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The Child Support (Management of Payments and Arrears) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009

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PART 2Set Off

Set off of liabilities to pay child support maintenance

5.—(1) The circumstance prescribed for the purposes of Article 38C(1)(a) of the Order, in which the Department may set off liabilities to pay child support maintenance, are set out in paragraph (2).

(2) The Department may set off the liability to pay child support maintenance of one person (“A”) against the liability to pay child support maintenance of another person (“B”) where—

(a)A is liable to pay child support maintenance under a maintenance calculation, whether that calculation is current or no longer in force, in relation to which B is the person with care; and

(b)B is liable to pay child support maintenance under a maintenance calculation, whether that calculation is current or no longer in force, in relation to which A is the person with care.

(3) There shall be no set off in relation to any amount which if paid could be retained under Article 38 of the Order(1).

Set off of payments against child support maintenance liability

6.—(1) The circumstances prescribed for the purposes of Article 38C(1)(b) of the Order, in which the Department may set off a payment against a person’s liability to pay child support maintenance, are set out in paragraph (2).

(2) The Department may set off a payment against a non-resident parent’s liability to pay child support maintenance where—

(a)the payment falls within paragraph (3); and

(b)the person with care agreed to the making of the payment.

(3) A payment is of a prescribed description for the purposes of Article 38C(1)(b) of the Order if it was made by the non-resident parent in respect of—

(a)a mortgage or loan taken out on the security of the property which is the qualifying child’s home where that mortgage or loan was taken out to facilitate the purchase of, or to pay for essential repairs or improvements to, that property;

(b)rent on the property which is the qualifying child’s home;

(c)mains-supplied gas, water or electricity charges at the qualifying child’s home;

(d)rates payable by the person with care in relation to the qualifying child’s home;

(e)essential repairs to the heating system in the qualifying child’s home; or

(f)repairs which are essential to maintain the fabric of the qualifying child’s home.

Application of set off

7.—(1) In setting off a person’s liability for child support maintenance under this Part, the Department may apply the amount to be set off to reduce any arrears of child support maintenance due under any current maintenance calculation, or any previous maintenance calculation made in respect of the same relevant persons.

(2) Where there are no arrears of child support maintenance due, or an amount remains to be set off after the application of paragraph (1), the Department may adjust the amount payable in relation to the current maintenance calculation by such amount as it considers appropriate in all the circumstances of the case, having regard in particular to—

(a)the circumstances of the relevant persons; and

(b)the amount to be set off and the period over which it would be reasonable to adjust the amount payable to set off that amount.

(3) An adjustment of the amount payable in relation to the current maintenance calculation under paragraph (2) may reduce the amount payable to nil.

(1)

Article 38 was amended by paragraph (9) of Schedule 3 to the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (S.I. 1995/2702 (N.I. 13)); sections 1(2) and 17(1) of, and paragraph 11 of Schedule 3 to, the 2000 Act, and paragraph 1(29) of Schedule 4, and Schedule 5, to the 2008 Act

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