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The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally made).

12.—(1) In this paragraph and in paragraph 13 “maintenance agreement” means any agreement in writing made with respect to a child (including an agreement made before the commencement of this paragraph) which—

(a)is or was made between the father and mother of the child; and

(b)contains provision with respect to the making or securing of payments, or the disposition or use of any property, for the maintenance or education of the child,

and any such provisions are in this paragraph and paragraph 13 referred to as “financial arrangements”.

(2) Where a maintenance agreement is for the time being subsisting and each of the parties to the agreement is for the time being either domiciled or resident in Northern Ireland, then either party may apply to the court for an order under this paragraph.

(3) If the court to which the application is made is satisfied either—

(a)that, by reason of a change in the circumstances in the light of which any financial arrangements contained in the agreement were made (including a change foreseen by the parties when making the agreement), the agreement should be altered so as to make different financial arrangements; or

(b)that the agreement does not contain proper financial arrangements with respect to the child,

then that court may by order make such alterations in the agreement by varying or revoking any financial arrangements contained in it as may appear to the court to be just having regard to all the circumstances.

(4) If the maintenance agreement is altered by an order under this paragraph, the agreement shall have effect thereafter as if the alteration had been made by agreement between the parties and for valuable consideration.

(5) Where a court decides to make an order under this paragraph altering the maintenance agreement—

(a)by inserting provision for the making or securing by one of the parties to the agreement of periodical payments for the maintenance of the child; or

(b)by increasing the rate of periodical payments required to be made or secured by one of the parties for the maintenance of the child,

then, in deciding the term for which under the agreement as altered by the order the payments or (as the case may be) the additional payments attributable to the increase are to be made or secured for the benefit of the child, the court shall apply the provisions of sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of paragraph 4 as if the order were an order under paragraph 2(2)(a) or (b).

(6) A court of summary jurisdiction shall not entertain an application under sub-paragraph (2) unless both the parties to the agreement are resident in Northern Ireland and at least one of the parties is resident within the county court division which includes the petty sessions district for which the court sits, and shall not have power to make any order on such an application except—

(a)in a case where the agreement contains no provision for periodical payments by either of the parties, an order inserting provision for the making by one of the parties of periodical payments for the maintenance of the child;

(b)in a case where the agreement includes provision for the making by one of the parties of periodical payments, an order increasing or reducing the rate of, or terminating, any of those payments.

(7) Nothing in this paragraph affects any power of a court before which any proceedings between the parties to a maintenance agreement are brought under any other statutory provision to make an order containing financial arrangements or any right of either party to apply for such an order in such proceedings.

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