Child support causes a lot of stress and anxiety. You want to make sure your child is taken care of. You want to make sure you can meet your needs, too. Whether you’re the payor or the payee, it can feel like a fraught process.
In reality, child support is usually assigned in a very straightforward manner that follows Federal formulas based entirely on what each parent makes. There is very little room for negotiating the child support amount below that base amount.
However, in some cases there may be room to negotiate for more child support, especially if your child has special needs. You may even agree to pay more child support in exchange for a greater share of the assets. Thus, you need an experienced child support and family lawyer on your side.
Is it better to get a lawyer for child support?
It’s smart to have a lawyer handling every part of the divorce process. While child support may seem straightforward you must remember it is really only one portion of a multi-portion settlement process.
Just keep in mind there is no such thing as a divorce decree which does not have provisions for any minor children the marriage produces. You cannot create an agreement which doesn’t involve someone paying child support unless you just don’t have children. It can only be lowered so much.
Should I hire a lawyer for child support modification?
There are quite a few instances where you might want to hire a lawyer for a modification.
In order to get a child support modification you must be able to make a sound legal argument that your circumstances have changed substantially since the last time the divorce decree was in effect.
If the circumstances are just a change in your income or your spouse’s you may be able to request the modification without a lawyer. If it’s something more complex, like your spouse remarrying or a desire to change the overall custody arrangements, then you will definitely need a lawyer by your side.
At what age do you stop paying child support in BC?
In most divorce settlements the payor stops paying when the child turns 18. This is the default, and unless you specify something different in your divorce agreement then this will be the date child support ends.
Sometimes parents negotiate longer child support payments. For example, if you have a special needs child who will not be able to support themselves as an adult then lifetime child support may be appropriate if the payee will be the primary caregiver. Some parents wish to formalize support during the college years as well.
Your Merchant Law lawyer can help you craft a child support agreement that works for your family.
Why Merchant Law?
Most of our family law lawyers have over 20 years of experience in this field. We’ve seen and heard just about everything, and we know what courts are likely to do. We can use this as a baseline for negotiations and can help your spouse and their lawyer see things our way. This makes your divorce less expensive overall, since we’re more likely to be successful when we try to help you put a settlement together.
To get started, call (604) 535-7777 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, or visit our office at 63337 198 St #101, Langley City, BC.