Child support system to get huge overhaul

NZ Herald 7 May 2012
Child support is set to be overhauled in the biggest proposed changes to child support law in 20 years.

The income of both parents will be factored into child support calculations for the first time under the Child Support Amendment Bill proposed by Revenue Minister Peter Dunne which has its first reading in Parliament tomorrow.

At present, the income of the parent who has sole care of children is not considered in child support calculations because current laws assume the sole carer will not be earning an income.

“We will include the income of both partners in the equation in terms of liability. Since 1992 far more of the custodial parents are back in the work force,” Mr Dunne said.

If passed, the bill would do away with a blanket approach to calculating how much child support a parent had to pay and would factor in individual circumstances.

Mr Dunne said the main carer of children, or the person who had custody, was now often an income earner and this had not been factored in to how payments had been calculated.