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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30620
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have an issue with a tribunal ruling taken by the CSA. It

Customer Question

I have an issue with a tribunal ruling taken by the CSA. It concerns an accusation that I was avoiding making CSA payments (I was not) and I was asked to provide evidence to prove this. Not quote realising the severity of failing to do this in time this ended with the tribunal charging me £28,000! I applied to submit all the paperwork required shortly after but was told I was out of time, twice. Do I have a chance of reversing this ridiculous decision?
Kind regards
Ross Meigh
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.

What has actually happened?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare,Essentially this:I attended a CSA tribunal following my ex partner’s perception and accusation that I was withholding income and thus not paying what was required for the maintenance of my children. I was required to provide a wide range of detailed paperwork relating to my financial affairs to prove otherwise.
I supplied some of the information but not all. This was due to me starting my own business and not having undertaken the correct paperwork to show all the (small and loss making) financial aspects of this. I did however provide a significant amount of information to leave the Court in little doubt that I was not diverting funds away from the CSA and my children as implied.
In addition, I also provided (verbally) a great deal of information to support my claim that I would not, nor would ever do, such a thing. This included:
• Paying over £100,000 to date to my ex partner through the CSA (their records can verify this).
• I paid 3 month’s of payments even when I was not working for a 7 month period. The CSA however still, despite me providing the proof they asked for, made me pay for the remaining 4 months.
• Me giving my ex-partner my equity in our joint house, saving over £24,000 in interest payments. (This is outside the CSA requirements I accept but it demonstrated my commitment to my children’s well being).
Despite the above, a ruling was made against me and a maximum payment schedule, based on a higher weekly payment than I have ever made during full time employment, was levied against me, totalling £21,000.00. To assume that I earnt more in my first year working for myself than I did in the previous employed year, in a good job, was as ridiculous as it sounds. Even a CSA representative said later that the amount levied was excessive.
I was shocked and disappointed and, predictably, it took me quite some time to understand what had happened and why I had been treated so negatively, again, by the CSA despite having an excellent record or payments and an excellent (as will always be the case) relationship with my children.
I then collated all the necessary information that I had been required to provide and asked to resubmit it to show clearly and concisely that I was totally innocent of this accusation. The Judge stated I was out of time to submit these (my ex-partner was allowed additional time for one of her submissions by the same Judge). A second appeal was met with the same response.
This leaves me with this issue: I did not have an income, I have documented evidence to prove this is the case but the CSA state I am ‘out of time’. I did not bring this issue to them, my ex partner did without any evidence, and without this evidence the Court decided to award her £21,000.00.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

When was the tribunal?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare, I will get the dates to you later today.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare, apologies for the delay. i have been attempting to document a timeline for all this but because mired down in CSA letters! Anyway, in summary, Nov 2014 was the first decision and since then I appealed twice and then asked my MP to look into it but the CSA said it was nothing to do with them. I appreciate a lot of time has passed but I have not paid any of the penalty and all this was based on 'no evidence', simply my ex partner's belief that I was with holding payment when I had no record of ever doing such a thing. Fundamentally I have been proven guilty based on 'no evidence'.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Clare, apologies, I also tried the ICE (Independent Case Examiner). I note from one letter that the HM Courts tribunal decisions are not enforceable?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

How old is the child now?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
One is 19 and one is 17
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Have you applied for a reassessment to try and bring the ongoing payments under control?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No, i haven't paid anything yet. Surely the CMS will just say there is £XXXXXXX outstanding because the tribunal, who can't enforce their decision, say so?
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.


You have an ongoing liability for child maintenance so you should have a proper reassessment done so that you can start payment and stop the arrears running.

It is important to do this as a matter of urgency to show that you are indeed acting in a proper way

With regard to the actual figure - what period is this meant to cover?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ah sorry, slight breakdown in communication. I am on a zero assessment at the moment so not incurring any further charges. I'll check what the exact period was...
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

Right - so one worry off my list!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Clare, sorry for the delay. I had to double check that I wasn't being charged any more after I thought too much about it (I'm not). I can't see from the reams of paperwork, the dates this issue covers and so I've asked the CMS to let me know (they can do something for me for a change) and they say it will take a few days to come back to me. I'll let you know as soon as they tell me.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 months ago.

That is fine

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