Home > Paying Child Support > Enforcement of CSA Payments

Enforcement of CSA Payments

Author: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 27 August 2015 |
 
Csa Maintenance Payments Arrears Child

Once the CSA 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 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

In the majority of cases, the CSA 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.

When Payments Fall into Arrears

The CSA 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 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 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 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 CSA is missed, the CSA 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 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 CSA 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. 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 can apply to the magistrates court for a liability order. The CSA 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 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 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.

You might also like...
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
mum - Your Question:
I've not had many payments since I first opened the case.the odd few from.his benefits now he's working he still refuses to pay. The csa have said he's told them he's unemployed. I know he's not how can he get away with this?

Our Response:
You would have to try and prove to the CSA that he is working. However, if he is self-employed he may be working and doing his best via his accountant to wriggle out of paying any child support by negating his earnings, if this is the case, there is little you can do here.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Aug-15 @ 2:00 PM
amy82 - Your Question:
Hi My partners daughter is starting university this september, CSA have told him that he needs to continue paying until they say otherwise, I was under the impression that CB had to be in payment for CSA to continue and CB (child ben) ends when someone enters into higher education. they also state that payments are made in arrears, so there would be several payments left to pay, even though they took a payment a week after the original arrangment was set up.any help avialable would be much appreciated.Many thanks

Our Response:
Every parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what your child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then maintenance payments will continue until the child finishes or until they turn 20. However, payments should theoretically end there, unless the child is planning on attending university then they can apply either directly to the non-resident parent for help, or if that is not forthcoming to the 'courts'. The courts do have the power to extend child maintenance to cover the duration of higher education if the non resident parent has the ability to cover the costs. The courts will consider the genuine needs of the child for support and even if student loans are available the court may still rule that the non resident parent must pay. Therefore, I suggest you double check with the CSA that it can ask for payments to be continued without it having to go to court. I too would be very interested to know whether its policy has changed.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Aug-15 @ 12:35 PM
I've not had many payments since I first opened the case.the odd few from.his benefits now he's working he still refuses to pay. The csa have said he's told them he's unemployed. I know he's not how can he get away with this?
mum - 27-Aug-15 @ 5:28 PM
Hi My partners daughter is starting university this september, CSA have told him that he needs to continue paying until they say otherwise, I was under the impression that CB had to be in payment for CSA to continue and CB (child ben) ends when someone enters into higher education.they also state that payments are made in arrears, so there would be several payments left to pay, even though they took a payment a week after the original arrangment was set up. any help avialable would be much appreciated. Many thanks
amy82 - 27-Aug-15 @ 3:01 PM
charliegirl - Your Question:
My partner recently found out that he has been paying csa for his son which he shouldn't have as his son has been working for the past 4 years so we are in arguments with the csa to reclaim the money back, but we found out today that his ex has received a letter from the csa with all his financial earnings on for the past 4 years. So my question is are they allowed to do that as it's a breach of his personal information and against the law

Our Response:
If you are unhappy with the way the CSA has dealt with the issue, you can complain, please see the link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Aug-15 @ 2:32 PM
My partner recently found out that he has been paying csa for his son which he shouldn't have as his son has been working for the past 4 years so we are in arguments with the csa to reclaim the money back, but we found out today that his ex has received a letter from the csa with all his financial earnings on for the past 4 years. So my question is are they allowed to do that as it's a breach of his personal information and against the law
charliegirl - 26-Aug-15 @ 8:11 PM
I have had several letters saying that I have to pay towards my son who is 16 and I have not seen for several years, (his choice not mine). I have paid every month until a couple of months ago due to financial matters at what point I started to get the letters. I phoned the CSA several times but they were of little help. I found out today that my son has left school and is working but my ex is still trying to claim
Can u believe - 25-Aug-15 @ 3:46 PM
@Lucas Has the money actually been deducted from your payslip? Your ex company should be liable for this, this is shocking and I really feel for you. Hopefully, you will not be liable for this if you have paid it. You couldn't say who will be liable as it's not like you can get it back from the company if they have gone into administration, the CSA weren't to know and you weren't to know, but your ex is without the money, it's a tricky one. I'd think it would be up to the CSA to sort, and your ex will have to go without until it can be resolved.
DaveH - 25-Aug-15 @ 2:48 PM
Recently my employer has deducted CSA payments direct from source (which has been the case for the past 6months), & always paid these on time to CSA. I work in a pub which has recently been sold (so I now have a new employer) & before sale my previous employer had taken CSA payments as normal (which has been recorded on my pay slip). Today the CSA have informed me that my previous employer has not paid the last £600 over a course of weeks (despite the deduction showing in my pay slip) & I am liable for payment of the £600 - I've also found out that the previous employer has gone into administration. Surely they have failed to make payment & are liable - please help I am at my wits end with the CSA & the ever changing goal posts especially when I informed the Enforcement Team of my concerns two weeks ago & was told that they would go to my previous employer for the non £600 payment.
lucas - 24-Aug-15 @ 11:12 PM
Disgruntled - Your Question:
I have just had my wages arrested without any notification, is the CSA allowed to do this???

Our Response:
As a rule the CSA should notify you of non-payment and its intention to take the money owed. It will give a specific amount of time between the notification and taking the money, please see gov.uk link here. However, if you think you have been treated unfairly, then you can complain via the link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Aug-15 @ 11:00 AM
lol, all of you on this forum are wasting your breath, energy and time. The Child maintenance service will ignore you and all you will get is the same reply you are getting here........ "if you feel you have been treated unfairly, you can complain via the link here. I hope this helps". No matter if you are a man or woman, the CSA think they are a law unto themselves lol.
jezza - 23-Aug-15 @ 7:35 PM
I have just had my wages arrested without any notification, is the CSA allowed to do this???
Disgruntled - 21-Aug-15 @ 10:23 AM
Kenny G - Your Question:
Hi I have built up a large amount of debt through gambling, to which my partner has found out about and now wants a separation. I will inevitably lose the house to her and the children which means I will have to rent somewhere. With the cost of living elsewhere and the CSA payments there is no chance of paying off any of my debt. Would the CSA take this into consideration or would I just be expected to pay the full amount till I can't pay my rent etc due to the increasing debt mounting up since I cannot pay it off any longer.

Our Response:
I'm sorry to hear this and I hope you have managed to get help for your condition. The CSA/CMS will assess what you pay on your earnings. I have included a link to the gov.uk leaflet: 'how child maintenance is worked out', here. You can also assess how much you may pay via the child maintenance calculator, link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Aug-15 @ 10:01 AM
Hi I have built up a large amount of debt through gambling, to which my partner has found out about and now wants a separation. I will inevitably lose the house to her and the children which means I will have to rent somewhere. With the cost of living elsewhere and the CSA payments there is no chance of paying off any of my debt. Would the CSA take this into consideration or would I just be expected to pay the full amount till I can't pay my rent etc due to the increasing debt mounting up since I cannot pay it off any longer.
Kenny G - 20-Aug-15 @ 7:19 AM
pinkypie - Your Question:
Hi, today I got a letter off the child maintenance, stating circumstances have changed and I was now entitled to £130 pound a month (I was previously getting 7 pound a week for 2 children) but it also stated they don't know where he works, and what his new salary is, so my question is, how can they retrieve that money off him if he refuses to acknowledge the child maintenance letters and phone calls, I will be using the collect and pay service as he refuses to conversation with anyone regarding money for the twins. Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to take this question up with the CMS directly regarding how they intend to access the money.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Aug-15 @ 12:42 PM
Hi, today I got a letter off the child maintenance, stating circumstances have changed and I was now entitled to £130 pound a month (I was previously getting 7 pound a week for 2 children) but it also stated they don't know where he works, and what his new salary is, so my question is, how can they retrieve that money off him if he refuses to acknowledge the child maintenance letters and phone calls, I will be using the collect and pay service as he refuses to conversation with anyone regarding money for the twins. Thanks
pinkypie - 18-Aug-15 @ 6:40 PM
Becky-123 - Your Question:
HiI'm looking for advise , my sons absent father has avoided the csa and cms for the past 8 years. Despite an attachment of earnings being in place. I make weekly phone calls to the cms only to be fobbed off with the same sentence each week. "The employment team are looking into it and will be in touch in 7 days " today I said this unacceptable amongst other things and they've now mentioned prosecuting the employer. And he has arrears of nearly 31k. What can I do to ensure they do there job and maintenance is paid ?Thanks

Our Response:
. If you feel you have been treated unfairly, or the CSA/CMS have not been doing their job properly, then you can complain via the linkhere. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Aug-15 @ 10:27 AM
Hi I'm looking for advise , my sons absent father has avoided the csa and cms for the past 8 years . Despite an attachment of earnings being in place. I make weekly phone calls to the cms only to be fobbed off with the same sentence each week . "The employment team are looking into it and will be in touch in 7 days " today I said this unacceptable amongst other things and they've now mentioned prosecuting the employer. And he has arrears of nearly 31k . What can I do to ensure they do there job and maintenance is paid ? Thanks
Becky-123 - 17-Aug-15 @ 11:03 AM
Can a parent make a claim for CSA moneybeven if the child does not live with them
john - 16-Aug-15 @ 6:54 PM
I have paid csa for 19 years after DNA proved the child was mine, I have recently found my son who was told someone else was his father but was deceased, is there any way we can get access to the DNA results so I can prove he is mine and have a relationship with my son?
Pb - 13-Aug-15 @ 1:42 PM
hi can someone help i been paying csa through work i went on sick for last 10 months last two months been on esa employ support allowance csa deductions been £5 per week throgh esa i have just returned to my old job will deductions go through as normal again i have not notified csa i returned but will payroll just deduct old amount
rob - 11-Aug-15 @ 9:40 PM
HI everyone out there. I'm looking for some help... CSA have been taking payment from the non resident parent consistently for over 2 years as per a statement of account that was requested, the balance is sitting at over £300 and CSA are only liable for repayment of £5 per week since the non. Resident is on benefits. The interface is repeatedly breaking down and as such their is a breakdown of the money reaching the resident parent. Is their anyway of pressuring CSA into making a effort in repaying the accrued credit?
ANNOYED DAD - 11-Aug-15 @ 6:19 PM
Mark- Your Question:
Am concerned that I work part- timeyet received two letters with two different amounts to pay.Here are the two contact ref no: 4570048983 -E078288088.CSA ref-1151444727-Both letters sent on June 3rd.Also how can I be in arrears, the CSA contacted in April this year, 14th April.Surly the payments should start when the claim began, as the mother was receiving money before in her account from me so was never not being paid, every month was receiving and when asked for extra got this too.When the form for direct debt was sent I filled out and returned. Yet an attachments to earnings was made.Also might add RegardsM

Our Response:
I'm afraid you would have to contact the CSA directly in order to sort this issue out.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Aug-15 @ 12:06 PM
am concerned that I work part- time yet received two letters with two different amounts to pay. Here are the two contact ref no: 4570048983 - E078288088. CSA ref-1151444727- Both letters sent on June 3rd. Also how can I be in arrears, the CSA contacted in April this year, 14th April. Surly the payments should start when the claim began, as the mother was receiving money before in her account from me so was never not being paid, every month was receiving and when asked for extra got this too. When the form for direct debt was sent I filled out and returned. Yet an attachments to earnings was made. Also might add Regards M
Mark - 5-Aug-15 @ 1:01 PM
I completely understand many parents frustration and anger about CSA and Child maintenance, but what 99% of you all dont seem to know or want to understand is the simple reason why the CSA is so complicated. The CSA is Statutory legislation not a LAW, and without consent from the paying parent under statutory legislation, the courts and CSA have no real powers of enforcement. Now this is where the truth begins regarding the failure of the last CSA, many people started to learn the truth about the unlawful corruption that the old CSA 1, 2 & 3 were getting involved with and ended up taking the CSA to court. Hence the CSA had CCJ's and court orders for abusing powers and corrupting the legal system here in the UK, not to mention abusing UK and EU human rights. Men and Women can grumble all you wish, it does not change the law and the rights of EVERY citizen in the UK. The reason a "Small minority" of guys get away with not paying anything is not simply because of job hopping or running away as some Women are led to believe, it is simply the fact that a "Small minority" of guys understand their legal and lawful rights and pay nothing.
jezz - 2-Aug-15 @ 11:28 PM
Wow, can't believe the ignorance of some of these comments- don't you think if mothers could get financial support from the fathers of their children without involving outside agencies they'd have thought of that all by themselves!! My child's 'father' owes in excess of £20,000 now, just keeps hopping from job to job, and cos csa take sooooo long to process cases, by the time they catch upwith him and decide how much he should pay,he's moved on and the whole process starts all over again; been going on for 8years + now. if I owed that in rent, me and my child would have been out on the street a long time back, and if I owed that in council tax I'd be in prison! But because I am just an individual doing my best to bring up a child, no-one seems to give a whatsit!
Sarah - 2-Aug-15 @ 10:22 PM
I have had over five years experience dealing wit hthe CSA, as a Dad without care paying to the CSA and more significantly, acting on behalfa mother in the CSA system. I have complained and progressed through various CSA processes mainly to dfo with mum getting payments. The main issues i have dealt with are - father changes job from employed to employed, employed to unemployed, unemployed to employed as a temp, unemployed to self employed. Arrears building up, assessing level of dads payments, deductions of earnings order set up and operation, when child gets to adulthood and there are arrears with the CSA. The CSA take their time.3 months for almost any change in circumstances for paying parent. So until/if the paying parent is settled in a job/self -employment / unemployment it is almost an exercise in futility to pursue. Let CSA know, keep them informed but dont expect much.Chase the CSA up vigorously when they miss their own deadlines to take action. They say 3 months to do X .. chase them on 3 months.Be very patient with dealing with front line, insist of talkign to case worker when/if one is assigned, keep on top of the case worker, escalate to a complaint when necessary.Be polite, dont get fobbed off, try to understand CSA processes and limitations of what each employee can do for you. When a parent is moving jobs you want to have the CSA trying to call him and getting ignored / palmed off. Get what you can from them by way of voluntary payment- even if its that £5 a week min payment. You need to do the work for the CSA on tracking them down. Where do they work ? The CSA can it seems, just call a suspected employer and get those details, pay slips etc. THE CSA give payers a lot of opportunity to pay and mess up.Once Deduction of Earnings etc applied once you have a better chance of them doing it in the future, so push for one (nicely) at every opportunity wit ha bad payer. The CSA have to prioritise debt (AFAIK) so debt and ongoing payments for a child are priority, lower but still priority are debts for children now adults.They will go after easier to get debt / payments. So put effort in NOW not when your kids left home, but keep pressure on whilst they are young adults. CSA want to hit their targets for debt. As a paying parent ...if you are willing to move jobs regularly or become self employed / unemployed you can (or could) lead the CSA a merry dance for years and years. They dont chase up their own letters initially / until parent with care goes to some extra oridinary length to pursue their owed payments.You get plenty of opportunities to pay something and build credibility.Your kids will find out what you are doing / did.Once CSA do get hold of you they will ask for and get large payments direct from your employer.40% of net. No matter what HR depts say about confidentiality, word can get around and you risk losingcareer opportunity in that
Stan - 1-Aug-15 @ 1:31 PM
There's been so many crap child support systems over the years the government has went from extreme 30% income (old rules) to 15% new rules and now pay it yourself or we will charge admin, One day the shambles of the past government csa and the ill treatment of paying fathers will be addressed in court.
moved-on - 1-Aug-15 @ 2:45 AM
@Dawn - if your partner is not happy with the way he has been treated by the CSA, he can complain via the link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Jul-15 @ 12:45 PM
Csa one big con, not interested in father's andwhen they need help because amounts r wrong they just get ignored. I have four children don't get much money from.my x husband ,but don't care cause my kids don't go without, I will not involve csa after the way my new partner is treated, csa r a joke. More parents should try to sort out between selves and hopefully csa will have no use one day.
Dawn - 28-Jul-15 @ 2:44 PM
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Bear
    Re: CSA Tribunals and Appeals
    My ex is now taking me to court for more access.. Our son is 13 months old and the father did not want to know for the first 5 months.…
    29 August 2015
  • june
    Re: Appealing Child Support Decisions
    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…
    29 August 2015
  • sally
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    my ex husband was granted contact through the court to be arranged between us for his to see our children we separated more than 2 years ago…
    29 August 2015
  • Asia
    Re: Appealing Child Support Decisions
    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…
    28 August 2015
  • flo
    Re: Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement
    My son is 5 and his dad paid reg maintenance through csa but he pays direct to myself ..how can I keep eye out on…
    28 August 2015
  • shell
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    my boyfriend has had custody of his 2 year old son since his mother abandoned him 9 months ago where does he stand legally now the mother has…
    28 August 2015
  • shanny
    Re: What Rights Does My Ex Have With Regards to Our Children?
    Very biased and one sided,males that want to do right by their kids are not being allowed…
    28 August 2015
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement
    Kay - Your Question:My son is almost 12 yrs of age and my ex partner pays me 17.50 pw. This is becoming an issue…
    28 August 2015
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Enforcement of CSA Payments
    mum - Your Question:I've not had many payments since I first opened the case.the odd few from.his benefits now he's working he…
    28 August 2015
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Enforcement of CSA Payments
    amy82 - Your Question:Hi My partners daughter is starting university this september, CSA have told him that he needs to continue…
    28 August 2015
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.