An overhaul of child-support payments could reduce the cost for parents who spend less time with their children, according to the New Zealand Herald.

This legislation may differ from the laws in the U.S., but could provide an example of a more efficient system for determining payment.

The news source reported that Revenue Minister Peter Dunne announced the changes, as he noted that parents would be recognized as “shared carers” for children if they had them for 28 percent of nights, down from 40 percent. The legislation would also give greater consideration of the income for both individuals in determining child support.

According to the Herald, the penalties for non-payment would also be relaxed, due to the state of the economy and the lack of revenue that many adults have in these times. Although the amount of money that some parents receive could drop, Dunne noted that this system would be “fairer.”

The child support system would go into effect in April 2013, and most of the payment changes would be implemented the following year, according to the New Zealand government.

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