Manitoba law says that children have a legal right to financial support from both parents. Yet how much support should the child receive? Who pays, and how much? What happens if the child has special needs or unusual circumstances?
The lawyers at Family Lawyer Winnipeg can help you with all of the issues that can arise in a child support case, from setting initial amounts to dealing with payment issues, modifications, and dirty tricks that spouses like to pull.
How much is child support in Manitoba?
Courts use the tables laid out by the Family Maintenance Act to calculate base support. While parents are free to negotiate their own child support arrangement, it will never be less than the amount laid out in the chart. Courts must approve all child support arrangements.
Because both parents have an obligation to pay the custodial status of the child doesn’t matter. When parents have a split parenting time agreement (a 50/50 arrangement), the parent the higher obligation subtracts the amount the lower-earning parent would pay, and pays the difference to that parent. If the parent has access for less than 40% of the year then that parent would pay their full child support amount to the parent with primary care and control.
Yet there are special circumstances which can make child support amounts higher. For example, if you have a special needs child then they will ended additional care. Who pays for that care? Parents may also choose to press for higher child support payments during their negotiations to ensure the child may continue to attend a private school. These are called special or extraordinary expenses.
How long do I have to pay child support in Manitoba?
This will depend on the wording in your divorce decree. Most child support arrangements end when the child turns eighteen, but not all of them do. There are exceptions.
What happens if a parent quits their job?
The courts have provisions for unforeseen changes in circumstances in instances where a parent’s income changes. It’s relatively easy for either parent to ask for a child support modification in these cases.
Yet there are also cases where either parent quits their job to increase the other parent’s obligation or to get out of paying a child support obligation. In this case, the court “imputes” income. That is, they determine, based on your work history, what you normally should be making, and then set the child support based on that amount, whether the income is coming in or not.
Thus, it’s in the best interests of both parents to avoid voluntary unemployment. When the parent is fired a child support modification will be the appropriate tool, though the court may still consider employment insurance income when setting child support amounts.
Why Family Lawyer Winnipeg?
Our lawyers are child support experts prepared to fight hard to protect your finances. We have the experience and legal background to bring your case to its most successful conclusion.
For a consultation, call (204) 896-7777.