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There are 3 different ways to set up child support in New Zealand. We encourage parents and non-parent carers to negotiate their own child support agreements, if possible.

If you're on a sole parent rate of benefit or the Unsupported Child's Benefit, you'll need to apply for a formula assessment.

Formula assessment

With the formula assessment, you apply, we calculate the amount and manage payments.

A formula assessment is a good option if you:

  • want us to calculate the amount
  • want us to collect and pass on payments
  • want us to follow up on missed payments
  • need privacy from the other parent or carer
  • are unable to contact or reach an agreement with the other parent or carer. 

Voluntary agreement

With a voluntary agreement, you decide the amount, register the agreement with us and we manage the payments.

It's good to use a voluntary agreement if you:

  • can agree on who should pay and how much
  • want us to collect and pass on payments
  • want us to follow up on missed payments.

Private agreement

A private agreement is where you decide the amount of child support and arrange payments without us.

It's good to use a private agreement if you:

  • can agree on who should pay and how much
  • want to organise payments yourself
  • can rely on payments being made.

Depending on which option you choose, the process of setting up child support will be different.