Child Support

DSG Family Law

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A parent’s responsibility to raise and support their children as they grow does not end when a marriage ends.

Unless both parents spend approximately equal time with the child after the divorce, one parent usually needs to pay child support to the other parent to help share the costs.

Child support tables and calculators can help parents in British Columbia establish how much should be paid but the right legal advice can provide more accurate estimates and help prevent child support issues from developing.

The child support lawyers at DSG Family Law in Langley, BC are ready to take your call now to discuss your circumstances and outline your legal options. 

What is child support?

Child support or “child maintenance” is the money paid by one parent to another parent to help raise a child after they divorce or separate. It is considered a legal right of the child and a legal responsibility of a parent.

Child support may be ordered by the court or included as part of a negotiated or mediated separation agreement. As long as the support arrangement creates a secure, stable financial future for the child’s upbringing, the court should approve it.

Most times, the responsibility for child support falls on a biological parent who spends less time with the child than the primary custodial parent. However, the obligation and amount depend on the incomes and financial means of both parents as well as the custody arrangement and the division of parenting time between the spouses.

Step parents may be responsible for child support if they have lived with and contributed to the support of the child for at least one year.  

Child Support Lawyers in Langley, BC

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What are the main types of child support in BC?  

Can I change or cancel child support in BC? 

How do I calculate my monthly child support in BC? 

There are two main types of child support in British Columbia:

  1. Base child support: a monthly amount designed to assist with the basic costs of raising children including food, shelter, and clothing.
  2. Extraordinary expenses: the necessary costs and expenses of raising children beyond the standard expenses.

Extraordinary expenses must be reasonable and consistent with normal spending patterns and are generally shared between the parents in proportion to their respective incomes.

For instance, depending on circumstances, a parent claiming extraordinary expenses for a new car required to transport the child to and from school may not be successful because a new car may be seen as being mainly in the interests of the parent. However, claiming expenses to cover extracurricular activities like membership in a sports club that aids the child’s development will generally be seen as in the child’s best interests.

Typically, extraordinary expenses fall into the following categories:

  • Medical and dental insurance expenses that are attributable to the child in insurance premiums.
  • Other medical and dental expenses not covered by insurance, which may include prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses, contact lenses, etc.
  • Childcare expenses, which result from the custodial parent’s employment, illness, disability, education, or training for employment.
  • Extraordinary school expenses for education programs that meet the child’s needs—excluding the ordinary, annual school fees and other items included in the base support calculation.
  • Extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, lessons, and other organized activities that aid the child’s development.
  • Post-secondary educational expenses even beyond the age of 23 (the first university-level degree) though an adult child is expected to contribute to these expenses as much as possible. 

The Federal Child Support Guidelines set out the base child support amounts that are usually payable. This creates some uniformity in child support across the country. However, provincial tables are also used in calculations so that local cost-of-living considerations are also taken into account.

Most importantly, before you can determine an accurate estimate of base child support amounts, you need to know the paying parent’s gross annual income. This can be found in tax returns or the CRA’s Notice of Assessment.

Online calculators are commonly used to calculate the base amount of child support in BC. These calculators incorporate both the federal guidelines and provincial support tables, which are based on economic studies of average spending on children in families at different income levels across Canada.

This method can provide a good estimate of the applicable amounts but bear in mind that each family has unique spending habits when raising a child and the amount determined from the calculator may not be the exact amount payable.

The experienced child support lawyers at DSG Family Law can help you make a more precise estimate of the child support payable by taking into account all relevant factors.

Child support arrangements, once ordered by the court or approved as part of a divorce or separation agreement, must be followed until they expire or are modified.

A modification or cancellation of support is only granted if it is proven to the court that circumstances have changed substantially, such as with a job redundancy or serious illness, for instance.

Some flexibility in the system allows modifications but absent a new court order, parents are expected to follow the terms of the original child support arrangement. 

What if my ex is uncooperative with child support?  

Sometimes, ex-spouses do not meet their legal obligations by following child support orders or the terms of the divorce agreement.

Delinquent payments or non-payments can impact the children. Intended recipients of support can, therefore, seek assistance from the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) to collect support on their behalf. This free service is for people with a written child support agreement or a court order.

To access the service, file your support agreement with the local court registry to enroll with the MFEP. The program can then help to collect maintenance/support payments from the payor using a variety of means, including wage garnishment and federal income tax return funds. Payments will then be forwarded to you.

Contact our spousal support lawyers in Langley today 

An experienced spousal support lawyer can help you calculate and claim child support.

DSG Family Law offers a free initial consultation with a divorce lawyer in Langley. We can discuss your divorce situation and outline the legal options available to you. 

At DSG Family Law in Langley, BC, we understand the far-reaching impact of family law matters like divorce and legal separation on parental rights, personal property, children, and assets. Our professional and highly skilled family lawyers are committed to providing you with expert representation, tailored to your unique needs.

We take a client-centred approach and offer both comprehensive and unbundled legal services, ensuring you receive the support you require at an affordable cost. As a paperless firm, we prioritise efficiency, making your experience with us seamless and stress-free.

Count on DSG Family Law for accessible, compassionate, and trusted family law representation in Langley, BC. Book a free consultation and let us guide you through these crucial legal matters with clear solutions to complex family matters.

Langley B.C

DSG Family Law

At DSG Family Law, we understand that family law matters can be overwhelming and emotionally challenging. Our Family Law Consultations are designed to create a welcoming, comforting, and collaborative environment where you can discuss your concerns and aspirations freely.

We listen attentively to your unique story and provide a safe space to express your needs and goals openly. Our compassionate team of experienced lawyers is here to support and guide you every step of the way.

During the consultation, we take the time to understand your situation fully. We believe in fostering a collaborative approach, where you are actively involved in the decision-making process. Our goal is to empower you with knowledge and options, so you can make informed choices for the future of your family.

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