What is child support?

Child support is money paid by parents who do not live with their children, or who share care with someone else. The money is to help with the cost of raising a child and the amount depends on each parent’s net income. It can also be paid by a parent to a non-parent carer such as a grandparent.

While child support is managed by Inland Revenue they do not decide parenting arrangements, who is a parent or who has the day-to-day care of your children. For help with this, you can talk to your lawyer,
community law centre, local Family Court coordinator or Citizens Advice Bureau.

How does child support work?

There are 3 different ways to set up child support in New Zealand.

Formula assessment

You apply through Inland Revenue and they decide the amount and manage the payments. If you receive financial support from Work and Income, you'll need to apply for a formula assessment.

Voluntary agreement

You decide the amount, register the agreement with Inland Revenue and they manage the payments.

Private agreement

You decide the amount and manage payments without Inland Revenue.

What you need to do to set up your child support will depend on the option you choose.

Find out more

For more information on child support please see the Inland Revenue website.

Here are some other useful links to find out about child support in New Zealand.