Search Legislation

Child Maintenance Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

Section 25: Transfer of arrears

Section 25 inserts new Article 45A into the Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991, which provides regulation-making powers to the Department, to enable it to enter into arrangements with other organisations under which liability in respect of arrears of child support maintenance becomes debt due to such an organisation.

Paragraph (2) of new Article 45A prevents the Department from using its enforcing powers in relation to collecting any debt that has been transferred to another organisation, and also ensures that only the transferee organisation will have title to the debt.

Paragraph (3) provides that regulations made by the Department under this power must provide that, unless certain conditions apply, the Department may not enter into transfer arrangements without the written consent of the parent with care.

Paragraph (4) sets out the conditions required under paragraph (3). These are that the Department would be entitled to retain the whole of the arrears due under Article 38(2) if it recovered them, and where the Department is not entitled to part of the arrears, that part of the arrears is equal to or less than the payment transferred under paragraph (1).

Paragraph (5) defines a “transfer payment”.

Paragraph (6) provides that regulations under paragraph (1) may:

  • Specify when arrears would be considered for transfer. The regulations could specify, for example, that arrears could be transferred only if the consent of the person with care has been obtained.

  • Specify the type of organisation to which arrears can be transferred. The regulations could, for example, include safeguards to ensure that the organisation is reputable and abides by a professional code of conduct.

  • Specify the terms and conditions which the transfer arrangements must include. The regulations may require, for example, that the transfer agreement must provide that the debt cannot be sold on further; and

  • Provide that a payment made under that transfer arrangements may be treated as if it were a payment of child support maintenance.

Paragraph (7) sets out further that the regulations may include:

  • provision as to the means of recovery the organisation to which debt has been transferred is able to use;

  • provision that the Department may, in certain circumstances, prevent an organisation to which debt has been transferred from taking steps to recover it. The circumstances could be, for example, that the steps being taken are inappropriate; and

  • provision regarding the type of information which the Department may supply to an organisation to which debt has been transferred, for the purposes of recovering the debt.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources