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Child support
Turuki Tamariki

Voluntary agreements for child support

 What is a voluntary agreement for child support?

A custodian and a paying parent can come to an agreement to pay and receive support for their child or children. If this agreement is accepted by us it cancels any formula-assessed child support.

You must meet certain criteria to be able to register a voluntary agreement for child support with us.

If you're the custodian and you're receiving a sole parent rate of benefit from Work and Income, then the agreement has to be for at least the rate set by the formula assessment. Only the amount over the formula assessment can be passed on to you, the rest is kept by the Crown to offset the cost of your benefit.

 Criteria for accepting a voluntary agreement

The voluntary agreement needs to be:

  • in writing
  • signed by both the paying parent and the custodian
  • made between the paying parent and the custodian
  • for payment for a "qualifying child"
  • for regular payments of at least the equivalent of $10 per week.

All parties (the custodian, the child and the paying parent) must be either New Zealand citizens or ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

Regular payments must be weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

 How to register an agreement

You need to fill out a Registration of voluntary agreement or court order for child support (IR102) form and send it to us. The form must:

  • be signed by both the paying parent and the custodian
  • have a signed copy of your agreement attached
  • have a pre-printed deposit slip or bank statement attached showing the account number the payment can be paid into.

Find the address to send the form to

 After you've registered your agreement

Once you've registered your agreement we'll:

  • work out what your agreed payment is on a monthly basis
  • advise each of you how much you need to pay or are entitled to receive.

 When payment of a voluntary agreement starts

Payment will start from the later of:

  • the day we receive the completed form, or
  • the date you have stated on your agreement.

Once we have accepted your agreement, this replaces the child support assessed under the child support formula and only we can collect the payments.

If you want to change your agreement

If you'd like to change the agreement you need to fill out a Changes to a voluntary agreement (IR108) form and send it to us. Find the address to send the form to

You'll also need to have a new written agreement attached.

 Ending a voluntary agreement

The paying parent can stop paying support under a voluntary agreement when any of the following happens:

  • the agreement expires
  • either person applies for a formula assessment
  • the agreement no longer meets the criteria
  • the custodian asks us to stop collecting
  • the child covered by the agreement no longer qualifies for support.

 For more help

If you're not sure about registering an agreement or have questions about the criteria or the process call us on 0800 221 221 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.


Date published: 13 Dec 2012

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