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Child Support Act 1991

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Child Support Act 1991 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 18 May 2024. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Help about Changes to Legislation

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. The basic principles

    1. 1. The duty to maintain.

    2. 2. Welfare of children: the general principle.

    3. 3. Meaning of certain terms used in this Act.

    4. 4. Child support maintenance.

    5. 5. Child support maintenance: supplemental provisions.

    6. 6. Applications by those claiming or receiving benefit.

    7. 7. Right of child in Scotland to apply for calculation.

    8. 8. Role of the courts with respect to maintenance for children.

    9. 9. Agreements about maintenance.

    10. 10. Relationship between maintenance calculations and certain court orders and related matters.

  3. Maintenance calculations

    1. 11. Maintenance calculations.

    2. 12. Default and interim maintenance decisions.

  4. Child support officers

    1. 13. Child support officers.

  5. Information

    1. 14. Information required by Secretary of State.

    2. 14A. Information—offences.

    3. 15. Powers of inspectors.

    4. 15A.Inspectors: warrants authorising entry

  6. Reviews and appeals

    1. 16.Revision of decisions

    2. 17.Decisions superseding earlier decisions

    3. 18. Reviews of decisions of child support officers.

    4. 19. Reviews at instigation of child support officers.

    5. 20. Appeals to First-tier Tribunal.

    6. 20A. Lapse of appeals.

    7. 21. Child support appeal tribunals.

    8. 22. Child Support Commissioners.

    9. 23. Child Support Commissioners for Northern Ireland.

    10. 23A. Redetermination of appeals.

    11. 24.Appeals to Upper Tribunal

    12. 25. Appeal from Child Support Commissioner on question of law.

    13. 26. Disputes about parentage.

    14. 27. Applications for declaration of parentage under Family Law Act 1986.

    15. 27A. Recovery of fees for scientific tests.

    16. 28. Power of Secretary of State to initiate or defend actions of declarator: Scotland.

  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. Variations

    1. 28A. Application for variation of usual rules for calculating maintenance.

    2. 28B. Preliminary consideration of applications.

    3. 28C. Imposition of regular payments condition.

    4. 28D. Determination of applications.

    5. 28E. Matters to be taken into account.

    6. 28F. Agreement to a variation.

    7. 28G. Variations: revision and supersession.

    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. 32A.Orders for regular deductions from accounts

    6. 32B.Orders under section 32A: joint accounts

    7. 32C.Regulations about orders under section 32A

    8. 32D.Orders under section 32A: offences

    9. 32E.Lump sum deductions: interim orders

    10. 32F.Lump sum deductions: final orders

    11. 32G.Orders under sections 32E and 32F: freezing of accounts etc.

    12. 32H.Orders under section 32F: deductions and payments

    13. 32I.Power to disapply sections 32G(1) and (2) and 32H(2)(b) and (4)(b)

    14. 32J.Regulations about orders under section 32E or 32F

    15. 32K.Lump sum deduction orders: offences

    16. 32L.Orders preventing avoidance

    17. 33. Liability orders.

    18. 34. Regulations about liability orders.

    19. 35. Enforcement of liability orders by taking control of goods.

    20. 36. Enforcement in county courts.

    21. 37. Regulations about liability orders: Scotland.

    22. 38. Enforcement of liability orders by diligence: Scotland.

    23. 39. Liability orders: enforcement throughout United Kingdom.

    24. 39A. Commitment to prison and disqualification from driving.

    25. 39B.Disqualification for holding or obtaining United Kingdom passport

    26. 39C.Period for which orders under section 39B are to have effect

    27. 39D.Power to order search

    28. 39E.Variation and revocation of orders following payment

    29. 39F.Power to make supplementary provision

    30. 39G.Application of sections 39B and 39F to Scotland

    31. 40. Commitment to prison.

    32. 40A. Commitment to prison: Scotland.

    33. 40B. Disqualification from driving: further provision.

    34. 41. Arrears of child support maintenance.

    35. 41A. Penalty payments.

    36. 41B. Repayment of overpaid child support maintenance.

    37. 41C.Power to treat liability as satisfied

    38. 41D.Power to accept part payment of arrears in full and final satisfaction

    39. 41E.Power to write off arrears

  12. Special cases

    1. 42. Special cases.

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

    3. 43A.Recovery of arrears from deceased's estate

  13. Jurisdiction

    1. 44. Jurisdiction.

    2. 45. Jurisdiction of courts in certain proceedings under this Act.

  14. Miscellaneous and supplemental

    1. 46. Reduced benefit decisions.

    2. 46A.Finality of decisions

    3. 46B.Matters arising as respects decisions

    4. 47. Fees.

    5. 48. Right of audience.

    6. 49. Right of audience: Scotland.

    7. 49D.Disclosure of information to credit reference agencies

    8. 50. Unauthorised disclosure of information.

    9. 50A.Use of computers

    10. 51. Supplementary powers to make regulations.

    11. 51A.Pilot schemes

    12. 52. Regulations and orders.

    13. 53. Financial provisions.

    14. 54. Interpretation.

    15. 55. Meaning of “child”.

    16. 56. Corresponding provision for and co-ordination with Northern Ireland.

    17. 57. Application to Crown.

    18. 58. Short title, commencement and extent, etc.

  15. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      Maintenance Calculations

      1. PART I Calculation of weekly amount of child support maintenance

        1. General rule

          1. 1.(1) Subject to paragraph 5A, the weekly rate of child...

        2. Basic rate

          1. 2.(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), the basic rate is the...

        3. Reduced rate

          1. 3.(1) A reduced rate is payable if—

        4. Flat rate

          1. 4.(1) Except in a case falling within sub-paragraph (2), a...

        5. Nil rate

          1. 5.The rate payable is nil if the non-resident parent—

        6. Non-resident parent party to other maintenance arrangement

          1. 5A.(1) This paragraph applies where— (a) the non-resident parent is...

        7. Apportionment

          1. 6.(1) If the non-resident parent has more than one qualifying...

        8. Shared care—basic and reduced rate

          1. 7.(1) This paragraph applies where the rate of child support...

        9. Shared care—flat rate

          1. 8.(1) This paragraph applies only if— (a) the rate of...

        10. Regulations about shared care

          1. 9.(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide—

        11. Gross weekly income

          1. 10.(1) For the purposes of this Schedule, gross weekly income...

        12. Regulations about rates, figures, etc.

          1. 10A.(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that—...

        13. Regulations about income

          1. 10B.The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in...

        14. References to various terms

          1. 10C.(1) References in this Part of this Schedule to “qualifying...

      2. Part II General Provisions About Maintenance Calculations

        1. Effective date of calculation

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

        2. Form of calculation

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

        3. Assessments where amount of child support is nil

          1. 13.. . . . . . . . . ....

        4. Consolidated applications and calculations

          1. 14.The Secretary of State may by regulations provide—

        5. Separate calculations for different periods

          1. 15.Where the Secretary of State is satisfied that the circumstances...

        6. Termination of calculations

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

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      Provision of Information to Secretary of State

      1. Inland Revenue records

        1. 1.(1) This paragraph applies where the Secretary of State or...

        2. 1A.(1) This paragraph applies to any information which—

      2. Local authority records

        1. 2.(1) This paragraph applies where— (a) the Secretary of State...

      3. 3.In this Schedule “Revenue and Customs official” has the same...

    3. SCHEDULE 3

      Child Support Appeal Tribunals

      1. The President

        1. 1.(1) The person appointed . . . as President of...

      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 regional and other 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 Secretary of State may pay—

      7. Consultation with Lord Advocate

        1. 8.Before exercising any of his powers under paragraph 3(3) or...

    4. SCHEDULE 4

      Child Support Commissioners for Northern Ireland

      1. Tenure of office

        1. 1.(1) Every Child Support Commissioner for Northern Ireland shall vacate...

      2. Commissioners’ remuneration and their pensions

        1. 2.(1) The Department of Justice shall pay, or make such...

      3. Expenses of other persons

        1. 2A.(1) The Lord Chancellor or, in Scotland, the Secretary of...

      4. Commissioners barred from legal practice

        1. 3.A Child Support Commissioner for Northern Ireland, so long as...

      5. Deputy Child Support Commissioners

        1. 4.(1) The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission may appoint persons...

      6. Determination of questions by other officers

        1. 4A.(1) The Lord Chancellor may by regulations provide—

      7. Tribunals of Commissioners

        1. 5.(1) If it appears to the Chief Child Support Commissioner...

      8. Finality of decisions

        1. 6.(1) Subject to section 25, the decision of any Child...

      9. Consultation with Lord Advocate

        1. 7.Before exercising any of his powers under paragraph 1(3) ,...

      10. Northern Ireland

        1. 8.In its application to Northern Ireland this Schedule shall have...

    5. SCHEDULE 4A

      Applications for a variation

      1. Interpretation

        1. 1.In this Schedule, “regulations” means regulations made by the Secretary...

      2. Applications for a variation

        1. 2.Regulations may make provision— (a) as to the procedure to...

      3. Completion of preliminary consideration

        1. 3.Regulations may provide for determining when the preliminary consideration of...

      4. Information

        1. 4.If any information which is required (by regulations under this...

      5. Joint consideration of applications for a variation and appeals

        1. 5.(1) Regulations may provide for two or more applications for...

    6. SCHEDULE 4B

      Applications for a variation: The Cases and Controls

      1. Part I The Cases

        1. General

          1. 1.(1) The cases in which a variation may be agreed...

        2. Special expenses

          1. 2.(1) A variation applied for by a non-resident parent may...

        3. Property or capital transfers

          1. 3.(1) A variation may be agreed in the circumstances set...

        4. Additional cases

          1. 4.(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe other...

      2. Part II Regulatory Controls

        1. 5.(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision...

        2. 6.The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for the...

    7. SCHEDULE 4C

      Decisions and Appeals: Departure Directions and Reduced Benefit Directions etc.

      1. Revision of decisions

        1. 1.Section 16 shall apply in relation to—

      2. Decisions superseding earlier decisions

        1. 2.(1) Section 17 shall apply in relation to—

      3. Appeals to appeal tribunals

        1. 3.(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) and (3), section 20 shall...

      4. Decisions and appeals dependent on other cases

        1. 4.(1) Section 28ZA shall also apply where—

        2. 5.(1) Section 28ZB shall also apply where—

      5. Cases of error

        1. 6.(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, section 28ZC shall also...

    8. SCHEDULE 5

      Consequential Amendments

      1. The Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1971 (c.62)

        1. 1.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

      2. The Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 (c. 36)

        1. 2.In paragraph 9 of Schedule 2 to the Northern Ireland...

      3. The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (c.24)

        1. 3.(1) The House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 shall be...

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

        1. 4.(1) In Part I of Schedule 1 to the Northern...

      5. The Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 (c.37)

        1. 5.In section 4 (amount of aliment) of the Family Law...

      6. Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 (c.66)

        1. 6.(1) The Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985 shall be amended as...

      7. The Insolvency Act 1986 (c.45)

        1. 7.In section 281(5)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 (effect of...

      8. The Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 (c.18)

        1. 8.(1) The Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 shall be amended as...

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