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The Child Support Fees Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014

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PART 1Citation, commencement and interpretation

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Child Support Fees Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 and subject to paragraph (2) shall come into operation on 30th June 2014.

(2) Regulations 2, 3, 4 and 10 shall come into operation on 11th August 2014.

(3) In these Regulations—

“the 2008 Act” means the Child Maintenance Act (Northern Ireland) 2008;

“the Child Support Order” means the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991; and

“non-resident parent” has the meaning given in Article 4(2) of the Child Support Order(1).

PART 2Collection fee

Interpretation of this Part

2.  For the purposes of this Part—

“child support maintenance” means child support maintenance calculated under Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Child Support Order(2) as amended by Schedule 1 to the 2008 Act, which has accrued on or after the date on which this regulation comes into operation;

“person with care” has the meaning given in Article 4(3) of the Child Support Order.

The collection fee

3.—(1) A collection fee is payable to the Department by—

(a)the non-resident parent; and

(b)the person with care,

in relation to a case where there are arrangements for collection.

(2) The amount of the collection fee payable by a non-resident parent in respect of each day is—

(a)subject to sub-paragraph (b), 20% of the daily amount;

(b)where there is more than one person with care in relation to that non-resident parent, in respect of each person with care, 20% of the alternative daily amount.

(3) The amount of the collection fee payable by a person with care is 4% of any payment of child support maintenance in relation to which there are arrangements for collection, which the Department has collected and which would otherwise be paid to that person.

(4) In this regulation—

“alternative daily amount” means the alternative weekly amount divided by 7;

“alternative weekly amount” means the weekly amount of child support maintenance that the non-resident parent is liable to pay in respect of the person with care in question and in relation to which there are arrangements for collection;

“daily amount” means the weekly amount divided by 7;

“weekly amount” means the weekly amount of child support maintenance that the non-resident parent is liable to pay and in relation to which there are arrangements for collection.

(5) Where a calculation carried out under this regulation results in a fraction of a penny, that is to be treated as a penny if it is either one half or exceeds one half, and otherwise it is to be disregarded.

(6) For the purposes of this regulation, there are arrangements for collection where the Department is making arrangements in accordance with paragraph (7) to collect child support maintenance under Article 29(1) of the Child Support Order(3) and the payments of child support maintenance are transmitted through the Department.

(7) Arrangements for the collection of child support maintenance payable may be made where—

(a)the non-resident parent agrees to the arrangements; or

(b)the Department is satisfied that without the arrangements child support maintenance is unlikely to be paid in accordance with the calculation.

Recovery of the collection fee

4.—(1) Any amount of the collection fee payable by a non-resident parent under regulation 3 (the collection fee) may be recovered by the Department from any payment made by that non-resident parent to the Department.

(2) Any amount of the collection fee payable by a person with care under regulation 3 may be recovered by the Department from any payment of child support maintenance which would otherwise be paid to that person by the Department.

PART 3Enforcement fee

Interpretation of this Part

5.  For the purposes of this Part—

“armed forces” means the naval, military and air forces of the Crown;

“child support maintenance” means child support maintenance calculated under Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Child Support Order as amended by Schedule 1 to the 2008 Act;

“committed to operations” means deployed on an operational tour of duty and includes pre-operational training and leave, rest and recuperation during an operational tour of duty and post-operational leave;

“deduction from earnings order” means an order made under Article 31(2) of the Child Support Order(4) and, with the exception of where it appears in regulation 8(4)(b) (waiver of an enforcement fee), includes a deduction from earnings request;

“deduction from earnings request” means a request from the Department in respect of a non-resident parent, who is a member of the armed forces and who is liable to pay child support maintenance, for a sum to be deducted from that non-resident parent’s pay and appropriated in or towards satisfaction of the non-resident parent’s obligation to pay child support maintenance;

“liability order” means an order made under Article 33(3) of the Child Support Order;

“lump sum deduction order” means an order made under Article 32E(1) of the Child Support Order(5); and

“regular deduction order” means an order made under Article 32A(1) of the Child Support Order(6).

Enforcement fee

6.  An enforcement fee of an amount set out in column (2) of the table is payable to the Department by a non-resident parent when the Department takes a method of enforcement action specified in column (1) of the table to secure payment of child support maintenance.

Column (1)Column (2)
Enforcement ActionFee Payable
(i)Making a deduction from earnings order£50
(ii)Making a regular deduction order£50
(iii)Making a lump sum deduction order£200
(iv)Making an application for a liability order£300

Recovery of an enforcement fee

7.  An enforcement fee payable by a non-resident parent under regulation 6 (enforcement fee) may be recovered by the Department from any payment made by that non-resident parent to the Department.

Waiver of an enforcement fee

8.—(1) An enforcement fee payable under regulation 6 may be waived by the Department in the circumstances specified in paragraphs (2) to (6).

(2) The circumstances specified in this paragraph are where an additional enforcement fee is payable with respect to concurrent or subsequent action of the same type taken by the Department in circumstances where—

(a)the non-resident parent has more than one employer at the same time and the Department makes two or more deduction from earnings orders; or

(b)the non-resident parent holds more than one account with a deposit-taker and the Department makes more than one regular deduction order or lump sum deduction order simultaneously.

(3) The circumstances specified in this paragraph are where an additional enforcement fee is payable with respect to action taken to make an additional deduction from earnings order or additional regular deduction order in circumstances where—

(a)the non-resident parent has changed employer;

(b)the non-resident parent has changed their account held with a deposit-taker; or

(c)the amount being collected under a prior deduction from earnings order or a prior regular deduction order has changed.

(4) The circumstances specified in this paragraph are where—

(a)an application for a liability order is made to a court, but no liability order results from the application;

(b)a successful appeal or a successful challenge by way of judicial review has been made against the making of a deduction from earnings order, a regular deduction order or a lump sum deduction order; or

(c)a deduction from earnings order, a regular deduction order or a lump sum deduction order has lapsed or been discharged due to an error or maladministration by the Department.

(5) The circumstances specified in this paragraph are where a non-resident parent elects to pay child support maintenance by way of a deduction from earnings order.

(6) The circumstances specified in this paragraph are where a deduction from earnings request is made when the non-resident parent to which it relates is committed to operations.

PART 4Miscellaneous

Collection and enforcement of fees

9.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the provisions of the Child Support Order with respect to—

(a)the collection of child support maintenance;

(b)the enforcement of any obligation to pay child support maintenance,

shall apply equally to the collection and enforcement of fees payable under one or both of Parts 2 and 3 of these Regulations.

(2) The following provisions of the Child Support Order do not apply where those provisions would be used solely to enforce payment of a fee payable by virtue of one or both of Parts 2 and 3—

(a)Article 36A(7) (commitment to prison and disqualification from driving);

(b)Article 37(8) (commitment to prison); and

(c)Article 37A(9) (disqualification from driving: further provision).

Amendment of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations

10.—(1) Schedule 8C to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations (Northern Ireland)1987 (deductions from benefit in respect of child support maintenance and payment to persons with care)(10) is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph 1 (interpretation) after the definition of “beneficiary” insert—

“fee” means any collection fee under Part 2 of the Child Support Fees Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 which is payable by the non-resident parent;.

(3) In paragraph 2(11) (deductions)—

(a)in sub-paragraph (1)—

(i)after “an amount equal to the amount of maintenance” insert “and any fee”; and

(ii)at the end insert “, and retain any amount deducted in discharge of any liability to pay a fee”;

(b)in sub-paragraph (2) after “A deduction” insert “for maintenance and fees”.

(4) In paragraph 3(1)(12) (arrears) —

(a)for “£1” substitute “£1.20”;

(b)at the end insert “, and retain any amount deducted in discharge of any liability to pay a fee”.

(5) In paragraph 4 (apportionment) after “the amount deducted” insert “in respect of maintenance”.

(6) In paragraph 5(2)(13) (flat rate maintenance)—

(a)before the words “may be deducted” insert “and any fee”;

(b)after “both partners’ liability to pay maintenance” insert “and any fee”; and

(c)at the end insert “or retained in discharge of any liability to pay a fee”.

(7) In paragraph 6(2)(14) (flat rate maintenance (polygamous marriage))—

(a)before the words “may be deducted” insert “and any fee”;

(b)after “all the members’ liability to pay maintenance” insert “and any fee”; and

(c)at the end insert “or retained in discharge of any liability to pay a fee”.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department for Social Development on 24th June 2014

(L.S.)

Anne McCleary

A senior officer of the Department for Social Development

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