Child support or child maintenance is the money payable by one party to another to provide assistance with the day-to-day expenses associated with raising a child. Child support is considered the right of the child or children in a family law matter. Just how much child support should be paid and by whom requires a legal analysis. The parties’ incomes, the number of children involved, where the payor lives, and what custody and access arrangement is in place all play a part in determining what amount of child support is payable. Our family law lawyers are here to help you understand your situation.
The federal Child Support Guidelines and the Nova Scotia Child Maintenance Guidelines are the starting point to determine what amount of child support is payable. These Guidelines include a set of tables that help determine how much child support should be paid. These tables calculate the basic monthly amount payable to the other parent, using the following factors:
- The payor’s annual income;
- The payor’s province of residence; and
- How many children are being supported.
If you and the other party have your child or children in your shared custody (between 40 and 60 per cent of the time each), many more factors may become relevant to the analysis. Some examples include:
- The recipient’s income;
- Which party pays for the child’s expenses (school supplies, clothing, birthday parties, etc.);
- Each party’s monthly budget; and
- If any other adults are contributing to the parties’ household incomes.
If you already have a court order or separation agreement addressing child support, you may need assistance enforcing that order or agreement. There are a number of ways to do so, depending on what your particular order says about enforcement. The family law lawyers at MDW Law in Halifax and Bedford can assist you in determining the appropriate steps to take towards proper child support enforcement in your matter.
As financial circumstances change, you may need to revisit the amount of child support payable by either party. There are many changes that may affect a child support arrangement, some of which include:
- A promotion or new job of one party;
- An increase of one party’s salary;
- A change in the pay structure of a party (salary/commission/bonus); and/or
- A party’s inability to work (retirement/disability/loss of employment).
At MDW Law in Halifax – Bedford, we have an experienced team of family law lawyers to assist you in determining your child support rights and obligations. Whether you are seeking child support from another party or have an obligation to pay, we will help you understand how the Guidelines apply to your circumstances. Please contact us at our Halifax office to find out how we can help you.