Written evidence submitted anonymously


I had 3 children by my previous marriage. Two of my children are now adults and I no longer pay Child Maintenance for them. My third child will be 20 at the end of March and I assume my responsibility to pay maintenance under the CMS scheme will stop then.

I have always paid my ex-wife each month a sum of money to help support the children and I have never reneged on my responsibility. I always paid via a private agreement. I sat down with my ex and was open about my earnings and outgoings and demonstrated how much I could reasonably afford to pay for the children. I also used the old CSA guidelines to ensure what I was paying was a correct amount. This was worked out as a sum per child, per month until they reached adulthood.

During our final ancillary hearings my ex decided that she would raise a CMS case for my one remaining child to ensure that she could maximise the income from me.

It was then that I discovered the arbitrary, impersonal, unfair, and predisposed organisation that was the CMS.

My main issues with the CMS and the guidelines that they inflexibly adhere to are;

My suggestions for improvement are;

A revision at government level needs to be undertaken to ascertain the standard amount a child needs to be supported with and this should be enforced by CMS. Any revision up or down from that amount should be discussed through personal agreements or by court orders entered amongst the parents and away from the control of the CMS.

A personal case worker should be assigned to each case and that person, or their deputy would be the sole go to point for any queries on the case.

I have had to put much of my life on-hold whilst I have been paying the large sum for the support of my children for all these years. I could not get a mortgage to move house. I could not go on holidays or afford other luxuries. I would never renege on my responsibility to support my children. I would just request that it was enforced in a fairer way. At the time of writing, I am aware that the last child who I pay maintenance for will be 20 in 19 days’ time. Yet nobody from CMS has contacted me to tell me the case is ending. Nobody has informed me if there is anything outstanding to be paid. Again as the paying parent I am treated with disdain and treated unfairly.

March 2022