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The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 14 and Transitional Provisions) and the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 18 and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Order 2014 were published on 24 June 2014.
Article 2 of this Order brings into force section 19 of, and Schedule 5 to, the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (c. 6) for all remaining purposes on 30th June 2014. Section 19 introduces Schedule 5. Schedule 5 enables the Secretary of State to require the parties in existing cases (that is, cases administered under the 1993 or 2003 schemes of child support maintenance) to choose whether or not to remain in the statutory scheme under the 2012 rules for calculating child support maintenance (“the 2012 scheme”). It enables the Secretary of State to make provision in regulations in relation to requiring the parties to make that choice.
Article 3 makes transitional provision from 30th June 2014 so that where the Secretary of State ceases acting in an existing case following a request to cease acting being made by a person with care or a qualifying child in Scotland and the children in the case will reach the age of 20 by the date specified in the scheme prepared by the Secretary of State, the non-resident parent is not eligible to make an application within 13 weeks of the Secretary of State having ceased acting. This provision does not apply where the non-resident parent becomes the person with care.
Article 4 brings section 137 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (c. 5) into force on 30th June 2014, subject to the transitional and savings provisions in article 5. Section 137(2) repeals some of the wording in section 4(2) of the Child Support Act 1991 (c.48) (“the 1991 Act”) and inserts a new subsection (2A) into section 4 of that Act. The effect of the amendment is that, once a maintenance calculation has been made under the 1991 Act, if the person with care asks the Secretary of State to collect child maintenance, the Secretary of State will only do so if the nonresident parent agrees or the Secretary of State is satisfied that the non-resident parent is otherwise unlikely to make payments. Section 137(3) makes corresponding amendments to section 7 of the 1991 Act, which relates to an application for a maintenance calculation made by a child in Scotland. Section 137(4) makes a consequential amendment to section 29 of the 1991 Act. Article 5 makes transitional and savings provision so that the amendments made to the 1991 Act by section 137 do not apply in relation to cases administered under the 1993 or 2003 schemes of child support maintenance.
Articles 6 and 7 amend the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No.10 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2012 (S.I. 2012/3042) and Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No.11 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2013 (S.I. 2013/1860) so that the provisions in those Orders that deal with when and in what circumstances an existing case that is related to a new application will transfer to the 2012 scheme do not apply from 30th June 2014. The Child Support (Ending Liability in Existing Cases and Transition to New Calculation Rules) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 2014/614) make provision for an existing case that is related to a new application from 30th June 2014.
The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 14 and Transitional Provisions) and the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 18 and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Order 2014 are available to download here.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure