Child support is a legal obligation that parents have to their children, and it is essential to ensure the child’s financial well-being. However, several myths surrounding child support often lead to confusion and misunderstanding. In this article, we will debunk some of the most common child support myths in British Columbia.
1. Child Support Ends at 19
One of the most common myths surrounding child support is that it automatically ends when a child reaches the age of 19. However, this is not true in British Columbia. Child support payments can continue until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 19 years old. However, child support can be extended if the child is still attending school full-time or cannot support themselves due to a disability.
The law requires parents to provide for their children, and child support is an essential part of that obligation. It is important to note that child support is not just about financial support but also emotional and physical support.
2. Child Support Is a Fixed Amount
Another common misconception is that child support is a fixed amount that parents must pay forever. However, this is untrue in British Columbia, as child support payments can be adjusted if there is a significant change in the payor’s income or the child’s needs.
The amount of child support is calculated based on the parent’s income, the number of children, and the time each parent spends with the child. If there is a significant change in the payor’s income, such as a job loss or promotion, they can apply to adjust their child support payments.
3. Child Support Is Not Required If You Don’t See the Child
Another common myth is that if a parent does not get to see the child, they do not have to pay child support. This is not true in British Columbia, as child support is not based on access or visitation rights. The obligation to pay child support is based on the parent’s financial responsibility to their child, regardless of whether they have access to the child.
In cases where one parent is denied access to the child, they can apply to the court for a parenting order. However, the obligation to pay child support remains, and failure can result in legal consequences.
4. Child Support Can Be Sidestepped By Reducing Income
Finally, some parents believe they can reduce their income to avoid paying child support. However, this is not true in British Columbia, as the court can impute income to a parent who is intentionally underemployed or unemployed.
If a payor is found to be intentionally reducing their income to avoid paying child support, the court can impute income based on their earning potential. This means that the court will consider what the payor is capable of earning, rather than what they are currently earning when calculating child support payments.
Don’t Fall for These Child Support Myths—Seek Legal Help Today
Child support is a crucial aspect of ensuring a child’s financial well-being, and it is essential to understand the legal obligations surrounding it. The myths surrounding child support can be confusing, and it is important to seek legal help if you have any questions or concerns.
Dreyer and Associates is committed to preserving the best interests of families across the Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland. We have a diverse array of experience across family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing. We ensure that our clients feel confident and secure that their wishes will be followed. If you need legal help regarding child support, one of our family lawyers in Surrey can help! Get in touch with us today and let’s talk.