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.


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  1. Hi I am a mother of a 16 year old who has unknown on her birth certificate for her father. I am pretty sure I can name the dad but have no money for DNA testing, I don’t want to make life difficult for her biological father but I want her to know who he is and who she is. I ha e contacted him many times both before her birth and after. I am concerned that this argument between him and I will effect her relationship with him but he will not be in her life until I’ve done the test.. I am on a benefit and I am confused about how to proceed. If it turns out I am right about her biological father then does this damage him and his family in the way of having to pay her whole life’s worth of maintenance or? What is the best thing to do.

    1. Hi Laws
      You can name the person as your daughters father if you have evidence eg a DNA test, Court order or statutory declarations from family members that he is the father.
      IRD can’t backdate a child support application so if he was named the father at any stage a child support liability would only start from the date they receive a child support application. Because you receive a benefit winz will require you to complete a child support application once the father is officially named, they will place a sanction on your benefit if you don’t complete a child support application. Winz can help you with the process to name the father, I suggest you speak with your case manager

  2. My husband is paying nearly $1500 a month in child support which leaves him next to nothing to live on. We have seperate bank accounts and basically keep our money very seperate also. However, my daughter (who has been estranged from her own father for years) is due to go to university and is unable to receive a student allowance as my husband and I earn too much and puts us over the threshold. We are deemed able to support her! They do not take husbands child support into account at all! My daughter is disadvantaged due to having a step father (who can’t afford to support her due to being in poverty himself). I have not seen any discussion around this point at all and was wondering if there is any advice for this situation?

  3. If my husband is paying child support but his child is supposed to be doing correspondence school .. though attended no school for 5 months previously how does the child support prove the mother is entitled when the 17 year old states they do as little as possible and hands in no assignments and sits at home watching tv instead ?? This is now the 3 rd year and is still in the same year class due to not passing?? The parent is being paid as a support person &760 per year yet there’s no evidence the child attends at all !

  4. Hi Ive been on the benifit for 3 years now and the father named on my daughters birth certificate is not the biological father he is also not living in NZ when I did apply for Benifit I told them this, we have done a DNA test now with the biological father and his name will now be on the birth certificate. IRD told me an application has been lodged through me and Winz when I applied for the benifit but the father is not in NZ so no child support is being paid, i also told them he is not the biological father. Does this now mean that the biological father will have to back pay all this child support or does he start paying when we get the birth certificate back and update it with ird and Winz? When he didn’t know he had a child?

    1. Hi Amy,

      IRD can only accept a child support application from the day they receive it, so if the child’s actual father is to be made liable to pay child support his liability will start from the day IRD receive a child support application. He can’t be made liable for periods prior to the day an application is received by IRD.

  5. Hello,
    I have been paying child support for a child for 14 years and i have found out the stepfather is on her birth certificate, and the paperwork that the IRD are saying they have as sufficent proof to take me for child support has my signature on it that im sure I never signed. I need to know what to do now please.

    1. Hi James

      If IRD are saying they have written proof that you’re the father of the child, was a Court Order ever issued naming you as the child’s father? Did you ever sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity? If IRD has a document with your signature on it I suggest you ask for a copy of it so you can see what they’re basing their decision on.

      When the step father became listed on the BC as the child’s father is of interest and whether your signature is on the application for the change, if your name was originally on the child’s birth cert. You can ask Internal Affairs for a copy of the application to change the name.

      First you need to know what you’re dealing with, then you can approach IRD about your liability

  6. Hi i am partner of paying parent who has has private arrangement for child support for years. As his ex only wants to work min $20000 and gets the WFF also IWTC and accom supp. Does this all have to be put through IRD as her yearly earnings inc the child support private arrangement they have. She thinks shes not getting enough and keeps saying IRD say he needs to pay more inc private schooling on top but when he speaks to IRD they say different story. Thinking she has not decleared the money shes getting through private arrangement.

    1. Hi Melanie
      There are no rules if parents have a private arrangement.

      Yes any private child support being paid as to be declared to IRD as part of her income for WFF purposes, and to WINZ because accomm supplement is means tested.
      If children are attending a private school and there’s a formula assessment in place through IRD the receiving carer can apply to have the school fees taken into account on top of the assessment.

  7. With reference to the income form on an Administration Review application, am I right is assuming that all forms of income that is earned must be declared, even in the case where the person is unemployed but makes no profit or runs the business at a loss?

    1. Hi Ike,
      If a person is running a business, they’re not unemployed. If a business is making no profit it would be insolvent. If a business is running at a loss there would still be income to be declared.
      Yes you have to include all sources of income on an IR178 Statement of Financial Position when applying for an admin review

  8. Hi there
    The father of my child has stopped paying Child Support on time due to his unemployment, but he partially paid back child support payment before last Christmas. I assume he got cash under table.

    I am just wondering why IRD cannot deduct Child support payment (outstanding amount) directly from his bank account? Nothing happened so far;does it mean there is no money to take in the father’s declared bank account?

    Also, once he gets employed again, does IRD know that he started to work straight away and deduct from his wage?

    It is very frustrating because I just found out he is having another child on its way while he does not even pay for my child and owes me quite a bit of personal debt too.
    These questions might have been already discussed but it would be much appreciated if you could give me answers again.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Miz
      You say IRD have “the father’s declared bank account”. If IRD have bank account details they may not be able to deduct eg if there are insufficient funds or the account is in joint names.

      Currently when someone starts a new job it can take up to 6 weeks for that information to reach IRD, then deductions have to be set and the employer given at least 3 weeks to adjust their records to include child support deductions.

      From 1 April 2019 employers will be providing employment details to IRD on a weekly basis instead of monthly which is going to speed up the process of locating a new source of income.

      If you become aware the he is working again and where, you can let IRD know so they can set up deductions as quickly as possible.

      Once his latest child is born he can have the child included in his assessment as a dependent child, this usually results in a small reduction in an assessment.

    2. Hi Miz
      You say IRD have “the father’s declared bank account”. They don’t as a matter of course deduct from bank accounts and there may be reasons they can’t eg lack of funds or perhaps it’s a joint account.

      Currently it takes 6 weeks for IRD to receive and process details from employers, and then they have to give an employer 3 weeks to adjust their records to start deductions.

      From 1 April 2019 employers will be providing information to IRD on a weekly basis to allow quicker action. If you become aware he has started a new job and where, let IRD know so they can confirm the employment and set up deductions on his pay.

      If he has another child, that child can be included in his assessment as a dependent which will result in a small reduction in your assessment. This won’t happen unless he notifies them.

    3. Hi Miz,
      IRD can deduct from a bank account it depends on how the account is set up. If it’s a joint account, requires both account holders approval or perhaps has another persons deposits going into it they may not be able to do it.

      Yes they will set up deductions on a new employer but until 1 April 2019 employers are required to file their PAYE information monthly so the information gets to IRD a month late. From 1 April 2019 employers are going to have to supply PAYE information weekly instead of at the end of each month, which means IRD will have much more up to date employment information available to them, this should help them locate new sources of income much faster. If you know he’s got a new job you should let them know straight away, you can do it by sending a secure email through your myIR account, that way they have the best chance of getting deductions set up asap for you.

  9. Hi iv got a few Questions.
    1st my ex sign a prenatal order to say the child is his for ird when she was 3 years old knowing she might not be his. She is now 17 years old and he wants a DNA test (by the way I had blood taken out when she was born for a DNA test and he was told by mid wife 6 months) he never bother but always went on about her might not be his. She is not wanting to do the DNA test she knows he might not be her dad he’s hardly ever seen or contact her can he forces her to.
    2nd would I be made to pay any money back thank you

  10. Hi,

    We are the ‘paying parents’. Currently we pay child support, flights (we moved away) and 1/2 of private schooling (a school we didn’t agree to) Are we legally obligated to pay for 1/2 of the schooling if we are also paying Child Support?


  11. I am expecting a child in June and my ex partner has decided not to be involved with raising his child due to me deciding I no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him.. If he is not present at the birth and doesn’t sign the birth certificate it means that I have no financially assistance for child support in the beginning. How long does it take to prove paternity? Is the only way through DNA testing? He has threatened to take this to court and not be involved.

  12. I have been paying child support for the last 6 moths through IRD.
    The amount I am paying is about 800 dollars a month, but my son’s mother have showed me that IRD has being depositing to her less than 80 dollars a fortnight.

    Is this possible? What would IRD be doing with the rest of the money? They supposed to be looking after my son’s best interest but instead they are supplying to my son only 20% of the money it belongs to him.

    What is IRD doing with the remaining 80%, is there a part of the story I haven’r being told?

  13. My son’s Dad and I have 60/40 shared care arrangement. My daughter has chosen to live with me full time. His Dad does not work and is on a benefit. Since we separated I have paid for everything for our children: clothing, school, even making school lunches on the days that they are with their Dad as he refuses to do this. I can not review my child support under the current admin review categories. I am actually happy to fully financially support my children; however, I am not happy to pay a significant amount of child support on top of this because the Dad chooses not to work and chooses not to financially support his children. I have considered a review via the family court. I have very little faith in the family court so I do wonder how that would go for me.

  14. Hi Karen,
    So a couple of years ago i became a sole parent an needed help from winz, i recently started working full time so no longer receive a benefit.
    However just before the benefit stopped my case manager informed me that for those years i had been penalized firstly for my oldest child not having a father on the birth cert (i was a teen mum an shamefully don’t know the father). Secondly i was penalized for not having a birth cert or nz citizen papers for my youngest child (i lived abroad, an came home for a family bereavement but didn’t leave) my ex was willing to pay child support for both children but i was told no because he is biologically only responsible for one. The case manager advised me to write a statement for a review to have the sanction lifted an paid back.
    Since coming off the benefit i feel i have been left in limbo, i’ve not heard anything more and my emails and calls don’t get a reply. It seems winz encourages you off the benefit an then that’s it, they don’t want to know you…. sorry for my rant but id appreciate any advice on what to do next.
    Thank You

  15. Does anyone know of a way to have arrears forgiven without actually cancelling a child support arrangement? We are entering a private arrangement.

    Only information i could find was to cancel child support, elect not to collect arrears, then register a new agreement.

  16. Hiya. My partner and I want to come to arrangement out of court and IRD. I would really like to know what child support covers. My partner only works 4 days a week and is reluctant to go to 5. The current monies I will pay will cover living costs alone. Any additional extra curricular activity, clothes, uniforms I will have to carry alone. What’s my best option as it does not seem like there is a definition of child support anywhere that clearly defines what it has to cover.

  17. Im not recieving a government benefit both of us is not claiming any government funding anymore for our children yet the kids father pays ird 279 a month 4 to kids under 10 and has been for 5months plus now the state that im intitled to 3030 jst based on my assedment for 01/04/18 to 01/04/19 it stay on all my state to payment make in full to winz and 0 balance to me i rang the and corrected the situation only for the to stay 189 has been transferdto my acount our of 3030 why hapens to the month work and income collected for childsupport when i wasntn recieving a a benefit it should have been coming directly to me am i wrong OR am i missing something can someone please help exsplain if u can pleeeese thank…..

  18. Hi – can anyone shed light on what child support is meant to cover? Up until recently my ex has paid child support as I have been the primary caregiver, and I have paid 100% of their costs. Not just living costs, but schooling, uniform’s, medical, extra curricular activities, cell phones, devices etc.
    Now we are going 50/50 with custody so therefore payments are significantly reduced, however he still has the expectation that I will pay 100% of everything instead of splitting costs. Surely “extra’s” such as devices and sports are not covered in this as it’s an individual thing as to what they do?

  19. Hi there.
    My ex-wife has racked up an IRD child support arrears of $7000+ over the years for our 2girls – 1 with special needs. My youngest child is turning 18 in a few month, so I understand child support will stop.
    But what happens with the arrears owing? Do I still continue to get money for arrears AFTER she turns 18? Or is that arrears written off by IRD? Orrrrr do IRD collect the arrears to line their pockets?

  20. Hi
    My sons father is a british citizen living in the uk I’m a NZ citizen living in nz. I want to know why he does not have to pay child support? When will this stupid law change? I have never had help from him and it seems legally if your from anywhere but Australia you can go around making children and not have any responsibility this is bloody rediculous!!!

  21. Hi there,
    My sons father has recently passed away. He has previously paid child support.. Will I continue to receive anything now that he has passed away?


  22. Hi my partners ex inlaws have guardianship of his son and are asking for him to sign child support papers but he is actually not on his sons birth cert. The ex inlaws are not letting him have any communication or visitation with his son till he signs them (he didnt have much before hand anyway they always have excuses why he cant be in his life) he is worried that if he signs the proof of percentage that they will not let him ever be on birth cert and they will still play their games as they will be happy they get child support and still call the shots so why give him any rights to his son. So my question is does a declaration of paternity get my partner on the birth cert? Or is it still up to the mother or ex inlaws? He really wants the ball to get rolling so he can have visitation, communication etc but has no rights atm as hes not on birth cert. He was with the mother at the time of his sons birth and there was no reason he couldn’t sign it at time only that they didnt want him on there. ( mother & Inlaws )

  23. Hi there,

    Just wondering, dumb question probably but my husband pays child support for his 12yo. I’m pregnant how will our new child fit into the equation? I’m just trying to be prepared before baby comes

  24. Hi – this May have been asked before sorry. What I’m wanting to know is if partner puts his child support payments through IRD does it take into account my income and also the cost of my children (his step kids)?
    He pays a ridiculous amount of $$ and she calls all the shots of when he can see his children.

    1. Hi Wen,
      The formula assessment takes into account the income of the two parents, not the parents new partners.

      Each parent is an equal guardian of their children and one parent can’t “call the shots”. If there’s a Parenting Order in place they both have to abide by it’s conditions but otherwise she doesn’t get to make all the rules.

    2. Hi Wen,
      I personally don’t believe new responsibility, chosen should flow down to other parties, such as the ex or child/children. I am sorry if the situation is a stressful one for you, which is not good. Stay out of the situation and let the parents sort it through. I have been where you are, and the best advise I can give you is stay out of it, let them sort through the issues. Secondly, no one can really know what went on in the relationship but those two people. Secondly, you should know nothing about what is being paid, and the IRD/CSA situation, it is a breach of law, be careful how you write things, protect yourself. I think if all parties are adults, wanting truly the best for the child, (not themselves) they should be able to communicate, and come to an agreement. It works well if all parties can put themselves in the others shoes. In simple terms, role reversal and see how one would feel, and being truly honest. It takes a ridiculous amount to raise a child, with all actual costs taken into account! Note, with the new changes, accommodation costs for that child or children is not taken into account.
      You will be getting child support for your children, from there father, to claim them in your new partners child support assessment would be double dipping. And, honestly his child/children should, and have to come first. One, takes there partner on, knowing their liabilities, and the hardships as well.
      Your Income isn’t taken into account, unless he is claiming a deduction for supporting you.
      I think everyone, needs to really have a good think, and see where there moral compass is pointing. Children didn’t ask to go without, neither did the main custodial parent. Keep in mind, there is a really actual cost to the main parent raising the children, and a real actual economic benefit that is forfeited, because of raising them, which is no where in the calculation in child support. We then can taken in the Pay gap in New Zealand which magnifies the problem. So I leave everyone with this question. Should our children go without because of there parents life choices, poor or otherwise? And, should others pay for those life choices that are innocent in those decisions? We are gifted children, surely we want what’s best for them, and for them to have better lives then we did? If maybe, everyone asked themselves is this the best choice for my child/children we would be in a far different place in society then we are now. Seek mediation and resolve the care of the child, any issues, this benefits the parents and the child. Parenting courses are also a good idea in regards to co-parenting.

  25. Hi there I have a son who is 18 I was denied access to him his whole life he made contact with me this year wants me to sign his birth certificate if I do this am I liable to back pay maintenance for the last 18 years

    1. Hi Mike,

      Be careful about this, if his mother ever lodged a child support application with IRD but couldn’t prove paternity, the application would have held in their system until such time as proof of paternity could be provided. If this is the case, the mother could cancel the application being held, only, if she was never in receipt of a benefit.

      Your dilemma is that you have no way of knowing if IRD hold an application, and they can’t tell you because it would have been lodged unaccepted into the mother’s account waiting on proof of paternity.

      If you got your son to ask his mother, would she tell the truth?

  26. Hi, I am the wife of the paying parent. In this case, the receiving parent has been able to reduce her income by showing a negligible net rental income. Is there somebody in the group who can explain to me why our GROSS income is assessed but only her NET rental income? This surely means that people can reduce their taxable income by claiming rental losses while the full-time 9-to-fivers who don’t have spare cash to buy rental properties, have no option to reduce taxable income? It seems odd that our large Auckland mortgage is disregarded and her rental property mortgage is factored in. She has chosen to be a rental investor and we have no choice but to work full-time.

    1. Hi Cindy,
      This situation can be explored using the adminstrative review process under Ground 8. If a parent is filing tax returns and able to offset expenses against income a review officer can adjust that parents child support income amount to provide a more equitable result.
      If you want information on admin reviews you can download an IR175 booklet from IRD’s website

  27. I read a stuff article that seemed to indicate that the government might look at all forms of income including money in trusts etc as liable income for child support in the coming years. Do you think this will include interest earned from money in savings account’s?

    1. Hi Elle,
      The administrative review process gives a review officer the ability to consider financial resources such as interest earned now.
      If you want information on admin reviews you can download an IR175 booklet from IRD’s website

  28. Hi there

    I have an three year old daughter and I finally got hold of her father to tell him he has a child. He was stocked! We are going to do a declaration of peturinty (sorry cant spell) im on the benifit. Will he have to backdate the child support or will it start the day we sign the form? Thanks!

    1. Hi Emma,
      Normally an application for child support can only be accepted from the date IRD receive it.
      However, when an application is received and can’t be activated because of lack of paternity, the application is held until paternity is established.
      So unless you’ve previously lodged an application and couldn’t provide proof of paternity, any application you make now can only be accepted from the date they receive it.

  29. Hello there,
    I have tried to search the answer, but could not really get it. So am asking here now.
    (Sorry if it is a repetitive question.)
    The father of my daughter delayed the payment for July of child support, and finally paid just before the next due (this for August) . (This is according to him, but I still cannot see it on MyIR)

    Question 1: When will I get paid Child support for July? As soon as IRD receives the money from the father or is it to be released on the 7th of next month?

    Question 2: I am sure he will miss to pay for August on time. Then again, all the payment that I receive will be backdated? But still my income including Child Support will be assessed as I am receiving on time?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Miz,
      Any child support received in arrears is paid out as soon as it’s processed into your account, IRD has weekly supplementary pay runs to do this.

      If you are referring to your WFF entitlement as long as you receive the outstanding payments during the financial year they will be included as income for your WFF payments

  30. Hi,

    My Ex is getting support form WINZ which is more than the expense which the kid requires. I have been already giving 50% of child care expense to her. I have been sharing day to day care for more than 2 days a week. I just want to make sure that my money is not being used in facilitating my ex. Is there any information available around this topic?

  31. Hi there,

    My Ex is trying to claim for ongoing and backdated childsupport from the date of our separation for food, clothing, entertainment, music lessons, other hobbies and baby sitter costs. Can she claim this? also if I put shares for my family into a family trust for the kids, does this affect my payments?

    thank you

    1. IRD can only put a liability in place from the date they receive an application and a formula assessment is put in place. Once a formula assessment exists the receiving parent is able to apply for an administrative review to try and have extra expenses considered but very little of what you’ve named above would be successful.
      If you have a private arrangement outside IRD there’s not a lot she can do unless she applies to the Family Court for an Order that you pay the expenses she’s asking for.
      You haven’t provided enough information relating to shares for me to comment.

  32. Hi, I’ve searched the IRD & Ministry of Justice websites and there is nowhere I can find what Child Support should be covering. Is there a definition of what Child Support should cover? Obviously food, but does it include clothing, school fees, sporting activities etc? I look forward to receiving a response.

    1. Hi Dave,

      There doesn’t appear to be anything official written about what child support is supposed to cover. (Note: I haven’t checked Hansard to see if there’s any commentary there.)
      The Child Support Act only affirms that the responsibility for the financial support of children rests with their parents according to their ability to pay.

      If you have expenses for the children that are out of the ordinary and the other parent won’t contribute towards them, you can apply for an administrative review for a decision that those expenses be shared.

      1. How can i ask a question.. All i am wanting to know is if im not recieving childsupport winz is getting paid from ird but im on job seekers my kids are not in my care but the father paid childsupport to winz and i dont recieving a cent are they false claiming is this illegal winz have to pay me if ird confirms this

    2. Hi Dave,
      The child support covers, Everything! But not accommodation costs. If you go to the IRD site and look for child costs doc. You can then download it. Unfortunately the new changes have meant that the main custodial parent will end up carrying the can. The actual costs of raising child in mainly on the main custodial parent, and the costs are totally unrealistic – not sure what world the powers that be life in…Must be a nice world. Normal it wont even cover child care costs, so don’t get your hopes up any time soon.
      Additional, the system in place for complex situations, where there are new children, old children, new partner etc makes an uneven playing field against the custodial parent. Income will reduce and only your Income will be taken into account. Not a fair system, but the system we have now. You can apply for school fees, etc with a Admin Review (Ground 7). But, it will depend on the situation before your split, what both parents expected, and basically what the review officer will do! Don’t hold your breath thou. The new changes brought in by Peter Dun, seem to have gone the completely difference way of fairness equity however. I truly recommend that individuals start writing to the MP’s about the child support changes. One must remember not to breach law, if you are stating your case do it in a form of an example.

  33. Hello

    I am trying to decide whether or not to name the father on the birth certificate of my soon to be born child. I am currently on a benefit, and probably will be for quite some time (I have severe health issues that make work not an option for the foreseeable future). I will care for baby full time. Baby’s dad and I are separated but still in communication. I don’t want him to have to pay through IRD. He does not want this either. We are both happy for him not to pay at all. We can’t even have a private agreement because I receive a benefit. Neither of us agree with the current system. He wants to open an account for Baby that neither of us can touch – so that when he can afford to pay he does, and when he can’t he doesn’t have to.

    I am wondering if there is a way he doesn’t have to pay but can still be on the certificate?

    I am also wondering if it is true that my sole parent benefit will be less if I don’t name him?

    The system is flawed and confusing.

    I understand parents should be held accountable for their responsibility as parents, including financially. I rely on the government to financially support me and will also for my child (much to my dismay but it is the way it is right now). But I don’t agree that he should pay if it goes straight to them? Shouldn’t it go to baby? Unless my benefit is less by a certain amount every month and then he pays to get it topped back up? But then he would still have to pay so much more? I’m just so confused. I don’t want to hurt baby or baby’s future by not naming him but I don’t want to be tied up in an agreement through a third party if all it will do is breed resentment and conflict I’m so confused >_<

    1. Hi Shak,

      The funds you are receiving by way of benefit are from the taxes paid by all New Zealanders. Both parents are responsible for the support of their children, not the tax payers of New Zealand, why would you consider it appropriate that neither of you should support your child.

      The Child Support Act states that the primary responsibility for the financial support of children rests with their parents. The Act also requires that a beneficiary must apply for child support from the other parent. This is the law of New Zealand and not agreeing with the system doesn’t mean you can break the law.

      In effect you are being paid your child support in advance by way of benefit because it’s important that you have funds to care for your child. Child support is then collected from the other parent according to his capacity to pay and those payments are used to offset the benefit you’ve already received. If he is assessed to pay more than the monthly benefit you’ve already received you will be paid the extra child support once it’s been paid by the father.

      If you fail to name the father on the birth certificate your benefit can be reduced or stopped, this is at the discretion of the Dept of Social Security.

      1. Except that if the father earns well then he will pay much more child support than the mother will receive in the benefit and his surplus will top up other dead beats. I suggest you talk to the father (if you can) and come to an informal arrangement where he helps out with caring for the children. That way he is not shafted by the tax man and you get help and support for your children.

        IRD is incredibly unfair and “one size fits all” if you can avoid it then do so.

        1. no the fathers surplus is given to the parent on the benefit… the receiving parent… it doesn’t go to top up others.

  34. Hi there,
    I have a court order in place where I pay for my child to fly to another city once every school holidays to visit the other parent, as this parent decided that after 7 years of no contact they would like to start seeing their child.

    The paying parent has not paid child support for a number of months. Legally do I still have to send the child at my expense?

    It is becoming a real struggle financially and is mind blowing that a parent can feel they shouldn’t contribute in anyway to their child.

    1. Hi Marley,

      Legally there is no connection between access and child support.

      The Parenting Order in place stands unless you apply to have it varied.

      Is it possible for you contact IRD and have them take more collection action on your behalf, it’s not appropriate for the other parent to not be contributing towards the financial support of the child

  35. Hi there, my friend is a paying parent for child support. He lives in the UK and is in a lot of child support arrears. What happens once his child turns 18? Will he still have to keep paying the arrears?

  36. Hi there, I am asking a question about the change of level of assessment for Child support between 2018 and 2019. For two children in my situation in 2018 it was $546/mth, the assessment for 2019 is $ 818/mth. That’s a 49% increase. Isn’t inflation at 4%? My wages have not changed and my ex wife is earning more than the previous year. I asked for a review and IRD wouldn’t even talk to my ex wife about her increased income (I don’t know the amount but the kids tell me). They discharged the review due to lack of information. Can you help please.

    1. Hi Ian,
      If you’re working for salary or wages your assessment each year is based on your income from the previous year from 1 January to 31 December. So your 2018 assessment would be based on your income from 01.01.17-31.12.17, and your 2019 assessment on your income from 01.01.18-31.12.18.
      If you file tax returns you are assessed on your income for the financial year 2 years previously eg 2018 on 01.04.15-31.03.16 and 2019 on 01.04.16-31.03.17.
      It sounds like you need to apply for another admin review and make sure you meet the criteria to have it accepted and the tests to have your ex wife’s reconsidered.

  37. Hi there.
    Recently the Agency sent me a notice of reassessment of my income…. for 2008/09/10!!
    Ive completely and fully paid my child support off, but now with this on the cards I’d like to know
    1. Can they really go back that far, (seems ridiculous, am I to be hunted and harrased until I finally find peace in my grave)
    2. On what grounds am I able to challenge this assesment? Incorrect information and figures, (I keep my records for seven years by law, how on earth can I challange this without proof).

    Awaiting your reply

    1. Hi Craig,

      IRD will generally only retrospectively reassess if the initial assessment was based on incorrect information. Your new notices of assessment for those years will tell you why the reassessments took place. You have the option of applying for an administrative review if you are unhappy with the assessments.

  38. If the parent has run away to his hime country and not working and not willing to pay child support does the governmnt takes over and pays me for child support if the 2 children are in my care 100%

    1. Hi Eesha,

      If the father is not paying, nothing can be paid to you as child support from the Govt. You may qualify for a sole parent’s benefit.

  39. Hi,
    I have a dear friend who has now received a Judge’s decision stating her 3 year old is now a ward of the state. There are many issues we are currently facing, but we can’t seem to find any information in regards to her child support payments, which she has been paying since her child was uplifted at 5 days old. As the child is now a ward of the state, is she legally liable to continue paying child support?

  40. I have raised my child since he was 2 years old (he will be 16 next month)and never received any child support from my ex, until i applied last year after she tried to claim child support for him when he was living with family members yet i financially supported him as he was going through the teenage phase i have court documents as his full time carer. Now she is trying to claim child support again through IRD just to get money and stop paying child support can i apply to claim for backdate of child support since he was 2yrs old? As she paid nothing from all those years towards any of his needs? It seems like every time she contacts IRD just because shes the mother she automatically is entitled to payments so i continue to have to prove by court documents, enrolment in school etc to keep stopping her from receiving any payments

  41. Hi there
    I dont know if anyone can answer this I am a paying parent for almost 10 years i have 16 and 13 and 8 yr olds and I only just found out that we were allowed to pay directly to Ird instead of going through our employee I have been charged over the years of penalty fees and arrears I’ve had to pay back I did not ask or remembered if i even ask to do it through my employer but I did not have a full understanding of it. I have been paying child support over 1000 a fortnight for years and I’ve only been told that I only had to pay monthly is this right??? I am not happy about the way ird has done this right I have struggle for so long and to find this out is insane! I dont mone paying according to what is paid but to overpay this much for so long and get godsmacked with penalties and arrears is insane! Any thorts out there?

  42. Hey there my aunty has a baby that is now in custody of cyfs and she had this question she wanted to ask it may sound stupid but it’s a question to be answered. She wanted to know since her first child is in the custody of cyfs what if she was to get pregnant again. Would they take her other baby too?

    1. Hi Sharlene,

      This is an issue that would not be dealt with under Child Support legislation.
      Each circumstance is different so there’s no one fits all solution and the decision would be made by CYFS and the Courts

  43. Hi all, I am on the sole parent support benefit. My child’s father disguises his income by putting it through his company so it looks like he has no income on paper. Because of this he has been assessed to pay the minimum possible amount (about $75 per month). I applied for an admin review as I feel he should be paying his fair share (instead of the tax payer). I would have thought IRD would want him to be paying more to offset my sole parent support but they told me not to bother with an admin review as it will never be successful while I’m on a benefit. Does anyone know the rationale behind this?? Seems backwards to me, if he was on PAYE he would be paying his fair share.

    1. Hi Honey,
      There is absolutely no rationale in that view point and you should never have been told that. If you want to apply for an admin review while you are receiving a benefit you should go ahead and do so. As long as you can bring yourself under one of more of the grounds used for admin reviews you have as much right as anyone to apply.
      It stands to reason that you should establish the precedent that his child support income amount is not correct now so that when you do come off benefit he will be assessed to pay at the correct level.

      1. Thanks Karen – that was my thought too! I did an admin review in 2016 which wasn’t successful. Although he was working, he claimed to be sick long term and have bad debts that were not paid to him. The interesting thing is that the reviewer stated that there was a lack of info at the IRD about him and his company. Would that mean he hasn’t been paying his taxes also?

  44. Hi, suspected for ages but recently the mother confirmed I am not the biological father of our daughter aged 8. Have been paying child support for 5 years and now want it back! Have no other children with her, so it can’t be credited to another account. Are refunds still possible once court has confirmed? Cheers

    1. Hi CJ,

      You can either give IRD confirmation by DNA testing or have a Court order issued.
      If you have DNA testing done make sure it’s an IRD recognised tester like DNA Diagnostics, just send the results to IRD and they’ll end your liability and refund anything you’ve paid.
      If you want to have a Court ordered Declaration of Non Paternity issued go to the Ministry of Justice website where you’ll find information on the process

  45. Just wondering about private arrangements. If it can be set up. And how. Or I’m pregnant now. I definitely know who the father is. Am I entitled to anything now? He refuses to help pay for any baby stuff.

    1. Hi Rawinia
      You can arrange financial support from the father privately if you want to, that is if he is prepared to pay.
      If he doesn’t want to contribute voluntarily you’d have to apply for child support through IRD by completing an IR101 Child support Application form. You’d need to be able to prove paternity by either having the father named on the birth certificate, him completing an Acknowledgement of Paternity or having him named as the father in Court.

  46. What does it remaining entitlment me as a receving parent? It say i am in credit. Does that i will recieve that money?

    1. Hi Melissa,
      I’m not sure what you’re asking here.
      If you are a receiving parent and IRD has collected child support for you, you are entitled to receive those funds.
      If you are receiving a benefit in effect the Govt is paying you your child support in advance by way of benefit because it’s important you have the funds if you’re caring for children. The Govt then collects child support from the paying parent and uses the money to offset the benefit already paid to you.

      If the paying parent is assessed to pay more than your monthly benefit payments you will be given any excess that he pays.

    1. Hi Tilo
      If you’re an NZ citizen or resident in NZ and have a child support assessment in place, even if your child has been taken to live in another country you will still be liable to contribute towards the child’s financial support.
      If the child is living in Australia your NZ liability will end on the day the child leaves NZ and the person caring for the child will need to apply to the Australian Child Support Agency if they still want to receive child support from you.

  47. Hi, I am paying for two children and I recently found out the youngest is not mine. I have been paying for 5 years. If I have my paternity disproven by court, will my ex be held accountable for robbing me? Will she be required to make repayments? She has always withheld this child from me, not wanting us to bond, just wanting the money.
    My other question is, my oldest (12) asked to stay more at mine, and said she wants to live with me as her home conditions are causing her depression (mum said no and has full custody, we have always sorted out our own informal arrangements). My daughter is very unhappy, doesn’t she have any voice in where she gets to live now she’s a bit older?
    Appreciate some advice.

    1. Hi Maree,
      If it’s confirmed that you are not the biological father of one of your children and the Court holds that you have no involvement with the child your liability for that child will be removed from the date it started. If you have overpaid your child support any credit will be held and applied to future liability for your other child. This change came in with the new amendments starting 01.04.2016. Previously you could ask for the credit to be refunded.

      Your oldest child is of an age that her views would be given a fair bit of weight by the Court. If you can’t get your ex to agree to trial your daughter living with you for awhile, you’re probably going to have to have the order amended. Lawyer for Child can be appointed by the Court and your daughter would be able to tell L4C what she’d like to happen. Parenting Orders expire when the child turns 16 so you
      have a few years to go where the order stands.

    1. Hi Wynta
      You are entitled to receive child support. In effect the Govt is paying you your child support in advance by way of benefit because it’s important you have the funds if you’re caring for children. The Govt then collects child support from the paying parent and uses the money to offset the benefit already paid to you.

      If the paying parent is assessed to pay more than your monthly benefit payments you will be given any excess that he pays.

      If you were not receiving a benefit and working a minimum of 20 hours per week you would be entitled to receive: your wages, any child support being paid by the paying parent, WFF, an In Work Tax Credit of $75pw or more, and any accommodation supplement you qualified for through Winz. You’d need to do your calculations and see which way you are better off.

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