Dads and separation – how does the 1994 Child Support Act affect me?

separated dads Dads and separation   how does the 1994 Child Support Act affect me?Fathers who need to make contributions towards their children’s upbringing after separation generally do so through Child Support Payments. The Child Support Act is the New Zealand legislation that helps make this happen through the Child Support Scheme. This scheme is run by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and they ensure the money gets from you, the dad, to the mum or their principal carer. If the mum is a beneficiary then the money is kept by the government to offset the benefit payments.

The IRD works out how much child support dads should pay. They would take into account various things such as your income, how many children you have and any particular family circumstances. IRD may also use a different calculation method if you and your ex partner largely share the caring needs of your children (including night time care). You should also be aware that they do not take into account how much the children’s mother may be earning.

Your employer is required to do this for you, taking the child support deductions from your wage or salary. All others must make arrangements to pay child support payments and the IRD will only get involved if payments are not made. If you are a beneficiary you do not have to worry about making these regular support payments.

If a parent is on the Domestic Purposes Benefit or DPB and the children’s main carer they must use this scheme. Payments from the dad to the children by Child Support are paid separately through the Inland Revenue. Payments do not go to your ex partner directly – they go to government. It’s useful to know that dads can pay more or work out individual agreements with their ex partner – however this option is only open to non-beneficiaries.

The IRD can also help the principal carer work out how much support they are entitled to. Sometimes parents can make their own suggestions about the amounts, and IRD can help with sorting out these payments (again, this option is only possible if the carer is not a beneficiary).

Once your regular payments are up and running you can also go back to the IRD and apply for an “Administrative Review” (if you believe you have grounds to have your payments changed). Finally if you are not happy with the payment amounts or how payments are distributed, you can apply for changes to the agreement through the Family Court.

Key take aways:

  1. If ever you are unsure about any aspect of your child payments speak to the IRD.

Important links and more information about separation:

One Response to Dads and separation – how does the 1994 Child Support Act affect me?

  1. anonymous says:

    If at all possible avoid the IRD when dealing with child support, opt for a private arrangement.

    If you can’t and the ex wants every cent from you, eg: 1/3 of your wages which is what IRD will take then make sure you pay,
    I say this because if you don’t you will be presented with large debts and penalties, they may take the money from your account or take your posessions off you to recover costs.

    All child care costs through IRD are crazy!. they have 2billion in arrears and only 200million is whats actually owed. the rest is penalties.

    child care is changing and new policy is being written, hopefully put out in 2014,

    important to note that chils support doesnt mean you have rights to your children, but you still have to pay even if custody isnt decided by the courts, IRD starts stealing from you as soon as your ex goes on the DPB.

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