Child Support

What are your child support obligations?

Guidelines for Child Support in BC

While most parents are familiar with the concept of child support, the intricacies and details can be elusive. Child support is typically determined by Federal Child Support Guidelines. The button above will take you to a provincial government page for calculating child support payments based upon the most recent guidelines. Try it now for an indication of what to expect, but understand that a lawyer can assist with optimizing this to your benefit. For a list of commonly included sources of income for the purposes of child support, read our blog. If the COVID19 pandemic is effecting your income, read more about what to do here. Courts are loathe to permit couples to divorce unless children are being supported in compliance with these Guidelines.  If you feel these general guidelines are not adequate for your family’s situation, exceptions can be made, and Fleetwood Family Law can assist.

Adult Children May Require Child Support

Many people believe a parent’s child support obligation terminates once the child turns 19, but this is not necessarily true.   Whether the court will continue to require child support to be paid will depend on the parties’ means. It will also depend upon the child’s potential for independence. Whether you believe child support should cease, or you feel it must continue a few more years, we understand how to advocate in your favour when it comes to child support of adult children.

Imputing Income can be delicate

Determining income for child support purposes can become a hornet’s nest.  Under-employed spouses may need to have income “imputed” to them.  Spouses who are self employed may divert income through complicated – but often legal – tax deductions that present difficulties for determining their income for child support purposes. We have addressed this situation with success. Let us apply our breadth of experience to protecting your – and your children’s – financial interests.

Set-off Payments

Parents who share parenting time on an approximately equal basis usually pay child support based on their respective incomes. This results in a “set-off” payment by the higher income-earning spouse to the lower-income earning spouse.  But not always.  Our lawyers are happy to give you advice on this matter as well.

Step – Children of Common Law Relationships 

Children of common law relationships are sometimes entitled to child support from both their biological parent and their step – parent. The threshold is very low for establishing child support obligations.

Did you, as the common law spouse, stand in the place of the parent? This could be as simple as contributing groceries to the household. 

Is the child support that is being paid by the biological parent sufficient to meet the needs of the child? If not, the difference may fall to the common law spouse.

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