Home > Paying Child Support > Enforcement of CSA/CMS Payments

Enforcement of CSA/CMS Payments

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 18 Jan 2018 |
 
Csa Maintenance Payments Arrears Child

Once the CSA/CMS has made a calculation for child maintenance, it has discretion to stipulate the method by which payments are made, to whom, when and how much should be paid towards any arrears. Notifications of any CSA/CMS decisions relating to payments must be made in writing, and should allow the non-resident parent as well as the person with care to make representations about them.

Payments to the CSA/CMS

In the majority of cases, the CSA/CMS prefer payments to be made directly from the non-resident parent to the person with care – save for when the person with care is on either Income Support or Job Seeker’s Allowance. In this situation, payments are made using ‘the collection service.’ In other cases (i.e. where the person with care is not on benefits) the collection service can be used if one or both of the parties request it. If there are problems with payments, it is possible to request the intervention of the collection service later on.

Under the new rules for child maintenance calculations, if a non-resident parent is on benefits Jobcentre Plus may make deductions at source of flat rate payments, at the request of the CSA/CMS.

When Payments Fall into Arrears

The CSA/CMS only intervenes in cases where payments have fallen into arrears if the collections service is being used. However, it is important to note that by the time the first calculation is made there are always arrears to be paid (because the calculation isn’t made until after the date when payments are due).

When a calculation is first made, the CSA/CMS will telephone the non-resident parent and tell them how the payments should be made, including the arrears. It is during this conversation that the non-resident parent should negotiate if they feel that they are not satisfied with the proposed schedule: this may be particularly pertinent given that the CSA/CMS always request that the initial arrears are cleared by way of a lump sum. (Any voluntary payments that have been made after the effective date can be deducted from the initial arrears.) The arrears are also notified in writing. If they are not paid within seven days of the written notification, the non-resident parent could face fines and enforcement action.

Enforcement Action

If a payment that is due directly to the person with care is missed, they must inform the CSA/CMS so that they can make enquiries as to why the payment has been missed. If a payment that is due to be paid via the agency is missed, the CSA/CMS will follow this up of its own volition. In other cases, a person with care who is on certain benefits may request an increase based on the fact that child maintenance has not been paid.

In these circumstances the CSA/CMS will telephone the non-resident parent to find out whether there is a problem (e.g. a change in circumstances.) If the non-resident parent anticipates that they may find themselves in difficulty over payments, such as an impending redundancy, they should contact the agency in good time to negotiate a reduction. There may be a suspension of arrears temporarily if the non-resident parent is ill, unemployed or incarcerated.

Deductions From Earnings

A Deduction from Earnings Order (DEO) is where payments are deducted from the non-resident parent’s earnings and paid to the CSA/CMS. Voluntary DEOs are available if the non-resident parent requests it: however if they persistently default, fail to keep to arrears arrangements and do not respond to enquiries, a DEO may be imposed. However it is possible to appeal a DEO to a magistrates’ court within 28 days of its imposition, either on the basis that it is defective or that the payments being made to the non-resident parent do not qualify as ‘earnings.’

If a DEO is inappropriate for whatever reason the CSA/CMS can apply to the magistrates court for a liability order. The CSA/CMS has to provide the non-resident parent with 7 days written notice of their intention to apply for this order. Once granted, the CSA can arrange for a county court to enter the order into its register like a judgment debt. This means that the CSA/CMS can pursue a charging order against land, property or other assets, a third party debt order against bank accounts or debts owed to the non-resident parent by a third party.

Disqualification From Driving and Imprisonment

In extreme circumstances, the CSA/CMS may take action to disqualify a non-resident parent from driving and can fix a term of imprisonment (up to six weeks) that is usually postponed to enable regular payments to be made.

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[Add a Comment]
Gran - Your Question:
I had custody of my grandson and csa collected maintenance and money owed for me. Now my grandson has returned to his mother will csa still collect money owed to me. I know he will not pay a penny as he never did before and he owes me quite an amount of money

Our Response:
You would have to speak to CSA/CMS directly regarding this matter.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Jan-18 @ 2:30 PM
I had custody of my grandson and csa collected maintenance and money owed for me. Now my grandson has returned to his mother will csa still collect money owed to me. I know he will not pay a penny as he never did before and he owes me quite an amount of money
Gran - 18-Jan-18 @ 9:03 PM
Exisadick - Your Question:
My ex owes thousands in arrears and is refusing to pay, CMS are looking at getting a deduction of earnings but I think he would give up work rather than pay - what can I do? Is it possible for me to take private action against him?

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this, as much depends upon whether you have a definite case to answer. If CMS cannot extract the money, then you have to ask the question whether the court can also, especially if he has found a loophole. Therefore a solicitor will be able to advise whether this is an option you should consider.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Jan-18 @ 4:03 PM
My ex owes thousands in arrears and is refusing to pay, CMS are looking at getting a deduction of earnings but I think he would give up work rather than pay - what can I do? Is it possible for me to take private action against him?
Exisadick - 18-Jan-18 @ 12:31 PM
My ex lied about his income. Refused to produce tax papers and we battled in court for almost 3 years. We finally finished and he finally gave his tax info and he was making way more then he said so my monthly payments increased and he was set at arrears of over 9000$and he is to pay 300 towards his arrears. When I looked at my file online it had the 9000 and something akiunt added to it .. then it was taken off and marked as unenforceable mateniance. .Did he get away with ripping off his kids?
Chips - 17-Jan-18 @ 10:10 AM
Neverending - Your Question:
Can you please let me know if fraudulent wage slips are produced to CSA and also showing mad up earnings what would you do if this was prooven?

Our Response:
Assessment figures come via HMRC, which shows the amount of tax paid over the year. It makes it difficult for a company to issue fraudulent wage slips, as they would have to be in line with tax paid.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Jan-18 @ 2:57 PM
Can you please let me know if fraudulent wage slips are produced to CSA and also showing mad up earnings what would you do if this was prooven?
Neverending - 15-Jan-18 @ 11:45 PM
D - Your Question:
If you find out you got a girl pregnant but you agreed that you shouldn't keep the child and then find out the woman has kept it 3 years later and is asking for money is this legal?Surly the fact this was deceitful and going back on the decision made how and why should a man pay

Our Response:
Regardless of whether you both agreed not to keep the child, there is nothing to stop the mother (for various reasons) changing her mind. Every non-resident, biological parent is responsible by law to help financially support their child.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jan-18 @ 12:05 PM
If you find out you got a girl pregnant but you agreed that you shouldn't keep the child and then find out the woman has kept it 3 years later and is asking for money is this legal? Surly the fact this was deceitful and going back on the decision made how and why should a man pay
D - 13-Jan-18 @ 8:29 PM
Watty61 - Your Question:
Iv been told I owe 6 grand for my 30 and 31 yr old sons surely that cant be right they say they want bank statements from 30 yr ago to proove I gave my ex cash how can I do that

Our Response:
Can you possibly photograph and email a copy of this letter to jmarshall@pts.com and we will look into this matter directly. It is not the first time we have had a question requesting back-dated payments from decades ago.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jan-18 @ 10:09 AM
Iv been told i owe 6 grand for my 30 and 31 yr old sons surely that cant be right they say they want bank statements from 30 yr ago to proove i gave my ex cash how can i do that
Watty61 - 11-Jan-18 @ 4:59 PM
loony - Your Question:
My ex husband of 20 years is not paying what he owes he lives a lavish life driving luxury cars luxury holidays the csa were always slow but eventually got the money owed the new cm system is rubbish do other people have the same problem?

Our Response:
The CSA/CMS will not make a judgement on the standard of living of your ex and whether he is driving luxury cars and/or having luxury holidays. The CMS/CSA assesses all non-resident parents on their earnings. For instance, NRP's can live a 'luxury' lifestyle if their partner earns a large salary. What their partner earns, is not taken into consideration. However, if your ex is living a luxury lifestyle on the back of his own earnings, but declaring minimum earnings to HMRC, then there is a case to see whether taking the matter to court may be an option. The court can look into his earnings in depth. Therefore, you may wish to speak to CMS directly and/or take legal advice to see whether you have a possible case.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Jan-18 @ 9:20 AM
My ex husband of 20 years is not paying what he owes he lives a lavish life driving luxury cars luxury holidays the csa were always slow but eventually got the money owed the new cm system is rubbish do other people have the same problem?
loony - 10-Jan-18 @ 1:58 PM
I received a letter 3 years ago saying my csa repayment have stopped. Last year I received a letter from csa saying they are finishing and I owe 10,000 to the state. I disagree with this and ask for a breakdown of arrears. Which they did not have, when cma started I called to disagree with Bill but said for moment to pay a monthly amount to stop deo from happening. No money was taken then I called again arranging the same again nothing happened. Now without a letter they have taken 20% from my wages. What can I do
Banksy - 9-Jan-18 @ 5:07 PM
Sinner - Your Question:
Basically my son is 27 now I last dealt with Csa 7 years ago in fact I over paid and they sent me 3 payments back and told me my case was closed and stop paying.Now recived a letter from CMS who claim I owe £1,800 so in December I phoned the old CSA who said I can clearly see you had over paid not to worry about it they will just close your case.So ring the new CMS they say they don’t care what the old csa say you owe it, I sent them my bank statements to show I paid and the letter to say Iv over paid but they said that is not proof &that I have to prove Iv paid it (I have no idea how).They refuse to let me speak with a manager, and I am not allowed to put in a complaint as I don’t have proof my case was closed.Clearly in the leaflet they sent it says you can request a break down of payments and dates but once again they say I have to show them not them prove to me I owe the money.How on earth can I do this, it was 7years ago.They also said the were going to put attachment of payment on my wages to pay £38 per week but once again they haven’t even asked what I earn or can afford. It is tearing me apart I have no where to turn please help.

Our Response:
You may need to speak to your local MP about this given a) your son is age 27, b) CSA told you the case was closed c) CMS will not let you take the matter further to complain or appeal, see link here . Citizens Advice Bureau may also be able to help. However, you may have to try to get some independent legal advice, or even try your local or national newspapers etc, if you don't mind the possible publicity. If you do not owe this money, I really feel for you and there is little or no redress if the CMS are not allowing you to appeal or complain - you should insist that you have the right to make sure this matter is investigated further.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Jan-18 @ 11:27 AM
Basically my son is 27 now I last dealt with Csa 7 years ago in fact I over paid and they sent me 3 payments back and told me my case was closed and stop paying. Now recived a letter from CMS who claim I owe £1,800 so in December I phoned the old CSA who said I can clearly see you had over paid not to worry about it they will just close your case. So ring the new CMS they say they don’t care what the old csa say you owe it, I sent them my bank statements to show I paid and the letter to say Iv over paid but they said that is not proof &that I have to prove Iv paid it (I have no idea how). They refuse to let me speak with a manager, and I am not allowed to put in a complaint as I don’t have proof my case was closed. Clearly in the leaflet they sent it says you can request a break down of payments and dates but once again they say I have to show them not them prove to me I owe the money. How on earth can I do this, it was 7years ago. They also said the were going to put attachment of payment on my wages to pay £38 per week but once again they haven’t even asked what I earn or can afford. It is tearing me apart I have no where to turn please help.
Sinner - 8-Jan-18 @ 5:57 PM
witsend - Your Question:
My ex has been paying me for about 3 years but payed nothing for first year. He told me CMS/CSA had set figure but told CMS that we had private agreement (which we hadn't). I have statements from them saying how much he should pay but have been naive and never questioned it. CSM say they can't chase this as we had a private agreement but we didn't. Is this right?

Our Response:
If you did not follow your ex's non-payment up during the non-payment time with CSA/CMS, there is little you can do. If you wish to try to take it further, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Jan-18 @ 9:44 AM
Naimah08 - Your Question:
Under the csa I onyl receive 1/2 per year thats through deduction of earning so there are large arrears through csa and through cms there also arrears for what ever reason payroll dont pay and both csa and cms dont do nothing and keep allowing this what can I do

Our Response:
Your only recourse would be to complain, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Jan-18 @ 1:50 PM
My ex has been paying me for about 3 years but payed nothing for first year. He told me CMS/CSA had set figure but told CMS that we had private agreement (which we hadn't). I have statements from them saying how much he should pay but have been naive and never questioned it. CSM say they can't chase this as we had a private agreement but we didn't. Is this right?
witsend - 4-Jan-18 @ 1:00 PM
Under the csa i onyl receive1/2 per year thats through deduction of earning so there are large arrears through csa and through cms there also arrears for what ever reason payroll dont pay and both csa and cms dont do nothing and keep allowing this what can i do
Naimah08 - 3-Jan-18 @ 11:08 PM
If an attachment of earnings has been made to an employer do they gave to comply with this?What happens if payments still are not made
Jan - 29-Dec-17 @ 1:22 PM
Hi, I am a paying father and have always had contact with my child. I used to pay cash which was silly however my ex realized she could get much more via CMS. They now take so much money i have had to give up my home and now live on friends sofas. I struggle to feed myself and even struggle to visit my child now as he lives quite far. I sent them a letter giving 40 consecutive days under data protection act requesting all documents and recording regarding my case of which they did not reply. They also broke European Human Rights laws by threatening me with prison which is in writing. Also they have given legal advice by advicing if they take me to court they will seize goods. This i take as legal advice as only the judge can say such things on ruling. However noone seems to care about any of this. I am happy paying but something reasonable. Who can help me as the MP has done nothing same as Citezens advice is this perhaps due to them been shareholders of the CMS and making profit so they have no intention to help. I am at the point of not been able to cope much longer and i need my day in court. I am looking at European Courts of Justice but i need to follow procedures and apply to national court first but how do i do this.
michael - 28-Dec-17 @ 11:41 AM
Hi, I am a paying father and have always had contact with my child. I used to pay cash which was silly however my ex realized she could get much more via CMS. They now take so much money i have had to give up my home and now live on friends sofas. I struggle to feed myself and even struggle to visit my child now as he lives quite far. I sent them a letter giving 40 consecutive days under data protection act requesting all documents and recording regarding my case of which they did not reply. They also broke European Human Rights laws by threatening me with prison which is in writing. Also they have given legal advice by advicing if they take me to court they will seize goods. This i take as legal advice as only the judge can say such things on ruling. However noone seems to care about any of this. I am happy paying but something reasonable. Who can help me as the MP has done nothing same as Citezens advice is this perhaps due to them been shareholders of the CMS and making profit so they have no intention to help. I am at the point of not been able to cope much longer and i need my day in court. I am looking at European Courts of Justice but i need to follow procedures and apply to national court first but how do i do this.
michael - 28-Dec-17 @ 11:41 AM
Hi, I am a paying father and have always had contact with my child. I used to pay cash which was silly however my ex realized she could get much more via CMS. They now take so much money i have had to give up my home and now live on friends sofas. I struggle to feed myself and even struggle to visit my child now as he lives quite far. I sent them a letter giving 40 consecutive days under data protection act requesting all documents and recording regarding my case of which they did not reply. They also broke European Human Rights laws by threatening me with prison which is in writing. Also they have given legal advice by advicing if they take me to court they will seize goods. This i take as legal advice as only the judge can say such things on ruling. However noone seems to care about any of this. I am happy paying but something reasonable. Who can help me as the MP has done nothing same as Citezens advice is this perhaps due to them been shareholders of the CMS and making profit so they have no intention to help. I am at the point of not been able to cope much longer and i need my day in court. I am looking at European Courts of Justice but i need to follow procedures and apply to national court first but how do i do this.
michael - 28-Dec-17 @ 11:26 AM
Pannell2b - Your Question:
My ex is to pay not even £90 a week but every single month misses payments till they send him a letter then he will make a payment in full so they can't do collect and pay. He does this every single month and the CMS won't change it to deduct it from his earnigs

Our Response:
Your only recourse would be to complain via the gov.uk link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Dec-17 @ 10:44 AM
Scarey122 - Your Question:
Hi. My ex was supposed to pay about £100 a month. this was decided about 14 years ago. The kids are both over 18 now but in the last 10 years, he only actually made about 5 payments. I just gave up! Is it too late to do anything about it? I’m stronger now and angry he has never contributed to his kids but went on to have another three in a new relationship, and take on her two she already had

Our Response:
You don't say how it was decided. If you had a family-based arrangement, then there is little you can do to claim any money retrospectively. If you made a claim via CSA, or through court, then you could refer the matter back to court. For this you would be best advised to seek legal advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Dec-17 @ 10:12 AM
My ex is to pay not even £90 a week but every single month misses payments till they send him a letter then he will make a payment in full so they can't do collect and pay.He does this every single month and the CMS won't change it to deduct it from his earnigs
Pannell2b - 14-Dec-17 @ 1:23 PM
Hi. My ex was supposed to pay about £100 a month.. this was decided about 14 years ago. The kids are both over 18 now but in the last 10 years, he only actually made about 5 payments. I just gave up! Is it too late to do anything about it? I’m stronger now and angry he has never contributed to his kids but went on to have another three in a new relationship, and take on her two she already had
Scarey122 - 14-Dec-17 @ 8:02 AM
Samchic82- Your Question:
Hi my ex hasn’t seen or spoken to his 2 kids under 8yrs of age for over a year now his choice without warning or reasoning, he then decided to stop direct payments to me October 2016 even though he was working he did every stalling tactic in the book to stall having to pay he is over a grand in arrers I thought I was getting close to a break through by taking further action according to csa this was the case withold his account etc and then yet again he gets away with it, by now declaring he is on nil income and so skint also took himself off of jsa July 2017 he has a car on finance a teenager kid living with him in rented accommodation up to date iPhone contract yet he can afford to live on nothing since July ?? and no one is questioning it because csa can’t take things further till tax office or Benefits dept update them to say his circumstances have changed, I know he is working or going back to earning money the illegal route I just can’t prove it I know my ex and he isn’t living off of nothing, he is just pretending to get out of paying his arrears and his monthly payments for 2 children that are now my sole responsibility on minimal funds myself, can anyone recommend anything ??

Our Response:
We have answered your post further down this page.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Dec-17 @ 11:00 AM
Hi my ex hasn’t seen or spoken to his 2 kids under 8yrs of age for over a year now his choice without warning or reasoning, he then decided to stop direct payments to me October 2016 even though he was working he did every stalling tactic in the book to stall having to pay he is over a grand in arrers I thought i was getting close to a break through by taking further action according to csa this was the case withold his account etc and then yet again he gets away with it, by now declaring he is on nil income and so skint also took himself off of jsa July 2017 he has a car on finance a teenager kid living with him in rented accommodation up to date iPhone contract yet he can afford to live on nothing since July ?? and no one is questioning it because csa can’t take things further till tax office or Benefits dept update them to say his circumstances have changed, I know he is working or going back to earning money the illegal route I just can’t prove it I know my ex and he isn’t living off of nothing, he is just pretending to get out of paying his arrears and his monthly payments for 2 children that are now my sole responsibility on minimal funds myself, can anyone recommend anything ??
Samchic82 - 9-Dec-17 @ 1:13 PM
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