International Custody Dispute Payment

If you're a parent involved in an international custody or access dispute over the care of your child or children, and you have limited financial support, we may be able to help you.

The International Custody Dispute Payment is a non-recoverable weekly payment that is made on the grounds of hardship.

Who can get it

You may get the International Custody Dispute Payment if you:

  • are the main carer of a dependent child or children
  • are finding it hard financially
  • have no other financial support reasonably available to you.

You must also be:

  • in New Zealand under a temporary or limited purpose residency permit with a child to resolve a custody and access dispute, or
  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who is in another country because of a Hague convention application or a Hague Convention order to resolve a custody dispute.
  • How much you can get

    This depends on your circumstances.

    This payment will start from the date you apply and can continue until you:

    • start work
    • can support yourself financially some other way (eg, payments from an overseas government)
    • leave the country or can't stay in the country
    • resolve the custody dispute (including any rights of appeal)
    • no longer require an order relating to possession and care because the child reaches an age where they don't need this.
  • How to apply

    You need to call us on 0800 559 009

    If you're overseas, call us on +64 9 913 0300


    • talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help
    • let you know what information you need to provide and how to get this to us
    • ask you to complete an International Custody Dispute Payment form and discuss the best way to get this to us.

    Please only send certified copies to us (not original documents). They can be certified by a:

    • lawyer
    • notary public
    • Justice of the Peace, or
    • court official.


This information is a guide only.

Contact us to talk about your individual circumstances.