Changes to our child support laws will be effective as of 1 April 2015.  They look set to affect all those involved in the child support system, those who are paying parents and those receiving child support payments alike.

Some of the key changes are as follows:

  1. The age of the child that child support is payable for.  Currently liability to pay child support, based on the age of the child, ceases when the child turns 19.  That age is to be lowered to 18, unless the 18 year old child is enrolled at, and attending, a school.
  2. The formula that child support assessments are based on will change.  The amount of care each parent has will be taken into account as well as the cost of raising children.  The total combined income of the parent’s will be considered also.
  3. The level at which shared care is recognised is changing.  Instead of a parent needing to have the care of the child or children for 40% of the nights in a year, 28% of care (or more) in a year will be taken into account.  Effectively, that is two nights per week over a year.
  4. The child support calculation will no longer include an allowance for the paying parent’s new partner, or children that are not theirs.

These are some of the main changes.  What the new formula will mean in dollar terms is a little unclear at present as one of the tables that will be used in the new formula, regarding the cost of raising children, has not yet been released by the IRD.  It is expected that will be released within the next few months so watch this space.

If you would like any further information about the child support changes, or have any queries regarding child support, please do not hesitate to contact us on (04) 473 6850.

Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.