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Child Support - as clear as mud?

By Tara Hurley - 13 Aug 2012

The New Zealand Law Society has criticized the Child Support Amendment Bill claiming it misses its opportunity to address gaps in the current child support legislation. 

The Law Society urged parliament to amend the Bill to make voluntary and independent child support agreements binding and enforceable.  Currently voluntary agreements can be overturned by an application by either parent to have child support assessed in terms of Inland Revenue's formula assessment.  This ability to overturn voluntary agreements remains in the Amendment Bill.

Many people make voluntary arrangements in respect of child support as part of an overall separation agreement and advice is always needed on the effect of that child support agreement and the ability for it to be overturned.  We sentiment the comments made on behalf of the Law Society, that parliament could have used this Bill as an opportunity to allow these voluntary agreements to be binding and enforceable.  Surely this would have assisted parliament meet its objective of delivering a simple, efficient, reliable and equitable scheme? 

In addition the Law Society has criticised the Inland Revenue's new proposed child support formula as being overly complicated and likely to make it impossible for parents to calculate liability and entitlement. 

We will have to wait and see whether parliament will take on board the Law Society's comments and amend the Bill.  In the meantime if you wish to check your child support liability you can follow the link below to IRD's website and use their calculator to calculate your liability or entitlement under the current legislation.

For information please contact:

Tara Hurley


IRD child support - calculators and worksheets



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