Search Legislation

Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland)

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Maintenance calculations and default and interim maintenance decisions

Maintenance calculations and terminology

1.—(1) In the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (NI 23) (in this Act referred to as “the Child Support Order”), for Article 13 (maintenance assessments) there shall be substituted—

Maintenance calculations

13.(1) An application for a maintenance calculation made to the Department shall be dealt with by it in accordance with the provision made by or under this Order.

(2) The Department shall (unless it decides not to make a maintenance calculation in response to the application, or makes a decision under Article 14) determine the application by making a decision under this Article about whether any child support maintenance is payable and, if so, how much.

(3) Where—

(a)a parent is treated under Article 9(3) as having applied for a maintenance calculation; but

(b)the Department becomes aware before determining the application that the parent has ceased to fall within Article 9(1),

it shall, subject to paragraph (4), cease to treat that parent as having applied for a maintenance calculation.

(4) If it appears to the Department that paragraph (10) of Article 7 would not have prevented the parent with care concerned from making an application for a maintenance calculation under that Article it shall—

(a)notify that parent of the effect of this paragraph; and

(b)if, before the end of the period of one month beginning with and including the day on which notice was sent to the parent with care, that parent asks the Department to do so, treat that parent as having applied not under Article 9 but under Article 7.

(5) Where paragraph (3) applies but paragraph (4) does not, the Department shall notify—

(a)the parent with care concerned; and

(b)the non-resident parent (or alleged non-resident parent), where it appears to the Department that that person is aware that the parent with care has been treated as having applied for a maintenance calculation.

(6) The amount of child support maintenance to be fixed by a maintenance calculation shall be determined in accordance with Part I of Schedule 1 unless an application for a variation has been made and agreed.

(7) If the Department has agreed to a variation, the amount of child support maintenance to be fixed shall be determined on the basis it determines under Article 28F(4).

(8) Part II of Schedule 1 makes further provision with respect to maintenance calculations..

(2) In the Child Support Order—

(a)for “maintenance assessment”, wherever it occurs, there shall be substituted “maintenance calculation”; and

(b)for “assessment” (or any variant of that term), wherever it occurs, there shall be substituted “calculation” (or the corresponding variant) preceded, where appropriate, by “a” instead of “an”.

(3) For Part I of Schedule 1 to the Child Support Order, there shall be substituted the Part I set out in Schedule 1.

Applications under Article 7 of the Child Support Order

2.—(1) Article 7(10) of the Child Support Order (child support maintenance) shall be amended as follows.

(2) In sub-paragraph (a), after “maintenance order” there shall be inserted “made before a prescribed date”.

(3) After sub-paragraph (a), there shall be inserted—

(aa)a maintenance order made on or after the date prescribed for the purposes of sub-paragraph (a) is in force in respect of them, but has been so for less than the period of one year beginning with and including the date on which it was made; or.

Applications by persons claiming or receiving benefit

3.  For Article 9 of the Child Support Order (applications by those receiving benefit) there shall be substituted—

Applications by those claiming or receiving benefit

9.(1) This Article applies where income support, an income-based jobseeker’s allowance or any other benefit of a prescribed kind is claimed by or in respect of, or paid to or in respect of, the parent of a qualifying child who is also a person with care of the child.

(2) In this Article, that person is referred to as “the parent”.

(3) The Department may—

(a)treat the parent as having applied for a maintenance calculation with respect to the qualifying child and all other children of the non-resident parent in relation to whom the parent is also a person with care; and

(b)take action under this Order to recover from the non-resident parent, on the parent’s behalf, the child support maintenance so determined.

(4) Before doing what is mentioned in paragraph (3), the Department shall notify the parent in writing of the effect of paragraphs (3) and (5) and Article 43.

(5) The Department may not act under paragraph (3) if the parent asks it not to (a request which need not be in writing).

(6) Paragraph (1) has effect regardless of whether any of the benefits mentioned there is payable with respect to any qualifying child.

(7) Unless the parent has made a request under paragraph (5), that parent shall, so far as that parent reasonably can, comply with such regulations as may be made by the Department with a view to its being provided with the information which is required to enable—

(a)the non-resident parent to be identified or traced;

(b)the amount of child support maintenance payable by the non-resident parent to be calculated; and

(c)that amount to be recovered from the non-resident parent.

(8) The obligation to provide information which is imposed by paragraph (7)—

(a)does not apply in such circumstances as may be prescribed; and

(b)may, in such circumstances as may be prescribed, be waived by the Department.

(9) If the parent ceases to fall within paragraph (1), that parent may ask the Department to cease acting under this Article, but until then it may continue to do so.

(10) The Department shall comply with any request under paragraph (9) (but subject to any regulations made under paragraph (11)).

(11) The Department may by regulations make such incidental or transitional provision as it thinks appropriate with respect to cases in which it is asked under paragraph (9) to cease acting under this Article.

(12) The fact that a maintenance calculation is in force with respect to a person with care does not prevent the making of a new maintenance calculation with respect to that person as a result of the Department acting under paragraph (3)..

Default and interim maintenance decisions

4.  For Article 14 of the Child Support Order (interim maintenance assessments) there shall be substituted—

Default and interim maintenance decisions

14.(1) Where the Department—

(a)is required to make a maintenance calculation; or

(b)is proposing to make a decision under Article 18 or 19,

and it appears to the Department that it does not have sufficient information to enable it to do so, it may make a default maintenance decision.

(2) Where an application for a variation has been made under Article 28A(1) in connection with an application for a maintenance calculation (or in connection with such an application which is treated as having been made), the Department may make an interim maintenance decision.

(3) The amount of child support maintenance fixed by an interim maintenance decision shall be determined in accordance with Part I of Schedule 1.

(4) The Department may by regulations make provision as to default and interim maintenance decisions.

(5) The regulations may, in particular, make provision as to—

(a)the procedure to be followed in making a default or an interim maintenance decision; and

(b)a default rate of child support maintenance to apply where a default maintenance decision is made..

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources