Family law: When situations change child support payments

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Family Law on December 21, 2018.

The law does not look favourably on those who skip out on child support payments. Family law in British Columbia makes is quite clear that children come first and making support payments is in their best interests. Sometimes, though, life has a way of creating situations of financial hardship, making it difficult for the payor to fulfill his or her child support obligations.

Not paying can have serious repercussions — like having wages garnished, a passport seized or a driver’s licence revoked — so it is important that the payor let the payee know of a change in circumstances. The parents may be able to iron out a new payment amount and schedule or the case may have to be heard by a family law judge. If the original payment amount was ordered by the court, the new amount has also got to be filed with the court.

When making a decision to reduce child support payments, a judge will look at several factors. He or she, however, will not want to see that the payor has a higher living standard than the payee. If the payor is going through real undue financial hardship, the judge may reduce child support payments, but the payor may be expected to resume higher payments when his or her financial situation improves.

A British Columbia family law lawyer may be able to help someone in this type of situation, whether the individual is the payor or the payee. A lawyer would be able to explain the legalities surrounding such instances and provide guidance should the matter need to go to court. He or she may also be able to put a payor client in touch with credit counsellors or others who may be able to help with debt consolidation.

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