The IRD has significant legal powers, so you are always going to be better off paying the child support you owe. Photo / NZME

Q: After a split between my partner and I, things have turned sour. I have now been away from my partner for five years. I paid child support for 12 months through a private agreement but, recently, I’ve just been paying small sums to my ex-partner while setting up my new business. We have two children aged 12 and 9 and I live in Australia. My partner and children still live in New Zealand.

I haven’t been able to see my children for 2 years due to Covid but now I’m being chased for Child Support by the IRD, including interest and penalties. What is the best way to resolve the child support debt with IRD? Do I have to pay the interest and penalties?

I’m hopeful my start-up business will get a cash injection soon so I’ll be able to pay a lump sum. Is payment of a lump sum to the IRD a good option?

A: This does sound like a stressful situation. For any parent, not seeing their children for two years would be very hard.

However, you still have to pay child support regardless of whether or not you are seeing them. Child support is a system by which the more financially secure parent can assist the other parent. The parent paying child support is normally caring less for the child on a day-to-day basis.

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