changed directorship of the company he opened to his father so that they can fiddle the Figures . He gets paid a certain ammount and the rest cash . The company is still registered to his Address but claims he does subcontracting for his own company. Also he has said that he is living alone when he is not he has a partner that lives with him who is not registered on the electoral roll at his property . He made himself bankrupt a few years back so he didnt have to pay off his debts . The CSA are now awaiting his new accounts so they can re evaluate his earning but as the figures are false they will come back with hardly anything
june - 29-Aug-15 @ 11:44 AM
Csa is 1 big joke if you ask me my daughters dad pays £2pw by standing order he got his girlfriend to close my case I had to pay another£20 administration fees for a new claim when I never received a penny from the first claim he's also running an illegal business of wich I can prove also has £19,000 in savings it took 4 months for csa to get in touch there excuse was my case ad just been left on the shelf there was a point he was working for 5 months I never received anything more nor is there any payments back dated to cover this work period he was also asking to claim back £10 diesel wen he was working id rather he kept the £2 it's an absolute joke it cost you more to be involved with the csa disgrace. My code at the bottomsays MUG that says alot doesn't it they got that right when it comes to the csa having your child's best interests at heart haha haha absolutejoke.
Asia - 28-Aug-15 @ 11:48 PM
Wozzer - Your Question:
I am currently working on a low income I currently earn 1400 pounds per month out of this money csa take 400 pounds per month. I have to spend out of the 1000 pound left 241 on car loan and approx 240 per month on diesal to get to and thro from work leaving me with 519 in income that is food and rent. Plus council tax and gas and electric it just doesnt go. My ex wife and partner both have brand new cars with personalised number plates and both work part time how is this deemed to be fair.

Our Response:
The money is calculated from your earnings based on the day-to-day needs of your child and your personal responsibility to your child as the non-resident parent, regardless of what your ex earns.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Aug-15 @ 10:29 AM
@Annoyed Dad - you should be able to ask for confidentiality. Your ex shouldn't need see all your financial statements.
Ben - 7-Aug-15 @ 1:57 PM
I am currently working on a low income i currently earn 1400 pounds per month out of this money csa take 400 pounds per month. I have to spend out of the 1000 pound left 241 on car loan and approx 240 per month on diesal to get to and thro from work leaving me with 519 in income that is food and rent. Plus council tax and gas and electric it just doesnt go. My ex wife and partner both have brand new cars with personalised number plates and both work part time how is this deemed to be fair.
Wozzer - 7-Aug-15 @ 10:17 AM
To cut a long story short the whole process is geared towards the benefit of the resident parent - Usually the Mother. She has taken me to a tribunal over child support and the judge has asked too see 12 months bank statements, which is fine but the problem is my ex wife will get to see 12 months of my financial life. How is that fair? Surely only the transactions relating to income should be shown to the other side NOT how I spend my money?
Annoyed Dad - 6-Aug-15 @ 1:11 PM
I was wondering if anyone knows if fathers are still able to claim back CSA monies from the child's mothersif receipts for clothes trainers,etc are kept and signed by the child's mother and shown to the CSA?Hope that makes sense.
Taylor. - 14-Jul-15 @ 5:46 PM
@debbie doomy husband - he can complain or appeal against the decision if he thinks he has been treated unfairly, see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Jul-15 @ 12:32 PM
My husband was told oct last year his case is closed and child maintence is no longer payable.His son went back to college last year after the case closed his mother made a mandatory request and the dissission still was in our favour.SHe has appealled again to courts and tribule 4months lateand they excepted it cause she said she was ill and didnt read her mail from sept 14till jan 15 we appealled cause she put in for a mandatory request in nov rwguarding the maintance ceasing so she had been reading her mail we have also overpaid she wants maintence for herson from sept to 16th dec 2014 when he left the family home.Now the csa have changed the date to 10th of dec which my husband doesnt agree with plus he travels to work 60 miles round trip when we asked about claiming for the amount of milkage he does a day they wouldnt except it and aaid he have to pay the same this is wrongbecase the booklet say different .Hehas no arrears either olease help we do not know what to do now
debbie doomy husband - 2-Jul-15 @ 8:04 PM
@Si - you might have to take it to court. Firstly, if you need to access your children, you can apply for the form C4, which is an application for an order for disclosure of a child's whereabouts. It would mean you could deal with the payments and access arrangements at the same time. You can also see how much you should be paying via the child maintenance calculator here. Should you not have the money for the hefty legal fees, you can self-litigae, see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Jun-15 @ 2:21 PM
I'm a little concerned at the law how is it I'm made to pay full csa with charges when I would love nothingmore than to see my 3 little girls which I have no idea where they are as the ex ran off 3 yrs ago and now I have to pay csa I have no problems paying for my girls but I would love to see them I can't reduce the amounts as I don't know where they live to get access and I can't pay direct cause the csa can't get hold of my ex so I'm left and forced to pay the maximum withcharges through no fault of my own how is this legally correct I'm living with a new partner now and her 3 children that depend on my wages now we will have to move to a cheaper home if it's possible this is causing huge upset to the family . I just don't understand how you can cause financial difficulty to one family to help my ex who ran off in the first place thinking the grass is greener and I'm left to suffer at her bad decisions where is the equality and fairness
Si - 26-Jun-15 @ 6:37 PM
@Candlewax - it depends on why it wasn't paid and whether your ex couldn't for reasons such as unemployment etc. However, if this is not the case and you feel that you have been treated unfairly, then, as suggested in the article, you can complain or appeal via the link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Jun-15 @ 11:10 AM
What do I do when the liability order obtained through the courts isn't paid as agreed and the CSA have closed my case as I'm no longer a priority? I'm owed £6,500 still?
Candlewax - 31-May-15 @ 2:04 PM
@scarednskint - if you think you have been unfairly treatedby the CSA you can complain via the link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-May-15 @ 12:53 PM
The csa contacted my husband in Dec, told him he'd overpaid and to cancel the standing order. Next thing we know is a letter saying he owes nearly £800. This has been vigorously pursued by the csa despite them knowing that my husband had a blood clot on the lung at the time, therefore I was dealing on his behalf,I have MS and am badly affected by stress..they threatened to take 60% of his wages immediately he returned to work. We have now proved to them he did not owe anything. I had paid it for him due to the amount of stress it was causing us, and was told by the csa staff member who basically bullied a payment out of me that if they had made an error we would be refunded. I now find this is incorrect information, he will only be refunded his nearly £800 overpayment by way of reduced weekly payments. Do not trust anything the csa say. Despite having proof of being told we would get our money back, they are still refusing to pay back a lump sum that was never owed in the first place. Reduced weekly payments really don't help us when we paid out money we didn't owe,and didn't really have. It seems there is no one who can put this right, but csa staff keep saying we have their sympathy. Sadly sympathy won't pay the bills. Can't believe that proof that it is all a csa error will not get us our money back.
scarednskint - 11-May-15 @ 7:19 PM
@terror - there is no predicting what the court will decide on. Even though she was being unreliable, does that mean his mother should be totally phased out of his life for ever? Fathers have been subject to this sort of behaviour for far too long, but it works both ways and while I can't understand your frustration she is still entitled to see her son if the court decides. JJ
Jacks - 2-Mar-15 @ 12:16 PM
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