Q – How will I know if my ex is making more money that he or she did in previous years?
A – When the court makes an order or you and your ex-partner make an agreement over child support, make sure that there is a term that the parent paying the child support must provide annual disclosure (usually the previous year’s tax return) to the parent receiving the child support. That way you will know if your ex’s income has gone up.
Q – What if my income decreases (i.e. I lose my job and/or have to move to another job where I am paid less?)
A – If you are paying child support and your income goes down, you can ask the court to reassess your ability to pay child support and recalculate the amount. This is done by bringing the matter back to the court and filing materials that show your income has decreased. Most people don’t do this soon enough and then they get into problems with the Family Responsibility Office because they are unable to make their child support payments and the arrears start to add up. If your income has decreased and you are having difficulty paying your child support, it is best to deal with this as soon as possible.
Q – My child is 14 years old. Can I pay child support directly to them?
A – No. Amounts paid directly to the child are generally not recognized by the court as covering off the child support obligation and a court will likely order you to pay the amount again but directly to the other parent this time. Child support is supposed to pay for housing, food and education – and giving money directly to your child does not cover this obligation in the court’s eyes.