Ask Questions

This is where we will try to answer your questions!

We have posted a number of articles that may help you for a start.

Article about the general changes.
Living allowance changes
Why is one child worth more than the other.

You may however, have a different question you are seeking an answer to.

Ask your questions here in the comments.

If we can answer them we will.

If we cannot answer them, we will enlist the help of our Facebook community (a wealth of experienced child support payers and receivers, and non receivers..)

We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you if we can.



  1. My wife and I have separated with two girls 5yrs and 2yrs old,
    I pay child support of $865 a month and have had the oldest child with me most weekends, I need to know what dose the money I give her cover as she is telling me to pay Half of her school fees? What dose child support cover?

    1. Hi you can’t be made to pay any more than the child support amount. If you want to help out with extras you can of course. Unfortunately there are no clear guidelines about what CS should be spent on. It is up to the receiving parent to spend it how they wish to.

  2. My husband paid child support for his Son from a previous relationship, his son is now living with us.
    He has a large arrears with IRD basically from a 6 month period about 5 years ago when we were not aware that Child Support was being claimed and IRD did not contact him.
    Do you know with the arrears who receives the money? Also we have been told if we pay off monthly some of the debt can then be erased?

  3. I have majority care of 2 children. I was on a sole parent benefit for a month ( and applied for child support ) then started working 20 hours a week for a year. I didn’t know I should have stopped child support payments. If I had known I would have done that. My ex partner didn’t realize he should be paying child support so basically he now has a large debt to pay off. My question is if I was working why are IRD still charging the same amount of child support as when I was on the sole parent benefit? Is there anyway we can have that amount of debt reviewed?

  4. The father of my children left the country over 7 years ago, at the time, my youngest was 14 and the oldest nearly 17. We did not receive one cent from him the whole time he was overseas. He is now back living in the country… my children are adults, 22 and 25, am i still able to pursue him for unpaid child support for those years we were entitles to receive it?

  5. Hi,
    I had tried applying for the sole parent benefit in the 18th of August couldn’t do the realms account finally got it submitted on the 28th will I be back paid and to what date? I hadn’t applied earlier as I resigned late May but assumed I would have a stand down so have been living off my savings which has run out now after 3 months. Also I have an agreement with ex partner will this be effected as he actually pays more now then if he had to pay child support he’s good like that he doesn’t want IRD involved I’m afraid if ird get involved he will only pay that amount and not what he already does

  6. Hi, I have a private agreement with my ex wife for c/s, we have been using the IRD calculator for the past 3 years to work out my financial responsibilities. She declares that she is not employed and lists her income at approx $15,000 per year. I have asked her to provide details of where this money is coming from but she is not willing to do so.
    I know that the sole parent benefit and the accom supplement are classed as income as they attack Income Tax, however I pay her more than $15,000 in c/s each year. I feel like we are at a stalemate. I have been told by the IRD that c/s via a private agreement is classed as income. I not sure what to do from here, I don’t what to involve the IRD, but feel there isn’t a lot of other options open to me. Do you have any idea’s for other options I could maybe pursue?

    1. Its a tough one, if you go through IRD unless she is earning big money and hiding it from you (but not from IRD), and you have a decent percentage of care, you are likely to be stuck in the same boat. If she is on the sole parent benefit there is generally no option except going via IRD. Sorry I cannot be of more help.

  7. Hi,
    My ex-husband pays child support and believes this covers everything including all extra curricular activities, medical, schooling etc. Is there a legal note of what child support covers ? I certainly can’t afford to cover 100% of all extra expenses that pop up each month?

    1. Hi there, this is one of our biggest gripes with the current system. It’s not clear what is covered and what is not. As far as all the extra expenses though he doesn’t have to contribute to them unless he wants to. For something like braces though you would be able to do an admin review and seek some extra assistance.

  8. Can work & income force you to apply for child support . Currently on Living supported payment caring for my nana. Haven’t told Winz that I’ve had a baby who’s 3 weeks old . Will make an appointment once I’ve done his birth certificate.

    1. If you go on the sole parent benefit you need to name the father to get the full amount. Then they will make sure that the father pays Child Support in order to recoup the benefit. That is how I understand it anyway but you might want to double check with WINZ and IRD just to make sure you have everything covered off.

      1. Cheers thank you , does that only apply to the sole parent benefit ? Having to name the father in order for them to get him to pay child support or all benefits ?

  9. Hi, I have two children and my husband and I have split. They are both to him and I am now recieving the sole parent bennifit.
    He is a fisherman and is saying that we will go 50/50 even though he cant have them 50% of the time.
    He has offered me $200.00 private arrangement and I dont know what to do? Should I be going through IRD or are the kids and I better off taking the private arrangement?
    He doesnt want them knowing how much he earns.
    Im really worried that we cant cover our bilks and need to know what the next step is please

    1. Hi, if you are on the sole parent benefit I doubt he will have any choice but to go through IRD. It really depends on his income as to how much you would receive vs the 200 private arrangement. Private agreements can be great, but unfortunately the benefit gets in the way of that.

    2. From my experience. I have a daughter,5, and am on the sole parent benefit. I have had her 100% of the time up until recently where my ex is having her one night a week on school days and every second weekend for 2 nights. IRD has come up with the pathetic child support sum that he is to pay of $75 per month. Yes, $18 a week. IRD also state that if the father has the child 35% of the time and you have the child 65% of the time then you may have to pay child support to him. I know, it sounds completely unfair and it is. You can earn up to $100 without it affecting your benefit and then Winz take 30cents of every dollar. You could perhaps declare the $200 as income and then, even though you might loose a bit you’re not hiding it from Winz. Then if your partner tries to blackmail you down the track about the $200 he’s been giving you he won’t actually be able to. You’d also have to pay tax to IRD on that $200. Other alternative is just to take the private arrangement but you are taking a risk. Lots have people have done it though. The best piece of advice I can give is go see your local Budgeting Service – they are completely descreet, they know all about what you are entitled to and they help mums in your situation every day. They’re great!
      Good luck from one solo mum to another! X

  10. Just wondering if you know what the effect on the child support I pay for my 16 year old daughter who is pregnant? I believe there is a young person benefit she will receive and she will continue to leave with her mother who doesn’t what any change in what I pay. But do I have to pay anything or will there be a decrease in the amount? Thanks for your time.

    1. Hi Sherry I put this question out to our FB group as didn’t have a ready answer. The answer I got was

      “Once the child receives a benefit from WINZ child support is no longer required to be paid- also if they work more than 30 hours per week or move out of home.”

      I hope this helps and please check directly with IRD if you are unsure.

  11. Hi,
    I’m new at the child support system.
    My ex has the children 2 nights a week. We have a private CS arrangement based on the IRD calculator.
    He is self employed (a barrister) with variable income by year.
    Is the amount calculated for CS on his gross company profit, net profit or another figure? Which figure do I use for a self employed man (who takes a very long time to file a tax return?) Thanks 🙂

    1. Hey Nicola, I believe they would go off his last submitted tax returns for his taxable income, often it goes a year or two back for those that are self employed. Maybe just ask him what his taxable income is? Good luck with this I am very happy to hear that you are looking at a private arrangement. 🙂

  12. Hello. Recently my grandfather passed away, part of his will was a trust and terms were the boys kids must be dna tested. I have not had anything to do with the kid or mother since birth, and the dna results say im not the father, the kid is now 10 do you know if money I have paid through the years will be refunded

  13. Hi,

    I have my daughter 3 nights a week but pay child support to my ex as if she has her full time. She has said that if i inform the IRD of this (has been this way for nearly 2 years) that she will deny it and stop me having her by taking me to court.

    Past experience in Family Court makes me not want to risk it as she will do just about anything to get her way. I have tried to update our original court order to reflect the current arrangement but that didn’t get past mediation as we couldn’t come to an agreement. I stopped pursuing it any further after she told me that if it ended up in court she would say i hit our daughter.

    What options do i have or is it something i have to accept?

  14. Hi, I am just venting as I am very upset. Father of my girls has just gone through IRD to claim CS out of the blue. Always been 50/50 in everything, no lawyers, no agencies, nothing, for 10 years. One daughter decided to go live with him 100% a few months ago – she’s 17 and we had a falling out (nothing major!) but due to non-communication and me not being able to allowed to call/visit etc etc (historic situation – the dad wanted us all to go away quietly so he could get on with new partner, so we did!) I have to accept her decision (it’s also pointless trying to change a 17-year old’s mind….). Other daughter still 50/50. Father has large 500m2 house with 3 mill CV, 2 successful businesses, is semi-retired, partner never worked, just done huge extension to their house, they have 2 luxury vehicles (owned by their businesses) and go on hols 2 x a year. He’s an ok dad – not knocking him! Just can’t communicate and never has. I am salaried and earn $90K and having seen the CS assessment, appears he’s paying himself no more than about $50K b/c I apparently now owe nearly $1000/month. I have NO problem providing for kids!! I’ve been paying him an amount every month and paying school fees plus clothes and tutoring for kids. I live in rented accomm, an apartment 50sqm and have a big mortgage on a tiny house I’ve just built (65 sqm). Can’t compare my situ to theirs yet somehow he’s managed to hide all the income. I’m so upset. I am single, live so frugally, grow own food etc etc and already have anxiety and depression. I have not been able to work since getting this assessment and I’ve just spent 2 whole days putting together an admin review application which contains so much personal and financial info that he and his partner are now going to see and laugh at, probably. It’s just so unfair that one parent can say they are earning so little when they are clearly so well-off. I think personally that if one person applies for admin review, the process should STOP and mediation should kick in so that a new arrangement can be made which doesn’t rely on stupid, unrealistic formulas….there doesn’t seem to be anyone in IRD who will listen to individual circumstances! I was told “Oh but his businesses might not be doing very well…” !! WHAT? How do they afford to run a Jaguar, an Audi and put a gym into their new “Barn”?! I could sell my car to pay more than I have been and stop my KiwiSaver payments for a while etc – communication would go a LONG way and I’m willing to work through it but now I’m just the villain in a process that was suddenly imposed on me with no warning. Sorry – I’m just so mad that at my age I’m now “in the system.” All this does is create ill-feeling and toxicity and undermine relationships. It’s unbelievable! Love my kids so much and if they both were with me 100% I’d be absolutely thrilled and wouldn’t even APPROACH their dad for CS ! I just can’t believe it this can happen in NZ. I will lose my little house now or just have to go into debt. Not sure what I’m going to do. I send hugs to those others who are suffering!

  15. Hi there, just wondering which is the best way of going about this problem.
    Well I’ve had my daughter for the last 3 years,an shes been attending this school that i have enrolled her too, my question is “what is the best way to get my child support back dated from the time I’ve had her until now

  16. Hi There

    I have had a private arrangement with my child’s father for a number of years. He had another child with someone else and we agreed to a small decrease in what he was paying me so that he could cope with a new baby, but that was three years ago and he’s recently purchased a house and new boat etc. It has been nearly 7 years since our agreement and the amount has stayed the same/decreased slightly. Cost of living has gone up for everybody, but he’s enjoying a new job, company car/fuel etc. I have approached him a couple of times re increasing the amount but he’s not prepared to do so – stating he can’t afford it. I can’t work out what he would be required to pay if I went through IRD, unless I know his taxable income (which I don’t). Is there anything I can do to find out this information? And does IRD take into account benefits such as company cars?

    1. Hi there, that is a hard one to answer without knowing how much he pays, and how much care that he has etc. If you show him the numbers about how much the child costs and then what % of that it would be fair to him to pay vs going through the IRD, maybe he will be open to that? Or you could try to get him to pay something towards some of the big one off expenses as the child gets older? Good on you for going privately, as most people are not able to reach agreement like that. I hope that the two of you can have a conversation about it, without having to resort to going through the IRD.

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