I texted my son last night and he will ring me in his break today
I have spoken to my son and the information, as far as he remembers, is as follows:
The CSA contacted him in 2004 and told him that he owed £3000 for his son. The story they had from his ex, Claire, was that my son had left her when the first child was 6 months old. However, they lived together for another 4/5 years and Claire had two more sons with him. In retrospect, my son believes that she might have been having an affair for some time before eventually getting rid of my him. The two boys looked like him and he had no suspicions at the time. All three children were registered with him as the father and with his surname, although Claire has since changed their name to her maiden name.
Because my son was out of work quite a lot of the time after losing the children, the CSA took money straight from his benefits and he assumed that they had continued to do so. He suffered quite a lot of mental health issues after he lost this sons and he was homeless, depending on friends for their help. Because his name had been removed from the joint tenancy, he was no longer able to get social housing . He has a narrow boat, but had gutted it with a view to rebuilding the interior.
In 2012 he had agency work in London for the Olympics. It was a zero-hour contract, but obviously was a paid job. This was when the CSA contacted him again to say that he owed £20,000 and they put a rolling charge on his pay, allowing him only £71 to live on, including petrol to London. He did not wish to work long hours for so little money, so stopped the agency work.
Now that he has a permanent job, he wants to make an offer to pay, rather than have a charge on his income, and would also like to find out, if possible, what the situation is with his sons; ie whether they believe the second man to be their father. When Claire sent him packing too, in favour of yet another man, he wrote on Facebook that he had lost his sons. Whether he believed them to be his, or whether it was just because he had brought them up for many years, we don't know.
With regard to the CSA, my son believed them to be taking money from him, but has no proof. It is strange that he suddenly owes £20,000 if that is the case.
The proof that he was still with Claire for a further 4/5 years after their first son was 6 months should be in the tenancy agreement. My son had a bedsit through social housing, then when Claire became pregnant, they were given a two bedroom flat together, followed by a house when she was pregnant with the second child. Unknown to him, Claire took his name off the tenancy, I assume by falsifying information, but he doesn't know when.
I knew very little of this at the time, as Claire had decided to not allow me to see the boys. I didn't want to upset the applecart for my son, so I stayed away until he came to be after the split. I was working in social work and felt that I was doing the best for the children and my son by keeping to her rules, although it obviously upset me greatly at the time.
This all sounds very complicated and I don't know whether the situation can be easily resolved, but I would welcome your advice as to the next step, with minimal available funds.
No, they never married. The two younger boys are 18 and 16 in July, I believe. The eldest was 19 in February.
No, I don't think so. He had intended to when the boy reached 18, but then heard that he had been told that his dad had been violent.
It is difficult to comprehend the power of Claire unless you know her! My psychologist friend diagnosed her (from her behaviour to others) as borderline personality disorder. She cast quite a shadow over us all,including her own family, as she would never allow another opinion or viewpoint. And of course her power then was the children! I wish that I had insisted on seeing them, but I didn't want to rock the boat for my son. In hindsight that was a futile path to take.
My son does not know their address. None of us do.
Thank you. That information is very useful. I am about to ring my son, who is on a break, so he can get on with that as soon as possible. We have looked at the two older boys on Facebook, but not contacted them as yet. I was waiting for my son to do so before I attempted it.
I've spoken to my son and the eldest IS at university (from 29th Sept, 2013.) Does this have any relevance? My son found this on FB.
The only other question I have is whether he can make an offer, rather than have a charge put on his salary, when he has discovered how much he owes? The charge the CSA put before was ridiculous and did not allow him enough money to live on. It is very difficult to get permanent work where he lives, so he needs to be in control himself, rather than under the control of the CSA. He is a Class 1 lorry driver, so the work is stressful enough without being worried about having enough money to even get to work!
Thank you. Is that 40% of gross income or 40% after essential living expenses such as rent, travel to work etc?