Whether parents see their children or not, they have a legal duty to provide for them. If the parents of a child decide to separate or get divorced, they must make arrangements for the child’s care. This arrangement is usually in the form of child support.
What is child support?
Child support is a payment made by one parent to the other parent to help take care of a child.
Child support is based on the notion that a child has the right to be provided for by both parents in the same way they would be if the parents lived together. In most cases, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent, but this isn’t always the case.
While parents have the primary responsibility to pay child support, step-parents and guardians may also be responsible for support payments if they have lived with and supported the child for at least a year.
How long does child support last?
In British Columbia, child support is typically paid until a child turns 19. However, it may stop early if:
- The child becomes self-sufficient
- The child gets married
- The child leaves home
- The child dies
You may be required to continue paying child support for a child over the age of 19 if the child is disabled and cannot provide for themselves or is enrolled in a full-time education program.
How is child support calculated?
Child support is calculated based on the paying parent’s level of income and the number of children eligible for child support. The guidelines vary depending on the province or territory one or both the parents live in and are guided by federal, provincial, or territorial laws.
Child support is usually made up of two types of expenses:
- The basic monthly expenses, also known as the table amount that caters to basic needs like food, clothing, and school supplies
- Extraordinary expenses, which caters to anything outside the basics
Do you need a child support lawyer?
While many parents can reach a child support agreement on their own, sometimes disputes occur. In such a case, you should get a lawyer. A lawyer will help you understand child support guidelines, calculate what you’re entitled to receive or pay and help with the negotiation process.
Are you searching for a child support lawyer in Surrey?
At Highland Law, our family lawyers help parents navigate the complexities of child custody, calculate child support payments and reach an amicable agreement within the confines of the law.
Call us today to schedule a consultation.