Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Updates of Legal Affairs…

Child Support Agency pays the legal fees of a man whose case they mishandled

April 4th, 2012

Henry Roy, of Paisley who was locked in a battle with a Child Support Agency (CSA) for more than three years claimed that he could have been sent to prison due to a series of mistakes.

The father of two, who claimed that he had a good relationship with his children and former wife, after their divorce, was paying a regular amount on an informal basis but the trouble started when his ex had made arrangements to get it through the CSA.

He was taken to the court twice for £8000 an amount which he disputed as he was unemployed for a period and eventually the CSA agreed that he owed only a little more than £1000.

The officials of the Child Support Agency in an unusual step wrote to him admitting that they had not dealt the case properly hence they were agreeing to pay more than £1700 towards the legal fees he incurred disputing the sum they pursued him for.

The CSA letter stated that they have re-examined the details of the case and that they agreed there was mal-administration.

Mr Roy, 45, says he is relieved the ordeal appears to be behind him, but has no faith in the “inept” system.

He said in principle, the CSA was a great idea, but the reality was that practice was disgraceful. The system he said was completely incompetent.

He said his and his family’s life over the past few years would have been much easier if the officials had done their jobs right.

He added that it worked for him as he got a lawyer and because he had kept every piece of paperwork involved in the case, but doubted for people who could not be prepared.

A spokesman for the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission said parents were only at risk of jail if a court believed they have willfully or culpably failed to pay maintenance.

They are relieved from the duty to pay for their children if they can prove they have no income and are financially dependent on others. If the CSA has not given them that opportunity, compensation may be pay-able but the reimbursement of legal fees should only be justified in very exceptional, complex