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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35076
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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my name is ***** ***** i have been arguing with the csa for almost

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my name is ***** ***** i have been arguing with the csa for almost 20yrs ! about my maintenance assessment . i have constantly told them it s in correct .. so have refused to pay them until they get the assessment correct !! it has finally come to a mandatory reconsideration hearing which i have instigated in order to resolve this dispute !! and is currently going to tribunal .. i have also informed the csa account s dept, maintenance assessment dept and all other depts pointing out were their error lies !! they have suddenly realised they are wrong and that an error of almost £2,500.00 should have been taken off my assessment as the initial pay period has been carried forward when it should have been taken off ! they have finally admitted they have made a gross error !! they informed me that because it s now going to tribunal they are unable to adjust the overcharge !, then they sent me a new statement saying they could alter it and gave me a new set of figures i have declined this offer stating that i would prefer the tribunal to decide ! i have recently been sent a letter by the tribunal saying it will now be going to a hearing of which i will need to make an appearance . they letter i have received from the tribunal is also in correct !!! they have stated the names and dates of birth of my two children of which the maintenance is to be paid , however more mistakes have occured they have the name and date of birth of my eldest son correct , but the name and date of my daughter is totally in correct wrong name wrong date of birth my question is given these facts do you think it is possible to quosh the whole thing on the grounds of in admissable information and should i take a solicitor to the tribunal with me many thanks in advance of your help chris
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you mean could their mistakes wipe out your entire liability for child maintenance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare , what information is it you require ?..

I ve no doubt that the csa will be right even though they are wrong and will want their pound of flesh !

However it gives me no confidence in their abilities considering they have made constant errors over the years , together with the final straw from the tribunal that they can t even get the basic facts correct .. ie names and dates of births of my two children who are now grown up and in their early twenties ,,

Given the fact that the information on the tribunal letter sent to me is incorrect .. they are effectively asking me to pay for a child whose name and date of birth i do not recognise .. and who is not my off spring ..

so i was wondering what sort of action can be taken .. in my favour !

and whether or not it should go to tribunal at all given the fact the details are incorrect ? i was also wondering that because of this will they simple just alter the details to suit themselves , or do i have some form of legal rights , ? i was also wondering that because the information is incorrect can i get the entire liability for child maintenance wiped out on the grounds of in admissable information and maladministration from the csa and tribunal services , or do i have a case for those grounds?

Many thanks


Well the answer to the last bit is simple - no I am afraid not.
The staggering level of incompetence shown by the CSA is not new - but what arrears are they demanding - and what would you say they shoudl be if the assessments had been done correctly?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi clare

so given that information, does this mean i am expected to pay for a child i do not have ?

I am currently away from home at the moment and do not have the information you require to hand , however i will forward this as soon as possible


That is fine add it when you can - and you can certainly delay matters by querying the name?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

i left the uk in late dec 1995 to go live and work in lanzarote following my divorce , at this time i had not been contacted by the csa , however due to my ex wife s outrageous behaviour together with her partner (my ex best friend) who i divorced for adultery i found it necessary on many occassions to return to the uk through 1996 in order to finalise my affairs ie sale of house access order to see my children etc .. i finally managed to go back to my job and home in lanzarote on 15/12/96 leaving the uk by ferry as i took my car back with me ..whilst i was back in nthe uk sorting out my affairs i had been contacted by the csa , i wrote a letter to them informing them i was no longer resident in the uk and that my visit was only a temporary one until i had cleared my affairs and that i was leaving the uk on 15/12/96 the csa have lost this letter !!! why am i not surprised ?? on the 27/01/97 my ex wife wrote a letter to the csa telling them that i was no longer in the country !!,, therefore the csa s statement show s that it was suspended on the 17/11/97 and back dated to 27/01/97 when they received my ex wifes letter however they have not adjusted the maintenance figures to show this .. and stated in the mandatory reconsideration notice that it would not affect the amount of maintenance owed .. my reply is it has too !!! this is were the overcharge has occurred as they have not adjusted the initial pay period to show the amount .

i have informed the csa stating that i was not in the country on 27/01/97 but left again on the 15/12/96 and there fore disputing their calculation s

so if we take the date used by the csa 27/01/97 until 17/11/97 = 295 days @7.5871 per day = £2238.19p over charge

if we use the date of when i have proof i left by my ferry tickets

15/12/96 until 17/11/97

= *****@******.*** per day = £2556.82 overcharged

therefore according to my calc s

amount owed £6752.42

less £2556.85

= £4195.56 is the amount i say i owe ,

however the csa are not willing to change the date from 27/01/97 to the 15/12/96 which is were the dispute lies , as i was not in the uk they have come back to me with another set of figures which is very close to my calculation s , but considering the amount of hassle threatening letters and bully boy tactics i am not accepting it !

they also told me that because it had gone to tribunal via the mandatory reconsideration notice they couldn t do anything then sent me a new statement with adjusted figures !?? please advise

many thanks chris

When did you return to the UK or was it after the children had left education?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare I didn't t come back to the uk until 2003 for a year and left in 2004 to go back to lanzarote as my Italian fiancé didn't t like British weather so returned in March April time of 2004 with my partner and step son
Your fiance has my sympathy - how old were the children when you returned?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

my son was born 3/6/91

my daughter born 14/6/92

they would have been 12 and 11 when i returned and coming up to 13 and 12 when i left they are now 23 and 22

For clarity.
When was the assessment first requested?
Were you working in the UK at all in 1997?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

was not in the uk at all in 1997 as returned home to lanzarote on 15/12/96

the assessment was first requested on 04/03/96

here are the figures for the last statement i received from the csa AFTER I HAD POINTED OUT THEIR ERROR S !! AND AFTER THEY SAID IT WAS TOO LATE BECAUSE IT HAD GONE TO TRIBUNAL !

then they sent me this statement with adjusted figures and reads as follows

04/03/96 to 16/11/97=623D @53.11-53.11/7 =£0.00

17/11/97 to 15/06/03=2037D @53.11-0.00/7=£15454.92 U/C

16/06/03 to 05/10/03 = 112D @53.11-75.66/7=£360.80 O/C

06/10/03 to 23/11/03 = 49D @ 53.11-0.00/7 =£371.77 U/C

24/11/03 to 24/04/04 = 153D @53.11-73.22/7=£439.55 O/C

27/01/97 to 24/04/04 =2645D @0.00-53.11/7= £20067.88 O/C

16/06/03 to 24/04/04= 314D @75.66-0.00/7=£3393.90 U/C

06/10/03 to 24/04/04= 202D @0.00-75.66/7 =2183.34 O/C

24/11/03 to 24/04/04 = 153D @73.22-0.00/7 =£1600.38 U/C



We have reduced your arrears by this amount .your arrears balance now stands at £4521.82

i would have thought you would have deducted one from the other to give you the figure but apparentley that s not how they do it !!

My whole point is that i left in 1995 to live abroad having found a home and job !

i have sent proff of this to the csa by way of address and a letter from my ex employer !! i am also going to take a witness to the tribunal with me as i lived with him and his wife for a good 19 months before i got back on my feet !! the csa are having none of it and won t accept this, hence the dispute !! they only contacted me when i had returned in 1996 to finalize my affairs before leaving on the 15/12/96 of which i have proof by means of my ferry tickets from the uk to spain and from spain to lanzarote again the csa are having none of it !! last but not least i wrote a letter to the csa stating i was leaving to return home to lanzarote to take up my job position as i had been in the uk too long and had been threatened with termination of employment if i didn t return within 14 days so hence i left the uk on the 15 dec 1996 , THEY HAVE LOST THIS LETTER !! and in my view conveniently !! i also wrote to the csa in 2003 informing them of my intention to return to the UK which they received ! my other point being i wrote to inform them of coming back to the uk so why wouldn t i write to them to say i was leaving ??? they are taking the date of 27/1/97 which is the date they got a letter from my ex wife saying i d gone to live in tenerife and that d i d opened a bar ,, which couldn t be further from the truth as i went to lanzarote to work as a salesman for a real estate company the person i lived with for 19 months was also a friend from my past and my work colleague who got me the job initially

I just adore the CSA - their contribution to mathematical theories of impossibility is unsurpassed.
For clarity - you have no income from work in the Uk or for a Uk based company nor were you resident in the Uk and receiving an income after March 1996.
Is that correct?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was a director of a family run business , electrical contracting company . although i was not living in the uk the company had agreed to make payments into my bank account as a basic wage for a short period of time due to the fact that i had left their employment and handed in my company shares back to the company for no profit .. these payments were in lieu of what was owed to me in the way of share s returned..

i also thought it was useful as i used this money when i returned to the uk on many occassions to sort out family affairs and the final sale of my house , before returning home to lanzarote in dec 96 it was not my intention to return to the uk but since my ex wife mad things nigh on impossible i found it necessary to fly to the uk at least 12 times between jan to dec until i could get her to sign stuff , but had left the uk long before march 1996 it was on one of these return trips that the csa contacted me .. my bank statements show no monies going out except for expenses ie no utility bills etc money paid in was for about 6-8 weeks from the company as payment for my shares , they also left my job position open for 12 months in case i changed my mind .. but realised i had no intention of returning to the uk so in oct 96 they finally struck me off the directors list , i was staying at my parents house on most occassions when i had to return to the uk as my family home had been sold on no occassion did i work for the company whilst being on brief visit s to the uk to finalise my affairs , and pay bills outstanding ie solicitors final elec/gas bill tel bill etc

How much were you paid by the company in that year?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I Currently don t have that info to hand but will do my best to try and find out , although i have kept records of just about everything some things have gone astray over the years , as you ll appreciate it was some time ago .. the company is no longer in existence ...

That is fine - add it when you can
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

apologies it s taken a while to get back to you , i have been searching through my files and a you ll appreciate it was some years ago , the only info i can find is i was paid £325 per week gross for around 6 weeks back in 1996 less tax and NI

Now you have all the information at hand can you please advise me of the best action to take against the csa for my forth coming tribunal

I would just like to advise that unfortunately i had to declare myself bankrupt on the 15th may 2012 in sunderland county court ref 130 of 2012,

i was living in southern Ireland at the time but had to come to the UK in order to file for bankruptcy as they have no provision for it In Southern Ireland ,

this was caused by the recession and high interest rates over there and my mortgage went from 479 euro per month to 1640 euro per month and was fighting a loosing battle as was made unemployed by the company i was working for as they went into receivership also , owing me at least 10 months wages tried desperately to find a job but no luck .. so moved back to the Uk so lost my house and my investment of 80,000 euros which i paid as a deposit on the property 320.000euros , i still have debts to repay to friends and family who have loaned me money until i get back on my feet again. Currently living with my parents on a temporary basis , I,m Not claiming any kind of benefits soc security dole etc etc , and living on my savings together with selling off all my possessions to survive , I ve had two jobs since 2013 as a sales rep commission based only but both companys have recently gone bust also owing me money!! Currently looking for employment ...

I was informed by the csa that had i moved to Scotland they would have written off my arrears and closed the case for good .. but because i,m Living in England the Law is different and i,m still liable for the Arrears .. i have been told that the bear minimum i can pay is £7.30p per week

many thanks chris

Ps i have to add that if my current position does not improve and can t find a job in the UK , I Am seriously considering moving back to Lanzarote where i have been offered a job and an apartment

Just to check - have you seen a copy of your CSA file?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

they have sent me documents letters etc which i guess is part of my file, i ve also got a written letter from the tribunal from the case writer


Right - when is the Tribunal?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They have already had one tribunal , as it s a long drawn out history etc I am awaiting a date now for an attended hearing/tribunal. I will be taking all evidence of maladministration and incompetent errors made by the csa. I shall be presenting all evidence of living abroad which they have already been sent previous. I shall be taking my witnesses of proof of living abroad I will also be taking my ferry tickets
Bank statements etc. to date I am still waiting for the tribunal hmcts to send me a hearing date which I would imagine could be any day soon
The starting point is for you to obtain a full copy of your CSA file using the Freedom of Information Act - details here
You also need to trace as much information about your income in the UK in 1996.
The fact that you were kept on the books by the company means that the CSA were entitled to raise an assessment for that year until you left for good in the December.
Having said that that is actually only a very minor part of the dispute and does not address the bizarre arithmetic.
You are entitled to have a proper accounting for the assessment from 4.3.96 to 14.12.96 and to have any assessment thereafter written off.
You need to ensure that you have prepared a clear Chronology - and match it up with the claims that are being raised.
Do not be distracted by things such as wrong names - yes mention them but do not make a fuss of it - you have a good clear cut case - there is no need to do anything other than throw up the nonsense of the mathematics
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

So what your saying is 4.3.96 to 14.12.96 is the only period i am liable for arrears and to have any assessment thereafter written off..

what about the year i moved back to the uk between 2003 and 2004 ?

surely they won t write that year off ??

given the information i sent you of recent new figures sent to me by the CSA which are adjusted yet again of OVERCHARGE and UNDERCHARGE I would be grateful if you would do a calculation on this and let me know what figure you think i owe

Just to check to see if we arrive at the same conclusion !!

The Bizarre Mathematics are just mind boggling if you look at their figures it shows that from 4.3.96 to 16.11.97 i was liable for £0.00

After what you have informed me i reckon the CSA are only able to charge me for

4.3.96 to 14.12.96 and 15.6.03 to 24.04.04 am i correct in saying this ??

I have Phoned the CSA This Morning and Requested My case File

Regards Chris