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Changing A Child Support Order – When And How?

As parents, you and your ex-spouse may have signed a written agreement or may be bound under a court order for child support. But what options do you have if you are a payor and feel that you should be paying less, or if you are a recipient and feel that you should be receiving more for the support of your child? Our post this week looks at the reasons and routes you can follow to make changes to an existing child support order.

What Are Valid Reasons For Changing Child Support?

The most common reason for increasing or decreasing amounts for child support are changes in the income level of either parent. It’s a wise idea for parents to discuss income changes at least once a year and work out a mutual agreement on any needed adjustments.

Another reason to alter support is if a child reaches the age of majority. In British Columbia, once a child reaches 19 years of age, child support automatically ends. But certain circumstances, such as post-secondary education, disability or illness may result in the need for a payor to continue providing support.

Changes to parenting arrangements may also bring about the need for changes. The discovery of missing evidence or previously undisclosed financial information may also be used as a basis for changing child support.

How To Change Child Support Arrangements

If both parents can agree on child support changes within an existing separation or divorce agreement, they can amend it in writing or draw up a new one. However, if support has been court-ordered, then they will need to file an application to obtain a new order.

Even if both parents do not agree that an existing child support arrangement should be changed, either party can go to court to seek a variation.

The lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott are available to assist families who need advice and representation regarding child support arrangements.

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