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Whakaaetanga tūao Voluntary agreement

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What is a voluntary agreement?

A voluntary agreement is an amount of money agreed by both people to help support the cost of raising a child.

You register the voluntary agreement with us and we collect and pass the money from the paying parent to the receiving carer.

Is a voluntary agreement a good option for me?

A voluntary agreement is a good option when you:

  • both agree on a child support amount
  • would like us to process the payments.

If a payment is missed we can follow it up.

You cannot have a voluntary agreement if you are on Sole Parent Support or an Unsupported Child’s Benefit.

A formula assessment is the best option if you and the other parent or carer cannot agree on payments.

How does a voluntary agreement work?

The paying parent and the receiving carer must agree on an amount. The minimum is $10 a week.

When you have agreed on an amount you register the agreement with us. We process the agreement and send both people a notice with the amount you agreed.

After that the paying parent pays us the agreed amount. Usually the paying parent sets up automatic payments. They can also ask us to deduct the payments directly from their salary or wages.

We start monthly payments to the receiving carer.

If the paying parent misses a payment, we will follow it up.

Tools to help

2 MIN
Liability or entitlement calculator

This suggests an amount based on care arrangements and both parents' incomes.

Go to this tool
5 MIN
Nights per year calculator

This calculates how many nights per year the child is in your care which can help you work out an amount.

Go to this tool

Can I switch to another kind of child support agreement?

If your voluntary agreement is not working out, you can switch to a private agreement or apply for a formula assessment at any time.

When does a voluntary agreement end?

A voluntary agreement ends when:

  • a child no longer qualifies, usually when they turn 18
  • the receiving carer cancels the agreement
  • the agreement expires
  • either person applies for a formula assessment.

If the receiving carer has cancelled your voluntary agreement unexpectedly you can apply for a formula assessment.