Undisclosed Partners: Financial Support
How a couple organise their finances will vary from couple to couple. Relevant factors may be:
- the existence of joint accounts or investments. If the customer claims that the joint account is being maintained because one of them is credit blacklisted, does the pattern of transactions suggest that the other person is withdrawing his/her wages for their own use? Or are there indications that the wages are available to meet general household expenditure?
- the extent to which money and other financial resources are pooled.
- who pays the household expenses?
- whether the suspected partner makes regular payments to the customer, and if so, what they are for.
- whether the suspected partner would provide financial support if the customer’s income ceased.
- whether the customer would support the suspected partner if their income ceased.
- whether a set amount of maintenance to be paid by the absent parent following a decision by the CSA or a binding agreement between the parties.
At any meeting you should attempt to establish the customer’s incomings and outgoings so that you can see whether they could exist on their own income. If you have already seen bank statements and household bills you should be ready to challenge suspect items. For example deposits into the bank account, direct debits, patterns of withdrawal or any expenses for which you would have expected to see bills but none have been produced.