Child Support

Child support is money paid to the primary caregiver by non-custodial parent/s.  Child support exists to ensure that parents take financial responsibility for their children when marriages and relationships end.  Inland Revenue administers the child support scheme, which is designed to collect money from parents not living with their children to help financially support them when:

  • a couple who have children split up, or
  • two people have children and aren't living together.

How Does Child Support Work?


The person caring for the child receives the child support money. This person can be someone other than parents - such as grandparents or a member of the whanau.  In these cases both parents may pay child support. 


Child support can be arranged in two ways:

  1. Through the Inland Revenue Department.  Inland Revenue uses a standard formula to calculate how much child support must be paid by the paying parent. Inland Revenue Child Support collects payments from the paying parent and passes them on to the custodian to assist with care of the child, or the government, if the custodian is receiving a sole parent benefit like the DPB. Or;
  2. The parents can come to an agreement regarding child support and register this voluntary child support agreement with the IRD.

Applying for Child Support Through Inland Revenue


The first step in applying for Child Support is to complete a Child support formula assessment application (IR101) and send it to your nearest Inland Revenue Child Support office. If you are already receiving a Work and Income NZ benefit, you must apply for child support or your benefit may be reduced.

For more information please see

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