Child Support Act 1991

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Inland Revenue Department
2 Interpretation

(1)

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—

adjusted income has the meaning in section 35

annual amount of child support means the amount payable in a child support year by a liable parent in respect of a qualifying child

annual rate of child support means the total amount payable in a child support year by a liable parent in respect of all of his or her qualifying children

approved form, in relation to any application or other matter, means a form made available by the Commissioner for the purposes of that application or matter

assessment means an assessment of child support or domestic maintenance in accordance with this Act

bank has the meaning given to it by section 155

care cost percentage means the percentage of costs associated with providing a proportion of ongoing daily care to a child; and, in relation to a particular parent or carer of a child, is the percentage set out in column 2 of the table in Schedule 2 that reflects the proportion of ongoing daily care that the Commissioner establishes (under section 14) that the person provides to the child

care order or agreement means any of the following that are in force:

(a)

a parenting order made under section 48(1) of the Care of Children Act 2004:

(b)

an overseas parenting order as defined in section 8 of the Care of Children Act 2004:

(c)

any agreement (not being an order referred to in paragraph (a) or (b))—

(i)

that the parents and carers of a child agree to treat as binding on them; and

(ii)

that identifies the proportion of care that each parent and carer of the child will provide to the child

carer means, in relation to a child, a person (whether or not a parent) who provides ongoing daily care to the child, other than on a commercial basis

child expenditure amount has the meaning set out in section 30(2)

child expenditure table means, in relation to a child support year, the child expenditure table approved by the Commissioner under section 36D applying to that year

child support means any payment required to be made under this Act by any person towards the support of a qualifying child, whether under a formula assessment or a voluntary agreement or an order of the court

child support group, in relation to a parent who, at a particular time, has more than 1 qualifying child, means the qualifying children of that parent who all share the same other parent and in relation to whom child support for that time has been assessed or is being assessed

child support income amount has the meaning given to it by section 34

child support year means—

(a)

the period of 9 months commencing on 1 July 1992 and ending with 31 March 1993; or

(b)

the year commencing on 1 April 1993 and ending with 31 March 1994; or

(c)

any subsequent year commencing on 1 April and ending with 31 March

Commissioner means the Commissioner of Inland Revenue as defined in the Tax Administration Act 1994

Consumers Price Index means the Consumers Price Index (all groups) published by Statistics New Zealand or, if that index ceases to be published, any measure certified by the Government Statistician as being equivalent to that index

COVID-19 New Zealanders Stranded Overseas Support Programme means the welfare programme of that name approved and established under section 101 of the Social Security Act 2018 on 17 April 2020

domestic maintenance means any payment required to be made under this Act by any person towards the support of another person under section 58(2) or section 68(2)

employee has the same meaning as in paragraph (a) of the definition of employee in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007

employer has the same meaning as in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of employer in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007

Family Court means the division of the District Court known, in accordance with section 4 of the Family Court Act 1980, as the Family Court

financial support means—

(a)

child support payable under this Act; or

(b)

domestic maintenance payable under this Act; or

(c)

child support and domestic maintenance payable under this Act

financially independent, in relation to a person, means—

(a)

in full employment; or

(b)

in receipt of a basic grant or an independent circumstances grant under the Student Allowances Regulations 1998; or

(c)

in receipt of payments under a government-assisted scheme which the chief executive of the department for the time being responsible for the administration of the Social Security Act 2018 considers to be analogous to a benefit payable under the Social Security Act 2018; or

(d)

in receipt of a main benefit under this Act (as that expression is defined in Schedule 2 of the Social Security Act 2018) and that is payable under the Social Security Act 2018

formula assessment means an assessment made by the Commissioner in accordance with Parts 1 and 2

full employment, in relation to any person, means—

(a)

employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship which requires the person to work, whether on time or piece rates, not less than an average of 30 hours per week; or

(b)

self-employment of the person in any business, profession, trade, manufacture, or undertaking carried on for pecuniary profit for not less than an average of 30 hours per week; or

(c)

employment of the person for any number of hours which is regarded as full-time employment for the purposes of any award, agreement, or contract relating to that employment

income has the same meaning as net income has in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007

income amount order means a determination under Part 5A, 6A, or 6B, or an order under Part 7, that, in relation to a person who is subject to a formula assessment, substitutes a new—

(a)

child support income amount; or

(b)

amount of income or adjusted income; or

(c)

annual amount of child support

income from employment has the same meaning as in paragraph (a) of the definition of that term in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007 in respect of the activities of a specified office

income percentage means, in relation to a parent of a qualifying child, that parent’s percentage of the combined child support income amounts of all the child’s parents, as determined under section 33

inflation percentage means, in relation to a child support year, the movement in the all groups index number of the Consumers Price Index during the 12-month period that ends with 31 December before the start of the child-support year

last relevant tax year means,—

(a)

in a case where a parent’s income for the most recent tax year was derived solely from withholding income, the calendar year ending in that tax year:

(b)

in any other case, the tax year immediately preceding the most recent tax year

liable parent means,—

(a)

in relation to a parent subject to a formula assessment, a parent of a qualifying child who the Commissioner determines under section 17 is a liable parent of the child; and

(b)

in relation to any other parent, a parent who is liable to pay child support under section 58(1) or 68(1)

liable person means a person who is liable to pay financial support under this Act

liable spouse or partner means a person who is liable to pay domestic maintenance under section 58(2) or section 68(2)

living allowance has the meaning given to it by section 35A

most recent tax year, in relation to a child support year, means the tax year that ended on 31 March immediately preceding the start of that child support year

officer of the Department means an officer of the Department as defined in the Tax Administration Act 1994

ordinarily resident in New Zealand has the meaning given to it by section 218

overseas jurisdiction

(a)

means a country outside New Zealand and a State, territory, province, or other part of a country outside New Zealand; and

(b)

includes the Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau

parent, in relation to a child, means a person to whom section 7 applies

payee means,—

(a)

in relation to any child support required to be paid in respect of any qualifying child, a person who is a receiving carer of that child in relation to the child support so payable:

(b)

in relation to any domestic maintenance, the person who is entitled to receive that domestic maintenance under section 58(2) or section 68(2)

person includes a company, a local or public authority, and an unincorporated body of persons

proceeding means a proceeding before a court or before the Commissioner under Part 5A, 6A, or 6B

properly made, in relation to an application for acceptance of a voluntary agreement, means made in accordance with section 55

property includes real and personal property, and any estate or interest in any real or personal property, and any debt, and any thing in action, and any other right or interest

qualifying child means a child to whom section 5 applies

qualifying voluntary agreement means a voluntary agreement that, under section 48, qualifies for acceptance by the Commissioner

receiving carer means—

(a)

a carer of a qualifying child who the Commissioner determines under section 17 is a receiving carer of the child; or

(b)

a person who is entitled to receive child support under section 58(1) or 68(1)

social security beneficiary means a person who is in receipt of a social security benefit

social security benefit means—

(a)

sole parent support under section 29 of the Social Security Act 2018:

(b)

an unsupported child’s benefit under section 46 of that Act:

(c)

any of the following benefits under that Act, but only if granted to a sole parent (within the meaning of that Act):

(i)

a supported living payment under section 34 on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness:

(ii)

jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support under section 25(3) or (4) of that Act):

(iii)

young parent payment:

(d)

an emergency benefit under section 63 of that Act, but only if granted to a sole parent (within the meaning of that Act):

(e)

special assistance under the COVID-19 New Zealanders Stranded Overseas Support Programme that corresponds to a benefit of a kind specified in paragraph (a), (c), or (d), but only if granted to a sole parent (within the meaning of that Act):

(f)

special assistance under that programme that corresponds to a benefit of the kind specified in paragraph (b)

source deduction payment means a PAYE income payment (as defined in section RD 3 of the Income Tax Act 2007)

step-parent, in relation to any child, means, in applying any provision of this Act relating to the liability of a person to pay child support, any person who has been declared to be a step-parent of the child by the Family Court under section 99

tax year has the meaning in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007

unincorporated body of persons includes—

(a)

a partnership:

(b)

a joint venture:

(c)

the trustees of a trust

withholding income means—

(a)

income from employment that has a New Zealand source that is subject to the PAYE rules (as defined in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007):

(b)

interest or a dividend that has a New Zealand source that is subject to the RWT rules (as defined in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007).

(1A)

[Repealed]

(2)

Unless otherwise specified, the application of any provision of this Act to a person, assessment, payment, or other matter shall be determined in respect of each day in a child support year, and any assessment or other calculation shall be made on the basis of the circumstances existing in relation to that day.

(3)

For the purposes of this Act, a tax year corresponds with a child support year if,—

(a)

in relation to a person whose income is assessed under the Tax Administration Act 1994, the tax year ends on the last day of the child support year:

(b)

in relation to a person who is resident in a country outside New Zealand, the tax year of that country ends on a date nearest to the last day of the child support year.

(4)

For the purposes of subsection (3)(a), if a person’s income is assessed in relation to the year ending with the annual balance date of the person’s accounts, the corresponding year is determined in accordance with section 38 of the Tax Administration Act 1994.

(5)

For the purposes of subsection (3)(b), 30 September in any year is deemed to be nearer to the last preceding 31 March than to the next succeeding 31 March.

Section 2(1) adjusted income (previously adjusted taxable income): amended, on 1 April 2022, by section 9(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2021 (2021 No 6).

Section 2(1) adjusted income (previously adjusted taxable income): inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) annual amount of child support: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) annual rate of child support: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) assessment: amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) care cost percentage: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) care order or agreement: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) carer: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) child expenditure amount: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) child expenditure table: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) child support group: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) child support income amount: amended, on 1 April 2015, by section 34 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) child support percentage: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) Commissioner: amended, on 23 September 1997, by section 2(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act (No 3) 1997 (1997 No 76).

Section 2(1) Commissioner: amended, on 1 April 1995 (applying with respect to tax on income derived in 1995–96 and subsequent income years), by section YB 1 of the Income Tax Act 1994 (1994 No 164).

Section 2(1) Consumers Price Index: inserted, on 1 September 2022, by section 107(1) of the Data and Statistics Act 2022 (2022 No 39).

Section 2(1) COVID-19 New Zealanders Stranded Overseas Support Programme: inserted (with effect on 20 April 2020), on 30 April 2020, by section 25(1) of the COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Other Regulatory Urgent Measures) Act 2020 (2020 No 10).

Section 2(1) domestic maintenance: inserted, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) election period: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 206 of the Taxation (Annual Rates, Employee Allowances, and Remedial Matters) Act 2014 (2014 No 39).

Section 2(1) eligible applicant: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) eligible custodian: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) employee: amended, on 1 April 2008 (effective for 2008–09 income year and later), by section ZA 2(1) of the Income Tax Act 2007 (2007 No 97).

Section 2(1) employee: amended, on 1 April 1995 (applying with respect to tax on income derived in 1995–96 and subsequent income years), by section YB 1 of the Income Tax Act 1994 (1994 No 164).

Section 2(1) employer: amended, on 1 April 2008 (effective for 2008–09 income year and later), by section ZA 2(1) of the Income Tax Act 2007 (2007 No 97).

Section 2(1) employer: amended, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(1) Family Court: replaced, on 1 March 2017, by section 261 of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).

Section 2(1) financial support paragraph (b): amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) financial support paragraph (c): amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) financially independent paragraph (b): amended, on 1 October 1998, pursuant to regulation 49 of the Student Allowances Regulations 1998 (SR 1998/277).

Section 2(1) financially independent paragraph (c): amended, on 26 November 2018, by section 459 of the Social Security Act 2018 (2018 No 32).

Section 2(1) financially independent paragraph (c): amended, on 1 October 1998, by section 11 of the Employment Services and Income Support (Integrated Administration) Act 1998 (1998 No 96).

Section 2(1) financially independent paragraph (c): amended, on 1 October 1998, by section 57 of the Social Security Amendment Act 1998 (1998 No 19).

Section 2(1) financially independent paragraph (d): amended, on 26 November 2018, by section 459 of the Social Security Act 2018 (2018 No 32).

Section 2(1) formula assessment: amended, on 1 April 2015, by section 34 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) income: inserted, on 1 April 2022, by section 4(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2021 (2021 No 6).

Section 2(1) income amount order: replaced, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) income amount order paragraph (b): amended, on 1 April 2022, by section 9(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2021 (2021 No 6).

Section 2(1) income from employment: inserted (with effect on 1 April 2001), on 7 November 2001, by section 3(1)(b) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 90).

Section 2(1) income from employment: amended, on 1 April 2008 (effective for 2008–09 income year and later), by section ZA 2(1) of the Income Tax Act 2007 (2007 No 97).

Section 2(1) income percentage: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) income year: repealed, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(1) inflation percentage: replaced, on 1 April 2015, by section 34 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) inflation percentage: amended, on 1 September 2022, by section 107(1) of the Data and Statistics Act 2022 (2022 No 39).

Section 2(1) last relevant income year: repealed, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(1) last relevant tax year: replaced, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) last relevant tax year paragraph (a): amended, on 1 April 2022, by section 9(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2021 (2021 No 6).

Section 2(1) last relevant tax year paragraph (a): amended, on 25 February 2016, by section 4(1) of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2015–16, Research and Development, and Remedial Matters) Act 2016 (2016 No 1).

Section 2(1) liable parent: replaced, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) liable spouse: repealed, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) liable spouse or partner: inserted, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) living allowance: amended, on 1 April 2015, by section 34 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) married person: repealed, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) most recent income year: repealed, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(1) most recent tax year: inserted, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(1) officer of the Department: inserted, on 23 September 1997, by section 2(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act (No 3) 1997 (1997 No 76).

Section 2(1) overseas jurisdiction: inserted, on 26 September 2006, by section 4(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 42).

Section 2(1) payee paragraph (a): amended, on 1 April 2015, by section 34 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) payee paragraph (b): amended, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) principal provider of ongoing daily care: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) proceeding: amended, on 26 September 2006, by section 4(1)(b) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2006 (2006 No 42).

Section 2(1) proceeding: amended (with effect on 1 July 1994), on 15 July 1994, by section 6(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 1994 (1994 No 74).

Section 2(1) properly made: replaced, on 1 April 2015, by section 34 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) qualifying custodian: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) receiving carer: replaced, on 25 February 2016, by section 4(2) of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2015–16, Research and Development, and Remedial Matters) Act 2016 (2016 No 1).

Section 2(1) relevant average weekly earnings amount: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) shared custody child: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) social security beneficiary: inserted (with effect on 26 November 2018), on 24 March 2021, by section 4(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2021 (2021 No 6).

Section 2(1) social security benefit: replaced, on 26 November 2018, by section 459 of the Social Security Act 2018 (2018 No 32).

Section 2(1) social security benefit paragraph (e): inserted (with effect on 20 April 2020), on 30 April 2020, by section 25(2) of the COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Other Regulatory Urgent Measures) Act 2020 (2020 No 10).

Section 2(1) social security benefit paragraph (f): inserted (with effect on 20 April 2020), on 30 April 2020, by section 25(2) of the COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Other Regulatory Urgent Measures) Act 2020 (2020 No 10).

Section 2(1) source deduction payment: substituted, on 1 April 2008 (effective for 2008–09 income year and later), by section ZA 2(1) of the Income Tax Act 2007 (2007 No 97).

Section 2(1) spousal maintenance: repealed, on 26 April 2005, by section 3 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 6).

Section 2(1) step-parent: amended, on 1 March 2017, by section 261 of the District Court Act 2016 (2016 No 49).

Section 2(1) substantially equal sharing of ongoing daily care: repealed, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(1) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) tax year: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 5(2) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 2(1) taxable income: repealed, on 1 April 2022, by section 4(3) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2021 (2021 No 6).

Section 2(1) withholding income: added (with effect on 1 April 2001), on 7 November 2001, by section 3(1)(b) of the Child Support Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 90).

Section 2(1) withholding income paragraph (a): amended, on 1 April 2008 (effective for 2008–09 income year and later), by section ZA 2(1) of the Income Tax Act 2007 (2007 No 97).

Section 2(1) withholding income paragraph (b): amended, on 1 April 2008 (effective for 2008–09 income year and later), by section ZA 2(1) of the Income Tax Act 2007 (2007 No 97).

Section 2(1A): repealed, on 26 November 2018, by section 459 of the Social Security Act 2018 (2018 No 32).

Section 2(3): added, on 24 July 1999, by section 2(3) of the Child Support Amendment Act 1999 (1999 No 81).

Section 2(3): amended, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(3)(a): amended, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(3)(b): amended, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(4): added, on 24 July 1999, by section 2(3) of the Child Support Amendment Act 1999 (1999 No 81).

Section 2(4): amended, on 1 April 2005 (effective for 2005–06 tax year and later), by section YA 2 of the Income Tax Act 2004 (2004 No 35).

Section 2(5): added, on 24 July 1999, by section 2(3) of the Child Support Amendment Act 1999 (1999 No 81).