Home > The Basic Facts > How the CSA Works

How the CSA Works

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 22 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Csa Child Support Agency Payments

It is the Child Support Agency’s aim to reduce child poverty in the UK. The CSA provides a means by which parents with care can collect maintenance payments, for their child or children, from the non resident parent. As part of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission the CSA is able to trace non resident parents and enforce financial responsibility.

What The CSA Does

By collecting information, regarding income and circumstances, from the parent with care, the Child Support Agency can assess and process a maintenance claim, collect periodic payments and distribute the funds to the parent with care. The agency’s aim is to support the main carer of the child, or children, throughout the maintenance set-up process. This is done by calculating the amount of payable maintenance and handling the payments from the non resident parent.

The CSA also has the power to track down absent parents who avoid paying child support maintenance. Tracking is done by accessing information held by government departments like HM Revenue & Customs, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and agencies like Jobcentre Plus. Specialist tracing companies are also used by the CSA, and the agency has the power to take someone to court and impose a fine of up to £1,000 for failure to provide information.

Child Support Agency Activities

The CSA maintains contact with parents with care and non resident parents in order to facilitate the maintenance process. The CSA will discuss the amount of maintenance that is payable and provide payment options for the parents to consider. The agency also ensures that the suggested periodic payments are continually made by monitoring maintenance and taking any necessary action to re-establish payments and recovery of child support maintenance arrears.

When enforcement action has to be taken the CSA will continue to provide information regarding the individual case, to the parent with care, so that they are able to consider all options and update claim application details.

The Action The CSA Take

Having collected relevant information from the parent with care the Child Support Agency then processes the application and requests maintenance payment from the non resident parent. The payment can be taken directly from the parent’s wages, if they refuse to pay maintenance. The CSA can also use the courts to claim the payment, and can freeze accounts, register the parent’s debt, force the sale of property, confiscate a driving licence or send the parent to prison.

How Parents Can Take Action

An increasing amount of liability orders are granted each year. Appealing against a CSA decision is a simple process that requires the parent contacting the agency and requesting an explanation of the decision. A formal appeal can also be requested by submitting the appeal to the Social Security Child Support Appeals Tribunal. Around half of the appeals currently made are resolved directly within the CSA.

CSA Changes

Child maintenance arrangements made through the Child Support Agency (CSA) will be ending between now and the end 2017. If the CSA currently handles your child maintenance, you’ll get a letter telling you:when your child maintenance arrangement will end and how and when to make new child maintenance arrangements. The Child Maintenance Service(CMS), is the agency which is replacing CSA.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Artex - Your Question:
Hi. My mother in law is looking after my brother in law's son since being taken from him due to legal proceedings. The child is now 5 years old and is in full time education. His dad had made an agreement to pay my mother in law a curtain amount each month and has only paid the novelty payment for the first few months but nothing since. Where does she stand regarding getting advice or help from CSA and could CSA get involved regarding child support.

Our Response:
If your mother-in-law has been given parental responsibility or a residence agreement, she can take the matter to CMS in order to claim child maintenance from both the non-resident parents (if applicable). It is certainly worth her ringing up in order to explore her options.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-May-17 @ 11:22 AM
Hi. My mother in law is looking after my brother in law's son since being taken from him due to legal proceedings. The child is now 5 years old and is in full time education. His dad had made an agreement to pay my mother in law a curtain amount each month and has only paid the novelty payment for the first few months but nothing since. Where does she stand regarding getting advice or help from CSA and could CSA get involved regarding child support.
Artex - 22-May-17 @ 11:38 AM
Nanna - Your Question:
I would like to ask if I am entitled to claim CSA from my grand daughters grandfather (my ex-husband) who is joint main career for her but since last August 2016 walked out on us. I lost my job and I am struggling to maintain my bills and caring for her on my own????? Please can you help me please.

Our Response:
The only people you can claim child maintenance from is the biological parents. You may wish to double-check with Child Maintenance Service.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-May-17 @ 12:14 PM
I would like to ask if I am entitled to claim CSA from my grand daughters grandfather (my ex-husband) who is joint main career for her but since last August 2016 walked out on us. I lost my job and I am struggling to maintain my bills and caring for her on my own????? Please can you help me please.
Nanna - 17-May-17 @ 7:27 PM
@Ac - both parents have equal rights to access their children. Mothers do not have all the control. Unless a court order forbids your husband not to contact your child, just as you are not forbidden by him to contact her while she is with him, then there's not much you can do. Unless you take it back to mediation or court to complain!
Ant - 2-May-17 @ 12:44 PM
My husband and I have divorced and I'm the main carer for our daughter. She's stays with my husband twice a week! Although I have asked him to msg me about any changes in times and dates to collect her etc, he ignores me and continues to msg our 9 year old daughter on her iPod bypassing me! This puts her in an awkward position and I'm wondering if he is allowed to do this without messaging or consulting me directly to arrange times/ dates etc? Many thanks in anticipation
Ac - 1-May-17 @ 9:32 PM
My husbands ex is claiming we dont have his son over night which we do twice a week, she has lied since she started the application a number of times!(we had a arrangement for more in place before she made the claim) The cms say there is nothing we can do, we have evidence in the way of texts arranging pick ups and drop offs, any advice? Seems the cms reward recieving parents from stopping paying parents spending time with their children?
Caz - 24-Apr-17 @ 1:45 PM
Liz - Your Question:
Hi, my daughters dad is in prison, he still gets his pit pension paid into his bank, would I be able to get child support for my daughter.

Our Response:
If your ex's pension is classed as earnings then you may be eligible to apply, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Apr-17 @ 12:02 PM
Hi, my daughters dad is in prison, he still gets his pit pension paid into his bank, would i be able togetchild support for my daughter.
Liz - 20-Apr-17 @ 6:31 PM
Kaz - Your Question:
My dad paid maintenance for a child born in the 1960s via a court order. I'd like to trace what I think will be my half sister. I have no other information & he never had had contact with the child other than the payments which I discovered after his death. My sister would be 40/50 ish now. Who would I contact?

Our Response:
If you have absolutely no details of this person, and no clues or names have appeared on any documentation, your only option would be to try to locate close family or friends of your fathers in order to find out as much information as you can. Checking birth certificates for your father's name may help and looking on ancestory records may offer some information too. If the order was awarded through the courts, you may be able to trace these via the link here. Paying a professional tracing service may also help.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Mar-17 @ 2:52 PM
My dad paid maintenance for a child born in the 1960s via a court order. I'd like to trace what I think will be my half sister. I have no other information & he never had had contact with the child other than the payments which I discovered after his death. My sister would be 40/50 ish now. Who would I contact?
Kaz - 28-Mar-17 @ 9:48 AM
Tib- Your Question:
Hi. I have 2 kids(1 with my ex wife and 1 with my expartner). I still live with my expartner but we share the bills.my first child stay over with me more than 52 nights /year and the second is in the house ever night. How do I calculate the child maintenance for them?

Our Response:
Please see CMS link here which should help you further.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Mar-17 @ 3:03 PM
Hi. I have 2 kids(1 with my ex wife and 1 with my expartner). I still live with my expartner but we share the bills.my first child stay over with me more than 52 nights /year and the second is in the house ever night. How do I calculate the child maintenance for them?
Tib - 10-Mar-17 @ 7:22 PM
Gaz - Your Question:
Hi. I had serious illness 8 years ago and I can not work due to it, but I do get an ill-health pension. I have been paying child support for that time, but now I have no money left to pay it with as I have run out of money. My benefits have all been cut and I have no savings so I just can not pay even if I wanted to. I want to support the children but I can'tWhat do I do?

Our Response:
If you are not earning or paying tax, then you would be moved on to a flat rate or nil rate of payment. Until you begin earning money again, you will not be liable to pay child maintenance. However, your access or contact to your children should not stop because of this.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Feb-17 @ 12:14 PM
Hi.I had serious illness 8 years ago and I can not work due to it, but I do get an ill-health pension.I have been paying child support for that time, but now I have no money left to pay it with as I have run out of money.My benefits have all been cut and I have no savings so I just can not pay even if I wanted to. I want to support the children but I can't What do I do?
Gaz - 27-Feb-17 @ 7:32 PM
Nanny- Your Question:
Hi my son has a x she is asking for money for there daughter I have looked at the csa and it says 28.00 pounds a week she is asking for 40.00 pounds a week can my son get in contact with csa about it please help

Our Response:
The CMS prefers parents to have a family-based arrangement with regards to child maintenance. However, if your son does not wish to give in to his ex's demands, then he can approach the CMS directly. Please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Feb-17 @ 2:44 PM
Hi my son has a x she is askingfor moneyfor there daughterI have lookedat thecsaand it says28.00 poundsa weekshe is askingfor40.00 poundsa week can my son get in contactwithcsa about it pleasehelp
Nanny - 17-Feb-17 @ 7:19 AM
Tina - Your Question:
My children father owes over £17.000 in arrears it has gone now to collect and pay to try to regain some of the money he owes.He is now telling the children hes goung to give his job up as he would rather tell the child maintenance he has heart problems just so he doesn't pay.How low can one scoop. I find this disgusting and cruel to even mention this as well as using this excuse as a loop hole.Is there anything that one can do.

Our Response:
You don't say how your ex has managed to avoid paying for so long. However, one option would be to apply to court for a liability order. The court can make a decision regarding taking payment via your ex's assets, please see CAB link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Feb-17 @ 10:52 AM
My children father owes over £17.000 in arrears it has gone now to collect and pay to try to regain some of the money he owes.He is now telling the children hes goung to give his job up as he would rather tell the child maintenance he has heart problems just so he doesn't pay .How low can one scoop. I find this disgusting and cruel to even mention this as well as using this excuse as a loop hole.Is there anything that one can do .
Tina - 12-Feb-17 @ 5:32 AM
Anom - Your Question:
I've done all ICan do my child's father was supposed toBe traced but you did nothing toGet what was owed even after IGave His address , his now driving and has a vehicle if you can afford a vehicle and a wedding you can afford maintenance simple

Our Response:
Child maintenance is based solely upon the non-resident's parents 'earnings', not what assets he has or what he or his partner can afford. If your ex is working any paying tax via the HMRC, then he will be eligible to pay child maintenance to financially help support your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Jan-17 @ 1:40 PM
I've done all I Can do my child's father was supposed to Be traced but you did nothing to Get what was owed even after I Gave His address , his now driving and has a vehicle if you can afford a vehicle and a wedding you can afford maintenance simple
Anom - 30-Jan-17 @ 11:22 PM
Hi, I have a 4 month baby and found out my ex was cheating on me 3 months before I gave birth. I let my ex see the baby but have never asked for money. Recently I have asked and he said go through csa as then I will have more rights and can get custody, he is constantly threatening me with this. Do the csa deal with access and custody as I do not want to open myself up to being vulnerable to my ex with this?
Sarah - 19-Nov-16 @ 3:19 AM
kelvin - Your Question:
Hello I'm just about to put in for ca my child is three I was wondering would it be possible to clam bk from the last two years even thou there was no claim active.

Our Response:
You can only claim from the moment you make a claim. You cannot claim retrospectively where no claim has previously been made.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Oct-16 @ 12:33 PM
hello I'm just about to put in for ca my child is three I was wondering would it be possible to clam bk from the last two years even thou there was no claim active...
kelvin - 21-Oct-16 @ 8:00 PM
Nat - Your Question:
Hi. Please can someone help? My xp has moved to London. He refuses to help pay for anything for our child. He will not tell me where he is living so I have nothing to give to csa. He wrote a letter to tell csa he is not working. But he is can anyone help me?

Our Response:
If your partner is working, the CMS will be able to trace him through the HMRC.
ChildSupportLaws - 26-Sep-16 @ 3:03 PM
Hi. Please can someone help?My xp has moved to London.He refuses to help pay for anything for our child. He will not tell me where he is living so I have nothing to give to csa. He wrote a letter to tell csa he is not working.But he iscan anyone help me?
Nat - 25-Sep-16 @ 8:01 PM
Tyke - Your Question:
My ex partner who I have children to past away and her husbsnd seeked a residency order for my chukdren which the court approved can he make a claim now for CSA

Our Response:
Yes, you are still the father of your children and therefore continue to be legally co-financially responsible for them.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Sep-16 @ 11:07 AM
My ex partner who i have children to past away and her husbsnd seeked a residency order for my chukdren which the court approved can he make a claim now for CSA
Tyke - 18-Sep-16 @ 9:43 AM
Joe - Your Question:
I'm very dispointed with the way the CSA works. My daughter used to get her £146 every mouth from last mouth. Now he's saying he's keeping 3 other children wish are not his. And her we money has been cut. I don't think that's fair that after all this time and within a mouth you can just ring or write and say this and make your real child suffer. I'm looking for proof but has anybody else every went through this. Thanks

Our Response:
If your daughter's ex has other children that live with him, then this will make a difference, as specified in the article. Your daughter can see how much he should be paying by the CMS calculator link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Aug-16 @ 2:53 PM
I'm very dispointed with the way the CSA works. My daughter used to get her £146 every mouth from last mouth. Now he's saying he's keeping 3 other children wish are not his. And her we money has been cut. I don't think that's fair that after all this time and within a mouth you can just ring or write and say this and make your real child suffer. I'm looking for proof but has anybody else every went through this. Thanks
Joe - 24-Aug-16 @ 8:56 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
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.