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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22985
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My ex pays me child support weekly. We have had our incomes

Customer Question

My ex pays me child support weekly. We have had our incomes assessed 2 years ago. I am happy to re-asses them now. However, he's asking to stop payments as some time in the future he might quit his job to start his own business and his income will drop significantly and then I will have to pay him. Is this true that if he quits his job I will have to pay him if his income drops? Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Child support is based on income, so if he starts a new venture with no income at first this will reduce his liable payments. But until his income actually drops, then you do not have to agree, unless you want to. If this is a private arrangement you may want to register the agreement with Inland Revenue, and then he must deal with them.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Th main answer I wanted was whether I would have to pay him if this happened?
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

The amounts are assessed on your own incomes, and not dependent on what the other party has to pay. So your payments will remain the same, even if he has no income. I assume you have a joint parenting arrangement with different incomes as this the only way you may be liable.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we have joint parenting arrangement based on both incomes assessed. I realise that when he starts his new venture he will probably have lower income to mine but because he is voluntarily taking a drop in his income I was wondering if he had the incomes assessed by IRD if I will then still be liable to pay him? I realise that initially he may be liable but if it is assessed yearly it could change.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

You will still need to pay based on your income but not on his income. Your liability will not increase because his income drops

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, I understand. At the moment we have a private arrangement where he just pays me the difference without us both having to pay each other (or the IRD- as you are suggesting). So what you are saying is that my payments may be bigger than his so then the private arrangement would be that I would have to pay him the difference and the fact that he is taking an initial voluntary drop in income doesn't matter. Please can you confirm that I am understanding correctly. Thanks for your help
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
by the way, I am self-employed
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

You can reach whatever private arrangement that works, but underpinning these are what you can get through Inland Revenue if the agreement is registered. The basic idea is to split the costs of raising the child of course, and the income through an IRD assessment will be based as I have described. So you need to look at the notional cost of looking after the child, and then divide this by the time he is with you. Equal care means an equal share, but you don't then have to subsidise the father if he chooses to reduce his income.