Make a payment
Child support Turuki Tamariki

Change to the child support qualifying age

From 1 April 2016, the qualifying age for children to be included in a child support assessment is under 18 unless the child is aged 18 and enrolled at and attending a school. A child is considered to be enrolled and attending a school until 31 December, if they are enrolled and attend until the end of the school's academic year. This change applies to children you receive or pay child support for and children you've named as dependents.

A school is defined as:

Before a child's 18th birthday we'll send you a letter, or email if you're registered with myIR, asking about the child's plans.

Qualifying age changes video

Watch this video to learn more about changes to the age limit for children in child support.

Please wait - video is loading

Flash video | 2:17 mins

View transcript

Watch this video in NZSL

What do I need to do?

If they're leaving school before turning 18 you don't need to tell us. We'll stop child support the day before their 18th birthday.

If they're staying at school, tell us straight away so we can continue assessing child support. If you don't tell us we'll stop your child support. If you want your child support to start again you'll need to complete:

If your child decides not to complete the school year you need to let us know so we can make sure there isn't an overpayment.

A child will stop qualifying for child support before their 18th birthday if they:

  • start living with another person in a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship
  • become financially independent (ie, work more than 30 hours average per week, receive a student allowance or benefit from Work and Income), or
  • are not a New Zealand citizen or no longer ordinarily reside in New Zealand.

Useful information

Penalty rate decrease and debt write-off changes

Two new child support administrative review grounds

Deductions from your employment income

Watch our child support videos