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The Child Support(Northern Ireland) Order 1991


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Failure to comply with obligations imposed by Article 9

43.—(1) This Article applies where any person (“the parent”)—

(a)fails to comply with a requirement imposed on the parent by the Department under Article 9(1); or

(b)fails to comply with any regulation made under Article 9(9).

(2) A child support officer may serve written notice on the parent requiring the parent, before the end of the specified period, either to comply or to give him reasons for failing to do so.

(3) When the specified period has expired, the child support officer shall consider whether, having regard to any reasons given by the parent, there are reasonable grounds for believing that, if the parent were to be required to comply, there would be a risk of the parent or of any children living with the parent suffering harm or undue distress as a result of complying.

(4) If the child support officer considers that there are such reasonable grounds, he shall—

(a)take no further action under this Article in relation to the failure in question; and

(b)notify the parent, in writing, accordingly.

(5) If the child support officer considers that there are no such reasonable grounds, he may give a reduced benefit direction with respect to the parent.

(6) Where the child support officer gives a reduced benefit direction he shall send a copy of it to the parent.

(7) Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of a child support officer to give a reduced benefit direction may appeal to a child support appeal tribunal against that decision.

(8) Articles 22(2) to (4) and 23 shall apply in relation to appeals under paragraph (7) as they apply in relation to appeals under Article 22.

(9) A reduced benefit direction shall take effect on such date as may be specified in the direction.

(10) Reasons given in response to a notice under paragraph (2) may be given either in writing or orally.

(11) In this Article—

“comply” means to comply with the requirement or with the regulation in question;

“reduced benefit direction” means a direction, binding on the adjudication officer, that the amount payable by way of any relevant benefit to, or in respect of, the parent concerned be reduced by such amount, and for such period, as may be prescribed;

“relevant benefit” means income support, family credit or any other benefit of a kind prescribed for the purposes of Article 9; and

“specified”, in relation to any notice served under this Article, means specified in the notice; and the period to be specified shall be determined in accordance with regulations made by the Department.

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