Child support is money paid to assist with the cost of raising a child. It is paid by parents that do not live with their child, share the care of their child with someone else, or their child is being raised by someone that is not a parent.

If the parent paying child support lives outside of New Zealand, they can still be required to make payments from overseas. Similarly, if the carer receiving child support lives overseas, they can still apply with Inland Revenue in New Zealand.

Child support in Australia

Australia and New Zealand have an agreement which coordinates child support payments between the two countries. This allows people living in either country to make and receive child support payments from someone living in the other country. Child support payments can also be collected and enforced between Australia and New Zealand.

Applications for child support should be made in the country the applicant carer lives in. Therefore, if the applicant carer lives in New Zealand they can apply for a formula assessment, or make and register a voluntary agreement, and if the applicant carer lives in Australia they can apply to Services Australia and request it to complete a child support assessment.

Child support overseas

If the applicant parent or the liable parent lives overseas, child support may still be available if the child qualifies for child support. The eligibility requirements for child support are discussed, here.

On the 1st of November 2021, an Order came into effect that improved the international recovery of child support. These changes have improved the cooperation between countries in the recovery of child support, and have enhanced the recognition and enforcement of child support when a liable parent resides in a different country.   

Child support may be received from any person who is a New Zealand citizen, ordinarily resides in New Zealand, or ordinarily resides in a country that New Zealand has entered into a reciprocal agreement with for the enforcement of child support.

Additionally, New Zealand can now transmit child support cases to its reciprocal countries for enforcement, rather than seeking court intervention, as they would have had to previously.

These changes make it easier and more cost effective to get child support payments from liable individuals living overseas. If you have questions about applying for child support, when the liable parent lives overseas, it pays to speak to an experienced professional who can guide you through the process and give you advice on your rights and options so you know where you stand.


Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Gianna Menzies and Matthew Binnie