This site uses cookies, your continued use implies you agree with our cookie policy.

My Ex is lying to the CMS

My ex earns more than he declares!...

"If someone is in receipt of benefits and doing work illegally, this is benefit fraud and a completely different set of rules apply" -  Child Maintenance Expert Jean Smith.

If your ex is earning more than they declare, this can be a difficult situation to be in because it is hard to get the agency to take your claims seriously without any proof. You both have the right to be believed.

You should first tell the CMS. It is likely that they will refuse to do a revision without some proof but they could certainly contact your ex and ask if they have other sources of income. If the paying parent denies it, you will be the one who will need to try and establish there is income which has not been taken into account in the assessment. 

Remember also that this might cause trouble between you and your ex. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and get the matter dealt with but it could cause difficulty for you and your children.

How do you know they earn more money than they declare? If it is because they earned more when you were together; this is not very likely to succeed unless you have more proof.

Is their lifestyle more extravagant than their income would provide? Do they have luxury holidays or drive a luxury car? Are they a member of a gym? Do they have a season ticket for the local football team? Do they smoke 50 fags a day? Do they have a hobby which costs a lot to upkeep? Are their housing costs more than they earn?

These are all ways to try and highlight to the CMS that they possibly have more income than they are declaring and the way to challenge their income is to put in for a variation. The more information you can provide, the more chance of success. If the CMS refuse to accept that their lifestyle is not consistent with their income then they will refuse the variation but you have the right of appeal and can go to a tribunal to argue your case. 

The Lifestyle variation is not available to people who have assessments made by the Child Maintenance Service.

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to help you with the variation and appeal.

"It is possible to win the argument for undeclared income but it is a long drawn out process."

< Back to Child Maintenance