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The Child Support(Northern Ireland) Order 1991


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

  1. Introductory Text

  2. 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

  3. 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 and certain court orders and related matters

  4. Maintenance assessments

    1. 13.Maintenance assessments

    2. 14.Interim maintenance assessments

  5. Child support officers

    1. 15.Child support officers

  6. Information

    1. 16.Information required by the Department

    2. 17.Powers of inspectors

  7. Reviews and appeals

    1. 18.Periodical reviews

    2. 19.Reviews on change of circumstances

    3. 20.Reviews of decisions of child support officers

    4. 21.Reviews at instigation of child support officers

    5. 22.Appeals

    6. 23.Child support appeal tribunals

    7. 24.Matters concerning Child Support Commissioners

    8. 25.Appeal to Child Support Commissioner

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

    10. 27.Disputes about parentage

    11. 28.Reference to court for declaration of parentage

  8. 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. 37.Commitment to prison

    10. 38.Arrears of child support maintenance

  9. Special cases

    1. 39.Special cases

    2. 40.Contribution to maintenance by deduction from benefit

  10. Jurisdiction

    1. 41.Jurisdiction

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

  11. Miscellaneous and supplemental

    1. 43.Failure to comply with obligations imposed by Article 9

    2. 44.Fees

    3. 45.Conduct of proceedings

    4. 46.Unauthorised disclosure of information

    5. 47.Supplementary powers to make regulations

    6. 48.Regulations and orders

    7. 49.Co-ordination with Great Britain

    8. 50.Application to Crown

    9. 51.Amendments, etc.

  12. Signature


    1. SCHEDULE 1



        1. The maintenance requirement

          1. 1.(1) In this Schedule “the maintenance requirement” means the amount,...

        2. The general rule

          1. 2.(1) In order to determine the amount of any maintenance...

        3. The basic element

          1. 3.(1) The basic element shall be calculated by applying the...

        4. The additional element

          1. 4.(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), the additional element shall be...

        5. Assessable income

          1. 5.(1) The assessable income of an absent parent shall be...

        6. Protected income

          1. 6.(1) This paragraph applies where— (a) one or more maintenance...

        7. The minimum amount of child support maintenance

          1. 7.(1) The Department may prescribe a minimum amount for the...

        8. Housing costs

          1. 8.Where regulations under this Schedule require a child support officer...

        9. Regulations about income and capital

          1. 9.The Department may by regulations provide that, in such circumstances...

        10. References to qualifying children

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


        1. Effective date of assessment

          1. 11.(1) A maintenance assessment shall take effect on such date...

        2. Form of assessment

          1. 12.Every maintenance assessment shall be made in such form and...

        3. Assessments where amount of child support is nil

          1. 13.A child support officer shall not decline to make a...

        4. Consolidated applications and assessments

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

        5. Separate assessments for different periods

          1. 15.Where a child support officer is satisfied that the circumstances...

        6. Termination of assessments

          1. 16.(1) A maintenance assessment shall cease to have effect—

    2. SCHEDULE 2


      1. 1.This Schedule applies where— (a) the Department requires relevant information...

      2. 2.The Department of the Environment or the Northern Ireland Housing...

      3. 3.The Department may also make a request under paragraph 2...

      4. 4.In this Schedule “relevant information” means information of such a...

    3. SCHEDULE 3


      1. The President

        1. 1.(1) The person appointed under Schedule 10 to the Social...

      2. Membership of child support appeal tribunals

        1. 2.(1) A child support appeal tribunal shall consist of a...

      3. The chairmen

        1. 3.(1) The chairman of a child support appeal tribunal shall...

        2. 4.(1) The Lord Chancellor may appoint for Northern Ireland full-time...

      4. Other members of child support appeal tribunals

        1. 5.(1) The members of a child support appeal tribunal other...

      5. Clerks of tribunals

        1. 6.(1) Each child support appeal tribunal shall be serviced by...

      6. Expenses of tribunal members and others

        1. 7.(1) The Department may pay— (a) to any member of...

    4. SCHEDULE 4


      1. Proceedings before Child Support Commissioners

        1. 1.(1) The Lord Chancellor may make such regulations with respect...

      2. Tribunal of 2 or 3 Commissioners

        1. 2.(1) If it appears to the Chief Child Support Commissioner...

      3. Finality of decisions

        1. 3.(1) Subject to Article 26 the decision of any Child...

      4. Pensions

        1. 4.The Lord Chancellor may pay, or make such payments towards...

    5. SCHEDULE 5


      1. The Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 (c. 25)

        1. 1.In Part III of Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland...

      2. The Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (NI 19)

        1. 2.In Article 255(5)(b) of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989...

  14. Explanatory Note

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