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The Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

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IntroductoryN.I.

Title and commencementN.I.

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.

(2) This Order shall come into operation on such day or days as may be appointed by order made by the Lord Chancellor or the Head of the Department or by both of them acting jointly.

(3) An order under paragraph (2) may make such supplemental, incidental or transitional provision as appears to the person making the order to be necessary or expedient in connection with the provisions brought into operation by the order, including such adaptations or modifications of—

(a)the provisions so brought into operation;

(b)any provisions of this Order then in operation; or

(c)any provision of any other statutory provision,

as appear to him to be necessary or expedient.

(4) Different provision may be made by virtue of paragraph (3) with respect to different periods.

(5) Any provision made by virtue of paragraph (3) may, in particular, include provision for—

(a)the enforcement of a [F1maintenance assessment] [F2maintenance calculation] (including the collection of sums payable under the [F3assessment] [F4calculation]) as if the [F5assessment] [F4calculation] were a court order of a prescribed kind;

(b)the registration of maintenance [F6assessments] [F7calculations] with the appropriate court in connection with any provision of a kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (a);

(c)the variation, on application made to a court, of the provisions of a [F8maintenance assessment] [F9maintenance calculation] relating to the method of making payments fixed by the [F10assessment] [F11calculation] or the intervals at which such payments are to be made;

(d)a [F12maintenance assessment] [F13maintenance calculation], or an order of a prescribed kind relating to one or more children, to be deemed, in prescribed circumstances, to have been validly made for all purposes or for such purposes as may be prescribed.

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Subordinate Legislation Made

P1Art. 1(2) partly exercised: 18.6.1992 appointed for specified provisions by S.R. 1992/278, art. 2, Sch.;

1.9.1992 appointed for specified provisions by S.R. 1992/347, art. 2;

5.4.1993 appointed for specified provisions by S.R. 1992/467, art. 2, (with transitional provisions in art. 3, Sch.)

InterpretationN.I.

2.—(1) The Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954F14 shall apply to Article 1 and the following provisions of this Order as it applies to a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(2) In this Order—

“[F15absent parent] [F16non-resident parent]” has the meaning given in Article 4(2);

Definition rep. by 1998 NI 10

[F17“appeal tribunal” means an appeal tribunal constituted under Chapter 1 of the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Order 1998;]

[F18“application for a [F19departure direction] [F20variation]” means an application under Article 28A [F21or 28G];]

F22“assessable income” has the meaning given in paragraph 5 of Schedule 1;

“benefit Acts” means the[F18 Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 and the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992]

“child benefit” has the same meaning as in the Child Benefit (Northern Ireland) Order 1975F23;

Definitions rep. by 1998 NI 10

“Child Support Commissioner” means a Child Support Commissioner for Northern Ireland appointed under section 23 of the Child Support Act 1991F24;

“child support maintenance” has the meaning given in Article 4(6);

Definition rep. by 1998 NI 10

[F25F26“current assessment”, in relation to an application for a departure direction, means (subject to any regulations made under paragraph 10 of Schedule 4A) the maintenance assessment with respect to which the application is made;]

“deduction from earnings order” has the meaning given in Article 31(2);

[F27“default maintenance decision” has the meaning given in Article 14;]

“the Department” means the Department of Health and Social Services;

[F28F29“departure direction” has the meaning given in Article 28A;]

“disability living allowance” has the same meaning as in the Social Security (Northern Ireland) Act 1975F30;

Definition rep. by 2002 c. 21

“income support” has the same meaning as in the benefit Acts;

[F31“income-based jobseeker's allowance” has the same meaning as in the Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995;]

“interim maintenance [F32assessment] [F33decision]” has the meaning given in Article 14;

“liability order” has the meaning given in Article 33(2);

“maintenance agreement” has the meaning given in Article 11(1);

[F34“maintenance assessment” means an assessment of maintenance made under this Order and, except in prescribed circumstances, includes an interim maintenance assessment;]

[F35“maintenance calculation” means a calculation of maintenance made under this Order and, except in prescribed circumstances, includes a default maintenance decision and an interim maintenance decision;]

“maintenance order” has the meaning given in Article 10(11);

F36“maintenance requirement” means the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph 1 of Schedule 1;

“parent”, in relation to any child, means any person who is in law the mother or father of the child and, in the case of an illegitimate child, includes the father;

[F18“parent with care” means a person who is, in relation to a child, both a parent and a person with care;]

“parental responsibility”,[F37 has the same meaning as in the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995];

“person with care” has the meaning given in Article 4(3);

“prescribed”, except in Article 12(5), means prescribed by regulations made by the Department;

“qualifying child” has the meaning given in Article 4(1);

“statutory provision” has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(f) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954F38.

[F39“voluntary payment” has the meaning given in Article 28J.]

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F15Words in Order substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 11; S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F16Words in Order substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 11; S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F171998 NI 10

F181995 NI 13

F19Word in art. 2(2) in definition of "application for a departure direction" substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(a); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F20Word in art. 2(2) in definition of "application for a departure direction" substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(a); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F21Words in art. 2(2) in definition of "application for a departure direction" inserted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(a); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F22Art. 2(2): definition of "assessable income" repealed (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 67, 68(2), Sch. 3 para. 12(b), Sch. 9 Pt. I; S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F231975 NI 16

F251995 NI 13

F26Art. 2(2): definition of "current assessment" repealed (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 67, 68(2), Sch. 3 para. 12(b), Sch. 9 Pt. I; S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F27Art. 2(2): definition of "default maintenance decision" inserted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(c); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F281995 NI 13

F29Art. 2(2): definition of "departure direction" repealed (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 67, 68(2), Sch. 3 para. 12(b), Sch. 9 Pt. I; S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F311995 NI 15

F32Word in art. 2(2) in definition of "interim maintenance assessment" substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(d); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F33Word in art. 2(2) in definition of "interim maintenance assessment" substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(d); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F34Art. 2(2): definition of "maintenance calculation" substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) for definition of "maintenance assessment" by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(e); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F35Art. 2(2): definition of "maintenance calculation" substituted (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) for definition of "maintenance assessment" by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(e); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F36Art. 2(2): definition of "maintenance requirement" repealed (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 67, 68(2), Sch. 3 para. 12(b), Sch. 9 Pt. I; S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

F371995 NI 2

F39Art. 2(2): definition of "voluntary payment" added (3.3.2003 for certain purposes otherwise prosp.) by Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act (Northern Ireland) 2000 (c. 4), ss. 25, 68(2) Sch. 3 para. 12(f); S.R. 2003/53, art. 3(1), Sch.

Meaning of “child”N.I.

3 .F40—(1) For the purposes of this Order a person is a child if—

(a)he is under the age of 16;

(b)he is under the age of 19 and receiving full-time education (which is not advanced education)—

(i)by attendance at a recognised educational establishment; or

(ii)elsewhere, if the education is recognised by the Department; or

(c)he does not fall within sub-paragraph (a)or (b) but—

(i)he is under the age of 18, and

(ii)prescribed conditions are satisfied with respect to him.

(2) A person is not a child for the purposes of this Order if he—

(a)is or has been married[F41 or a civil partner];

(b)has celebrated a marriage[F41, or been a party to a civil partnership,] which is void; or

(c)has celebrated a marriage in respect of which a decree of nullity has been granted[F41 or has been a party to a civil partnership in respect of which a nullity order has been made].

(3) In this Article—

“advanced education” means education of a prescribed description; and

“recognised educational establishment” means an establishment recognised by the Department for the purposes of this Article as being, or as comparable to, a university, college or school.

(4) Where a person has reached the age of 16, the Department may recognise education provided for him otherwise than at a recognised educational establishment only if the Department is satisfied that education was being so provided for him immediately before he reached the age of 16.

(5) The Department may provide that in prescribed circumstances education is or is not to be treated for the purposes of this Article as being full-time.

(6) In determining whether a person falls within paragraph (1)(b), no account shall be taken of such interruptions in his education as may be prescribed.

(7) The Department may by regulations provide that a person who ceases to fall within paragraph (1) shall be treated as continuing to fall within that paragraph for a prescribed period.

(8) No person shall be treated as continuing to fall within paragraph (1) by virtue of regulations made under paragraph (7) after the end of the week in which he reaches the age of 19.

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F40Mod. SR 2001/17

Meaning of certain other terms used in this OrderN.I.

4 .F42—(1) A child is a “qualifying child” if—

(a)one of his parents is, in relation to him, [F43an absent parent] [F44a non-resident parent]; or

(b)both of his parents are, in relation to him, [F45absent parents] [F46non-resident parent’s].

(2) The parent of any child is an “absent parent”, in relation to him, if—

(a)that parent is not living in the same household with the child; and

(b)the child has his home with a person who is, in relation to him, a person with care.

(3) A person is a “person with care”, in relation to any child, if he is a person—

(a)with whom the child has his home;

(b)who usually provides day to day care for the child (whether exclusively or in conjunction with any other person); and

(c)who does not fall within a prescribed category of person.

(4) The Department shall not, under paragraph (3)(c), prescribe as a category—

(a)parents;

(b)guardians;

(c)persons[F47 in whose favour residence orders under Article 8 of the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 are in force].

(5) For the purposes of this Order there may be more than one person with care in relation to the same qualifying child.

(6) Periodical payments which are required to be paid in accordance with a [F48maintenance assessment] [F49maintenance calculation] are referred to in this Order as “child support maintenance”.

(7) Expressions are defined in this Article only for the purposes of this Order.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F42Mod. SR 2001/18

F471995 NI 2

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