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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

17 MAR 2014

The Child Support (Ending Liability in Existing Cases and Transition to New Calculation Rules) Regulations 2014

These Regulations may be cited as the Child Support (Ending Liability in Existing Cases and Transition to New Calculation Rules) Regulations 2014 and come into force on the day on which section 19 (transfer of cases to new rules) of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 comes into force for all purposes.

These Regulations make provision for the cases that are existing cases under the statutory child support maintenance scheme that are not subject to the new calculation rules.

The new calculation rules are the provisions in Schedule 1 to the Child Support Act 1991 (“the 1991 Act”) as amended by the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”).

The calculation rules that applied to an existing case before the new rules came into force continue to apply.

Regulation 3 makes provision for the power in paragraph 1 of Schedule 5 to the 2008 Act (power to require the parties to an existing case to make a choice as to whether to stay in the statutory child support scheme) to be exercised in accordance with a scheme prepared by the Secretary of State. The scheme must provide for a transition period’s end date. The scheme can be revised by the Secretary of State.

Regulation 4 provides that the scheme prepared by the Secretary of State must make provision for the exercise of the power in stages and lists the principles that must be applied in making such provision.

Regulation 5 provides that at a time determined in accordance with the scheme, the parties to the case must be notified of the date on which liability in the existing case will end and by which they must choose whether to remain in the statutory child support maintenance scheme. The choice to remain in the statutory child support maintenance scheme is to be exercised by way of a new application for a calculation of child support maintenance. Paragraphs (7) and (8) make provision for when a notice under this regulation can be withdrawn and includes provision for reimbursing any application fee paid.

Regulation 6 provides for the meaning of “liability end date” referred to in regulation 5 which is also the date by which an interested party must choose whether to remain in the statutory child support maintenance scheme. The notice period will be 30 days where a case is related to a new application and between 180-272 days in all other cases. Where a case becomes related to a new application after a notice has been issued, the Secretary of State may revise the liability end date to 30 days’ notice.

Regulation 7 provides for the application of the 1991 Act, and regulations made under it, to an application made under regulation 5, and a calculation made in response to an application under regulation 5, as if it were an application made under section 4 (or, where appropriate, section 7) of that Act. The exception to this is that the maintenance calculation made in response to the application under regulation 5 is to be calculated by reference to the information applicable at the date the absent parent or non-resident parent is notified of the application but the effective date will be the day after the liability end date. There is also provision for any references to a maintenance calculation (or maintenance assessment) in relation to deduction from earnings orders and regular deductions from accounts to be treated as a continuation of the maintenance calculation (or maintenance assessment) for which liability ends under regulation 6.

Regulation 8 provides for the treatment of an existing case where no calculation of maintenance has yet been made. If the choice to stay in the statutory scheme is not exercised the application may be treated as withdrawn.

An assessment of the impact of these Regulations on the costs of business and the voluntary sector is available from the Department for Work and Pensions, Child Support, Level 7, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA and is annexed to the Explanatory Memorandum to these Regulations which is available alongside the instrument on www.legislation.gov.uk.

The SI is available to download here.

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