Monday, August 06, 2007

Debbi's Story

The other day I received the following comment on this post:

I have an ex self employed partner who in 2000 decided being a father wasn't his cup of tea, and disappeared, called in the CSA from 2000- 2004 not a word or penny from the ex, then he sold his house and we got some off the arrears through a charging order, then suddenly he contacts them, I'm no longer working as a builder and Im not claiming any benefits so could you kindly reasses me , certaintly the CSA said, here have a nil assessment, (note the sarcasm) hold says I , this is a self employed builder who for 15 years fiddled his tax returns and is known for working cash in hand, sorry says the csa, nil assessment stands , enter tribunal, no response for information from NRP and i win, NRP asks for it to be set aside and it is, 1 yr later tribunal heard how he bought a £340,000.00 house for he and his partner and how he gave up work to work for himself on his "6 bedroom dream house" for 2 people why ? "because I can" ! he wins second appeal because on grounds of deprivation of income a self employed NRP cannot deprived themselves of an income, so he lives in a 6 bedroom house, claims not to have done any cash jobs in 4 years,even though tribunal agreed his tax returns were false and he had worked cash in hand, has a mercedes van, an alfa romeo car, and a boat in the drive.. and a nil assessment !!... yep I hold the CSA and the tribunal service in high regard !!

I haven't verified the facts, but if we have a system that can allow an able father who lives in a £340,000 house to pay nothing for his children, then we have a system that is broken. What's more, I can't see that the proposed reforms to the system (C-MEC), will help people like Debbi. The only chance that she would have for justice is a return to the old court-based system, perhaps only for those cases considered inappropriate for the child support system, or its successor. Only a court can properly examine the facts and, where it is clear that the absent parent has the means to pay, even if he/she claims to have no income, the court can infer that he/she has an income, put a figure to that income, and make a maintenance order. For example, the court can look at any income figure given in a mortgage application, or look at lifestyle compared to disclosed income, such as in a tax return - if it is clear that that lifestyle is of a far higher standard than the disclosed income would allow, then the court can adjudge that the true income is higher.

24 comments:

  1. Well I just had to comment on this posting, John.

    Debbie - I would approach his IR LOCAL COMPLIANCE OFFICE and have a word with a tax inspector.Of what benefit this will be for you may be little, but if they do open up an enquiry they can back track for up to 20 years if they find anything of interest.

    I presume your case is not with enforcement now. But I would ask the CSA for a change in circumstance ( COC ). You can ask for one at the end his year end accounts. Get your MP involved.

    The self employed just make up 7% of the CSA workload.They base maintenance awards on self assessment. I believe the IR only check 3% of these forms.

    Yes - I think the self employed issue should be handed back to the Courts, but, like everything else, Court proceedings can be held up and NRPs can still lie and get away with it!

    As for C-Mess, I haven't bothered submitting a response to Bill 118 because I know nothing will change. So what is the bloody point?

    Update on my case: John knows my ex is a barrister.He has recently got in contact to see our son. He turns up in an 2004 Jag. Oh...and he gave our son a fiver...generous of him. Once he was assessed to pay that in weekly child support.

    I also had the CSA Parliamentary Business Manager on the phone the other night, but little good that will do.He will still get away with paying an obscence small amount ofr our son.

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  2. I agree that the courts are no guarantee of success, but at least they give the parent with care some control over the process. The old court-based system was far from perfect, but it was a damn sight better than what we have now.

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  3. Totally agree.But who pays the lawyers fees?

    Anyway, must share some good news with you.

    On another website I have started advising PWCs to contact the IR.

    I'm sure the lady won't mind me cutting and pasting here:

    "After waiting more than two years for payments for my daughter with an Agency who cannot communicate with me I finally go a phone call about the money that was owed me.
    I had changed my bank and the CSA were worried as the large cheque that they sent me had been returned.
    This payment has been made to me after I wrote directly to my ex partner and told him quite bluntly that I was fed up of waiting for payments , and that the amounts that he told the CSA didnt add up . ( Hes self employed )
    I informed him that I had already drafted a letter to the Inland Revenue and that if he did not pay my maintenance within 10days then I would send it off!!!
    This action I would recomend if you think they are on the fiddle and you have an address to write to."

    ROFL. Great stuff and hats off to the lady.

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  4. As I've said elsewhere, the government won't revert to a court-based system, because it's afraid of the effect on the legal aid budget. Of course, if the PWC is successful, they can ask the court to order the NRP to pay their costs.

    Liked the story about threatening to contact the IR - always worth a try!

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  5. I was talking to the CSA only last night. Wanted them to request a P60 and tax return. They said no, first they must request 2 months payslips and do a reassessment based on that. If the resident parent is still not satisfied they will consider doing a further reassessment and then they will request P60. One just knows it is not going to happen. It will be much quicker for the Resident Parent to make a Schedule One Application, obtain a Statement of Means and then send the financial information to the CSA. Bet it will still just sit in someone's in tray though!!!

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  6. WOW...just read your posting twice ( cos I'm pissed )

    ...and it will continue to grow...the tray I mean. Not the hoover...see below.

    Nothing is easy when we come down to dealing cards with the CSA.

    Please enlighten me to what a S.1 App is et al? Form E ? What are we talking about here or is this a wind up?

    Just had an Opinion back from a London barrister...Not that it concerns an NW barrister...Oh No! Not in the least....lol. Appears that certain earnings do NOT ADD UP to certain earnings disclosed via LSC.Oh well... that doesn't matter.

    BTW...I can give CSA Opinions for free...cos I HAVE NO BLOODY DUTY OF CARE ...SO UP YOURS ALL PWCS.

    Besides Henry the Hoover ( OK ...Numatic Vaccummis...to avoid lawsuits) has given up the ghost. £85 plus P&P via ebay plus a couple of other reputable websites.

    What girl can live without Henry? I can. I'm going to instigate an affair with Son of Henry.Or perhaps Hetty will do better? I've been thinking of it after rejecting a few passes.

    The father was worn out and knackered anyhow from overuse. 4 years. Oh Well...

    PS It's a sad state of affairs when one finds one worrying about finding the monies to fund a frigging vacumm purchase. But when one is owed a five figure sum it deo sn't matter...

    I digress.

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  7. Lynne: Thanks for the comment. Nice to see the usual flexible common-sense attitude by the CSA! Don't think I'll take you up on that bet though...

    Sensemaya: Lynne is referring to a Schedule 1 Children Act application for financial provision for children. Schedule 1 is usually used to obtain a lump sum for the benefit of the child, or in relation to the child's home. Obviously, it cannot be used to obtain child maintenance where the CSA has jurisdiction.

    Sorry to hear about Henry, and I hope you don't have a hangover this morning...

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  8. Hi John , thanks for your comments, I have now sent off my appeal to the commissioners and am waiting to see if they think I have a case to appeal,it was turned down by the tribunal service,I also emailed lots of MPs who full of sympathy but no action,you mentioned mortgage applications, his said an income of £25,ooo his tax return for the same year says £7,000 and yep I have contacted the IR, serves no purpose but sweet revenge but doesnt help feed and clothe my child,however I will keep you informed regarding the commissioner.
    Debbi

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  9. Hi Debbi. Thanks for that update. Interesting (but not surprising) to hear of the disparity between the income given on the mortgage application and that declared to the IR - this is just the sort of thing a robust court can properly investigate. Good luck with the appeal.

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  10. Hi
    Just to give you an update, I have today had a reply from the commissioners and I have been granted leave to appeal, the commissioners stated in the letter
    that he grants leave because "it raises an important issue whether a self-employed person who gives up self-employment can fall within paragraph 27 of schedule 1"
    So another round begins, but hopefully as it is the commissioner who has given the leave to appeal I have a chance, will keep you updated.
    debbi

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  11. Hi Debbi. Thanks again for the update. That is good news. Certainly, there is nothing in paragraph 27 to say that it does not apply to the self-employed.

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  12. Another further update, The Secretary of State now supports my appeal ! almost wrote word for word my arguments in support on the appeal.

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  13. Excellent news! Keep me posted.

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  14. Hi John,
    I today recieved the decision of the commissioner, he has set aside the tribunals decision as wrong in law,and the NRP is subject to paragraph 27 of schedule 1,and the only directions he has given the tribunal is to decide how much the net income is to be included in the assessment, so as they had already touched upon his actually income in their directions and decided it was around 25,000 per year, we hopefully will have an assessment made soon ! (only 3.5yrs later !!),many thanks for your messages of support. Debbi

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  15. Wonderful! As you say, only three and a half years late...

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  16. final update..one hopes :)
    had tribunal hearing on the 17th April. got directions today the NRP is assessed at having £20,000 net income per year,hearing was interesting the NRPP doing all the talking and trying the convince the tribunal that the NRP couldnt do the same type as work that earnt him £20,000 gross in the year 2000, and then the NRP pipes up and says, ive been doing some private jobs and done a course of kitchen fitting ....all while still telling the CSA he has no income, bless em :), so we await the MA being sent out and the collection of the 4yrs arrears :)
    thanks for your interest and messages of support :) x

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  17. :-) One piece of advice - don't spend the money until you've actually received it!

    Best wishes,

    John.

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  18. oh yep, we aren't making any holiday plans just yet :)

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  19. Further update, no sign of any arrears being paid off, and the NRP signed on JSA a few days after the appeal decsion and got another nil assesment,which means another round of appeals, he is continuing to work on his own house and cash in hand, and now not only cheats his son out of support but benefits by also getting Job seekers allowance now as well !!!

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  20. Brilliant. And so it goes on. Thanks for the update.

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  21. further update, on the never ending saga, the third appeal is yet to be heard against his nil assesment given 2 days after I won the last two appeals on depravation of income, we also have a fourth appeal as he appealed against the departure I gained on housing costs, you may recall he spent 4 years saying he had no income and the NRPP paid for everything, his argument against the departure, well of course he now claims to have paid 50% of everything (includung the mortgage) during the 4years he had no income ??!!
    will keep you updated but as son is only now 17, there may be more appeals to follow !!

    regards
    Debbi

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  22. Thanks for the update, Debbi. It would be laughable, if it were not so serious...

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  23. Well one more update , the two appeals were heard today , and I won both , the csa were questioned as to why he was given another nil assessment after a deprivation decision because as I had argued his circumstances hadn't changed, he has also been told that whatever happens in the future the deprivation of income stands and he is assessed as having an income of 20,000 per year , so he cannot now try another ploy of claiming to be working but only earning minimum wage, so hopefully this is after 9 years the end of fighting for him to support his son , but I don't hold my breath !!

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  24. Excellent news, but no, don't hold your breath...

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