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Dealing With Payment Irregularities

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 2 Apr 2024 | comments*Discuss
Payment Maintenance Irregularities

There are a number of reasons why maintenance payment irregularities may occur from time to time. Administrative hiccups could result in child support payments being reassessed or recalculated, or even a delay in collection or distribution. A change in the financial circumstances of the non-resident parent, who is paying maintenance, can also create financial stress and concern.

What Could Cause Problems

If a parent uses the services of the Child Support Agency (CSA) and/or Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to collect, or pay, maintenance this will usually be done by collecting the payment from the non-resident parent and distributing it through a bank direct debit facility. Sometimes this payment can be taken directly from the non-resident parent’s income, via their employer. Either way, the payment will be heading for the parent with care’s bank or building society or Post Office account.

From time to time many people experience problems with bank charges, direct debit hitches and other difficulties caused by dealing with a financial institution. If this occurs it is important to contact the bank and CSA/CMS as soon as possible. Failure to do so may cost the parent further problems, as they could incur additional charges on their account.

What You Can Do

Where possible it makes sense to be well-informed. If a parent with care has a family-based agreement with a non-resident parent, having the agreement officially accepted by the courts will mean you protect your future payments, and any changes to circumstances can be considered.

Irregularities often occur when information provided becomes out-of-date or invalid. Ensuring that any maintenance claim details you provide to Child Support Agency staff, or legal representatives, are relevant and up-to-date will help keep irregularities in the payment of maintenance to a minimum. If you suspect there may be problems notifying the CSA/CMS as soon as possible will also help speed up the process of rectifying any issues.

Outstanding Debts

A non-resident parent is able to clear any outstanding maintenance debt by paying the full amount using a credit or debit card. Ensuring they have sufficient funds to cover the cost, or that they will be able to pay the amount back to the credit card company without it affecting future maintenance payments is worth checking.

Dealing With Changes

When dealing with any kind of changes – whether it is a change of address details, employment, changes in the child’s educational needs etc – it is necessary to allow sufficient time for the new details to be processed. Any new information a parent may provide will be require processing through various channels and departments before the changes are accepted. In the case of most financial institutions 5 working days must be allowed for processing. Understanding and accepting these conditions will help a parent deal with any delay in maintenance payments.

Worth Remembering

Although being inconvenienced in some way can be annoying and frustrating for the parent with care, who is in need of maintenance for their child, it is worth remembering that all arrears will be collected if and where the agency can.

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oliviastephen02 - 2-Apr-24 @ 8:25 AM
Can anyone advice me or recommend a cheap lawyer,I have divorced two years ago when I found my wife had been having affairs. She accused me of all sorts but in the end it was her who was playing the field I move out of the FMH as she kept calling the police on me I have never gone back to the FMH in the divorce I gave her the FMH which has a very little mortgage on it which is approx. £250 PCM she has three bed room house fully furnished were as I live with family only have a modest income and cant afford to rent a property to live in initially I had shared care but the kids dint have the space they use to so they started to play up for me to rent a three bed property I would have to pay in the region of £1200 to 1500 PCM which I can ill afford after paying CSA set £500PCM in maintenance the kids when they need anything they come to me I buy them cloths pay for one of the kids mobile etc. DO I HAVE ANY OPTIONS TRIED TO TALK TO CSA THEY DONT PREPARED TO LISTN. PLEASE CAN SOME ONE GUIDE ME!!!!
Awara - 26-Sep-18 @ 10:33 AM
Does anyone have experience of how you prove shared care arrangements to CMS once your child is over 16? i currently have a court order in place that sets these out clearly and is what CMS use to work out payments but the Court order will naturally (in law) come to an end on the child's 16th birthday- so what do CMS then need- there is zero chance of ex reaching family based agreement as split was very bitter hence the court order! And no further court order will be granted for a 16 year old. Thanks
Spooner - 19-May-17 @ 10:00 PM
Hello, My wife is on permanent resident in uk(ILR)& myself have british pp and I have two kids. Now my wife me getting separated. Due to my health reasons I am unable to work. So willing to migrate to India. I am happy to support my wife & kids if they joins with me. Also, last year, when they were in India , I was supporting them with the monthly expenses equal of £250/- per month ( apart from house rent & bills). Also, paid extra money for kids schooling. Within 2 months of time she ran away without informing me to UK and demanding me more money. I have lots of debts (more than £20K) due to visa expenses of my family and kids. If my family is not willing to join with me to India , how much money I have to pay towards the child maintenance? kindly give me some information. Thanks. Sharu
Sharu - 15-Jan-16 @ 12:00 PM
Hi. I hope someone can assist me? I am literally at my wits end with the CSA. I owe £15,000 in arrears from 2001 to 2004. Back then I was only earning£900 per month. I had one child with my ex. I find this 4 year debt ridiculous. I have been writing letters every year explaining that I simply do not owe that amount but the CSA just aren't listening to me. I have been in touch with HMRC who have no records of my earnings back then and I have written to my employer back then too with no luck. I don't even have any old pay slips. This wasn't a case of me ignoring this debt but the CSA caught up with me years later. I have requested the file they had on me and paid £10 to get it and there isn't even a copy of any old pay slips in there. Has anyone else experienced anything similar? I just need to prove how little I was earning from 2001 to 2004 and I will have this matter resolved. Thanks.
megamick - 14-Jan-16 @ 4:12 PM
After a few years of hell, a non - molestation and restraint order were granted and run out then after a court case for domestic abuse the cps recommended an indefiniterestraing order be put in place for my ex Due to the history of violence. Myself and children then had the children protection unit back and for due to the children being placed on the at risk register. My ex and I own the property I live in jointly which he has not contributed towards or give me any financial support in a year. now the social have closed the files on my children I want to know is there any legal way to get his name off the mortgage so I can move forward with my life. And is there any way I can get a court to make him pay something to the support of his daughter and for the mortgage payments, I do not contact him but he constantly tries to get in touch I feel he is still a threat and especially as there is not only domestic abuse history but he has issues with drugs and alcohol, I am in a prison at my home as his local watering hole is 100 yards away from my home and he frequently taunts me when passing and intoxicated I am at my wits end
Paula Middleton - 15-Jun-15 @ 5:49 PM
At what age can children refuse to have contact with a non resident parent, due to activities, hobbies, etc? But, still agree to go to the non resident parent at a more convenient time for them? They are aged 11 and 12 years old. ,and are head strong on their rights! Can they be forced to go? ,or can they make their own decisions. The non resident parent won't pay maintenance,but insists on regular contact......??
tiggertat - 2-May-15 @ 7:15 PM
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