Money deducted from earnings for non-payment of Child Maintenance?

The Child Support Act 1991 gave the Secretary of State the power to make a “deductions from earnings order” where a non-resident parent failed to pay child support maintenance.

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 established the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and transferred this power to the Commission.

Where a deductions from earnings order is made the employer will be required to make deductions from the non-resident parent’s earnings and pay those amounts to the Commission.  

The power to make a deductions from earnings order is exercised by the Commission itself and the legislation does not require it to make an application be made to the Court.  

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 contains some new provisions which relate to deduction from earnings orders and which are expected to come into force in 2010.  

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 also gives the Secretary of State the power to make further wide ranging regulations relating to deductions from earnings. 

The intention is to pilot the use of deduction from earnings orders as a primary method of collection for employed non-resident parents.

When can a deduction from earnings order be made?

The current position

The Commission can make a deduction from earnings order against a person who is liable to make payments of child support maintenance to secure the payment of any amount due under the maintenance assessment in question.  

A deduction from earnings order can be made in respect of arrears of child support maintenance and/ or amounts of child support maintenance which will become due in the future.

The position under the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008

When the new provisions of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 come into force the definition of “earnings” will be broadened and will include the following: 

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For more information on:

  • Will the Commission be able to seek to recover the arrears by a method other than a deduction from earnings order?
  • What if an employer fails to comply with a deductions from earnings order?