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Child support
Turuki Tamariki
Child support

Child support changes from 2014

What will change if you receive child support

Right now, child support is based only the paying parent's income and living circumstances as well as the number of children living with them. Shared care is recognised when the paying parent is looking after the children for at least 40% of nights.

From 1 April 2014

Child support will be based on the incomes of both parents, the cost of raising children today, including their ages, and the amount of care each parent provides. We'll recognise care when the paying parent is looking after the children for at least 28% of the time, for example, two nights a week.

If you receive a sole parent or unsupported child benefit from Work and Income, the child support changes will not affect your benefit. You'll still receive any child support you're entitled to over and above the amount of benefit.

More information and calculators will be available on this website from mid-July if you want to know more about what these changes might mean for you.

What will change if you pay child support

Right now, child support is based only on your income and living circumstances, the number of children you support and shared care if you look after the children for at least 40% of nights.

From 1 April 2014

Child support will be based on the incomes of both parents, the cost of raising children today, including their ages, and the amount of care each parent provides. Your child support calculation will no longer include an allowance for a new partner or children living with you that are not yours.

We'll recognise care when you look after the children for at least 28% of the time, for example, two nights a week.

More information and calculators will be available on this website from mid-July if you want to know more about what these changes might mean for you.

You can make a private child support arrangement

Many parents living apart choose to make private arrangements for the care and financial welfare of their children. The child support scheme is a back-up for parents living apart who are unable or unwilling to make private arrangements.

However, if either parent or caregiver receives a sole parent or unsupported child benefit from Work and Income, child support must be arranged through us.

Changes if you have a private child support arrangement

You won't be affected by these changes if you have a private child support arrangement in place, unless either parent:

  • starts to receive a sole parent benefit from Work and Income, or
  • applies for a child support formula assessment through Inland Revenue

Calculating the child support you need to pay after 1 April 2014

Right now, Inland Revenue calculates child support for you based on the information you and the other parent provides. We'll continue to do this after 1 April 2014 when the new formula takes effect.

When you'll hear from us about what the new formula means for you on 1 April 2014

Right now, we're working to make sure we have all of the information we need to calculate your child support under the new formula from 1 April 2014. We'll be in touch before the end of the year to confirm the details we have or to ask for more information.

Please let us know about changes to your contact details or family or income situation as soon as they happen, so that we can calculate the amount of child support you receive or pay correctly.

The new formula takes effect from 1 April 2014. In February 2014 we'll send you a notice letting you know how much you will receive or pay. This will give you the chance to contact us if any of the information used to calculate your child support has changed.

More information and calculators will be available on this website from mid-July if you want to know more about what these changes might mean for you.

If you're an employer

Most paying parents already have their child support deducted from their salary, wages or benefit. From 1 April 2015 this will be compulsory for paying parents.

That means, closer to 1 April 2015, you may receive more requests to set up child support deductions.

This change is an important one. It will make it easier for parents to pay their child support in full and on time.

When child support was introduced

The child support system was first introduced in 1992.

Why child support was introduced

Sometimes parents living apart can come to private child support arrangements. In cases where they can't, our child support system provides parents with a back-up.

Right now, our system helps provides financial support for over 210,000 children.

How we decided on these changes

Government approved the changes to child support after extensive public consultation.

New Zealanders said that they wanted changes to the child support system to reflect New Zealand family life today and better balance the interests of the children and both parents.

At Inland Revenue, we're working to administer the changes approved by Government, starting from next year.

What these changes mean for you if you want to apply for child support

If you want to apply for child support, please follow our existing process.

If you set up child support through Inland Revenue before 1 April 2014, the existing formula will apply. The formula changes take effect from 1 April 2014.

Read some examples of the child support changes in 2014 that may apply to your situation

 

 


Date published: 31 May 2013

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