Child support is the money one parent pays the other for the financial support of their child or children. Children have the legal right to receive financial support from both parents. When parents separate, one of the first things they should think about is child support. The resources listed below will help separating parents to make financial decisions in the best interests of their children.
FamiliesChange.ca: Child Support: This section of the Parent Guide to Separation and Divorce provides a great introduction to the topic of Child Support. Text and an instructional video introduce parents to their responsibilities and provide answers to common questions:
Court Tips for Parents: This online resource provides a series of seven videos that help parents prepare to go to court to change a child support order in Supreme Court. The videos feature a BC judge providing information and answering parent’s questions. Topics include: Presenting Your Case in Chambers, Putting Your Best Case Forward and What to Expect the Day of the Hearing.
Federal Child Support Guidelines: The Canadian government has established child support guidelines to determine a baseline of support that should be provided to children. In BC, the guidelines apply to children under the age of 19 and children older than 19, if they are dependent on their parents due to illness, disability, or other causes. An Online Lookup provides quick calculation based on ‘sole custody’, the province, gross income of the paying parent, and the number of children.
Family Maintenance Enforcement Program: Canadian courts have long recognized that the financial responsibilities of parents to their children (and of one spouse to another) do not end with separation or divorce. Couples agree on child support and spousal support or the courts create support orders. In either case, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program can help.
Interjurisdictional Support Orders: British Columbia has agreements with over 90 different places to honour and recognize each other’s family support laws and orders. When a family splits up, and one of the partners is in a different province, territory, or country, interjurisdictional support orders provide a way for financial decisions to be made, without the need to have both parents go to court in the same place.