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Child Support when Child is 18 but at some form of school???

Filed under: Child Support,General,Law & Courts — Had_Enough @ 10:10 am Sun 16th April 2017

Does anyone know what my liability situation should be after my child turns 18?; i.e. child will soon be 18 (next month) but mother has a history of allowing child to take multiple days off school and consequently impaired the child’s education. Child is currently not enrolled at any school that I know of because she left her last overseas school several weeks ago without a graduation certificate and mother, being an obstructive psycho, has made no effort to let me know what school my child is now enrolled in. She is now back in NZ so god only knows if her Canadian credits are worth anything as far as contributing to NCEA credits are concerned??? Can she just chop and change schools and still expect me to pay child support even though child will be 18, has only 60% of necessary overseas school credits which are the rough equivalent to Year 11 NCEA credits? Like I mentioned, I don’t know if these are transferrable. I hasten to add that my child is gifted in the most positive sense of the word and her academic achievements have been greatly hampered by her mother keeping her out of school, sometimes 12 months at a time. The mother has manipulated the system very well over the last 15 years and keeping my child at school until she’s 19, despite having almost zero chance of attaining her certificate in that time, is just another example of this. As a caring dad, I would love to think that one more years’ child support would help my daughter gain her NCEA and help set her up for life but my fear is that she will be setup to fail and face humiliation from fellow students just so her mother can get another year’s child support. I have every reason to believe this because her mother has seen to it that my daughter has only been attaining about one half of the necessary points per year so far and at that pace would need at least 2 and a half more years at school and graduate when she’s 21 (approx.). I have posted a similar post previously but the situation is now different as my child is back in NZ. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have included some excerpts from the IRD site below:===
From 1 April 2016, the qualifying age for children to be included in a child support assessment is under 18 unless the child is aged 18 and enrolled at and attending a school. This change applies to children you receive or pay child support for and children you’ve named as dependents.
“Child support stops when your child turns 18. But there’s an exception to this. If your child is enrolled and attending secondary school in NZ or an overseas school, child support will continue. But you need to tell us their plans.”
“But since Tom will still be at school after his 18th birthday and we are told straight away, child support will continue until the day before he turns 19 – or the day before he leaves school – whichever comes first. However, if the school year finishes before his 19th birthday, payments will stop on the 31st December.


  1. Child support ends at 18 unless there is an exception.

    Shouldn’t it end automatically at 18 unless evidence of the exception is provided?

    What would happen though, if the child has left school, but unqualified as you suggest due to the mother’s behaviour, and at 19 takes herself back to school as an older student?

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 16th April 2017 @ 2:54 pm

  2. @Alan Harvey is usually up to date with the child support situation.

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 16th April 2017 @ 2:56 pm

  3. Hey Downunder, it does end automatically at 18 and the custodial parent then has to prove that the child (well young adult really) is enrolled at and attending a school. This opens up a whole big grey area full of ambiguity though. What qualifies as attending school, 1 hour per week, 4 hours per week, 30 hours per week, correspondence school??? Personally I think there should be a minimum amount of hours per week actively engaged in schooling but there is no clarity in the legislation re this. Could an hour per day through correspondence school be enough even though it could take 4 more years to attain NCEA this way?? I don’t know.


    Comment by Had_Enough — Sun 16th April 2017 @ 4:26 pm

  4. While I don’t think I’m expert, this does remind me of a problem we had with my youngest daughter around age 10yrs. Well ahead in her education, she got some nasty persistent flu like bug. She coughed and coughted -so was bullied at school. To give you the brief version, – after some nasty dispute with her school, she was enrolled with te “Hospital school”. Thats really for inpatient kids, but she was enrolled. The system only seemed to care that she was enrolled – and that is all. In fact she received no lessons at all – and this was legal and done with the Education Department involvement. Now in our case this worked out ideally under the circumstances. It might however suggest that all that is required to qualify as attending school, is simply to be enrolled.

    Comment by Jerry — Sun 16th April 2017 @ 7:01 pm

  5. Child Support only payable for child 18 to 19 if child attending school FULL TIME! (IRD advice to me soon after change in rules). Happily, however I was not subsequently liable as my child left school just before 18th birthday. But as we know IRD advice is “fluid” and can change even between exactly same circumstances! Face up to it and simply ask IRD for definitive ruling in writing as to the affect on you in your circumstances! Better than having to digest all the well meaning comments in this forum which will often conflict or add nothing to your deliberations. That said, dare I venture to suggest that the optimal word in CS legislation is “attending” and that the Oxford Dictionary definition should be taken literally. Merely being “enrolled” is insufficient in itself. Good luck!!

    Comment by Non Custodial Dad — Sun 16th April 2017 @ 10:15 pm

  6. Non custodial Dad @5: Time and time again in our journey, I experienced a huge disparity between what the rule books and laws said – and what the officials accepted as satisfying them. “Full time supervision” – while the supervisor was skiing in Ohakune and the supervisee was in Feilding for example. My daughter was no doubt full-time enrolled in Hospital school, but it would habe been impractical for the teacher to be at our house to teach full-time. Teacher probably wanted to keep clear of the bugs too. Really, I felt and still feel, that the laws, profesional standards and ethics do not apply with others when they are handling our matters. We are abandonned by the law. I’m sure others will identify with that. If only it all worked as it is written to in the manuals…

    Comment by Jerry — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 5:42 am

  7. Yes the key word here is ambiguity. Enrolled and attending for instance; is enrolled but only attending one hour per day enough?? The IRD CS people I have spoken with have no idea about this themselves which seems ridiculous because surely the idea of being enrolled at school should be to attain a certificate for the child rather than a benefit for the parent. Non Custodial Dad I hear what you are saying about getting a definitive ruling in writing but I am not sure that will be any clearer than what’s on the website which is full of loopholes. Also, I think that comments on this forum are valuable whether true or false because they encourage debate and hopefully this can lead to something worthwhile. I feel that there will be a lot of NCP’s in my situation and that this is something that needs to be clarified or perhaps even taken to Court or the Ombudsman for a test case. My main point is that no child should be at school just marking time (without clear objectives or minimum hours per week set) , they should be either actively engaged in education or in the work force earning a living. Anything else just perpetuates the beneficiary lifestyle that exists in households such as my child’s mothers household.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 9:17 am

  8. There is another bigger picture here, and that is uncertainty.

    You don’t know, what you might have to pay, when you might have to pay it, or whether or not, you do or don’t have to pay it.

    You do know that someone else might at some stage decide that you do have to pay something, sometime, although, you are not sure why.

    It’s not hard to understand why men don’t bother.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 9:55 am

  9. You hit the nail square on the head downunder. For example the legislation says that the liability stops if the child is at school and is 18 but the school year ends before the child is 19. So what does that mean exactly; the liable parent gets a payment break over the summer holidays?? What after that, more payments until the child is 19 which could be well into the following year?? So many areas where IRD can stuff up and then demand arrears and further liability payments months after agreeing, or at least implying, that liability has ceased!! It’s a cluster F**k of ambiguity and booby traps for liable parents.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 10:04 am

  10. A sobering Video which is a MUST WATCH……..

    Full story here……

    Part 2 here…

    We have a cover up in NZ and a refusal to investigate the historical abuse of NZ kids under State Care, and in response we have this new Vulnerable Children Ministry established – with legislation which permits the taking of your kids and you as a parent – have NO RIGHT to DUE PROCESS to challenge such action, and as usual this will all be conducted under the cover of SECRECY……..using the family courts which help no one.

    This brave WOMAN here exposes the “Business” which has grown out of legally Kidnapping kids from parents, destroying fathers using Excessive and overbearing Child Support demands and removing kids from their parents and birth families….all made LEGAl now with recent law changes………harming kids has become a massive and corrupted Business……..destroying dads and fathers – getting them our of the way – is part of this agenda…….

    Comment by hornet — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 11:35 am

  11. A point made in Nancy Schaefers report which affects all Fathers…..and I am sure everyone here has experienced similar……

    “fathers, (non-custodial parents) I must add, are oftentimes treated as criminals without access to their own children and have child support payments strangling the very life out of them;”

    My case …….exactly…..
    I was deliberately denied time with my own child, even after doing EVERYTHING asked of me by the NZ Family Courts in NZ, and so obviously I now have questions….

    Comment by hornet — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 12:03 pm

  12. And for that reason – you are the bad man – the public is blind to the financial terrorism.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 12:27 pm

  13. Sure it applies to non-custodial Dads. I know that because I started out that way. BUT that did not change after I was vindicated and became custodial. Being male is the offense. Also …. – anyone catching site of me going around with two young girls, I just had to be a paedophile [right?] even when glimpsed from 100 yards away. Just ask Air NZ cabin crews. Its a sick world – a sick community.

    Comment by Jerry — Mon 17th April 2017 @ 8:34 pm

  14. You are not alone there Jerry.

    When you get lumbered with some form of cot-case mother, and you become the reliable parent, the one who get’s things done, the go to parent, the peacemaker, etc …

    You end up getting kicked out of your own home, because the mother can’t cope with her own inadequacy, and then you’re vilified in public because your children show you, prossibly an overt amount of affection, because of their circumstances.

    New Zealand society is a living hate-crime against men.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 18th April 2017 @ 9:24 am

  15. In the political transfer of power, and in the analysis of political dogma, you might say:

    Mother – Women – Good – Parent – Custodial

    Father – Men – Bad – Parent – Liable

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 18th April 2017 @ 10:08 am

  16. The child support system is another form of tax and if you’re in it you have no control over your money. The government owns you and you pay using their formula. I would rather give my hard earned cash directly to my children not have it taken and used how ever the other parent wants. In alot of cases your money is supporting an ex partner and that’s where it’s wrong. On top of that you may as Hornet stated not even get to spend time with your kids. The family court is flawed and needs an overhaul. Children should be supported equally by both parents and parents who use the system to beat another parent down financially and mentally need to get help and grow up. In reply to you Had_enough you’re nearly at the end of being in this bullshit system so have a beer. Like you I’m in my last year after a decade and I will have a beer with you.

    Comment by Mac — Tue 18th April 2017 @ 12:57 pm

  17. I have for some time supported the concept that child support is, for the want of a better definition, Child Tax.

    And it still is, to the extent that a required amount may be applied to benefit recovery.

    The application and collection of penalties though, is a creation of income for the benefit of the privileged.

    Beyond that the recently enacted child support legislation and the independent policing unit, have become a brutish legal coercion directed at maintaining an unnatural order of society, demanded by an unstable social ideology.

    How you describe that in two words I’m not sure, but I think it’s time to accept that this is something worse than tax, as tax is something we’re paying to keep this system running.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 18th April 2017 @ 2:12 pm

  18. Hello,

    I have a similar situation in that my now 18 year old son passed his year 13 exams last year and left school with the intent of going to university. He turned 18 in January and CS wrote to me saying the CS was no longer payable. Almost the same week they wrote and said it was payable as he had returned to school. I advised he is doing two hours per week on a welding course. On checking this they agreed and reversed their decision but have reversed it again and have directed my employer to deduct CS. When I questioned this they stated that he only had to be “attending” secondary school and that I remain liable for CS. When the change to the act was announced a year or two ago it stated the requirement for “full time” but this did not make it to the Act and so they say that I remain liable for FULL CS payment for an 18 year who has passed year 13 and is doing two hours a week of school of what is essentially tertiary vocation training. Surely this cannot be the intention of the changes? I would love to get your feedback.

    Comment by Mako — Mon 1st May 2017 @ 2:04 pm

  19. The IRD pulled the same stunt under the old rules.

    If a child under 18 was working 30 hours or less you were still liable for the full amount of child support.

    Bend or break the rules, they will look to get the money any way they can.

    Don’t expect that to change.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 1st May 2017 @ 2:59 pm

  20. Hello Mako,
    Its a disgrace how the IRD are still going after you.Have a talk to your son tell him you want to support him directly without giving your/his money to IRD.If possible get him out of the school and enrolled somewhere else that isnt a secondary school where these bullshit rules dont apply.

    Comment by Mac — Thu 4th May 2017 @ 1:14 pm

  21. Hey, Mac.

    When I left school, I had two cars, a motorbike, and a job, and I wasn’t even 18.

    Why the hell is any man paying his kid to go to school?

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 4th May 2017 @ 1:55 pm

  22. Hey Downunder,

    I totally agree with you on that one.This system is all about the dollar.Look at the States,Aussie.We are
    exactly the same.Paying for an 18 year old is ridiculous but thats the law.Like you Ive been working since I was 17.Thing is if both parents are decent human beings and put their kids first then these laws can be flushed down the toilet.Reason being they can sort things out without going through the system.However Id wager that nearly 100 percent of problems are due to one of the parents using the system to ruin the other one and get whatever they can out of it.

    Comment by Mac — Thu 4th May 2017 @ 3:57 pm

  23. @Mac … about these decent human beings …

    Woman are not exactly what you would call sane creatures.

    When it was shared around, one man, one load of trouble, we all got on pretty well.

    We’ve let a few too many of them loose in that fantasy land called ‘The Capital’.

    The Capital – is that where they keep the money?

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 5th May 2017 @ 4:22 am

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