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When Child Support gets in the way of a holiday…

May 29, 2018

Imagine being at the airport, neck pillow, passport and tickets in hand, looking forward to your holiday overseas only to find yourself stopped from travelling for failing to pay Child Support. Media reports this week indicate this has been a reality for record numbers of Australian parents with outstanding child support debts.

Could this happen to you in New Zealand if you haven’t paid your Child Support debts before leaving the country? Yes, it can.

Inland Revenue shares information with New Zealand Customs and Internal Affairs to enable it to locate those who owe child support who are travelling. If IRD believes you are about to leave New Zealand with the intent to avoid payment of your child support debt, it can seek to have you arrested and brought before the Court. if this happens, forget about your business trip or holiday – the only place you are travelling to is straight to the cells followed by a sojourn in front of a District Court judge.

When you appear before the Court, it can order that you not leave New Zealand without the Court’s permission. You can also be ordered to surrender travel documents and/or provide security for the payment of the debt.

If you have Child Support debts, our advice is to always come to payment arrangements with Inland Revenue before it takes enforcement action, including stopping you from travelling. This will save you a lot of penalties and enable you to still enjoy your trip.

Got a Child Support issue you need legal advice about? Contact the team at Family Law Results on 0064 9 297 2010 or at


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