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This concerns the meaning of ‘ceased to have effect’ in paragraph 16 schedule 1 Child Support Act 1991 and related provisions under the old (1993) scheme. There is a distinction in relation to the need for formal adjudication about an event which calls for investigation as to the need for cancellation, and the position where a supervening event inevitably causes a maintenance assessment to cease to have effect. In the latter case a formal decision (as opposed to simple notification) is not required.
A maintenance assessment which has ceased to have effect because the only remaining qualifying child has turned 19 is not in force. Accordingly the Secretary of State cannot take steps to cancel it and has no power under the child support legislation to make decisions affecting the assessment whilst it was in force.