Vancouver Child Support Lawyers
Child support is money paid to help cover the expenses of raising children. There are two types of child support, base (Section 3) child support and extra expenses (Section 7).
BASE CHILD SUPPORT
- Base child support is a regular amount of money paid on a monthly basis. It is also called Section 3 child support because it falls under Section 3 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
- Base child support is meant to cover the basic expenses of the children, such as their regular clothes, their notional share of the mortgage/rent and utilities.
The amount of base child support that is paid depends on the regular parenting schedule that is in place for the children. In the event one parent has the children in his/her care the majority of the time then base child support is paid in accordance with the Federal Child Support Guidelines. In the event the children spend roughly equal amounts of time with each parent (when each parent is responsible for the children 40% of the time or more) then the amount of base child support is discretionary and depends on what parent pays what costs for the children.
EXTRA EXPENSE CHILD SUPPORT
Extra expense child support or Section 7 child support is payable over and above the monthly base child support amount. It is money that covers the extra costs of the children, those that fall under Section 7 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Section 7 states that certain expenses are shareable between parents in proportion to their incomes. So, if you earn 75% of the joint spousal income then you would pay 75% of the extra Section 7 expenses.
Consult the Canada Department of Justice Federal Child Support Guideline Look Up to determine what amount you would owe under the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Our child support lawyers can help guide you with this.
At Spectrum Family Law, we understand how child support should be calculated and awarded and will help you determine what is fair and reasonable in your circumstances.
THE CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
When a child resides primarily with one parent, the other parent who pays support is called the ‘payor’. The Child Support Guidelines list a base amount for child support depending upon the income of the ‘payor’ and the number of children involved. On top of the guideline amount, the payor may also have to pay a portion of any special expenses. These could include things like:
a. Child care;
b. Medical and dental premiums;
c. Health-related expenses that exceed $100 annually;
d. Extraordinary school expenses;
e. Post-secondary education;
f. Extra-curricular activities.
The costs of these special expenses are paid proportionally to the parent’s income. The Court will also look at any undue hardships like high access costs, high levels of debt, or a duty to support other children. It is important to note that the Court will also take into consideration the standard of living for each of the parents.
The law tries not to create hardships for the spouse’s second family because of heavy maintenance payments to the first family. A Court will not allow a parent to escape his or her parental responsibilities simply by re-marrying. The Court will not allow the children of the first family to live at a substantially lower standard than those of the second. The Court tries to balance the rights of all the parties. Undue hardship is a very hard claim to make out.
While there is a possibility that spouses can agree to an amount other than what is in the Guidelines, the Court must be satisfied that the children will be financially supported despite not following the Guidelines. The Court does this to protect children and to make sure that parents do not bargain away their children’s right to support.
CONTACT OUR CHILD SUPPORT LAWYERS FOR HELP
Due to the emotionally-charged nature of child support cases, it is important to have an objective advocate to assist you. Our Vancouver divorce lawyers at Spectrum Family Law can provide you with practical child support solutions so that you can get through this difficult time in a cost-effective manner. Although it is always preferable to negotiate a resolution of the issues arising out of a separation, our lawyers are prepared to go to court when necessary to ensure your rights are respected.
Please contact us now to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers: 1 (855) 892-0646. We look forward to meeting with you.