Child Support Act 1991

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Inland Revenue Department
4A Overview of child support payable under formula assessment


A parent or non-parent carer of a qualifying child may apply to the Commissioner for a formula assessment of child support payable for that child.


The Commissioner will then determine the proportion of care that each carer of the child provides, and the income of each parent of the child, and, using that information, will identify the parent or parents who are liable to pay child support, and the carer or carers who are entitled to receive child support, in respect of the child.


A person will be a liable parent in respect of a child if his or her income percentage (which is a percentage of the combined child support income amounts of both the child’s parents) is greater than the person’s care cost percentage (which is a cost percentage directly related to the proportion of care that the parent provides to the child).


If annual child support is payable by a liable parent for a qualifying child, the amount is determined under Part 2. It is worked out by deducting the liable parent’s care cost percentage from their income percentage, and then multiplying the result by the appropriate amount set out in the relevant child expenditure table (which identifies, amongst other things, the average annual expenditure on children in New Zealand, by reference to average weekly earnings).


This section is by way of explanation only. If it is inconsistent with any other provision of this Act, the other provision prevails.

Section 4A: inserted, on 1 April 2015, by section 8 of the Child Support Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 12).

Section 4A: amended, on 25 February 2016, by section 6 of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2015–16, Research and Development, and Remedial Matters) Act 2016 (2016 No 1).