A Conversation for Child Support Agency

Fine in principle, but ...

Post 1

Cheerful Dragon

O.K., fathers should pay to support their children, and there have been a lot of cases of fathers using genuine cases as cover for ducking out of their responsibilities. But there have been cases where an agreement was made and honoured by both parties, but the CSA decided it wasn't right and made its own ruling. Or where fathers were asked to pay more than they could afford, bearing in mind that some had a second family by this time. Or where the mother didn't want support from the father, but was told that Benefits would be withheld if she didn't name him so that he could be chased by the CSA. Or the fact that, in the early days, the bulk of the money paid by the fathers didn't go to the mothers at all, but went straight into the Treasury coffers.

I agree that changes and improvements have been and are being made. But in the early days the CSA was a waste of time and money and served no useful purpose. Many of the people that worked for it didn't like what was going on and there were instances where large amounts of paperwork were dumped because they didn't want to (or didn't have time to) deal with it.

(In case you are wondering, I am not an absentee father or single parent mother deprived of support or benefit)

Fine in principle, but ...

Post 2

Ginger The Feisty

I think it has started to work though. Too many absent parents get away with not supporting their children and it so wrong!

Fine in principle, but ...

Post 3

I.V. BeerDwarf

I also agree that too many get away without taking care of their responsibilities.
It is not however a straight forward issue. There are the added complications in the fact that mothers often withhold access of fathers to see their children; for vindictive reasons or to use as a bargaining power.
Also it is interesting to see that in most custody issues, children go to the mother, when children should go to the parent most able to provide. With an unfair custody system, it is only natural for someone who has been unfairly treated, to treat the system with contempt.
In my opinion unless custody issues for fathers are adressed, the child support issue will continue!

Fine in principle, but ...

Post 4

Phill -E-

I read your reply with interset and noted that it was a shadow of negagtive, yet influential, media coverage in that only a tiny piece of the picture is being shown and very little factual knowledge has ever been relayed. The CSA does not make decisions whether previous agreements are right or wrong unless benefits are involved. Why should taxpayers pay money for these children when the absent parent isn't paying anything? They shouldn't, it should be the absent parents responsibility to pay for their own children whether the parents are together or not. Money only goes to the government in this situation. If no benefits are being paid to the parent with main care then thay can choose whether to make their own agreemnet but most choose to come through the system to get regular payments off a useully spiteful ex-partner.
Also if an absent parent does have a second family then consideration is given to this based on their new partners ability to contribute and the age of any new children in the house. If there are young children then especial consideration is give in this occurecnce.
Also people spread the rumour of paperwork 'thrown away' in the early days but no mention is ever made of razorblades and other nasty little surprises which frequently appeard amongst the post.
The CSA is an easy target for people quick to make opinions but in this case both sides of the story should be carefully considered before any rash decisions are made.

Fine in principle, but ...

Post 5

Cheerful Dragon

My reply was not based on 'negative, yet influential, media coverage showing only a tiny piece of the picture'. It was based on, amongst other things, a Channel 4 series on the CSA, which I must assume contained more than a grain of truth. I don't recall mention of razor blades being received in the post, but I'll take your word for it.

Why should the CSA make decisions on whether agreements are right or wrong, regardless of whether benefits are involved? If two people came to an agreement, particularly if the courts were involved, that agreement should be binding. I agree, the absent parent (usually the father) should contribute. However, what if the agreement was that the wife and mother should keep the house (still paid for by the father) in lieu of a support payment? The father is supporting the family by paying to keep a roof over their head, and still has to pay for his own accommodation. How is it fair to then ask him to pay even more?

I haven't made any decisions, rash or otherwise, about the CSA, except that it was possibly ill-conceived. To some extent it has been the victim negative media coverage, but there's no smoke without fire!

Fine in principle, but ...

Post 6

Martin Harper

If anyone doesn't believe the razorblade thing - it's all too true. The same lunatic fringe associated with the animal rights movement seem to have decided that the CSA is the work of the devil, with the standard consequences. Razorblades seem to be the least of your worries if your opening the post for the CSA....

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