Here you'll find out about the child support scheme, which is managed by Inland Revenue. The Family Court can become involved with child support if the arrangements need to be appealed or reviewed, or if one parent is living outside New Zealand or Australia.
On this page:
Inland Revenue (IR) manages the child support scheme under the Child Support Act 1991(external link). Child support is money paid by parents who either:
This usually happens if two parents separate. Money received through child support is used to cover the costs of raising the child or children.
The amount of child support to be paid depends on how much each parent earns and how much time the child spends living with each parent.
Inland Revenue calculates the amount to be paid using a formula assessment. If you have to pay child support, you’re called the liable parent. The other parent is called the receiving carer.
For a child to be covered by the scheme (a qualifying child), they must be a New Zealand citizen or an ordinary resident.
The Child Support Act covers child maintenance arrangements for families living in New Zealand and families where one of the parents lives in Australia. However, you may be able to get child support under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 even if you or the other parent lives outside of New Zealand and Australia.
There are three ways of making child support arrangements:
For more on these types of agreements, see the IR website(external link)
If you disagree with a child support decision or assessment, you should first try to sort it out with Inland Revenue. Call Inland Revenue on 0800 221 221 or see their website(external link). The website explains how to make your objection.
You can then write to Inland Revenue explaining why you disagree with its decision or your assessment, or complete Inland Revenue's Notice of Objection – child support form within Inland Revenue's timeframe.
If Inland Revenue disallows (rejects) your objection, you can appeal to the Family Court.
In some cases, you can ask the Family Court for help when you're concerned about child support.
The Family Court can become involved if:
The Family Court can: