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Vancouver Surrey Family Financial Non Disclosure

Mandarin Imputed Income Child support cases involve calculating an income that a payor and a  homemaker could reasonably earn if they choose not to work. In today’s blog, Vancouver Mandarin-speaking lawyer Susanna Chen discusses the issue of child support and imputing income on spouses who choose not to work and remain at home. Susanna Chen speaks Mandarin-Chinese and regularly assists Mandarin speaking clients, including those from overseas in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan with international family property and financial disputes.

Imputed Homemaker Income 604 682 6466

It is not uncommon for a spouse to remain at home as the primary caregiver of a young child while the other spouse works to support the family.  This traditional male breadwinner, female homemaker family model is still prevalent today, especially in Chinese culture. Our Mandarin imputed income child support team handles hundreds of cases involving Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the USA.

Once parents separate, both of them have an ongoing legal obligation to support their children financially. The Federal Child Support Guidelines provide the court with a broad discretion to impute income to a spouse, having regard to their ability to earn income in light of their age, education, experience, and health.  Furthermore, a finding of a deliberate intent to evade child support obligations is not required before income will be imputed. See section 19 of the child support guidelines and the various subsections that apply to Support Imputed Homemaker Income disputes.

Mandarin Imputed Income Child Support

The court in McCaffrey v. Paleolog, 2011 BCCA 378 summarized the law concerning imputation of income to a parent who has decided to stay home and care for a new child:

[58]           In summary in a case like this:

1.         income may be imputed to a parent who is intentionally under-employed or unemployed unless the parent establishes under s. 19(1)(a) of the Federal Child Support Guidelines that the  needs of a child require the parent to remain at home;

2.         it is recognized that generally a newborn child or a child of very young age is a child who needs care at home in the context of s. 19(1)(a), but

3.         childbirth does not provide an automatic relief from a parent’s child support obligations;

4.         the circumstances of each situation must be evaluated using all of the criteria articulated in Donovan v. Donovan (2000), 2000 MBCA 80 (CanLII), 190 D.L.R. (4th) 696 (Man. C.A.) as adopted by this Court in Watts v. Willie2004 BCCA 600 (CanLII);

5.         any period of non-support must be reasonable in the circumstances.

Mandarin Imputed Income Child Support Lawyers 

In Shapiro v. Simpson, 2016 BCSC 211, another child support case involving a stay at home parent, the mother worked only 2 days every other week because she wanted to spend more time with her two-year-old child.  There was no evidence that the child had any special needs requiring a parent to remain at home on a full-time basis.  Accordingly, the court found that the mother was clearly capable of earning considerably more income, and ordered her to pay child support based on an imputed income of $110,160.

So, it isn’t just what you earn on your tax return that matters when a child support case needs to be decided.  Remember, this child support guidelines rule applies to both parents.    

If you believe your spouse is not fulfilling his or her obligation to support the child, and you have a Mandarin Imputed Income Child support case you need help with, contact our Mandarin-speaking Child Support and Imputed Income Lawyers at 604 682 6466 to help you get the proper child support your child deserves. Contact us now.