Just because your divorce agreement, child support agreement, and child access agreement are all finalized and you are legally divorced, it does not mean that child support payments are fixed. Typically, family courts do not automatically make modifications to child support, but illustrating life changes can justify a child support review.
It is up to one of the parents to request a review from the court which can be accomplished with the assistance of a divorce law firm. There can be valid reasons for wanting a review and requesting a modification to the amount the non-custodial parent pays.
Reason #1: The custodial parent returns to work full time.
If the children are old enough so that the custodial parent can work full-time, then the non-custodial parent may request a child support review. Since the custodial parent is now earning more income, the contribution amounts could change, meaning the non-custodial parent may be required to contribute less.
Reason #2: The non-custodial parent gets a significant pay increase.
If the non-custodial parent receives a promotion with a higher salary or a significant pay increase, a child support review would be a good idea. They may be required to pay more in child support since they are earning more money.
Reason #3: Either parent loses their job.
If either parent losses their job and is unemployed, even temporarily, a child support review could be beneficial. However, the current amount of child support still has to be paid until the court issues a modified child support order. After returning to work, then another review should be requested to readjust child support to an appropriate payment amount.
Reason #4: There is a change is child access schedules.
If child access changes where the non-custodial parent is spending more time with their children, a child support review might make sense. Since parenting time is not the same as it was when the divorce was finalized, the non-custodial parent may not have to pay as much in child support.
Reason #5: The child turns the age of majority and moves out of the home.
Child support does not necessarily stop when a child turns the age of majority. Child support obligations can remain as long as the child is reasonably dependent on the parent. In many cases, the non-custodial parent is required to continue child support payments until the child is finished school, including any university or college programs. However, if the child moves out of the home and is no longer a dependent, then a child support modification might be necessary to end support payments.
Reason #6: The child wants to live with the non-custodial parent.
As children get older, they may want to live with the non-custodial parent. While the child’s views and preferences are only one factor, the non-custodial parent could request a change to the access agreement. If the court approves the change, where the non-custodial parent essentially becomes the custodial parent, then a child support review would also be appropriate.
If you believe a child support review is needed and necessary it’s better to consult with a family lawyer in Toronto, please feel free to contact Davies Law Firm at (613) 688-0462 to schedule a consultation appointment today!