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The Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991

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There are outstanding changes not yet made by the editorial team to The Child Support (Northern Ireland) Order 1991. Those changes will be listed when you open the content using the Table of Contents below. Any changes that have already been made by the team appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation


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  1. Introductory Text

  2. Introductory Title and commencement (1) This Order may be cited as the Child Support...

    1. Introductory

      1. 1.Title and commencement

      2. 2.Interpretation

      3. 3.Meaning of “child”

      4. 4.Meaning of certain other terms used in this Order

    2. The basic principles

      1. 5.The duty to maintain

      2. 6.Welfare of children: the general principle

      3. 7.Child support maintenance

      4. 8.Child support maintenance: supplemental provisions

      5. 9.Applications by those receiving benefit

      6. 10.Role of the courts with respect to maintenance for children

      7. 11.Agreements about maintenance

      8. 12.Relationship between maintenance [assessments] calculations and certain court orders and related matters

    3. Maintenance [assessments] calculations

      1. 13.Maintenance calculations

      2. 14.Default and interim maintenance decisions

    4. Child support officers

      1. Art. 15 rep. by 1998 NI 10

    5. Information

      1. 16.Information required by the Department

      2. 16A.Information - offences

      3. 17.Powers of inspectors

    6. Reviews and appeals

      1. 18. Revision of decisions

      2. 19.Decisions superseding earlier decisions

      3. 22.Appeals to appeal tribunals

      4. 24.Matters concerning Child Support Commissioners

      5. 24A.Redetermination of appeals

      6. 25.Appeal to Child Support Commissioner

      7. 26.Appeal from Child Support Commissioner on question of law

      8. 27.Disputes about parentage

      9. 27A.Recovery of fees for scientific tests

      10. 28.Applications for declaration of parentage under Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

    7. Decisions and appeals dependent on other cases

      1. 28ZA.Decisions involving issues that arise on appeal in other cases

      2. 28ZB.Appeals involving issues that arise on appeal in other cases

    8. Cases of error

      1. 28ZC.Restrictions on liability in certain cases of error

      2. 28ZD.Correction of errors and setting aside of decisions

    9. Departure from usual rules for determining maintenance assessments

      1. 28A.Application for a departure direction

      2. 28B.Preliminary consideration of applications

      3. 28C.Imposition of a regular payments condition

      4. 28D.Determination of applications

      5. 28E.Matters to be taken into account

      6. 28F.Departure directions

      7. 28G.Effect and duration of departure directions

      8. 28H.Departure directions: decisions and appeals

      9. 28I.Transitional provisions

    10. Voluntary Payments

      1. 28J.Voluntary Payments

    11. Collection and enforcement

      1. 29.Collection of child support maintenance

      2. 30.Collection and enforcement of other forms of maintenance

      3. 31.Deduction from earnings orders

      4. 32.Regulations about deduction from earnings orders

      5. 33.Liability orders

      6. 34.Regulations about liability orders

      7. 35.Enforcement of liability orders

      8. 36.Enforcement in Northern Ireland of English and Scottish liability orders

      9. 36A.Commitment to prison and disqualification from driving

      10. 37.Commitment to prison

      11. 37A.Disqualification from driving: further provision

      12. 38.Arrears of child support maintenance

      13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

      14. 38B.Repayment of overpaid child support maintenance

    12. Special cases

      1. 39.Special cases

      2. 40.Recovery of child support maintenance by deduction from benefit

    13. Jurisdiction

      1. 41.Jurisdiction

      2. 42.Jurisdiction of courts in certain proceedings under this Order

    14. Miscellaneous and supplemental

      1. 43.Reduced benefit decisions

      2. 43A.Finality of decisions

      3. 43B.Matters arising as respects decisions

      4. 44.Fees

      5. 45.Conduct of proceedings

      6. 46.Unauthorised disclosure of information

      7. 47.Supplementary powers to make regulations

      8. 48.Regulations and orders

      9. 49.Co-ordination with Great Britain

      10. 50.Application to Crown

      11. 51.Amendments, etc.


    1. SCHEDULE 1



        1. The maintenance requirement

          1. 1.(1) In this Schedule “the maintenance requirement” means the amount, calculated in accordance with the...

        2. The general rule

          1. 2.(1) In order to determine the amount of any maintenance assessment, first calculate— A C...

        3. The basic element

          1. 3.(1) The basic element shall be calculated by applying the formula— BE A×G×P where— BE...

        4. The additional element

          1. 4.(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), the additional element shall be calculated by applying the formula—...

        5. Assessable income

          1. 5.(1) The assessable income of an absent parent shall be calculated by applying the formula—...

        6. Protected income

          1. 6.(1) This paragraph applies where— (a) one or more maintenance assessments have been made with...

        7. The minimum amount of child support maintenance

          1. 7.(1) The Department may prescribe a minimum amount for the purposes of this paragraph. (2)...

        8. Housing costs

          1. 8.Where regulations under this Schedule require the Department to take account of the housing costs...

        9. Regulations about income and capital

          1. 9.The Department may by regulations provide that, in such circumstances and to such extent as...

        10. References to qualifying children

          1. 10.References in this Part to “qualifying children” are to those qualifying children with respect to...


        1. General rule

          1. 1.(1) The weekly rate of child support maintenance is the basic rate unless a reduced...

        2. Basic rate

          1. 2.(1) The basic rate is the following percentage of the non-resident parent's net weekly income—...

        3. Reduced rate

          1. 3.(1) A reduced rate is payable if— (a) neither a flat rate nor the nil...

        4. Flat rate

          1. 4.(1) Except in a case falling within sub-paragraph (2), a flat rate of £5 is...

        5. Nil rate

          1. 5.The rate payable is nil if the non-resident parent— (a) is of a prescribed description;...

        6. Apportionment

          1. 6.(1) If the non-resident parent has more than one qualifying child and in relation to...

        7. Shared care - basic and reduced rate

          1. 7.(1) This paragraph applies only if the rate of child support maintenance payable is the...

        8. Shared care - flat rate

          1. 8.(1) This paragraph applies only if— (a) the rate of child support maintenance payable is...

        9. Regulations about shared care

          1. 9.The Department may by regulations provide for— (a) which nights are to count for the...

        10. Net weekly income

          1. 10.(1) For the purposes of this Schedule, net weekly income shall be determined in such...

        11. Regulations about rates, figures, etc.

          1. 10A.(1) The Department may by regulations provide that— (a) paragraph 2 is to have effect...

        12. Regulations about income

          1. 10B.The Department may by regulations provide that, in such circumstances and to such extent as...

        13. References to various terms

          1. 10C.(1) References in this Part to “qualifying children” are to those qualifying children with respect...


        1. Effective date of [assessment] calculation

          1. 11.(1) A [ maintenance assessment] maintenance calculation shall take effect on such date as may...

        2. Form of [assessment] calculation

          1. 12.Every [ maintenance assessment] maintenance calculation shall be made in such form and contain such...

        3. [Assessments] Calculations where amount of child support is nil

          1. 13.The Department shall not decline to make a [ maintenance assessment] maintenance calculation only on...

        4. Consolidated applications and [assessments] calculations

          1. 14.The Department may by regulations provide— (a) for two or more applications for maintenance assessments...

        5. Separate [assessments] calculations for different periods

          1. 15.Where the Department is satisfied that the circumstances of a case require different amounts of...

        6. Termination of [assessments] calculations

          1. 16.(1) A[ maintenance assessment] maintenance calculation shall cease to have effect— (a) on the death...

    2. Schedules 2 and 3 rep. by 1998 NI 10

    3. SCHEDULE 4


      1. Proceedings before Child Support Commissioners

        1. 1.(1) The Lord Chancellor may make such regulations with respect to proceedings before Child Support...

      2. Determination of questions by other officers

        1. 1A.(1) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations provide— (a) for officers authorised by him to...

      3. Tribunal of Commissioners

        1. 2.(1) If it appears to the Chief Child Support Commissioner (or, in the case of...

      4. Finality of decisions

        1. 3.(1) Subject to Article 26 the decision of any Child Support Commissioner shall be final....

      5. Expenses of persons required to attend proceedings

        1. 3A.(1) The Lord Chancellor may pay to any person who attends any proceedings before a...

      6. Pensions

        1. 4.The Lord Chancellor may pay, or make such payments towards the provision of, such pensions...

    4. SCHEDULE 4A


      1. Interpretation

        1. 1.In this Schedule— “departure application” means an application for a departure direction; “regulations” means regulations...

      2. Applications for departure directions

        1. 2.Regulations may make provision— (a) as to the procedure to be followed in considering a...

      3. Completion of preliminary consideration

        1. 3.Regulations may provide for determining when the preliminary consideration of a departure application is to...

      4. Information

        1. 4.(1) Regulations may make provision for the use for any purpose of this Order of—...

      5. Anticipation of change of circumstances

        1. 5.(1) A departure direction may be given so as to provide that if the circumstances...

        2. Para. 6 rep. by 1998 NI 10

        3. Para. 6 rep. by 1998 NI 10

      6. Subsequent departure directions

        1. 7.(1) Regulations may make provision with respect to any departure application made with respect to...

      7. Joint consideration of departure applications and appeals

        1. 8.(1) Regulations may provide for two or more departure applications with respect to the same...

      8. Appeal tribunals

        1. 9.(1) Regulations may provide that, in prescribed circumstances, where— (a) a departure application is referred...

      9. Current assessments which are replaced by fresh assessments

        1. 10.Regulations may make provision as to the circumstances in which prescribed references in this Order...

    5. SCHEDULE 4B



        1. General

          1. 1.(1) The cases in which a departure direction may be given are those set out...

        2. Special expenses

          1. 2.(1) A departure direction may be given with respect to special expenses of the applicant...

        3. Property or capital transfers

          1. 3.(1) A departure direction may be given if— (a) before 5th April 1993— (i) a...

          2. 4.(1) A departure direction may be given if— (a) before 5th April 1993— (i) a...

        4. Additional cases

          1. 5.(1) The Department may by regulations prescribe other cases in which a departure may be...


        1. 6.(1) The Department may by regulations make provision with respect to the directions which may...

    6. SCHEDULE 4C


      1. Revision of decisions

        1. 1.Article 18 shall apply in relation to— (a) any decision of the Department with respect...

      2. Decisions superseding earlier decisions

        1. 2.(1) Article 19 shall apply in relation to— (a) any decision of the Department with...

      3. Appeals to appeal tribunals

        1. 3.(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) and (3), Article 22 shall apply— (a) in relation to...

      4. Decisions and appeals dependent on other cases

        1. 4.(1) Article 28ZA shall also apply where— (a) a decision falls to be made— (i)...

        2. 5.(1) Article 28ZB shall also apply where— (a) an appeal is made to an appeal...

      5. Cases of error

        1. 6.(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), Article 28ZC shall also apply where— (a) the effect of...

    7. Schedule 5—Amendments

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