Alienation in divorce in British Columbia may come at a high cost

It is usually safe to say that couples who are ending their relationships may not see eye-to-eye on many issues. British Columbia residents who are facing divorce may be at odds on most things, but adding fuel to the fire by alienating a former partner or spouse may mean having to dig deep into a pocket to foot the cost of family court. Often, contentious issues between former spouses may involve children and not being able to agree on important points might come at a cost.

When one parent has been mandated to make child support payments and the child refuses to have a relationship with him or her, support payments must still be made in the case of minor children. When a child is 18 years of age or older, the Divorce Act and the Child Support Guidelines will guide a family court judge to decide on a case-by-case basis. In cases of alienation, a family court judge will look at may variables, including the conduct of former spouses and any children. Based on the evidence, a judge may decide to tweak usual child support orders.

When former spouses cut themselves and their children off from a parent who is paying child support -- without a logical reason -- a family court judge may order the payer to pay less in certain instances. Again, a judge may rule on individual cases differently. Judges have said that it may not be reasonable to expect support from a parent whose child wants nothing to do with him or her other than getting support payments.

A British Columbia divorce lawyer may be able to guide clients in such circumstances. He or she may be able to help iron out the issues before the situation needs court intervention. A lawyer will review a client's claims and may be able to offer prudent advice.

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