Back to School? Review Your Child Support Now

Varying Child Support After Changes

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September is nearly over, having rushed past all of us as usual.  If you are a parent, September can seem to go even faster as your children start school: there are a million things to do and everyone is settling into a new routine.  If your child is attending university or college for the first time, you may have had to move them across the province or the country and help them set up on their own for the first time.  

If you are a separated parent, there is one more thing to do: amongst the hustle and bustle of back to school, have you considered your child support arrangements?  Child support should be reviewed on an annual basis, and also when significant events occur that impact your lives, such as a child moving away from home or additional costs being incurred such as tuition.  Many of these things occur around this time of year.

Why should I revisit child support?

If you have been paying or receiving child support based on the “Tables”, this amount may no longer be appropriate if your child is attending post-secondary education, depending on a variety of circumstances.  This can be the case regardless of whether they are living at home or if they have moved away.

You may also need to revisit child support if there has been a change in the parenting schedule.  A new school or new activities may result in your child spending more or less time with you than they did the previous year.  This may impact the amount of child support and who should be paying it.

September also brings a variety of expenses every year, from new running shoes and school supplies to activity expenses and tuition.  Some of these expenses are covered by monthly child support payments, but the parents should share others and sometimes even the child should make a contribution.

If you have been paying child support through the Family Responsibility Office pursuant to a Court Order or agreement, revisiting your support arrangements and putting them in writing is even more important.  FRO will continue to enforce the last Order or agreement they have on file unless they are advised otherwise.  This means that even if you and your spouse agree to a change, arrears might continue to accrue.

If you need assistance adjusting your child support payments or figuring out how your child’s tuition or other expenses will get covered this year, please call me today.

Do you have questions or comments about this post?  Please start a conversation with me on Twitter @freshstartott.  

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