Sometimes, parents need to appeal to HM Courts and Tribunal service to dispute a decision made by CSA, but the process for lodging an appeal has now changed. Any decision made after 28.10.13 must first apply for a Mandatory Reconsideration, which can be done verbally or in writing direct to Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance Service. Following a Mandatory Reconsideration request, the child support officer is obliged to provide you with a written Mandatory Reconsideration Notice. Without this notice, you cannot lodge an appeal.
The Mandatory Reconsideration request can still only apply against a child support "decision" and so it remains that there are no rights of appeal against debt or pay schedules detailing your monthly payments. A decision includes:
- A Maintenance Assessment/Calculation
- A Refusal to revise or Supersede an existing Assessment/Calculation.
- A Variation or Departure Decision
- A Refusal to complete a Variation or Departure Decision.
- There are appeal rights against Paternity but these are dealt with by a Magistrate Court, not a Tribunal.
- There are appeal rights against a Deduction from Earnings Order, but these are also dealt with by a Magistrate Court.
A Mandatory Reconsideration request should be made direct to Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance Service, either verbally or in writing, within one month of the decision that you are disputing. You should submit any additional evidence that you believe is necessary for the Agency to amend the decision in your favour. The Mandatory Reconsideration process will consider the grounds for dispute along with any additional evidence provided. The outcome must be notified in writing - known as the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice. The decision may be either:
- The original decision is revised, and a new decision is issued. This should also provide further details of any further opportunities of appeal. The applicant may, within one month ask for a statement of reasons against any Mandatory Reconsideration decision.
- That the original decision is correct and no revision will be issued. Again this should details of the next stage of appeal. The applicant may, within one month ask for a statement of reasons against any Mandatory Reconsideration decision.
If you still dispute the decision, you must appeal the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice within one month of the notice being received. Your application to appeal is called Direct Lodgement and must be made using the Direct Lodgement Form
Once your form is completed, you must send it, together with the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, to the appropriate address according to where you live (we recommend using record/registered post):
England and Wales:
HMCTS SSCS Appeals Centre
PO Box 1203
HMCTS SSCS Appeals Centre
PO Box 27080
Upon receipt of the Direct Lodgement form, check will be made to ensure that the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice is enclosed. If it is not, the appeal is not duly made and the application will be returned to you.
If your Mandatory Reconsideration Form has been enclosed with your Direct Lodgement application, the process for appeal will continue under the management of HM Courts and Tribunals.
For support and guidance through both Mandatory Reconsideration process, and the stages of appeal why not consider taking advantage of our one month subscription service to talk to one of our team. Click here to join