Child support will be determined based on the Child Support Guidelines. These child support laws help parents calculate child support according to their annual incomes. While this makes the process straightforward, it also leaves little wiggle room for negotiation. A competent child support lawyer can help explain your rights and entitlements.
Westside Family Law in Vancouver is a team of well-equipped family lawyers ready to help your family understand its rights and obligations. Whether you are in the midst of a separation or need help modifying or enforcing a child support order, our lawyers can offer insightful guidance on your options and tailor a solution to your particular circumstances.
Child Support Amount
From a legal standpoint, child support laws in most circumstances are fairly straightforward. Child support is a child's right, not the parent's, and a child is entitled to receive support from both parents after a divorce or separation. If parents share custody relatively equally, they may usually offset child support according to each person's income. For example, if the mother owes $400 per month in child support and the father $300 per month in child support, the mother would pay the father $100 per month in child support.
Anyone with children knows that the costs of raising a child seemingly never stop. Under Section 7 of the Child Support Guidelines, both parents are expected to pay a proportionate share of "special or extraordinary expenses" in addition to monthly child support. These expenses often include:
Daycare, nanny fees or after-school programs that allow a parent to earn income;
Orthodontic braces and other dental or health care needs beyond the coverage of extended health insurance; and,
- Where children participate in sports or activities at a competitive level and the costs are unusually high (as opposed to casual participation in extracurriculars), activities like hockey, piano, gymnastics, horse riding or skiing, for example, could also be included.
The nature and scope of these expenses will naturally vary from family to family. What qualifies as a "special expense" in one family may not in another, depending on the amount of child support paid and the family's lifestyle during the marriage or relationship.
Enforcing Or Modifying Child Support
Change is inevitable as your family moves on after a divorce or separation. If handled correctly, an agreement or court order can be designed to include a level of flexibility and a manner in which to address such changes, so you do not need to go to court every time an issue or changed circumstance comes up.
If you need to vary or enforce an existing support agreement or order, in some cases it could be a matter of getting together with both parties to discuss changes and amend existing terms. In others, it may be necessary to go back to court if parties cannot agree.
Protecting Your Financial Well-Being
Financial battles between ex-spouses can escalate out of control if they are ignored or improperly managed. Our lawyers focus on the future, taking steps to resolve such issues efficiently and effectively for you. Fill out the contact form below to set up a consultation with a Vancouver child support lawyer, or call us at 604-734-7911 to get started.