Few parents object to paying child support. Most of us want what’s best for our kids, and we know that it takes money to do that.
Yet that doesn’t mean child support is always easy or straightforward. Sometimes it can require extensive negotiations before a settlement may be reached. In addition, sometimes life circumstances change, requiring a modification of the support order in order to make it possible to meet obligations.
Getting a skilled child support lawyer can mean the difference between a successful child support arrangement and one that breaks down to the detriment of all parties.
How is child support calculated in BC?
British Columbia uses the Federal Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines typically use the income of both parents and the number of children to arrive at a fair figure. The formula also takes into account the amount of time the child is with each parent and who makes the most income.
A child support agreement may never go lower than the Federal Child Support guidelines. Keep in mind that no matter what you and your spouse negotiate during the process, a judge must evaluate both the support and custody arrangements and sign off on them and must agree they are within the best interests of the child.
What makes child support complicated?
90% of the time, child support isn’t complicated at all. The guidelines produce a figure and both parents abide by it. When both parents work 40 hours a week, and receive no overtime, commissions, or stock bonuses, applying this formula is straightforward.
Yet this isn’t always the case.
Child support may also require additional modification when the child has special needs. There may also be a lot of room for negotiation when one of the parents owns a business, or has variable income, or has a complex asset profile then you’ll need experts to help you calculate a fair child support amount.
Sometimes it will take a business and finance expert, as well as a legal expert, to help prove how much both parents make, and to ensure a fair child support amount gets paid.
When can you modify child support in BC?
One party may modify a child support agreement when there has been a significant change in circumstances. For example, if a parent loses a job or changes it then it is appropriate to seek a modification order.
A child support lawyer can help you ensure this process runs smoothly and that the courts accept your new income. If you aren’t careful they may decide you created the change on purpose and continue to assess you at your old income rate. Seek legal help.
Why Merchant Law?
30+ combined years of success and experience from a group of family lawyers who care deeply about families like yours. It’s hard to beat that kind of expertise. Our office also has business and finance lawyers on hand who can help ensure a fair settlement for your divorce case when things get legally complicated.
Call (604) 609-7777 to speak to one of our Surrey family lawyers today and move forward with sorting out the issues you face with child support.