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Maximum CSA contributions

Comment 6th July 2010

Issue 1.

Currently, the first child is entitled to 15% of the gross income of their absent parent up to a limit of 300 per week.

So if the absent parent is earning 108,000 per annum, the parent-with-care receives 16,200 per annum

If the absent parent is earning 300,000 per annum, the parent-with-care still receives only 16,200 per annum!

I propose to remove this limit.

Issue 2.

The absent parent should be legally obliged to be full and frank with the CSA about their financial circumstances. The CSA should make no changes to the parent-in-care's income until the parent-with-care has had an opportunity to challenge it.

I propose that the CSA has the same powers as a court to require the absent parent to complete a Form E.

Issue 3.

Where the absent parent has control over their own earnings the courts should have jurisdiction over the CSA to set their maintenance liability.

Why does this matter?

Issue 1.

Does anyone know when the limit was last increased?

I don't know anyone who only spends 15% of their income on their children, but someone earning over 2000 per week can certainly afford to continue to pay 15% of any income over and above this.

Why should their children have a lower standard of living than they themselves enjoy? Infact, why should their children have a lower standard of living than the average household? According to the Office for National Statistics, the average household income in 2008/9 was around 25,000 (after tax)

Issue 2.

Self-employed individuals can run rings around the CSA's employees. The CSA acts on partial information before they have made any effort to ascertain the whole truth. So if an absent parent resigns as director of their own company because they have sold it for a small fortune, they can cause havoc to the parent-with-care's budget by sending the CSA their P45.

It can take the CSA six months to inform the parent-with-care by which point an apparent 'overpayment' has already been incurred before the parent-with-care has had a chance to challenge the reasons for the change in their income! And then the parent-with-care's income is reduce even further while the apparent 'overpayment' is paid back!

Issue 3.

The courts do not have the jurisdiction to award a top-up payment until the limit is reached. Judges and lawyers do not seem to have a clue how the CSA makes their calculations and how easy it is for the absent parent to avoid their liabilities.

The CSA does not have the expertise to investigate complex financial arrangements.

 


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