Child Support

Determining the Income You'll Be Assessed On
If your child support is based on your previous years' income IRD will send you a notice of assessment in March for the new tax year. Because your income for the full year will not be known at this stage they will assess you on an income figure made up of:

  • the ten months from April to January, and
  • two months approximated earnings (1/5 of the ten months actual earnings).

What if Your Assessment Increases?
Any shortfall in payment for the months April to June will be due 30 days from the date IRD send you your new notice of assessment.

What if Your Assessment Reduces?
Any overpayment will be used to pay your child support for the coming months.

Note: If you are a new customer and you are first assessed prior to the "reconciliation" in July, your first assessment will be based on an approximated income until the "reconciliation" is done in July.

How Long You Pay Child Support For
You must pay child support until the child turns 19.

However, in some circumstances you may stop paying child support before this, for example, if your child marries, starts living with you full-time or can support themselves financially before they turn 19.

You do not have to pay child support for a child who:

  • is in full-time employment (30 hours a week or more)
  • is receiving a student allowance
  • starts living in a de facto relationship
  • starts receiving a benefit.

The custodian can decide to stop receiving child support payments from you (as long as they are not receiving a benefit), or you can come to an agreement between yourselves without involving IRD at all.

What Happens to the Money You Pay?
If the custodian does not receive a benefit, all the child support will go to the custodian. If the custodian receives a benefit, the child support will go to the government to help pay for that benefit. If the payment you make is more than the benefit that the custodian receives, then the excess amount will be paid to the custodian.

Change of Circumstances
You must let IRD know straight away about any changes to your personal situation because it might affect your child support payments.

Changes of circumstances include:

  • entering or leaving a marriage or relationship
  • you start living with the person who receives your child support payments
  • a dependent child comes into your care or leaves your care
  • you change employment
  • change of address or contact details.