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.

The best way to get help is to join one of our fantastically supportive Facebook groups.

Childsupport NZ – Receiving Parents
Childsupport NZ – Paying Parents

Or you can ask your questions here in the comments. Due to life getting in the way I am not actively answering questions on here, but often others will give their advice.

Thankyou!

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297 Comments

  1. I have two little girls that I now care for full time. I recently applied for child support and the assessment has arrived back based on our 2017 tax returns (no problem). My only question is he has a company, so his tax return shows $48,000 shareholders salary (so he only pays the 17.5% tax rate and the rest of his earning (profit) is paid through the company (so that he pays only company tax rates, not income tax rate of 33% if you earn over $48,000). Should the assessment take into account the company profit for the year/or the amount of drawings??? Also would the amount of profit/drawings (whatever they assess on) be split between us as we were both company directors?? When he left, he took all the company assets and paperwork and his lawyer has written to say the company is no longer trading and that he has set up a new company.

    1. Hi
      You’d need to apply for an administrative review to have his actual income taken into account and it’s up to you to supply evidence to prove your application. You might find this difficult if you don’t have any paperwork. Each Director would receive agreed drawings. A child support assessment is based on the paying parents earnings but if you have information that he actually received more than his declared drawings this is where an admin review can be used to have his capacity to earn taken into account, not just his drawings

  2. Hi

    So I have moved in with my new partner and I have 3 children to an ex. Me & new partner are expecting our new baby in July . New partner has one child to an ex whom he has been doin private arrangements with but not through IRD. His name is not on birth cert and we are wondering if new partner decides to go through IRD and make child support payments for his child with ex will that be dependant on our new household now since new partner is no longer single and living alone???

    1. Hi Reezi,
      If your new partner isn’t named on his child’s birth certificate he can’t be made liable to pay child support through IRD unless the Family Court declares him to be the father.

  3. Hello there,
    First time to post. I am a new Child Support receiver from this month. But I was told by my ex that he may lose his job and may not be able to pay Child Support. Normally he exaggerates everything so I am not too worried at this stage. But what if it is true, what is gonna happen to my payment?
    Has anyone experienced same situation?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. IRD will pay on his behalf and he will be billed to pay in arrears when he gets a new job or starts to recieve income from elsewhere

    2. Hi Miz
      Your ex will be assessed based on his income from last year if he works for wages (2 years back if he files tax returns). He can estimate to reduce his assessment if he loses his job but you could then apply for an admin review to change that.
      IRD can only pay you if they’ve received the funds from the paying parent first, this is if you’re not receiving a govt benefit.
      If you’re receiving a benefit you’ll receive anything your ex pays that’s more than what you’ve received by benefit in a month.

  4. hi i have a question.

    i made an appliction for child support years ago (as a requirement from winz) when i signed on the sole parent support, it was sent to ird and i received a letter from them stating they would not charge the father without proof of being the parent.

    he is named on the birth cert as the father but they dont have a copy of this. so my question is… is he liable?? will he be slapped with a huge bill?? will he be charged for all those years ago??? if i send the certs now will he get a big bill and be in debt???

    1. He is liable. But. . . he can claim that he didn’t recieve any notification at any time between your application and now, therefore wouldn’t need to pay for the ‘missed’ time with a huge bill. But will surely have to start payments when IRD catch up with him.

    2. Hi jp rose,
      IRD will only hold an application if proof of paternity has not been established at the time the application was received.
      As you have the father named on the child’s birth certificate but didn’t supply it when you completed the application it’s unlikely any liability would be backdated to the first application. You’d have to complete a new application and the liability would start from the date the new application was received by IRD

  5. We pay child support. The other parent refuses to pay half of the costs of orthodontic care that the child needs. Can we apply to the family court to get the child support payments to be used to pay for her share of the orthodontic treatment?

    1. Hi Sarah,
      If you want help with paying orthodontic expenses you should first apply for an administrative review under Ground 6. Once you have an admin review decision in place you can take the issue to the Family Court if you’re not happy with the admin review decision.

  6. If I am the father of a child but legal guardianship was taken away from me through the courts do I legally still have to pay child support?

  7. Hi I had a son at 16 yrs he is 4 1/2 now, I refused termination as I couldn’t do it, although knowing I would be a single parent. His father is not named on the Brith certificate and he doesn’t pay anything towards child support and has never meet his son. After this time gone he is now wanting to be in his sons life. Does he have to pay any child support? Or am I able to revive any help from him now that he is wanting to be in his sons life?

    1. Unless his name is on the birth cert or he has been declared to be the child’s father by the Family Court he has no liability to pay child support. The only way a liability could be backdated is if you had previously lodged a child support application with IRD who held it pending proof of paternity. You could ask the Court to make an order that he pay from birth but without any written agreement signed by both of you it’s unlikely you’d be successful.

    2. The only way you are free from paying child support is if you legally allow the child to be adopted by someone else. Just because your guardianship has been removed doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay

  8. Hi. My ex has our boys one night a week and Saturday during the day. I’m looking at claiming child support through ird but am a bit confused about working out the time spent with the children. The ex has a full time job monday to friday but also has a second income from a band that he is in(not regular gigs though). He is saying that because he also works nights he cannot have them at nights at the weekends but my understanding is that ird only works out nights spent with the parent not days. Would his case be a special case as he sometimes works night shifts in his second job.
    thanks in advanced for your help.

    1. If the nights formula isn’t fair IRD can use days as well. However, he would have to have the children at least 2 nights every week to meet the criteria to have recognised care put in place at the lowest percentage. If he doesn’t meet the 104 night criteria it doesn’t matter when he has them your child support won’t change.

  9. Hi, my partner has a child he pays child support for and we heard that if we have children of our own his child support would decrease somewhat because he will have other dependant children. Is this correct?

    1. Yes, if he has another biological child he will be allocated a dependent child allowance as well as the general ‘living’ allowance which will reduce his child support payments.

      1. My partner pays $850 a month for his son!! He lives ages away so only have him every second fri/sat night and she still says she has no money for petrol to do drop offs.
        When we had our daughter it went down by $18 a month!!!!!!
        How they can say one child costs $850 (technically more as the mother should have a contribution too) and our wee baby costs $18 is a bit of a joke. The system is messed up.

  10. Hey,
    My husband pays child support for two children, we get to see one every few weeks and have no contact with the other (not through want of trying). We hope to have our own children soon and would love for him to be a stay at home Dad so he can experience everything he missed with his first two. I’m happy to cover his child support payments as he won’t have income after we have children but wondered how much this would be approximately?
    We also hope to go overseas in a few years time, still with me as the breadwinner and him as the stay home parent. If he is not working can we just pay lump sums to IRD to make sure we are up to date with child support? How would you go about getting an income statement in a foreign country if he has no bank account there? We also hope to have enough money to fly the child we do get to see to visit us once or twice a year but money will be tight.
    I know these are pretty out there questions but if anyone has any advice or experience they can share I’d really appreciate it.

    1. If he gave up his job he could end up with an admin review based on his capacity to earn and end up assessed at the same amount hi was while earning. The premise is that the primary responsibility is the financial upkeep of the children and they would be the ones to suffer if his child support payments reduced.
      You can transfer money from overseas to IRD using Orbit Remit, I understand payments to IRD can be made without charge.

  11. Hi there. My husband and I are planning on starting our own business. He is currently in full time employment and we share 50/50 care of his kids with his childrens mother.

    Because our business will be in the ‘start up’ phase the business will pay him a salary (‘market’ but on the low end of the spectrum) and the balance of funds would be reinvested in the business. My question is, will child support for the coming year be calculated on his income for the year ending 31 March 2018 or can we apply for a reassessment once we launch based on his new income?

    We still anticipate paying child support and it would seem unfair if we had to pay based on a year where there was more income coming in – especially given we have 50/50 care. I’ve read conflicting information online so unsure what happens in practice. We’ve been running our numbers and obviously our projections have to change (jobs booked etc) depending on his CS liability. Thanks in advance.

  12. My ex is on the unemployment benefit looking for work and living with family rent free while I look after our son 24/7 and pay full daycare. Am I entitled to any of his benefit? If so how much roughly and how do I do this?

    1. No, you are not entitled to any of his benefit. Child support should be taken from his benefit and paid to ird. If he’s on a benefit it will be the minimum amount which is $70 something a month. Providing he doesn’t have any other children, as that amount is divided between all dependants.

  13. Hi There,

    Has anyone ever applied for a administrative review based on ground 3. ( applying for a reduction based on paying back a debt that was accumulated in the Relationship.) We have been separated for 3 years and I’ve only just found that this was an option, I’m currently paying back a 20k loan that was debt accumulated together. How successful has anyone been in applying for a review based on ground 3? My income has reduced significantly this year, I also support my partner and we have our own baby on the way. My current assessment is based on income from the previous financial year and it is quite a hefty amount there is no way I can afford to pay this amount this year based on my income. I have also been through court just to get regular contact with my children.

  14. my ex partner and i have a split 50/50 child care of our daughter neither of us has to pay child support because of our wages but the ex refuses to pay for half the other costs eg swimming lessons /day care / ballet et. what am i intitled to do about this

  15. Hi there!
    My daughter is about to turn three in a couple of months. Her father has rarely seen her or played a part in her life thus far. He hasn’t paid for any child support.
    However I am working full time and am on the solo parent benefit.
    He recently started seeing her again and wants to start contributing.
    I wanted to know the best suggestion moving forward?

  16. Hi, I have 3 kids with and they live with their mother full time and I have them every second weekend and some. She works full time and receives working for families. She wasn’t on the sole benefit until recently but I have always been paying child support. So the question is Do I have to pay child support or full child support to IRD? Thanks

    1. How it works is that if you pay child support and your ex is on the sole parent benefit then IRD will take a portion to offset that. Anything above that amount will be passed on. Hope that helps and thanks for dropping by.

  17. Hi there,
    I currently pay child support for my two sons, I also contribute to schooling and fees and extra curricular. I just want to know what my rights are around paying for daycare? She is wanting me to cover these costs also as well. Does anyone know what child support should cover?

    1. Hi Luke there is no requirement to pay above and beyond the child support costs, however you can certainly choose to do so if you wish to help. Hope this helps. Cheers Rob

  18. My husband and I have bought a small farm that we intend to raise calves and finish beef on. My husband pays child support on 3 kids, who live with us 1/3 of the time. In our first year of business we didn’t make much money because of setting up costs etc ($22,000 earnt) so we incurred an overdraft of $30,000 for living. We had to go to an administrative review where they set his earnings at $50,000 because he was potentially able to earn this. So, effectively he had to take a job earning this and now we cant run the business as planned as it will take both of us to do it. However, as a business partnership, you have to divide the business income by how many partners (2) and you each pay your tax on your share, also child support etc. So now I run the farm, and we have less animals etc so i can manage by myself and IRD still want all of his job earnings and half of the farm earnings to based child support on even though I am working the farm. I also put in 3x the amount of money he did to purchase it so now its like im paying for his kids. Now, i don’t want to earn money off the farm as its not worth my efforts as most goes to supporting his kids when they are with us (1/3 of the time) and paying his ex. I also have 1 child full time. Its very stressful.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Mandy
      If you have new information, eg something that wasn’t covered in the last review, you can apply for another review and ask that the decision in place be changed.
      Go through the decision you have and pick out the reasons used to increase your husband’s income, refute these and say why they aren’t accurate or reasonable. Your aim is to make them realise the current decision in place isn’t ‘just, equitable and otherwise proper’ to all parties, including the children-refer to s98C of the Child Support Act 1991.
      Provide as much evidence as you can to back up your points.
      The test to have an application considered is to establish special circumstances, then you have to meet the requirements of each ground.
      Regards (this advice is from Karen)

  19. Hi there im so glad ive found this forum as trying to negotiate this cs maze is exhausting! My partners ex and him have 2 children together… We have 1 each and figured it would just be unspoken law that there is no payments made by either and we raise the child we have care of and not ask anything of the other parent. Well the ex got a bee in her bonnet and jealous of my new role in their lives and secretly applied for child support for the kid she has care of. We knew nothing of this until we got harrasing messages by her and her family saying we had applied for cs and now she owes alot of money for the child we care for. She earns alot more than him and as it turns out when applying for cs it has somehow backfired and now we are entitled to all this money she refuses to pay! She rang crying and begging us to cancel it… She admitted to applying for cs for her 1 and made it clear that the other one wasnt to be applied for but they have anyway. Is this possible? Will ird automatically take the other child into account and now charge her even though she applied? And if we decide to can we even cancel something that SHE applied for? Thankyou so much for your feedback in advance!

    1. Hi Krystal,
      IRD can’t put a liability/entitlement in place for a child unless they receive an application from either parent so it appears she might not be giving you all the information available.
      The formula assessment uses both parent’s income so if her income is the higher then, yes, she will be made liable to pay.
      You could cancel if you wanted to, you could cancel all the debt too or have it collected
      . You could also tell her know you can apply again at any stage you like.
      Regards Karen

  20. Hi, I hope you can offer some advice please….My ex and I have 3 children, 9,13,17. 17yr old lives with him & his new partner & her kids. Our 17yr old informed me he’s working full time but my ex went to IRD to claim money from me for the 17yr old. In meantime I’m not getting any money for other 2 as IRD not sorted anything. I have new partner & declared him to IRD & I’m worse off but wanting to do right & keep legal as EX is playing dirty! I work as much as I can & my partner is also in difficulty with his EX over their issues. I received txt from my EX saying this:
    I’m sorry to inform you as you have gone through the ird I now do not have to pay any school fees or school clothing as this is taken in to account when the ird did their formula. The ird have told me to stop any payments so now it all goes directly through them. But he stopped paying me for the 17yr old when he was in my care months ago (he’s been with his father 4 weeks now) what do I do I can’t afford a lawyer. We have shared custody but since he has a new family he’s putting 2 younger children last & im doing my best for them but can’t afford extras for clothes and shoes for them. I need help.

    1. Hi Dee

      He doesn’t have to pay any more than the assessment IRD have put in place.

      There is not much you can do about the missed payments before you went to IRD.

      If IRD haven’t sorted anything you will have to keep chasing them.

      You could apply for an admin review to have him assessed on his full-time earnings and to have your entitlement increased so you’re getting more funds for the children in your care.

      If you need help with that, but can’t afford a lawyer we can highly recommend the services of csadvocates.co.nz.

      Good luck and keep us posted.

      Cheers

      Rob

  21. Hi there, extremely frustrated ATM, my child’s father has not paid child support since August, he is working full-time, making good money. He has no other dependants. Ird have found an income source, but it’s a “work in progress ” after telling me I would get a payment last month. I’m having to pick up extra shifts at work to make up for him not paying. I hardly see my kids because it’s always late shifts and they are asleep when I get home. I’m exhausted and at my wits end. Can they do anything more or just resign myself to the fact I’m working usually 7 days a week and don’t get to spend time with my family?

    1. First of all congratulations on doing all that you are to take care of your family. The best way (that I have seen) to get IRD motivated is to continually keep asking them for updates and what they are doing to chase up the money. I know it is not easy and also hard to find the time. If you don’t have time to call them you could keep on sending them secure mails through my IR. (that doesn’t take long). Good luck and I hope you manage to get some help eventually.

  22. Hi. We have just received a payment request to pay my husbands Ex child support.
    Q1 – he is self employed so which year is used to assess the income.
    Q2 – They have 4 children. We have 1 full time, the other 50/50 with the mum. We are also supporting the older 2 children who are now at Uni. Last year we had 3 full time and 1 on 50/50.
    The mother has close to a million dollars in property assets (walked away from the marriage with 1.2mill, and does not need to work, chooses not to work.

    Can I ask why we have to pay child support for the child that is 50/50 with us and she doesn’t have to pay child support for the child we have full time, nor has she ever paid child support for the older 2 boys that lived with us full time last year.
    Basically we have 3 full time and she has 1 on 50/50 care.

    Just seems a bit crazy that she doesn’t need the money, we do as they chose to live with us. Thank you.

    1. Hi there not sure on which year it is I think it depends when he submits his tax return etc. I agree that the system is very unfair in cases like this. If you at least claim child support for the one in your care full time though I think you would get the minimum at least which might help a bit? Could be worth a shot. Otherwise you could also try an admin review with the help of someone like csadvocates.co.nz if you were not comfortable doing it yourselves. Thanks for dropping by. Cheers

  23. Hi,
    My partner does not work as he is the stay at home parent of our 3 children. However he has a child to a previous partner. Is it realistic that IRD asks for child support that I will essentially have to pay? This seems like a big flaw in the system….I can understand that if he was on a benefit that money would be taken from that, but he is not eligible being my partner to receive one.

  24. Kia ora all – I have a question that I’m not sure on…
    Is there a reduction in my child support if my X partner has a new relationship and is spending time with them?
    If so, how do I go about addressing this, for example; can I submit evidence to IRD and what do they accept as evidence
    Warm regards
    J

  25. Hi Rob,

    I’ve just got a child support assessment done and liable to pay a large monthly amount (the mother is on a sickness benefit) but the same time I’ve been made redundant. What can I do now?

  26. Hiya, I am the receiving parent of child support. The liable parent has not paid in full for 2 financial years. He has a large overdue amount. I recently had to start receiving a benefit.
    My question is, when the overdue amount is paid, will I receive the child support that I was owed from the months I was not on a benefit?
    So confused…. as I know that child support paid goes to off set the benefit you receive.
    But I can’t find any information ANYWHERE on the money that was owed before you started receiving a benefit. I hope like hell that I still receive it, as I feel like I’m still entitled to it. 😩 I hope you can help me understand 😞

  27. Hi there!
    My child support payments have decreased from $226 per month to $160 per month. I’ve just applied for the sole parent benefit so my income has obviously decreased. Would this be the reason for the decrease in child support too?
    Many thanks

  28. Hi there just wanting to know while on the job seekers allowance how much child support will I be paying I’ve been unemployed for a year recovering no financial assistance from the government at all I’ve only just started to receive the job seekers allowance so how do they calculate what is payed plz help 😟😟

  29. Hi,
    Can IRD pursue father for child support if they mother has not completed a child support application? Mum was on benefit for 6months refused to complete the child support form and received a sanction for this, father named in birth certificate and IRD is pursuing father as liable for this period of time (with ridiculous amounts of penalties added).

  30. Hi,,, i have a 3 year old son who i have shared care of, friday 4.30pm till monday 6.30am, so yes i work all week and have my son all weekend,, my ex and I split 2 years ago and i have been paying child support since,,which im happy to do as we have a private aggreement,, and i know children are not cheap,, if i go through the ird system would be paying about the same anyway,, however at present ,my ex only works 28 hours a week so she can qualify for support from winz, she had her hours reduced to do this, if she did work a 40 hour per week job she would earn more then i do making my payment even less , is there any ird form or application to have her situation viewed and if there is any reason why she cant work more to help herself,

    1. Hi Dallas, there are review options if you are within the IRD system. But I doubt there is much that can be done if you are not. If you are managing to stay outside the system, my recommendation would be to do what you can to stay that way. Good luck and good on you for doing what you can to support your son.

  31. Hi Rob,

    I have a 10 year old daughter whom I have been paying child support for since myself and her Mum separated.
    Just recently she has been sending me bills for school fees , stationary , and school shoes etc, my daughter also has extra reading lessons which I don’t think she needs anymore , but her Mum continues to send and expects me to pay half for everything..
    My question is am I obligated to pay all this extra stuff or does my child support cover this?
    Kind Regards
    Marc

    1. Hi Marc. There is not really any policy around what child support covers. You can choose to help if you like or not. I know that is not very helpful but unfortunately that is the system we have to deal with. Cheers rob

  32. My partner pays child support to the mother of his children. This year he has had a change in work and will only be working part time now. I know we can get his estimate of income changed to help us out but my question is she too has also changed jobs in the last 6 months and is now earning more per hour and working more hours. As IRD take into account your previous years income and hers was less, can we request that they check what her new income is as it would have increased by more than 15%??

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