Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips can ensure your child’s right to support and the paying parent’s support obligation is fairly met. Karsten Erzinger, one of our savvy Kelowna Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips lawyers, provides an analysis of how BC child support works. Our top-rated family law firm has 5 offices across BC in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Kelowna and Fort St John and our flagship Calgary office.
Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips – FLA 1 877 602 9900
CHILD SUPPORT – A RIGHT AND AN OBLIGATION
Section 147 of the Family Law Act states in clear language that every parent and guardian of a child has a duty to provide support for their child, with limited exceptions:
147 (1) Each parent and guardian of a child has a duty to provide support for the child, unless the child
(a) is a spouse, or
(b) is under 19 years of age and has voluntarily withdrawn from his or her parents’ or guardians’ charge, except if the child withdrew because of family violence or because the child’s circumstances were, considered objectively, intolerable.
(2) If a child referred to in subsection (1) (b) returns to his or her parents’ or guardians’ charge, their duty to provide support for the child resumes.
(3) If a guardian who is not the child’s parent has a duty to provide support for that child, the guardian’s duty is secondary to that of the child’s parents.
(4) A child’s stepparent does not have a duty to provide support for the child unless
(a) the stepparent contributed to the support of the child for at least one year, and
(b) a proceeding for an order under this Part, against the stepparent, is started within one year after the date the stepparent last contributed to the support of the child.
(5) If a stepparent has a duty to provide support for a child under subsection (4), the stepparent’s duty
(a) is secondary to that of the child’s parents and guardians, and
(b) extends only as appropriate on consideration of
(i) the standard of living experienced by the child during the relationship between the stepparent and his or her spouse, and
(ii) the length of time during which the child lived with the stepparent.
Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips – Avoid Free Calculators At All Costs
Generally speaking, if one guardian or parent has sole guardianship/custody of a child, the other parent or guardian will be obligated to pay support. In situations of shared parenting where there is a disparity in income between the parents, each parent is to pay support based on their income to the other, with the lower-income parent receiving more than what they are paying (this is typically referred to as the “set-off” amount). If both parents have similar incomes, the set-off amount could be very minimal. It should be noted that if parents want to claim certain tax credits, they cannot pay only the ”set-off” amount, but rather each parent must pay their full support amount to the other parent (see Harder v R, 2016 TCC 197).
If both parents reside in BC, the Federal Child Support Guidelines govern the calculation of child support, including how an individual’s income is to be calculated for determining the child support obligation, as well as the amount of child support is payable by each party.
Many websites will advertise “calculators” for determining how much child support should be paid. However, relying solely on these calculators can lead to huge errors. Many online calculators will simply ask for gross employment income, or for Line 150 income to be included as the income. This is problematic because different sources of income are taxed differently, and this impacts how child support obligations are calculated. This is our # 1 Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips!
To illustrate this point lets put together a hypothetical situation:
- Both parents reside in BC.
- The parents have 1 child together and the child lives with one parent full time (“recipient parent”)
- The parent who does not live with the child (“payor parent”) owes child support to the recipient parent
If the payor parent earns approximately $100,000 a year in employment income, the child support obligation would be approximately $946 per month.
If the payor parent earns approximately $100,000 per year not from employment income, but rather from dividend income, the child support obligation would be approximately $850 per month.
If the payor parent earned $30,000 in employment income and $70,000 in dividend income, the child support obligation would be approximately $902 per month.
Things just get far more out of whack if the paying spouse is a professional or owns a company as their personal tax returns often show only a fragment of the true income. If you remember only 1 of our Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips – remember this one.
Tax Returns For Self Employed Are Most Likely Out Of Whack
If a payor parent has multiple sources of income, including employment, dividend, interest, and investment, and most importantly self-employed or professional income, this can compound the problem. Many online calculators will not properly account for different sources of income nor missing corporate pre-tax profits, and will, therefore, likely produce inaccurate results leading to huge potential problems down the road.
If you are a recipient parent, this could mean receiving less than what you’re legally entitled to or receiving more, which could result in owing a credit to the payor parent. On the flip side, as a payor parent, this could lead to overpayment of child support, or arrears owing due to underpayment of support. Again please remember this # 1 tip of our Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips.
BC Family Law Takeaways 1 877 602 9900
Four key takeaways regarding calculating child support:
- The Federal Child Support Guidelines set out how a payor parent’s income is determined for calculating child support and includes the tables that determine how much child support is owing.
- Online calculators can be inaccurate and should not be relied upon depending on how they treat different sources of income. There is no replacement for a proper legal analysis of what each parent’s real incomes are and the higher the incomes the higher the stakes for cutting corners.
- section 19 of the Child support Guidelines impute income for underemployment, foreign income, cash income, capital gains income and failure to invest capital appropriately;
- higher income payors often do not pay the straight guideline amount and shared or split parenting also affects the amounts.
- Regardless of whether you are a payor or recipient, it is in your best interest to see a lawyer when reviewing or determining child support so that the child support obligations are calculated properly.
- In shared parenting situations, each parent must pay their full child support amount to the other, otherwise, CRA will deem one parent (the parent paying the set-off) to be the payor parent and certain tax credits and deductions will not be allowed.
If you found these Best BC Child Support Lawyer Tips helpful, why not meet with us to make sure you don’t sell your children and yourself short on the proper amount of child support.