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Gifts as Income for Child Support

Calgary Secured Child and Spousal Support lawyers help ensure spousal and child support are paid in full. Our experienced Calgary family lawyers help parents and children maintain a standard of living that is fair after separation. It is on thing to obtain a spousal and child support order but you must also collect on the judgment.

Calgary Secured Child and Spousal Support 1 877 602 9900

Financial support for both an ex-spouse and children is extremely important on the breakdown of a family relationship. Child support is the legal right of the child and the legal obligation of both parents to pay.  Spousal support must be paid if an ex-spouse can establish entitlement to receive support, the amount and duration of which support depending on both ex-spouse’s circumstances. This financial support may be required to be paid either by a Court Order or Separation Agreement. How do you obtain Calgary Secured Child and Spousal Support orders or agreements? In today’s blog Peter gRaburn one of our senior Calgary family lawyers explains your options to ensure you get the support you are entitled to.

But once an obligation or agreement to pay financial support has been established, how do you ensure payment of that support? There are no guarantees of such payment. Ex’s may retire, lose their jobs or become sick and cannot pay. Family circumstances may change (ie. another child) and they cannot afford to pay the same amount.  Sometimes people are just jerks and refuse to pay. Or they may die before the obligation to pay child or spousal support ends, leaving the other spouse without the financial support they were planning on.

Calgary Family Lawyers Explain How To Collect Support 1 877 602 9900

So how can you ensure (as much as legally possible) that an ex-spouse will pay financial support? Some of the common ways of enforcing payment of financial support include the following:

Provincial Enforcement Programs – each Canadian province has its financial support enforcement program, in Alberta, the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP); in British Columbia, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), and; in Ontario, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO)] to ensure financial support obligations are met.  Court Orders and signed Separation Agreements (once turned into a Court Order) requiring the payment of either child or spousal support can be registered with and enforced by these programs, which usually have very strong powers to collect on such required payments, including:

• garnishing wages and bank accounts;

• seizing federal payments (ie. GST and income tax refunds, EI benefits, etc.);

•suspension of drivers’ licenses;

• seizing passports;

• liening property, and;

• possible jail time (ie. for failure to return expired passport, etc.);

Life Insurance – another way of securing the payment of financial support upon family breakdown (specifically upon the death of the payor of that support) is by requiring the payor to obtain life insurance regarding such payment. The amount of the required death benefit would be based on the amount and duration of the support obligation and may cover some, all or more than the support obligation. While this provision is extremely common in separation agreements regarding child support, it may equally be included in separation agreements and Court Orders for both child and spousal support. However, a recent Ontario Court of Appeal case (see Dagg v. Cameron Estate, 2017 ONCA 366) found that the life insurance policy in place to secure a previous spouse’s financial support entitlement could be used to satisfy a support claim by a subsequent spouse of the insured payor;

Lump-sum – still another way of securing the payment of financial support (particularly if the payor is uninsurable) is by taking the support obligation as a lump-sum amount rather than over time.  While this option may not be favoured by the Courts (although specifically permitted by Section 15.2 of the Divorce Act) for spousal support and not possible for the payment of child support, it is a logical and effective way of securing spousal support in separation agreements and consent orders (the old adage of ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ comes to mind!). A discount of the total amount of spousal support payable throughout the support may often be applied (to take into account the present value of the money payable over time and/or future contingencies). The tax consequences of making a spousal support payment lump-sum rather than over time must also be considered;

Caveats – In a previous article  Matrimonial Home Preservation Order Lawyers,  we discussed how Certificates of Lis Pendens (CLPs) and Caveats could be used to prevent an ex-spouse from withdrawing equity from (ie. mortgaging) or otherwise dealing with (ie. selling) the family home without the other ex-spouse’s consent.  Similarly, Caveats can be used to register an ex-spouse’s obligation to pay child or spousal support where the payor ex-spouse agrees or is ordered not to mortgage or sell the family property until such support has been paid.  A Caveat is a notice registered on title to the property that parties have agreed to grant someone an interest in that property for any number of reasons, including to secure payment of financial support.  Anyone dealing with the property does so subject to the receiving ex-spouse’s claim to receive that financial support, so the payor ex-spouse likely cannot mortgage or sell the property until the financial support obligation has been fulfilled.

Calgary Secured Child and Spousal Support Lawyers Will Help You Collect Support 1 877 602 9900

There may be other creative ways to secure payment of financial support from an ex-spouse (ie. make the recipient of the support the beneficiary of pensions, RRSPs, etc.) depending on the family situation. Just because an ex-spouse is court-ordered or agrees to pay financial support upon the breakdown of a family relationship does not mean that support is guaranteed – steps should be taken to try to ensure such support is paid as ordered or agreed. Calgary Ensuring Child and Spousal Support Payment Lawyers know the many possible ways of ensuring payment of that financial support following a family breakdown and assist their clients and their children obtain the financial support to which they are entitled. We hope this blog on Calgary Secured Child and Spousal Support will help you move forward successfully after separation. Our Calgary family lawyers are pleased to assist you. Call us toll-free today to obtain the support you need.