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After the hearing, the review officer considers the information given by everyone involved, as well as any relevant information we hold. They look at how the child support assessment affects:

  • the child
  • you
  • the other people involved.

There is no guarantee the assessment will be changed.

We usually finalise the decision within 3 weeks of the hearing and send everyone involved a copy. The review officer must provide reasons for their decision. Any information given to the review officer may also be in the decision, including any information:

  • given by the other person or people involved
  • already held by us.

Contrary decisions

When you apply for a child support review, it may not be limited to the grounds or reasons given in the application. The decision can have the opposite effect to the change you’ve applied for. We call this a 'contrary decision'.

When you’re thinking about applying for a review under one ground, keep in mind that the review officer may also consider other grounds.

Example - contrary decisions

You’re a liable parent and it costs you extra to cover your dependent child's special needs.

You could apply for these extra costs to be taken into account when your child support payments are worked out. But if the review officer sees that you’ve also recently had a large pay rise, you may find your child support payments go up overall.

Applications from 1 or more people

The other people involved can complete their own application for an administrative review at the same time as they respond to your original application. We call this a 'cross-application' and you’ll have the opportunity to respond to it. 

Disagreeing with a decision from a child support review

We cannot change the review decision once it has been issued to everyone involved in the review.

If you disagree with the review decision, you have the following options depending on your situation.

Situation Option

We did not accept your application because you did not meet the requirements.

You can apply to the Family Court for a departure order.

You applied for the administrative review and disagree with the review decision.

You can have the same grounds considered at the review looked at again by applying to the Family Court for a departure order.

You were the respondent to the administrative review and disagree with the review decision.

You can appeal the decision in the Family Court. The Court will then hear the original case. Appeals normally need to be lodged with the Family Court within 2 months.

There’s either a:

  • new ground or matter not considered by the review officer
  • change of circumstances since the last review.

You can apply for a new administrative review.

You were involved in the review and the review officer decided the matter was 'too complex'.

You can apply to the Family Court for a departure order.

For more information about how to apply for a departure order or appeal a decision, read our guide Helping you to understand child support and the Family Court - IR174.

Appeal an Inland Revenue decision - departure orders and appeals (

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Last updated: 12 Apr 2024
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