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Common Misconceptions of Child Support

Posted:  May 21, 2019


The law is a complex and easily misunderstood subject, especially when it comes to family law. Indeed, when it comes to child support issues, there are a great deal of misconceptions floating around out there. 

Although well-meaning individuals around you may try to offer support, you genuinely must have the right information at your disposal. Once you’re aware of common misconceptions, you and your spouse can move forward to make the best decisions regarding child support duties. Here are some guidelines to help steer you and your family to higher ground.

8 Child Support Fallacies 

  1. Your obligation to pay support is reduced when an ex-spouse receives child support from someone else. In fact, this is simply not true. You remain obligated to pay support for a biological child even when your former spouse receives child support from another individual. However, the support you pay for stepchildren may be affected.
  2. You have the right to know how child support is spent and do not have to pay if money is not used to purchase items for the child. In actuality, the support receiver has no legal responsibility to report to the payor how the money is being directed.
  3. The support recipient’s income alters your child support obligation. This can be true in certain cases, but it depends on the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s care.
  4. If the child or children live equal time with each parent, there is no obligation to pay support. Often, this is not true. Shared parenting may be determined by each parent’s income and how the child’s standard of living is affected.
  5. An ‘extraordinary expense,’ such as a highly expensive extracurricular activity like violin lessons, can be a source of dispute between parents as to whom is responsible for footing the bill. Costs will be shared according to the child’s best interests and reasonable circumstances. A court will decide if the child has special needs. Earlier spending habits may also be examined.
  6. You can report support payments made or received on your tax return, but the CRA no longer includes child support payments as income or deductions.
  7. If a spouse quits his or her job, the child support payments will be reduced. This is also false. A court recognizes this type of tactic and will reason that both parents remain fiscally responsible for the children.
  8. You can move away to avoid child support obligations. Not so; your obligations remain intact no matter where you move.

Unfortunately, we can receive a great deal of misinformation from well-intentioned friends and family when it comes to child support. Ideally you will contact a knowledgeable professional lawyer for current and correct legal advice. What matters in the end is you and your former spouse arrive at the best agreement for the children concerned.

 

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