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The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations.)

These Regulations provide for the amendment of various sets of Regulations relating to child support:

the Child Support (Maintenance Assessment Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992 (“the Maintenance Assessment Procedure Regulations”);

the Child Support (Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992 (“the Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases Regulations”);

the Child Support (Maintenance Arrangements and Jurisdiction) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992 (“the Maintenance Arrangements and Jurisdiction Regulations”);

the Child Support (Maintenance Calculation Procedure) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (“the Maintenance Calculation Procedure Regulations”);

the Child Support (Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (“the Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases Regulations”);

the Child Support (Transitional Provisions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (“the Transitional Regulations”); and

the Child Support (Variations) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001 (“the Variations Regulations”).

Regulation 1 makes provision for citation and commencement.

Regulation 2 amends the Maintenance Assessment Procedure Regulations. Regulation 2(2) inserts definitions of “family” and “partner” into regulation 1(2) of those Regulations. Regulation 2(3) makes an amendment in consequence of the amendment made by regulation 2(2). Regulation 2(4) makes an amendment in consequence of the amendment made by regulation 2(5). Regulation 2(5) inserts new paragraphs (21) and (22) into regulation 22 of those Regulations. The new paragraph (21) makes provision for the effective date of a decision, where a person with care has ceased to be the person with care in relation to a qualifying child in respect of whom the maintenance assessment was made, to be the date that person so ceased to be the person with care in relation to that child and the new paragraph (22) disapplies the provisions of regulation 20 of those Regulations where a superseding decision is made and the circumstances set out in regulation 22(19) and (21) of those Regulations apply.

Regulation 3 amends the Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases Regulations. Regulation 3(2) makes clarifying amendments. Regulation 3(3)(a) inserts a new paragraph 18A into Schedule 2 to those Regulations providing for a new disregarded amount where a payment is made in respect of a parent under a scheme mentioned in section 1(2) of the Armed Forces (Pensions and Compensation) Act 2004. Regulation 3(3)(b) makes an amendment in consequence of the amendment made by regulation 3(3)(a). Regulation 3(3)(c) amends paragraph 25 of Schedule 2 to those Regulations to reflect an amendment made to the Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 by the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995. Regulation 3(4) adds the Armed Forces (Pensions and Compensation) Act 2004 to the list of provisions in paragraph (b) of Schedule 4 to those Regulations under which awards made in respect of disablement are cases where child support maintenance is not to be payable.

Regulation 4 inserts a new regulation 8A into the Maintenance Arrangements and Jurisdiction Regulations to provide for payments due and made under a maintenance order to be treated as child support maintenance where those payments have been made under that order after the date on which a maintenance calculation took effect and the maintenance order has ceased to have effect under regulation 3 of those Regulations.

Regulation 5 makes a clarifying amendment to regulation 10 of the Maintenance Calculation Procedure Regulations.

Regulation 6 amends the Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases Regulations. Except for regulation 6(4), all the amendments made by this regulation either mirror those made to the Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases Regulations or make clarifying or consequential amendments. Regulation 6(4) amends regulation 11(1) of the Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases Regulations to extend that special case where the circumstances are that an application for child support maintenance has been made (or treated as made) and the non-resident parent in respect of whom the application was made is liable for payments of maintenance for a different child under the terms of an order of a court outside Northern Ireland, or under the legislation of a jurisdiction outside the United Kingdom.

Regulation 7 amends regulation 27 of the Transitional Regulations to make provision for the amount payable where there is a “subsequent decision” made during the transitional period and the consequence of that decision is that there is only one person with care in relation to the non-resident parent where previously there had been more than one.

Regulation 8 amends the Variations Regulations. Regulation 8(2), (4) and (6) makes amendments in consequence of the amendment made by regulation 8(5)(a). Regulation 8(3) substitutes regulation 11(3) of those Regulations to make provision to take into account financial assistance paid in respect of the long-term illness or disability of a relevant other child, or disability living allowance paid on behalf of that child, to a member of the non-resident parent’s household where there is an application for a variation for special expenses for that relevant other child. Regulation 8(5)(a) extends the ground in regulation 19 of those Regulations for a variation for income not taken into account to a case where the non-resident parent has the ability to control the amount of income he receives from a company or business and the Department is satisfied he is receiving income which would not otherwise fall to be taken into account under the Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases Regulations. Regulation 8(5)(b) makes provision for a threshold for a variation in relation to each specified case under regulation 19(1) and (1A) of the Variations Regulations, or an aggregated amount where both cases apply. Regulation 8(5)(c) makes a consequential amendment to, and omits words from, regulation 19(4) of those Regulations. Regulation 8(5)(d) makes an amendment to set out the amount of income to be taken into account where a variation is made under regulation 19(1A) of those Regulations.

A regulatory impact assessment has not been produced for this rule as it has no impact on the costs of business.

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