Skip to main content

COVID-19 - Our Auckland offices are closed. You can still contact us and get help. Contact us

Resurgence Support Payments (RSPs) Resurgence Support Payment (RSPs) – Applications have opened for a 6th RSP payment. Applications for the first 3 payments close at midnight on 1 December. Find out more

When you apply for a child support review, also called an administrative review, you must be able to show you have 1 or more of 11 special circumstances. 

You may choose more than 1 ground, but you'll need to provide the right proof for each ground in your application for your review.

The information you send with your application will be shared with other parents.

This ground applies if the ability of either parent to support their children is significantly reduced by obligations to another child or person.

To apply under this ground you should have a duty to maintain another person or child. This usually means you have a legal or moral duty that makes you responsible for their financial support, such as a child from a previous relationship or a court order requiring payment.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • A copy of any agreement or court order.
  • Proof of child support or maintenance paid.
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies when the ability of either parent to support their children is significantly reduced by obligations to care for another child or person with special needs.

To apply under this ground, you should have a duty to maintain another person or child with special needs. In most cases, this means you have a legal or moral duty that makes you responsible for their financial support, such as high medical costs or special care because of a disability.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • A copy of any agreement or court order.
  • Medical certificate or evidence showing the person or child's condition and specific treatment and costs.
  • A list of costs showing extra expenses after deducting any benefit or allowance paid, or medical insurance refunds.
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies when the ability of either parent to support their children is significantly reduced by commitments that are necessary for that parent to support themselves.

You can apply under this ground if you are paying off loans or have high medical costs.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • A list of the costs necessary for your support (you should explain why the expenses are necessary and give details of any steps you've taken to reduce them).
  • Confirmation of your current earnings if you earn a salary or wages.
  • If you're in business, details of your interest in the business, your latest profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
  • If you have loan commitments, the loan start date, term and purpose, minimum liability and actual repayments.
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies if the ability of either parent to support their children is significantly reduced by necessary commitments to support another child or person they have a duty to maintain.

To apply under this ground, you should have a legal or moral duty that makes you responsible for their financial support with necessary expenses to support them.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • A copy of any agreement or court order.
  • A list of the costs necessary to support the other child or person.
  • Reasons why the expenses are necessary with details of any steps you’ve taken to reduce them.
  • Confirmation of your current earnings if you earn a salary or wage.
  • If you’re in business, details of your interest in the business, your latest profit and loss statement and balance sheet.
  • If you have loan commitments, the loan start date, term and purpose, minimum liability and actual repayments.
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies when the high costs of contact significantly affect either parent’s ability to maintain the children. Contact costs can include travel, reasonable or necessary accommodation and toll calls.

Contact costs do not include food, clothing and entertainment.

To apply under this ground, the costs of maintaining contact with the child must be over 5% of your adjusted income for the year.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • Confirmation of the contact arrangements such as a court order, agreement or a letter from a solicitor.
  • A list of costs such as travel fares, accommodation, toll calls, or legal fees for maintaining contact with the child.
  • An estimate of future costs with confirmation from a travel agent, if applicable.
  • Your financial details. 

If you're applying in myIR as well as the Application for administrative review, we'll ask you for details about your situation and costs.

Working out your cost of travel

If you use a private motor vehicle to travel to and from contact visits with your child, the cost of this travel is calculated using the following kilometre rates.

  • 2020 (after 1 August 2019) onwards 40 cents per km.
  • 2019 (1 June 2018 - 31 July 2019) 36 cents per km.
  • 2013 to 2018 (up to 31 May 2018) 33 cents per km.

The kilometre rate is reviewed periodically.

This ground applies if both of these apply.

  • A child’s needs are not usual and require funding beyond the normal costs of bringing up a child.
  • The extra costs significantly affect either parent’s ability to maintain the child.

To apply under this ground, your child must have current issues that need special medical treatment or care.

You cannot claim the usual and regular costs of food, clothing, medical and day care.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • A medical certificate or evidence showing the child’s condition, specific treatment and costs.
  • A list of costs, showing extra expenses after deducting any benefit or allowance paid, or medical insurance refunds.
  • An estimate of future costs.
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies if the extra costs to care for, educate or train the child significantly affect the parent’s ability to maintain the child.

To apply under this ground, the costs must have been expected by either parent and be reasonable in relation to the family circumstances.

Costs include private schooling or additional costs for sports, music or other activities related to the particular talent of an especially gifted child.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • Confirmation of school fees, additional tuition fees or costs of the child’s additional activities.
  • Other information showing expectation of the special training or education (such as family history, situation before separation, formal agreement).
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies if you feel the child support assessment is unfair because it does not reflect the true income, financial position, assets or earning capacity of either parent or the child.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • Confirmation of your changed income, such as a letter from your employer or a copy of the latest profit and loss account and balance sheet.
  • Your financial details.

If the situation relates to the other party or children, you'll need:

  • details of their income, assets and financial position
  • your financial details.

This ground applies if the child support assessment is unfair because a liable parent or receiving carer has previously made financial provisions to the child, other parent or any other person, specifically for the benefit of the child.

The aim of this ground is to avoid unfair doubling up of support payments, possibly as a result of an agreement, property settlements or court orders.

The payments, transfers or settlements need to have been made before the child support assessment was made and should be genuinely for the benefit of the child.

If applying for a year prior to 2016, note that only liable parents can apply under this ground.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • Confirmation or evidence of the payments, transfers or settlements made.
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies if the child support assessment is unfair because the liable parent or receiving carer is legally entitled to live in a property you have a financial interest in.

This ground recognises that a considerable amount of a person's capital may be tied up in the home over a period of time while the receiving carer and children or the liable parent continue to live there.

If you are applying for a year before 2016, only liable parents can apply under this ground.

You'll need all of these things to apply.

  • A copy of any agreement or court order.
  • Confirmation that the other person is residing in the property and how long they’re allowed to do this.
  • Confirmation of your financial interest in the property.
  • Your financial details.

This ground applies if all the following are met.

  • You are the parent of a qualifying child.
  • You have separated from the child's other parent.
  • You have earned extra income from additional work within the first three years after separation.
  • The extra income is included in the child support assessment being reviewed.
  • Some or all of that income has been used, or will be used, on actual and reasonable costs to re-establish yourself and any child or other person you have a duty to maintain.

A non-parent carer of a child can also apply for a review under this ground to have the re-establishment costs of the child's parent taken into account. They will still need to get the relevant details and supporting information from the parent.

You can apply under this ground for the child support year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 or later child support years.

You will need all the following to apply.

  • Evidence showing the additional work started after separation, for example, a secondary employment contract,
  • Evidence of income earned from additional work, for example, payslips showing overtime, letter from employer showing details of the work not one before separation.
  • Evidence showing extra income has been or will be used for reasonable re-establishment cost, for example, receipts, quotes, hire-purchase agreements,
  • Dates of any reconciliation(s) after the original separation date.
  • Your financial details. 

Additional work

The work must be additional in quantity and/or nature to the work done before separation - such as taking on a second job, working over time or taking on extra contracts after separation.

Maximum extra income that can be excluded

There's a maximum amount of income from additional work that can be excluded from the assessment. 

The maximum is one of the following.

  • The amount that has been or will be used for re-establishment costs.
  • Extra income earned from additional work.
  • 30% of the parent's adjusted taxable income for the relevant child support year.

Reconciliation and the first three years after separation

The 3-year period begins on the day the child's parents stop living together in a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship.

If the parents reconcile for 3 months or less, the reconciliation period(s) may be ignored.

If the parents reconcile for more than 3 months, the 3-year period stops the day before they reconcile. A new 3-year period restarts if the parents separate again.

Reasonable re-establishment costs

Re-establishment costs can include buying a house, furniture, white-ware, household appliances, paying a rental property bond and removal costs. These costs need to be actual and reasonable given the circumstances of your case.

In myIR, as well as your Application for an administrative review,we'll ask you for details about your situation and costs.

Last updated: 22 Jul 2021
Jump back to the top of the page