3 Common BC Child Support Myths are corrected by our rising star Gurdeep Khosa, in today’s family law blog. Don’t make these mistakes if you want to protect your children.
The family lawyers at MacLean Law know that there are a number of common child support myths that exist which cause confusion to family law clients. Click here for more information on child support and how the Child Support Guidelines work. Never use online calculators because a parent’s true income requires careful analysis, especially for the self-employed.
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MYTH: If a parent does not get to see the child, they do not have to pay child support. This is false. We can help obtain appropriate remedies for parents who are denied court-ordered parenting time, but an aggrieved parent cannot punish the child by withholding support. It is always a good idea to appreciate the difference between parenting time problems and child support so hire a lawyer who ensures your children have the right to maintain a special relationship with both parents after separation.
Hiring a lawyer who helps your child have maximum contact with both parents can alleviate this unfortunate situation because the cost of not having two caring and involved parents after separation can be devastating to your child.
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3 Common BC Child Support Myths 1 877 602 9900
1. Child Support Ends at 19
This myth is probably the most frequent one of the 3 Common BC Child Support Myths that we get questions about.
Many individuals may think that when a child reaches the age of majority, child support ceases. In B.C., children reach the age of majority is 19. It is a common misconception that child support ceases when a child turns 19.
If the child is 19, section 2(1) of the Divorce Act states that child support payments should continue if the child:
is the age of majority or over and under their charge but unable, by reason of illness, disability or other cause, to withdraw from their charge or to obtain the necessaries of life;
Child support payments may also continue if the child is attending a post-secondary institution. In deciding whether post-secondary education is a valid reason for continued support, the court considers whether the child’s educational pursuits are reasonable and whether it is appropriate for the parents to finance the child’s education (Nordeen v. Nordeen, 2013 BCCA 178).
2. Child support can be “skirted” around if the payor were to reduce his/her income
Oftentimes, we come across cases where a payor parent has “coincidentally” become intentionally under-employed or unemployed to reduce or terminate child support payments. What these payor’s may not know, but quickly learn is that income may be imputed to them under sections 16 to 22 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Further, declaring bankruptcy does not end child support and actually helps a payor pay more child support after the other debts are wiped out.
In determining whether a party is intentionally unemployed or underemployed, the Court must determine whether the party has taken reasonable steps to obtain employment commensurate with factors such as age, health, education, skill and work history (Van Gool v. Van Gool, 1998 CanLII5650 BCCA).
3. Child support is a fixed amount forever
It is a common misconception that once a child support amount is fixed, it is fixed in stone. Should a payor’s income increase, there is a likelihood that the recipient shall receive an increase in child support. It is important to exchange updated financial disclosure to determine the same on an ongoing basis. Children have the right to promptly paid and properly adjusted child support.
The Federal Child Support Guidelines sets out mandatory considerations in determining child support. In particular, section 3(1) of the Guidelines states that:
3(1) Unless otherwise provided under these Guidelines, the amount of a child support order for children under the age of majority is:
(a)the amount set out in the applicable table, according to the number of children under the age of majority to whom the order relates and the income of the spouse against whom the order is sought; and
(b)the amount, if any, determined under section 7.
If you have more questions about 3 Common BC Child Support Myths or any other child support question, contact us toll free across Canada 1 877 602 9900 to meet with us in any of our offices.