When the COVID-19 pandemic started, it drastically changed many things about day-to-day life and turned the world upside down. For two years, the world has been grappling with ongoing issues in various facets of life.
How has COVID-19 impacted child support?
The economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many individuals worldwide. Unemployment, furloughs, reduced working hours and business closures have become quite common during the last two years. In January 2022, more than 200,000 Canadians lost their jobs. Because of the difficulties in the economy, many have seen their earning potential severely affected. It can be hard to meet financial obligations such as child support when your income is lower. Reduced earning power has led to discomfort among many parents in Canada who are now unsure of what to do about their child support orders.
What happens if I cannot make my payments?
There are consequences for not paying child support. It is important to note that you cannot make a unilateral decision to stop making payments. Doing so can result in the government withholding tax refunds or seizing your funds. If you can no longer meet your child support obligations, you must follow the proper steps to address the matter legally, especially if there is a court order concerning support. When an order is in place, it is left to the courts to determine what happens should your financial situation change. Under the Federal Child Support Guidelines, the terms of an existing child support order can be altered if there is a significant change in circumstances since the agreement was implemented—for example, loss of income.
How can I adjust child support?
If you can no longer afford your child support payments, there are steps that you can take to remedy the situation. First, you must contact the other parent or their legal representative and notify them that you wish to change the terms of the support. You will then need to assess your financial situation in light of your new circumstances, as you will be required to prove that there has been a material change in your financial standing. You will also need to consider the financial status of the other parent as well. Do they have a job? Do they have assets? Are they in a position to shoulder all the expenses for the child, such as clothes, food and housing? It is helpful to discuss these issues with the other parent to determine whether a new, favourable agreement can be made. If both parties cannot agree on new terms for child support, you will need to apply to the courts to have the agreement changed. A child support lawyer can assist with this. Once you have made an application, a judge will examine your case and decide on the way forward.
How can a child support lawyer help?
A child support lawyer is a family lawyer who specializes in matters such as custody and support and can assist you with filing a modification request with the courts to change the amount of your child support. While it isn’t a requirement that you have a lawyer to handle your modification request, a child support lawyer can be beneficial, as they:
- Act as your legal representative in court proceedings
- Help to protect your rights and negotiate on your behalf
- Provide legal advice that will help you in your case
- Facilitate the process of applying for modification to child support
Are you looking for a Surrey family lawyer to handle your case? Contact Nirwan Law Corporation. We handle cases in all areas of family law, including child support. Our experienced team will handle every detail of your case, from consultation to litigation. Call 604-372-0253 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.