Children have the right to expect that both parents will provide for their basic needs. Child support is designed to do this regardless of who has care and control of the child at any given time.
Yet it can be a hot button issue. Sometimes child support represents more of a financial burden than one spouse can pay. Sometimes life circumstances change. Your family lawyer from Merchant Law can help you navigate all these issues in a way that’s fair both to you and to your children.
How much is child support in Manitoba?
Manitoba child support is calculated using the formula set out by the Family Maintenance Act. This may lead you to ask why there are ever any arguments over it. These formulas take into account each parent’s income and the number of children and come up with a figure. You can read the most recent tables here.
Both parents are assumed to owe child support. So if parent #1 makes $26000 per year, under the current guidelines their monthly child support amount for one child is $264. If the other makes $60,000 per year, their monthly amount would be $541. The higher earning parent pays the difference to the lower-earning parent, so parent #2 would essentially write a check for $277 each month.
The reason is that deviations can happen when the support-paying parent has more than 40% parenting time, and the boots-on-the-ground reality of parenting time can deviate greatly from parenting time on paper. The exact amounts get a little fuzzier and a little more open to legal maneuvering. You’ll need a lawyer to make sure you aren’t overcharged, or underpaid.
How do I change child support payments in Manitoba?
You can petition the court to modify a child support order, but you can only do so if there’s been a change in either parent’s circumstances.
This could be a job change, a job loss, or other significant change in income for either parent which would require a recalculation of the monthly child support amounts.
In the previous example, perhaps parent #1 gets a new job and begins making $43000 a year. Their new child support amount is $403, which should reduce parent #2’s monthly payment down to $138.
These changes do not happen automatically. They only happen when the change in circumstance is brought to the attention of the court.
When can I stop paying child support in Manitoba?
It depends on what your court order says. Most will end child support at the age of 18. There is no automatic termination of child support, so the need to end child support must be determined by the courts.
Support may be paid beyond the age of majority in many cases. For example, this often happens while the child is engaging in post-secondary education, or when a child is impaired in some way and needs long-term medical care thanks to illness or disability.
Every family is different and every situation is different.
Can I stop paying child support if I’m not getting parenting time?
No. Parenting time and child support are different issues. You’ll need to take your ex to court if you’re not being given the amount of time agreed to in your divorce decree. If you stop paying child support during that time you can open yourself up to enforcement actions.
The best thing to do, if you’re not getting parenting time, is to contact your family law lawyer who can help you correct the situation.
Why choose Merchant Law to handle your child support case?
You’ll work with experienced, responsive lawyers who care about you and your situation. We’re tough negotiators who know what can be done within the boundaries of the law. Contact us today to get started.