Child support is the legal right of the child, and the amount payable is determined, to a large degree, having regard to Federal and Provincial guidelines. Ensuring that children have a stable and secure financial future after a divorce or separation is an important aspect of many family law cases.
Child support is considered to be the right of the child, and therefore child support cannot be waived by the parent who is entitled to receive the support. If a child is in the care of one of the parents in excess of 60% of the time, then the other parent is required to pay child support pursuant to the table amount set out in the applicable child support guidelines. If the child is in the care of the each parent for at least 40% of the time, then the child support amount, if any, is calculated having regard to a variety of factors including the income of each party, the increased costs of the shared custody arrangements, and the condition, means, needs and other circumstances of each parent and of the children.
In addition to the basic amount of child support that is referred to above, each parent is responsible for a portion of the expenses of the child, which expenses are referred to as the special and extraordinary expenses of the child. Some examples of special and extraordinary expenses are childcare costs, costs of pursuing a child’s talents such as music instruction, hockey expenses, ballet lessons, medical expenses over and above that which is covered by any extended health coverage, and school tuition costs.
Married parents will not be able to obtain a divorce order unless the Supreme Court of British Columbia is satisfied that reasonable arrangements are in place for the support of the children.
A parent’s eligibility to pay or receive child support and the amount payable can be affected by various factors, including:
- the respective incomes of the parties;
- the type of child custody or guardianship arrangements in place, and
- whether child support payments are payable pursuant to a written agreement or a court order.
We have experience in all aspects of child support matters, including ongoing and retroactive child support and special expenses, enforcement issues, cases in which there is a dispute about a parent’s income or concerns that a parent is withholding income information, imputing income matters, and child support matters involving other guardians or step-parents.