Weblog archive for May 2005

3rd May 2005

Cheating wife pays husband for time spent raising lover's child

"A FRENCHMAN has won a ground-breaking ruling against his former wife and her lover, ordering them to pay back the money that he had spent on bringing up a child he had mistakenly assumed to be his own."

The court has taken account of the good faith of the father, who believed the daughter to be his own. The difficulty is evaluating exactly how much a man has spent on a child. That's very complicated. 

Pierre Murat, Professor of Law at Grenoble University

I expected to hear about this happening in the USA before it happened in France!

"The man, named as G in the ruling, was awarded €23,000 (£15,600) after a DNA test revealed that he was not the father of the 13-year-old child, Astrid.

"The judges said that she had committed a "fault" by failing to tell her husband that she had been having an affair at the time of the conception and that she did not know whose daughter Astrid was. The court denounced the lover, named as L, who suspected that Astrid might have been his child, but who also failed to air his suspicions."

4th May 2005

Fighting a faceless, uncaring, state

It is hard enough to challenge government when it has gone wrong. It is even harder when there is incompetent IT in the way!

(Franz Kafka, (1883-1924), got here first!)

An overpayment may arise for a number of reasons and where possible are collected from continuing awards. Any customer who believes this may cause hardship should contact the tax credits office. If the overpayment is a result of our error and it was reasonable for the claimant to think that it was right, we will not recover it. 

HM Revenue & Customs spokesman

We cannot comment on individual cases. The Child Support Agency works hard to ensure parents support their children financially and currently deals with over a million cases. We are doing our utmost to shelter customers from IT problems which we are urgently working with our supplier to resolve. 

CSA spokesperson

"Two years ago, the then Inland Revenue (IR), which now comes under HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), sent her a payment of £1,354.47. Ms Hutton got the impression this was money owed from previous Child Tax Credit underpayments, and believing that the IR system had got it right, proceeded to buy a cot and sofa. Two months ago, Ms Hutton was in for a shock when she received a bill stating she had been overpaid and was billed £1,354.47. She said: "As a single parent I am struggling, there is no way I can afford to pay this. You assume they know what they're doing when they send you that kind of money."

"Ms Hutton's issue with the CSA has also come about from what appears to be an error on their part. Upon gaining part-time employment in January 2004, she stopped claiming income support, and was entitled to the full amount of child maintenance payments made to the CSA by her former partner. However, it took the CSA several months to ensure she received the correct amount on a regular basis. Ms Hutton was then informed by the CSA that they owed her £402.09 which they said she would receive within six weeks. It is now almost a year later, and Ms Hutton has still not received the money owed to her, despite literally hundreds of phone calls and letters she claims she has made to them requesting it.

"They recently sent her a bill for £2.14, which she says "adds insult to injury", and then dropped her support payments by £8 without explanation."

12th May 2005

CSA enforcement guides published

"[We] are publishing the enforcement guides for the first time today. These guides are used by staff when progressing cases and taking debt enforcement action".

13th May 2005

CSA Says 'Sorry' to Accused Vasectomy Man

Note the quote in the box on the right!

The CSA deals with more than one million cases and sometimes a mistake may be made. 

CSA spokesman

"A 58-year-old man today told how he received a Child Support Agency letter claiming he had fathered a son – 15 years after his successful vasectomy. Michael Williams, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, was named as the father of a boy he has never heard of, by a woman he has never met....

"It's caused havoc in my household. If it wasn’t for the fact that she trusts me implicitly this could have ruined my marriage....

"The CSA said it would apologise yet he still received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions informing him £5 would be taken from his benefits, even though he had not admitted he was the boy's father, nor undergone a paternity test".

26th May 2005

Changes to the way the CSA pays maintenance

The CSA is changing the way they pay maintenance to parents with care who currently receive a cheque in the post from them. They will now pay it straight into a bank, building society or Post Office® card account. Although 2 links are shown below, they give the same message.

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Page last updated: 14 October, 2005 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2005