Child support is paid by parents who don't live with their children, or who share care of their children with someone else.
How much child support you pay depends on:
- what both parents earn
- the cost of raising a child, and
- whether you have other children
- how much care you provide for the child.
When you pay child support
You have to pay child support to IRD if you're on a benefit and you have a child who lives with you less than two thirds of the time and is:
- under 18, or 18 and attending a registered school in NZ or overseas
- an NZ citizen or ordinarily resident here
- not married or in a civil union or de facto relationship, and
- financially dependent — not working more than 30 hours a week on average or receiving a benefit or student allowance.
If neither you or the caregiver receives a sole parent or unsupported child's benefit, you can make a private agreement.
Payments stop when your child turns 18 (unless they're still at school), or if they:
- stop living with the receiving carer
- work full time (30 hours a week or more)
- receive a benefit or student allowance
- live in a de facto relationship, or
- get married.
Private and voluntary agreements
If neither you or the caregiver receives a sole parent or unsupported child's benefit, you can make a private agreement and IRD doesn't have to be involved.
If you want IRD involved, or if the main caregiver receives a sole parent or unsupported child's benefit, you'll need to contact IRD before registering any agreement.
If the child’s caregiver gets a benefit and you agree to pay more than the IRD assessment, the caregiver will only directly receive the amount you pay over the assessed payment. The rest will go towards their benefit.
You have a voluntary agreement to pay $250 a week. The child’s caregiver gets a benefit of $335 a week, and your child support assessment works out at $200 a week.
$200 of what you pay each week will go to Work and Income to cover some of the caregiver’s benefit. The other $50 will go straight to the caregiver.
Calculating your child support
Work out how much you should get or how much you have to pay.