The Vancouver BC adult child support lawyers at MacLean Family Law have successfully handled hundreds of BC child support cases involving children who are both under and over the age of majority over in its 35 years of practice. The age of majority in British Columbia is 19 years of age. Contrary to common belief, child support does not automatically expire when a child hits age 19.
For child support purposes, turning 19 can be a critical factor to be considered in a British Columbia child support case. Ask us about the 2 approaches a court can use. Call us toll-free at 1- 877-602-9900 to book an appointment at any of our 6 offices across the province which are located in downtown Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna, Richmond and Fort St. John and in Calgary or the complete a form for a child support issue consultation. We also have the largest Mandarin and Cantonese fluent Vancouver BC adult child support lawyers team in Western Canada.
Vancouver BC Adult Child Support Lawyers 604-602-9000
Many of our clients seem to think that their obligation to pay child support ends when the child reaches the age of 19. This is not ALWAYS true. Fraser MacLean, one of our articled students explains, The Divorce Act and Family Law Act, as well as the Child Support Guidelines, place an obligation on the non-custodial parent to pay child support based on that parent’s gross income as long as the child remains the ‘child of the marriage’. Check out this page for more information but remember the age of majority is 18 in Calgary and 19 in BC.
Vancouver BC Adult Child Support Lawyers -Dependent Children Over 19
A ‘child of the marriage’ can be a child who is over the age of 19 and who remains dependent on his or her parents for support. In cases where the child is disabled or pursues post-secondary education, that child is presumed to be dependent on his or her parents. In this sense, the parents are presumed to be required to provide child support until that child achieves self-sufficiency or finishes post-secondary education.
Obviously, in today’s competitive society higher education is a laudable goal. The courts balance what is reasonable by way of a contribution from the parents taking into account that the child must also do their best to assist in paying for their education so they begin to take their 1st steps to independence as an adult. In many cases, parents are fully supportive of a child’s realistic co-secondary education attempts however the courts are also aware that the child has a duty to make real efforts to complete their postsecondary education in a reasonable period of time. Other issues arise as to how many degrees should the parents be required to pay for should be the 1st degree or should payment of child support include postgraduate degree expenses?
Vancouver BC Adult Child Support Lawyers – Setting Realistic Goals
Vancouver BC adult child support lawyers explain sometimes children attend a college or enrol in a program simply because ‘they have nothing better to do’ and make limited efforts to achieve success there. Understandably, some parents do not want to pay child support when their child attends post-secondary but achieves poor grades and is financially irresponsible. No one wants to encourage a child to remain dependent and irresponsible, living off his or her parents’ support. The court is not always inclined to order the non-custodial parent to pay child support when such support further discourages the child from achieving practical and realistic goals.
When there is a dispute regarding child support of an adult child who attends post-secondary education, the courts look at the following factors to determine the amount of support, if any, the non-custodial parent should pay:
- the curriculum or program of study, proof of the child’s attendance, and the university’s definition of full-time attendance,
- the school calendar and fee schedule,
- employment opportunities available to the child on completion of the course of study, if any,
- documents regarding the cost of books, supplies, tuition, and student fees, and
- documents regarding bursaries, scholarships, grants, education saving plans, student loans, employment earnings, trust accounts, and any other source of income.
The child has an obligation to attempt to contribute to the support him or herself even if the child attends a post-secondary institution. This can be achieved by part-time employment, summer jobs, grants, loans or bursaries. Even in cases where the child cannot obtain a student loan due to parents’ high income, that child or his or her custodial parent must show that child support is necessary and needed for the child to complete his or her education and obtain a real job. Even then, a lot of the child’s post-secondary expenses tuition, books, and some other expenses must be paid in proportion to both parents’ income, not just the non-custodial parent. Ask us about the 2 approaches a court can use.
Vancouver BC Adult Child Support Lawyers can Help Call us 604-602-9000
If you need help or information about your obligations towards your adult child’s child support, contact Fraser MacLean or any of our Vancouver BC Adult Child Support Lawyers at any of our 6 offices in British Columbia.