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Lorne MacLean, QC founder of MacLean Law, and one of  the Best Surrey Family Lawyers  provides today’s Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips. MacLean holds the record for the highest spousal and child support of $116,000 a month. Maclean explains that both parents have a duty to ensure fair Surrey child support is paid. In the last few years the Supreme Court of Canada has placed an emphasis on ensuring children receive proper child support, receive it on time and have it corrected when a parent’s income changes. Paying spouses are being held more accountable than ever. We agree with this approach.

Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips 604 576 5400

Our top Surrey Family Lawyers know many client’s don’t understand how income is calculated. It isn’t just what a parent earns it is what they could earn if working to their full capacity. Obviously, we cannot let paying spouses, quit jobs or hide income with cash under the table. MacLean is ranked as one of Surreys top three family lawyers.

Lorne MacLean KC heads one of the finest family law firms in Canada and has been named both a top 25 Canadian Lawyer and a top high net worth family lawyer by Business in Vancouver.

Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips
MacLean wins BIV BC 500 leading family lawyers for high net worth BC family lawyers

Best Surrey Family Lawyers 604 576 5400

Both parents have a duty to work to their capacity to provide the best lifestyle for their children. It is unacceptable for either parent to work less than is reasonable. In today’s Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips we address the issue of the underemployed parent and whether children should suffer financially when a parent shirks their duty. Our BC and Calgary child support lawyers have 6 offices across BC and in Calgary to ensure fair child support is paid. Contact our Surrey family lawyers to get the fair amount of child support that your children deserve.

Call us toll free at 1-877-602-9900 to meet in Surrey, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Kelowna, Victoria , or Richmond. 

Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips
Lorne MacLean QC and Darlene Sandhu explain the Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips

Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips – Underemployment 604 576 5400

Recent decisions from our Court of Appeal state:

[15]         The first issue to be decided is whether the claimant is intentionally underemployed.

[16]         Section 26.1(2) of the Divorce Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. 3 (2nd Supp.) requires that parents have a joint financial obligation to maintain the children in accordance with their relative abilities to contribute.

[17]         Imputing income under s. 19 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines, SOR/97-175 is how courts give effect to this requirement. In s. 19(1)(a), where income may be imputed for intentional unemployment or underemployment. There is no requirement for bad faith, that is specific intent to evade child support obligations.

Best Surrey Support Lawyers Tips – The Test To Impute Income 604 576 5400

So, when will someone’s declared income be increased to reflect what the parent could really earn?  In this week’s BC Supreme Court decision of Levine v. Levine  the court summarized the current law on how children are financially protected when a parent isn’t working to their capacity. This summary provides some of the Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips for parents arguing over child support:

[18]         To determine if a parent is earning to capacity, the court will apply the following general principles:

1.               parents who are healthy and can work have a duty to seek employment;

2.               reasonable income earning capacity will be based on consideration of a parent’s age, education, experience, skills, health, and on-the-job opportunities that are reasonably available;

3.               limited experience and skills do not justify a failure to pursue employment that does not require significant skill or requires skills to be learned;

4.               persistence in unremunerative employment or unrealistic or unproductive career aspirations will not be an excuse; and

5.               self-induced reduction in income will not justify the avoidance of child support: .Hanson v. Hanson, [1999] B.C.J. No. 2532 (QL) (S.C.).

Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips – Who Bears The Burden Of Proving In come Should Be Imputed?

[19]         The test for imputing income is set out by our Court of Appeal in Marquez v. Zapiola, 2013 BCCA 433:

[36]      For the purposes of both child and spousal support, there is a broad judicial discretion to impute income to either or both spouses. However, the party seeking to have income imputed to the other spouse has the burden of establishing an evidentiary basis for such a finding.

[37]      The test for imputing income for intentional under-employment or unemployment is one of reasonableness, having regard to the parties’ capacity to earn income in light of their age, education, health, work history and work availability. A spouse’s capacity to earn income will include that person’s ability to work or to be trained to work. See Van Gool v. Van Gool (1998), 113 B.C.A.C. 200, 44 R.F.L. (4th) 314 at paras. 28-31, Barker v. Barker, 2005 BCCA 177, 45 B.C.L.R. (4th) 43 at para. 19, and McCaffrey v. Paleolog, 2011 BCCA 378, 24 B.C.L.R. (5th) 62 at para. 46.

[20]         Based on the evidence, I am satisfied that the claimant is intentionally underemployed. I find that with some effort he is capable of earning more. He is well educated and qualified in a field where there is an abundance of work. There is no evidence that he is unable to work longer hours; rather the evidence is that he chooses not to. In the circumstances of this family unit, that is not an option. The claimant has a responsibility to be self-sufficient and able to contribute to the parties’ son. Relying on the respondent to support him is not an option.

[21]         The claimant admits that he is able to get more work doing private tutoring. It is clear that he would be able to get more hours teaching. It may mean commuting between work places and working outside of regular weekday work hours. If that is what he must do to fulfill his obligation to maintain his child, then that is what he will have to do.

Best Surrey Child Support Lawyers Tips Levine Decision Imputes Income

[22]         I find that the respondent has proven on a balance of probabilities that it would be reasonable to impute income to the claimant for the purposes of calculating child and spousal support.

[23]         Taking into account all of the claimant’s circumstances, I conclude that it is reasonable to impute to him an annual income of $40,000.

[24]         The claimant is more than able, given his education, training and experience, to earn over $40,000 a year. The figure is realistic and at what I consider to be at the low end of what the claimant should be earning. He was making just under that last year.

We Hope These Best Surrey Family Lawyers Strategies Have Helped You 604 576 5400

Our Surrey family lawyers look forward to helping you settle on a fair and appropriate amount of child support. Call us today toll free at 1-877-602-9900.

*Top Choice Award (2014, 2016 – 2023), Top rated reviews on Google, Yelp, threebestrated, Doyle’s Guide Rated Leading Family Lawyers and Law Firm 2019-2021, 25 Most Influential lawyers In Canada, BIV 500 Top High Net worth Family Lawyer and Lexpert Rising Star.