A brief explanation of the CSA (Child Support Agency)
The CSA was set-up in 1993 following the Child Support Act 1991. Before the CSA was set-up the Courts dealt with child support matters. The setting up of the CSA envisaged that all matters of child support would be handled by this government department rather than the Courts. Unfortunately the CSA has proven itself some distance short of the task in hand.
The CSA should assess the amount of maintenance due to be paid to a parent with care (the person with whom the child normally lives) and arrange payment to be made by the non-resident parent (the person who spends less time with the child).
Whether you are parent with care(PWC) or a non-resident parent (NRP) this site has something for you and is specifically designed to give a broad background as to how the CSA works.
For shorthand purposes we refer to the parent with care as female and the non-resident parent as male. We apologise in advance in respect of those cases where it is incorrect but this does reflect the reality of most cases. Nonetheless the legislation concerning child support is “gender blind” which means whatever your sex and whatever your status (parent with care or non-resident parent) you should receive equal treatment from the CSA.
Unfortunately the high hopes with which the CSA were set-up did not last and child support legislation was substantially amended in 1995, again in 1996 and yet again in 2000. We now have a very confusing system whereby some people are assessed under the old system (those cases commenced between 1993 and 2003), some cases are assessed under the new system (mostly those cases after March 2003) and some cases whilst started on the old system are already being moved to the new system. This is called conversion.
We also have other cases that are currently old system but are being transferred to the new computer system. This is called “migration”. It does not affect the method of calculation but the CSA are experiencing huge problems in migrating cases and this can create real difficulties both during and after the migration process.