Child support arrangements between Australia and New Zealand

We have specific arrangements for the collection and distribution of child support between Australia and New Zealand.

An agreement between the Australian and New Zealand governments allows each country to collect child support payments on the other’s behalf. There are rules in our agreement with New Zealand that mean the child support assessment will be made in the country where the receiving parent lives.

Paying child support to a receiving parent living in New Zealand

If your case is referred to us for collection by New Zealand Inland Revenue, we will act as the collection agency and transfer your child support payment to New Zealand free of charge.

Varying your New Zealand child support assessment or agreement

If you are a paying parent and have a New Zealand child support assessment for child support or a New Zealand spousal maintenance order, any changes to the liability need to be made in New Zealand. You should contact the New Zealand Inland Revenue authority for more information.

If New Zealand Inland Revenue contact us to register your New Zealand child support assessment with us for collection, the debt will become payable to us and we will collect payments from you and transmit those payments back to New Zealand.

Making payments

If your New Zealand child support assessment has been registered with us we will arrange for your child support payment to be sent to New Zealand.

We will ask you to pay us in Australian dollars (AUD).

We can have your child support payment deducted directly from your pay through your employer, from your Centrelink payment or any Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments at no cost to you.

If you do not want us to deduct payments in this way, you must contact us so we can stop this action.

Alternative payment arrangements

There are alternative ways to make your child support payments including:

BPay

You will need our Biller Code 201509 and your 16 digit payment reference number. You will find this on your payer account statement.

Australia Post Billpay

You can make a payment at any branch of Australia Post.

Easypay - credit or debit card

If payments are made through us, the most convenient way for you to pay is by credit or debit card through Australian Government EasyPay. It is fully automated, secure and available 24 hours a day. This service will incur a card payment fee.

Mail

Post a cheque or money order payable to with your payment slip to:

Department of Human Services
Locked Bag 11
A’Beckett Street
Melbourne VIC 8006

Call our Payments Enquiry Line on 1800 241 272 to discuss payment options.

If you do not make your payments

New Zealand Inland Revenue will advise us of any amount owing.

If you don’t pay your child support payments, we will work with you to achieve the best outcome for both parents and your children. We will contact you to discuss your circumstances and work out a suitable payment plan.

If we cannot come to an arrangement with you, we may actively try to recover the overdue amount. Enforcement options include compulsory salary deductions, legal action or preventing you from leaving the country. We will also intercept your Australian tax refund to help reduce the amount owing.

Late payment penalties

Late payment penalties are applied to outstanding child support payments. These penalties are paid to the Australian Government. They are not paid directly to us or the other parent. Penalties may be waived if overdue child support payments are paid in full.

If any penalties are imposed on your New Zealand assessment before the case is transferred to us, you need to contact New Zealand Inland Revenue to discuss this further.

Receiving child support from a paying parent in New Zealand

You can choose to have us collect payments on your behalf or you can make private payment arrangements with the other parent.

Varying your Australian child support assessment or agreement

If you need to adjust an Australian child support assessment or agreement you will need to contact us to discuss.

Private Collect

After we have made an assessment or accepted an agreement and told you how much child support needs to be paid, you and the other parent make your payment arrangements privately.

Read more about Private Collect.

Payments collected on your behalf

If you choose to have us collect payments on your behalf, we will usually refer the case to New Zealand Inland Revenue for recognition and collection. Once your case has been referred we allow 6 months for payments to be established and to make sure payments are received regularly.

You can contact us if you do not get a payment within 6 months from the time you were informed the case was referred to New Zealand. We will ask New Zealand Inland Revenue for an update.

Overdue collection

If the paying parent does not make payments within the required timeframe, New Zealand Inland Revenue will enforce the assessment using New Zealand enforcement laws. They will forward collected payments to Australia and we will pay these amounts to your nominated bank account or by cheque on the last working day of the month.

If your circumstances change

It is important to keep your details up to date. You can do this:

  • by telling us if you have an Australian child support assessment, or
  • through New Zealand Inland Revenue if you have a New Zealand child support assessment

Changes to your circumstances may affect your child support assessment and the amount of child support we collect on your behalf. In some cases, changes affecting payment amounts may only be taken from the notification date.

If either parent moves between Australia and New Zealand

There are rules in our agreement with New Zealand that mean you pay child support through New Zealand or Australia but not through both. If either parent moves between Australia and New Zealand, let us know immediately so we can discuss with New Zealand Inland Revenue how to proceed.

Australian assessments or court orders

You can contact us if there are any changes to your circumstances which require a change to your assessment.

Page last updated: 25 January 2016