Canada High Court Reserves Retroactive Child Support Ruling

The Supreme Court of Canada has reserved a ruling on a controversial child support ruling that may change the face of child support in Canada. When parents’ income changes, the child support they pay and receive is designed to change accordingly. In the past, that change has occurred only when one of the parents petitions a court and requests an adjustment. Now a “pilot project” in Alberta has made that adjustment automatic for some parents.

The child support payers – all fathers, and all facing massive debts because they made more money and didn’t adjust the support they were paying, are arguing that the change amounts to a massive transfer of wealth and will generate more conflict between parents.

The mothers argue that parents should pay for their children in relation to their ability to pay, period, and that the new approach will actually lessen conflict because it will give child support payers an incentive to make incremental adjustments as their income changes, with less drama.

As the result of yesterday’s decision not to decide, a definitive ruling on the principle of retroactive child support adjustments is probably several months away.

Here’s an article about it from the Canadian Press and another from CBC Alberta.

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70 thoughts on “Canada High Court Reserves Retroactive Child Support Ruling”

  1. It just amazes me how unbiased the courts claim to be. A mother is granted custody simply because she is the mother, and the father not only has to pay through the nose to support his child but also has to fight to see the child. A mother will argue that it takes two people to make a child and therefore it should take two people to raise a child, right? Hypothetically speaking, if both parents live stable lives, and are both financially self-supporting,why should it take a higher monetary contribution from the father? If the mother claims that she needs the support from the father to help with costs of raising the child, then maybe the child should go live with the father, who obviously is more financially stable. Wouldn’t that be in the best interest of the child?

  2. In all fairness, it’s not a “decision not to decide.” It’s normal for the Supreme Court of Canada to reserve on a case. This is a difficult legal issue, and top appellate judges from Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia have grappled with this issue and come to different results. It does take time for the Justices to conference about the issues and then to prepare a written judgment that is agreeable to a majority of the Justices. I’ve discussed some of the issues involved in the case in more detail at:

  3. All of you who remember the case Walsh v Walsh will know who I am. I’m the fool who hired Carole Curtis to argue my case in the Court of Appeal for Ontario. As you all know I lost. Carole Curtis charged me $68,000 in legal fees to try and collect $42,000 in retroactive child support. I hope some of you will appreciate what I did to try and have the law changed. We are in court … again. Get this, he made $515,000 in 2004 and he wont pay child support accordingly. He knows I’m broke so he’s fighting this all the way. Michael Walsh is the altenate “Deadbeat Dad”

  4. I feel this matter has been long argued. It amazes me how parents can be so vendictive to each other and feel this will benefit anyone including the child(ren) in question. I agree that changes needed to be made to the way child support was approached prior to 1997; however, recipients argued they should not be taxed on the child support received and that the payor should not be able to claim a tax deduction. Yet the new system applies the guidelines based on Gross income (before taxes)of the payor and not net income. So basically the payor is still having to pay out income tax on monies that has been negotiated for support payments while increasing the income of the recipient.

    Also, it seems unfair to ask a parent who has been paying faithfully and trying to get ahead in life to pay higher support payments when the recipient would rather not strive to better herself and sit on social assistance and attend various employment courses but never use this knowledge.

    I was a single parent for 13 years and did not collect any child support. I put myself through business college then I acquired a better job in order to raise my children with all that they would require as well as some extra. My children have never lacked for any necessities in life and have also not had to be a part of this vicious circle. As I am now married to a man with a vendictive ex that he wasn’t even married to, we are constantly back in court. This particular woman has stayed on Social assistance for much of the last 12 years while attending a minimum of 3 to 4 courses to obtain employment which she has never used. This should make us all feel proud of the way that society and the justice system have allowed people to benefit from others and not enforcing any responsibility onto them.

    This person is fact raising this child, whom she has ensured will never know her father even though he is the one that is financially responsible for not just her but her new sister and her mother that refuses to work. This woman has never been married but continues to have children to support her financially. When will our court system see that each case does have other factors involved and they need to be addressed.

    As for retroactive payments, in my opinion, as long as the paying parent is meeting the obligations of the original order; where does this give someone the right to order retroactive payment??!! The payor has met there court ordered obligation. Also, I agree that financial information does obviously play a part of decision making for the court; however, due to the federal privacy law, why should a party (especially one whom was never married to the payor) be entitled to such information?? I am sorry if I seem angry but this whole matter seems to have lost what is important and that is ensuring that each parent is doing his AND her part to provide for these children. The children are ultimately the ones that suffer. By requesting retroactive payments, how does this benefit anyone as you will have the paying parent upset with the recipient parent and then many times the child is placed in the middle. Not to mention in our case, where the mother has been on social assistance for all these years that the court may award retroactive payments, would this not be imputing an additional income and how would the government ever be able to bill to this party for monies above and over what they were entitled to earn while on welfare.

    There are just as many “deadbeat mothers” as there are “deadbeat dads”!!!!

  5. Just because the non-custodial parents income increased, does not mean the cost of raising a child increased. These rulings do nothing but punnish those who have the drive to succeed, and reward those who don’t have enough ambition beyond grabbing from those who do.

    And from what I understand, all things considered, there are more dead-beat moms then there are dead-beat dads. The mothers do not get punnished by the courts, for no other reason then the fact that they are female. The fathers are punnished more often and harshly for exactly the same offences.

    Ontario is one of the worst provinces for these offences against fathers.

  6. I was hit with a shock today when found out owed monies re Canada child support from the year 1996 even though it was written off in 2001. Something i wasn’t aware of. I had just called to get my up-to-date assessment (which i’ve done many years before and never had heard before) when i was given the shock today. They told me they didn’t ‘bill’ me as i earn less than $30,000 per year but that it still constitutes as a lien and i still owe them. This came about as a result of my ex-husband submitting a claim to ‘support’ the child at that time (she is now 27 and looks after herself). Doesn’t this ‘drop-off’ after 7 years or do i still have to pay?
    If you know anything about this matter
    thank you.


  8. Bravo, Lee! I am glad to hear that there are others in the same boat. It makes me very sad for what the future of our society holds for our children. Recently, we went back to court on Section 7 benefits. The judge refused to impute an income to this woman and advised that we will pay the entire orthodontic bill. When exactly did this become one parties financial responsibility more than the others. The problem is that the Alberta appeals court is part of the reason this matter is in front of the Supreme Court in the first place. Therefore, we will not take that route. It is going to be cheaper in the long run to pay the orthodontic bill.

    The worst thing is that we also found out that this woman lied on her affadavit and stated that she was also receiving child support from her other daughter’s father. In fact she is residing with this man and in the process of marrying him. But yet we don’t have a leg to stand on as the judge wouldn’t hear anything about this matter.

    Also, I was in court for moral support for my husband and advised to sit down as this matter is no concern of mine. How is something so major that affects my household, not my concern? I have to deal with the physical, mental and emotional wreck that he becomes every time that we have to go back to court. As well as the fact that every time we do go back to court, it takes more money away from the children in our home.

    I also hope that this Bill does not pass. I feel that it is time that fathers are not the only financially responsible parties. If it takes 2 to create that child, then it takes 2 to financially suport that child as well.

    To all those deadbeat moms out there, word of advice, please get out there and work. Quit giving the rest of us a bad name!!!


  10. Well I’m really disappointed that the supreme court of Canada has reserved the ruling on retroactive child support. A year ago my oldest daughters mother decided to take me to court for retroactive child support payments among other things, even though I had never missed a payment and I had always given my daughter whatever I could afford when it came to clothes, toys etc. When my eighteen year old daughter finished high school I took her to be enrolled in upgrading at a college here in Edmonton and I paid for her first semesters tuition and I also set her up with a free place to live
    , she also recieved almost three thousand dollars from myself and my family for her graduation for future schooling. However this was not satisfactory because it restricted her after school partying so she moved out to live with friends and her mom bought her a new car and I was told by her mom that I had to pitch in for all this. Well I refused because I myself was in school again due to a workplace injury and I was being paid by WCB and I did not have a lot of extra cash. Strangely though this did not matter to my ex or my daughter and we ended up in court. Well I ended up paying my ex $6000.00 and my lawyers fee was $3000.00. And I went through all this crap even though I have always, and did continue to pay child support to my daughter until we settled this matter when she was twenty years old. This whole thing started when she was nineteen years old. The funny thing is that I would have ended up giving her more money in the long run had she just let me keep making regular child support payments every month. So now my little sweetheart no longer speaks to me and all because her mom convinced her that I am evil for not giving her money I did not have to give. And as for the retroactive thing well “mom” realized that I had always paid more than I was asked to by social services years ago and they dropped that part of the action against me but her lawyer sure did try to use this little gem to try and scare the hell out of me. Guess I don’t scare that easy. I just wonder what it will take for the men of this country to stand up and say “enough is enough” and start fighting back against the women who think they have been so hard done by and keep on hounding their ex husbands until they go nuts and do something stupid. Then the media makes him sound like an animal, while only he knows how much he has had to suffer before he finally lost it. Its just to sad.

  11. If I am reading correctly, the Supreme Court has passed that when Fathers receive a pay increase they
    are obligated to increase their support payments? I have heard word of late, women are suing their
    ex’s for back pay?
    What happens if a women is living with another man (common-law)and yet her spouse is still paying her
    alimony along with support for the children?
    Is there a time when the Father can stop the alimony payments? How does that work out? What if the
    Mother is not doing her fair share with the children. Some Mothers receive the monies but put a fair
    amount of it on their own backs as opposed to the children?
    Why do Dads have to just keep paying and paying. The day of the Fathers not being responsible has
    pretty well disappeared.

  12. The supreme support decision was on child support payments and not alimony. Child support payments
    end generally when the child moves out or reaches 19 or stops going to University. Alimony payments
    generally stop when the recipient gets a job or remarries. I am not a lawyer!

    Fathers are a second class citizen. The best you can do now is not to work over time so you can reduce
    your payments till the day they finally end. Or remarry someone who makes a lot of money because your
    partner’s income don’t affect support payments.

    I wait the years (probably 12 or more) to go by when I am finished support payments….so much for retiring
    at 30 years or being mortgage free by retirement! Just trying to be happy with less money and seeing my kids
    part time. Maybe I can get them to move in with me and she can pay me!

  13. I can see both sides of the coin on this issue. I have a child from a previous marriage and my current husband has two children from a previous marriage. We have one child together. His ex-wife makes $80K per year, drives an $800 per month car, and has a surplus of $700 at month end!!! My husband makes $50K and she wants $800 per month. My ex husband pays, not by choice, monthly.
    I do not believe raises allow for more support. I am supporting my first daughter with what her father is paying.
    My question is who is supporting our daughter! The court system litterally bullied my husband and threatened him in court – he made the comment that he does have another child to support (3 years old). Duty counsel had the bright idea he could get another part time job- then reversed this opinion as the ex wife would take 50%, government 30% leaving a whole 20% to support a 3 year old.
    I do believe the courts need to look at the support recipients income to determine support!!! the courts are not allowing “going on” in any cases!!!

  14. Glinda – I sure can relate to what you are saying. I am sure that you have read my situation up top. I guess one of the things that really gets me in our case is that she can lie, and nothing is said or done about it. But heaven help us if we don’t automatically increase her support if he makes more money.

    As for his ex making more money, we were told by her lawyer and the judge in our matter, that she could be a millionaire and we would still have to pay based on his income. The only time her income is considered is with respect to section 7 benefits!! What an absolute crock if you ask me!!! I do believe that regardless of who parented the children, any child in the home will suffer if you are paying out support to another home. The courts say that they are looking out for the best interest of the child but apparently it is only the child from the prior marriage/relationship that matters!!

    I am still having a hard time believing that the Supreme Court of Canada is not seeing all the problems with the system. I do feel the current system is better than many years ago when 2 identical situations would have been handled differently (one more harsh than the other). But it still has a long way to go before it is an ideal situation for all involved!

    Everyone be strong and remember that there are lots of others out there with similar situations!

    Concerned Mother

  15. I completely agree with everyone. my situation is a bit different though. i had a baby when i was 18 with a 25 year old man. he took the child when it was born. that was 7 years ago. i pay him every month at an agreed amount from 7 years ago. i am now remarried and have 2 children of my own and a stay at home mom with no income.

    im afraid of stop paying the support to a man who refuses to work, lives in calgary housing, on welfare, goes to food bank and lives with his mom, dad, and siblings AND over teh age of 30.

    im afraid, cause my husband is a journeyman welder and makes good money, and im afraid they will take us to the cleaners based on his wage?

    am i wrong?

    it is so hard too, cause we make money for our kids and our life, im not even allowed to see my son at all.

  16. I’d like to contact Joanne Walsh regarding retro active support as I have a trail scheduled for Jan/07 for retroactive support that thankfully was delayed after Walsh V Walsh but I wonder how the SCC decision effects her case?

    Could you at least forward my contact info to her please.

    Many thanks

  17. I am in a similar situation but I am the women paying. I resently separted from my husband due to fear. My daughter is still residing with him and I pay each month. He has the house, the truck, the furniture and I had to start over with nothing until the court decides. In the meantime I pay child support.

  18. Do you need to report a drastic reduction in income (lost job) and subsequently lower the monthly payment (immediately)? The real question is do you pay based on expected income from a point forward or do you pay on the last income year?

  19. Current wives are really jealous by their respective husband’s ex-wives getting the support but can they imagine themselves on the same boat. Tomarrow they can be a ex and if they have kids wan’t they expect a fair share from their husbands.I am a mother of two(3 year and 18 month)never worked in north america and was a home maker this was my Ist marriage and his IInd but he never improved,he was a abuser from day one and just went up never improved.My family gave him 30,000 USD which he accepted with joy but never spend a penny on me or my kids expect for the groceries.All my needs and my kids needs were fulfiled by my family including clothing ,toys, shoes, cosmetics etc and still had to listen from his mouth that i am a bastard doing nothing but eating for free.Finally i gave up when i came to know that he is even cheating on me and filed for divorce and applied for child support and alimony.Does it mean that i am a dead beat mom? I need my fair share because my kids need it and its the only way that i can hurt him because divorce,separation from kids don,t effect him he just loves himself and money.I don’t want him out of this marriage too cleanchit so that he will find a 3rd one too to spoil her life too.He gained 20,000 usd from his Ist marriage too this time i want that his marrige business should be bankrupt

  20. I’m going to comment as a recipient of child support, who’s about to have the retroactive support thing dropped into my ex husband’s lap next week. I’m due to be in court with him on January 23/07 (today is the 20th of January).

    When my ex and I got together, he had nothing. Together, we had nothing. We had 3 children who now live
    with me. We’ve been divorced for the last 7 years. While we were together, I concerned myself with raising the children, keeping the house,
    and working from home for the company that we started together.

    We went to court back in 2003, as I had applied for an increase to his child support payments. We both knew that he was getting away with murder
    with the payments that he was then making. I finally got the courage to take him to court. I, of course had no lawyer because I couldn’t afford one. He rolled in with his high priced lawyer, and the papers that he was supposed to have filed with the court 3 months earlier.

    We had no idea what was on those papers. I knew that they were financial statements, but no clue as to just what was on them. My case might be
    a little different than some of yours. My ex is the sole shareholder and controller of the corporation that he works for. Therefore, according to the law, his support payments are to be based on the gross income of the corporation, not on what he claims his yearly salary is (I know some of you are going to be well pissed about that, but TOUGH. I don’t make the rules…)

    He was paying $1910 per month in support for 3 children. When he left, our youngest child was only 3. Anyway…

    I took him to court in 2003 because I knew about his position in the corporation then. But with no lawyer, and no paperwork on his end, I had nothing. Add to that, he told me that if I didn’t withdraw the application for the increase, he’d file for full custody of the 3 children, and stop paying altogether. I didn’t have the stomach or the financial means to keep it up. I withdrew the application for increased child support.

    In August of 2006, my ex decided that he’d stop paying support altogether. I’m working full time, but what I make is not enough to keep these kids in the house that they grew up in. He claimed that his yearly income was $125,000 per year. As it happens, his income for the last 3 years averages $507,000 (yes, that’s five hundred and seven thousand dollars a year, and that includes the year that I took him back for the increase when he dodged having to provide a financial statement).

    My point in taking him back now is this; He was dishonest about his earnings from the inception of our agreement. He had money hidden at the time of our divorce. He pays more per month for his car than he does for his children.

    When our children aren’t in school, they’re with me. I’m the one who worries about their whereabouts, I’m the one who takes them to school, helps them with homework, drives to fieldtrips, takes them to friend’s houses, chauffeurs the gang to movies, the park, and all of that other %^$#. I’m the one who stays up with them when they’re sick, and I’m the one who gets to call in sick when they’re too sick to go to school. I don’t get paid for that. The point of this is that there’s a lot of other physical, mental and emotional work that goes into raising children, that can’t be calculated in $$. His income more than doubled when he left this house. What happened to mine? I had to deal with finding decent daycare for one of our children, then had to find a way to pay for that daycare, because he didn’t want to pay according to the principle of proportionate share. He wouldn’t even pay his share of the kids’ dental bills. I’m paying for everything. Our daughter just made the provincial volleyball team. The registration fee is $350. He won’t pay any of it. Part of our hydro will have to go unpaid, but I paid her registration fee today, or she’d have been off the team.

    There’s always more to every story than meets the eye. I can’t even get into the rest of this mess but it gets worse, believe me.

    So before you have the nuts to paint all of us “dead beat recipients” with the same brush, walk a mile in my shoes and remember that some child support payors deserve exactly what they get in court. You have no idea what the recipient of child support is going through until you’ve been in that boat.

  21. so tired of listening to all of these comments. plain to see who cares about the child, its all about the new realtionship and the money involved. 50 % of all north american marraiges end in divorce. that is the problem, everything that happens afterward, is after the fact. why marry and give up. all generations prior lived though difficulties. what are we now unique, out witht he old, in with the new. new what, new same old difficulties.
    face fact, if you did not have problem solving skills forthe first marraige, chances are you have not developed any skill to takeyou or your children to better place in your upcoming new realtionships

  22. most importantly to 2nd wives, your new husband’s child support is paying to partially put a roof over his previous familes head. have a heart. it is not paying for food, warmth, not even for 1 season of 2 season’s necesary clothing or a single extra curricular activity. so before you start into the ex-wife crap think for one minute who is benefiting from a reationships end. the answer remains forever the same. Nobody.
    so many flip sides to the coin, the first family’s children always loose. the first family’s wife rarely benefits, once you consider the 1st family’s children’s sufferings. those children may be thrust upon a bitter new wife if she allows visits, their esteem is removed for the sake of the new family’s opportunity to florish.
    if every parent lived for 3 hours with the repercussions of a marraige ending decision they might not carry it through.
    but really who cares about the kids right?

  23. Very frustrated at all the laws against the sperm donors.
    I was a 19 year old kid trapped by a 30 year old woman.
    Should be a law against that.

  24. I belive that seperated parents should pay child support, but there has to be a limit. The new law for child support is just making fathers a wallet. I’ve been with a guy for 2 years and he has a 4 year old girl. She lives with her mom and her mom’s fiance who makes 100+ a year in the oil patch, they have a 400,000 house, sleds, new vehicles, all the latest toys. My guy has to pay 720/month for child support, which he pays every month. And the mom keeps asking for more and never lets us see his little girl and always threatens to take him to court. Now the mother works full time 5 days a week and plus weekends at the bar. She says she doesn’t have to work but she just does it to get out of the house. Now when does she have time to see her girl? Never. When we do see his girl, she is dressed shabby, we had to buy her new shoes because hers were too small and hurting her feet. I’m wondering where the hell this 720/month goes too, probably their mortgage for the house or their trips they always go on or something else, obviously not to the 4 year old. Is this fair? Hell no. Meanwhile me and my guy are struggling every month to make it. Our work is seasonal and spring break- up is coming up so trying to make that payment is going to be wonderful. And I wonder, when we have kids, they’ll be damn lucky if they get 720/month! But hey this is the alberta justice, really fair.

  25. Here are just a few things to think about:

    1) when a child support matter first goes to court, the court hears how it takes 2 to create the child. However, (especially in our circumstance and quite a few others) it does not take 2 to financially support the child.

    2) Tax regulations were changed to benefit the recipient not the payor. The recipient does not have to claim the support as income and therefore, is not taxed on the funds. However, the payor, pays based on gross income and still has to pay tax on the funds!! Real fair right?

    3) Section 7 benefits are supposed to be shared proportionately. Unless you get certain judges who deem the payor should pay 100%. Again, takes 2, shouldn’t it really be 50/50?

    4) As for the child of the 1st relationship suffering, this may be true in some cases. I know in our case it is the children in our home that have to take back burner to my husband’s daughter, who he has never been allowed to see or be involved with, aside from opening his wallet. My daughter who desperately needs braces, now has to wait as this child was awarded 100% coverage by our home.

    5) This child resides in a different province as the mother only came to Alberta long enough to get pregnant and return to where she was from. Anyhow, the courts in fact speak from both sides of their mouths. For example, Alberta is the higher guideline province, so we must pay based on the Alberta guideline. One would then assume that if paying based on Alberta guidelines, that all Alberta rules should apply. However, the province where she resides, child support must be paid until she is 19, so the court stated that we would pay until 19.

    I feel that if paying to 19 then we should pay based on the lower guideline province. Or if paying based on Alberta guideline, paying until 18 only.

    I am not upset about the support but in fact how it is administered and don’t disagree that some women and the children do get the short end of the stick. But I am upset by women like the one that I am talking about that has lied over and over again in her affadavits and still benefits but never has to know what is like to work and support her child.

    I was a single mom for 13 years and fully understand the hardships of raising children (financially, emotionally, mentally and physically.) I didn’t have any help in raising my girls – financially or otherwise. I relied on myself and also put myself through school to better our situation.

    Unfortunately, women like the one that I speak of, give the rest of us a bad name. What I am saying is that if it indeed takes 2 to create the child; then it does take 2 to stand up and take responsibility!!! My reference of dead beat moms goes out to the likes of the egg donor of a mother in our case not all moms!! Again, remember that I was once a single mom and pride myself on my strength as I truly was 100% responsible – financially included!!!!

  26. If the government says childsupport is determind on the best interest of the children they are wrong. What they do mean is the best interest of divorced children. My daughter is suffering due to my husbands child supports payments increasing for his two children. He has to pay 907 dollars a month for them and their mother doesn’t even notify him when one of them goes in for surgery but she is always right there when it’s time to get her money! The courts should realise my husband supports three children not two. Their mother doesn’t make him a priority as a father, only as a payer and the government is allowing her to do it. Why does she get more money if he gets a raise? They are not sharing a life anymore and she should only get half of the average of what it cost to raise a child. These child support payments are turning into spousal support instead! Women need to stop using their children as a reason to fill their wallets and start giving the fathers their lives back.

  27. Right on!!! Someone else who sees what the government is doing!!! I wish more of us would be able to make the government realize the same thing!! In our case, hubby wasn’t even married to the woman!! She has NEVER worked but keeps filling her wallet!!! Now is married and keeps taking us for more and more and more!!! Made sure that she tried without evidence for every dime that she could possibly get under Section 7. Thank God the original judge agreed and saw thru that plot!!

    What the government really means about the best interest of the children, isn’t all children only those that make no effort to make a real life for the children and help financially to raise them as well!!

  28. from ontario:does anyone know if schedule iii of guidelines applies to a truck driver who works for a company?He drives a company truck,can he base his caculation for support on net income? We can’t afford any more lawyers and of course she is looking for more money! I’m the second wife and really tired of my kids doing without so her”s can have everything.Women constantly looking for more make me ashamed of being a woman. I’ve been on both sides of this issue, and firmly believe it’s the children of the 2nd family who are suffering.

  29. Hi Lorna – My hubby is a company truck driver as well and it is based on his gross income not net income. I feel the same way, my kids are going without a lot as well. I have also been on both sides and feel the same way that women like my hubby’s ex give the rest of us a bad name.

    Good Luck!!

  30. I see the banter back and forth in regards to support .. what I dont understand is has anyone thought of the children .. deadbeat mothers deadbeat dads.. Why does the parents tend to forget the children… I will not depend on someone else to do what I need to do and my children come first and for most regardless were the money comes from.. and if the father does not want to take part in my childs life with support of visitations I will not waste my money on court to fight it out of him… that money can be used for my child.. At this time Im dealing with my boyfriends ex who is constantly crying for money.. YET he pays support and more for his kids because to him his children mean the world to him… but it will never be enough for his ex because according to her not only should he provide for his children but he should also provide her lifestyle aswell … She has a new man now and a baby with him he makes more then my BF he can take care of her lifestyle since he is now part of it… But my BF will always be there for his kids regardless of her situation… I wish she would stop being a deadbeat mom and start taking responsiblity of her obligation too IT IS THE CHILDREN WHO are losing on this not her…
    I think that people lose site of what support is really for and end up fighting over $$ amounts when the price of a child is PRICELESS… think back to the day when your child was born the hopes and dreams and asperations you had for it and MAKE THAT HAPPEN!!!
    I will take responsiblities of my actions and I will acknowledge my obligation to my child…

  31. I am currently living with my fiance who has 2 children from a previous relationship. I have 2 kids as well, and I am widowed. He is in construction and with the payments he has to make, would never be able to make it on his own if it weren’t for me. Because of this, my two kids are suffering as my income is spent on plain surviving, with barely any help from my fiance, who has no money left after paying his ex. His ex seems to be raking in the dough, with enough money to take trips and buy herself new clothes all the time, as well as taking the kids out to dinner several times a week. I find it extremely unfair that child support payments are based on one income only, and gross income at that, and any raises the father gets automatically increases his payments. If I want to stay with my fiancee, which I do because I love him very much, I have to accept the fact that we will never get ahead no matter what. He is an excellent father and always meets his payments, but it is putting a terrible strain on our relationship. His second family is getting the bad end of the stick here.

  32. blended family his hers and ours. his pays the ex and ex uses the system when ever his says NO. 40% time kids with payor made no difference (ontario) taken to task for not telling her i got a raise….she did not tell me that she acquired a dozen different male role models(not at the same time) and could afford two rental properties boat trailer and tractor?? Different rules seem to be the norm. who wins in court kids NO, especially second marriage kids, Lawyers….Yes, It’s a living. P.S. Not moving to Alberta.


  34. Yes, Erika, in all likelihood. Are you sure you want to marry into this? If you do, just know that your husband’s first obligation will always be to the child you didn’t parent and don’t love.

  35. I have been divorced now for 6 years and since last November have not been recieving any child support. My ex is a truck driver who is living in his truck who has claimed income in past two years. He was to pay child support but he worked under the table driving a semi that he had in his brother’s name and stated to the court he was not employed. I paid over 5500.00 for my divorce and now have to go back to court because he has claimed income and is working openly for another company now and still not paying. He lives in his truck so he pays no rent but can not support his girls. I have had some people say “well you divorced him so you got what you wanted”. I did not ask to marry a man as self centred and drug addicted as this one turned out to be. Now is it again September and although i can meet all my bills the extras cause so much stress. School supplies and Christmas will usually bring me to my knees and it will be tough to make all ends meet. In addition to him not paying child support he doesnt even ask to visit them anymore and the heart break it has cause my youngest is hard to take. And this was a man who strongly criticized dead beat dads and vowed he would never hurt his children like this. This is not about me and him, this is about my girl’s quality of life and time is moving so quickly that it may be too late to salvage the relationships at all. His loss because his girls are incredible people.

  36. Well by reading most of these posts I must be considered a dead beat mom of 3 then!! I was at a stay at home mother for 14 years with my ex blessing I might add. We split Our children’s life went from 90 thous a year to 15 thous a year based on child support and spousal support being paid!!I went out to work for 7 bucks an hour leaving my oldest to tend to his younger brothers while at work (shifts suck at a low paying job)! My ex was way under the guidline amount I couldn’t afford a lawyer and his new g/f sister was his lawyer 5 months after we separated! I told him on many ocassion that the child support was not enough ! We ate eggs for supper for days in a row so I could make sure the hydro was not turned off! No i didn’t go on welfare! He laughed and said get a b/f to help!!! So to make a long story short it been a long 8 years since, I hid everything from kids that their father was a paying deadbeat, I had to claim bankruptcy had a mental break down and have been off work for 2 years now. I have no backbone and feel very bad for my kids, that I was always bullied back to a cornor with the ex threats of his new found family member the lawyer!!! Well that changed as of last year when my oldest was wanting to go to college, the ex always said when it came to school he would be there to get them through I hung on that for the children sake in all the hard times raising three children! I have a lawyer, I have guidlines now my oldest has nothing! The judge requested 2 years back time full guilines and he pay most of the schooling! As this was only a case conference, I’m off to my next court appearence for back time and schooling whose knows what is going to happen I’m stressed as for what I have read this could go on forever! One thing I know now though don’t wait to do it b/c the children could have had many other doors opened for them if proper child support was paid! If anyone cares wish my children luck my court date is fast approaching!

  37. I think the first problem is that many women (or men) use child support as a means to “punish” the ex for things they have done against them instead of seeing child support for its intended purpose, to help in raising your child(ren). I have read many of the comments above, the ex is supposed to suppliment and help in paying for your children, he/she is not to be the sole one responsible to pay those bills. There are ways to have the ex help pay for extras like sports or braces, the courts are at your disposal to help in getting payments for these things if he won’t agree, but you must expect that you will have to help foot the bill as well and the requests must be reasonable. You also have the choice of letting the non-custodial father/mother have more time with the kids, this will help ease your burden of doing it on your own and it will bring your costs down significantly and the biggest benefit is the kids get to spend quality time with both parents. I am a mother who pays child support to my ex husband for our two children. I am also the one who does all of the driving to see/pick up my children (which is every weekend and all holidays), I pay for their dental care, half of their clothing, school items and so on, camps while they are with me, lessons while they are with me and other important items. But I do not pay the full amount of child support because of the undue hardship claim. You do not have to be poor to claim this, you just have to prove that paying the full amount of child support would cause your standard of living to be lower than that of your ex spouse, but beware, you will have to divulge your entire household income and so will you ex, that means if you remarried, your new spouses income and your ex’s new spouse’s income will be included in the calculation.
    As for claims for support through the courts, you don’t need a lawyer if you can’t afford one, there is duty counsel to help you and if you do enough reading on the internet or elicit help at family law centres, you can do all of this stuff on your own.
    I have found lawyers only make things worse and take money away from your kids, the whole reason you are there in the first place.

    I find many women/men find every excuse to not let their ex’s see the kids and I don’t know why. It’s shameful and to all of you people out there that do that, take a good look at how you are affecting the people around you, it is not just the ex that you are hurting.

  38. Wow, shocked…I’m a firm believer that men are getting shafted but just didn’t know that there was so many more out there in the same position that my family is. I agree that father’s/mother’s do have an obligation to there children but that all cases are different and should be looked at individually as well as second families should be taken into consideration. In the best interest of the children is what they say…that should include all children not just the “first” family. Why is it that mother’s can continue on with their lives and have more children and not be penalized but father’s on the other hand get penalized every step of the way if they should decide to move on and actually have a life, new family etc…
    I could go on and on but most of you have and are in the same position as we are…
    I wish all of you best of luck when dealing with “Monster mother’s” they are giving the rest of us “good mother’s” a bad reputation.

  39. Last year my husband was notified by his ex-wife’s lawyer that she wanted more child support and threaten him if he doesn’t comply she will take him to court for retroactive child support for the last 16 years. He only makes $40,000 per year and paid $600 for two kids per month. She has declined to let him see the kids for 16 years, he has no relationship with them. My husband is NOT a deadbeat dad, has paid child support on a regular basis for 16 years – she lied when his oldest son quite college just so she could still collect – that also was a battle trying to get the overpayments back. Now his youngest son has turned 18 this past spring. He put a request in with FRO in June to have the child support end for July 1 – she refused – no explanation given as why – she doesn’t have to – instead FRO tells you to go to court and fight so you can spend lots of money. We found out in Oct that his son was working – never went back to school. He sent another request to stop child support still requesting a termination date of July 1 – she now has come back that she will only end it for Nov. 1 and is threatening him if he persues the overpayments she will request that he will have to pay for this schooling next year which is at a trade-school. What’s wrong with this picture???? Why did it take several request for him to get this finalized and nothing is done to her? I guess on the bright side it’s coming to and end and she’ll just have to get a job – no, she doesn’t work – what a surprise!! It’s sad, the only people who are fallen victims are the two kids, they don’t know or have a relationship with their father especially his wonderful extended family. They have truely lost out.

  40. Wow! Even after years of court battles and the help of good therapist to understand that life is not fair, I find it crazy that logic never enters the picture in trying to resolve support issues.

    We can’t be the only ones who “get the picture” when it comes to determining child support and Section 7 expenses and that the prices don’t increase to raise children as proportionate to an increase of pay that might occur. This is not to say that you should perhaps pay more for those section 7 expenses if you have considerably more income than the recipient or afford more for education. However, it fit’s proven that the recipient doesn’t work, chooses not to, doesn’t show initiative or has lied to cover up the facts, why shouldn’t there be punitive damages applied to them?

    What incentive is there for the “payors” to improve themselves so that they can at least have the same quality of life as the “recipient” if this initiative only “fuels” the recipients desire to go after them for more?

    My story:
    Married the guy I shouldn’t have. Live in Alberta. He’s associated to very bad people and never lets me forget the people he knows and what he is capable of doing. Nothing like some good mental and emotional abuse to keep you on your toes.

    After years of counselling (literally started when my son was 3 months old) starting in 1991 and ending in 2002 – I finally was able to gather the confidence, prepare myself mentally for what I knew was going to be a battle and I persevered in separating from my husband.

    It took me three years and $50,000 dollars before my divorce was final. This was paid mostly to lawyers but also psychologists & mediators for me, my ex and my son. Most of it was to combat the ridiculous games my ex was playing to delay the divorce and the manipulation he constantly displayed to all of these professionals was staggering! Let’s just say that nothing was beneath him (stalking, theft, vandalism of my personal property, cars, using my son to steal from me and using my son as a witness at the age of 13 to serve me child support papers when I was already paying – he thought I should pay more based on his guesstimate of my wages which were about $25000 more than what I make).

    At one point in May of 2004, (we had no custody order at that time), I went to pick up my son from his dads (he was 12) was told that I wasn’t going to get to see my son until I paid him more money. My son heard my ex say this – before he was told “to get back in the house – he was going nowhere”. I didn’t see my son for 8 weeks.

    We shared custody for one year after getting a court order in place. In Oct 2004 – we were back at the mediators to discuss child support. My ex wanted my son to live with him. he always told me he would take my son away from me. The mediator suggested that now my son was 13, his opinion would be considered by a judge if we were to go to court. If I fought it, it could end up with my son resenting me. What I wasn’t told she didn’t tell me is that this might not work out – which it didn’t. My ex actually brought my son to the mediation session. The mediator had to tell him how inappropriate this was.

    Against my better judgement, I reluctantly allowed my son to go live with his dad. Since November of 2004 I have not spent one day with my son. Haven’t had a holiday with him, no Christmases, no birthdays, and I get no appreciation or thank yous for any gifts I send. My family also doens’t hear or see him. This in itself has been the sole most hardest thing I have had to deal with. Up to the age of 11 – my ex rarely participated in anything my son did. According to his dad, I could “drop by the house anytime i wanted to to visit with my son”. What a ridiculous controlling behaviour.

    I pay my child support monthly. Actually overpaid now that the legal battles were over, I felt I could afford an extra bit each month. My ex still wasn’t happy and demanded that I enroll with MEP (thinking he could just submit whatever expenses he felt were reasonable). I warned him that if i did that, he would get less than what he is getting now. he told me to get a new lawyer and that I was full of crap. Unfortuantely, i was right and he was wrong. But somehow he has it in his twisted brain that MEP is pissed off at me because I am not paying what I am supposed to pay. He is delusional.

    so here we are again, heading back to a DRO so my ex can plea for more money. Let me be clear, my ex makes about $90000 a year. My ex has been successful in completely alienating my son from me and my family and regularly e-mails me telling me that If I was a decent mother, “I would pay more money.” yet doesn’t let me know about surgeries my son has to have, injuries, events, report cards, parent teacher interviews, awards, etc, etc.

    He is the perfect picture of PAS – Parental Alienation Syndrome and portrays himself to be some sort of victim financially. Narcissistic even.

    He served me papers last week – at my work for my 2006 tax return which I hadn’t done yet. Fair enough, I will get right on that. He also wanted reimbursement for S7 expenses for the last 3 years ( a common demand from him). He has consistently refused to provide me with his tax information or receipts to review for the equivalent years, so I cannot do anything.

    He continues to harass me for money, but it’s never enough. so this is the first step for him before he can take me back to court. He’s threatened to bring the last 3 years of e-mails between us. Funny but I was of the impression, we are supposed to bring financial information so I already know this will be an instant replay of the last DRO appointment for same in 2005 where he brought a letter and no financial information. We later went to court (another $7000) and he got exactly what we offered him prior to a DRO.

    He also made the DRO appointment without consulting me and it conflicts with appointments. I was told by Alberta Justice DRO clerk that I cannot change the appointment and that he was supposed to have talked to me about it. Again….I can do nothing because he lies. If I don’t show up, it looks bad on me. so I will attend, nothing will happen and we will waist the courts time and the DRO time. I know he won’t bring the financial documents because he doesn’t want to show me his income or verify he’s running a company on the side (which will affect the Section 7’s) but he still wants more money from me.

    It’s a joke and I am frustrated. Anybody have any ideas on how to handle this?

  41. Great article, it is so much more beneficial if both parties can come to a Collaborative Divorce or Uncontested Divorce, everybody wins in this type legal process! Especially if you can put one’s ego in check, and have a mutual agreement… Maybe even give a little and take a little less in some regards it might seem that your the one always giving more, but in the long run it will come back to you 10 times…


    Howard M

  42. Does anyone know if your child attends a “trade school” if you are still obligated to pay child support. My son wants to attend some sort of training, he’s 18 has not completed grade 12, no interest in completing it – not sure where this training will take place because the mother won’t tell me – it will be for heavey equipment training – she has also threaten me with the cost of the course which is 30 days at $10,500.00.

  43. Does anyone know of a loopwhole if your order doesn’t have an end date and the child is now going on 20 and supposed to be in college. Said child lives away in a different city then her mother’s and has a part time job and schooling is fully paid for by OSAP and grants. We stopped support when she turned 18 because we had no confirmation that she was enrolled at all full-time,still don’t. We had been paying the mother directly for quite a few years until she turned 18. We sent her and her lawyer a notice letter that we were terminating support because of insufficient information and confirmation that the said child was in school. They didn’t SHE re-enrolled with FRO just recently (cost her $50.00) because she wasn’t getting her way. We tried previous to that to come to an agreement with the mother of a set amount we would contribute and end dates and she declined…Low and behold now the FRO is now taking the money directly off my husbands paycheque with no notice to us until after the fact and now are threatening to seize his passport and license (which he needs both for his work) for the arrears that they say we owe. But she is almost 20, working, attending school (so we’ve been told) no confirmation away from home, bought herself an 8000.00 car with a line of credit and WHEN THE H— DOES IT STOP!!! We’ve been at this for 15 yrs as a couple and i’m about ready to snap. The order does not have any dates at all…if anyone has any suggestions it would be great. I’ve hired a lawyer, actually before all of this hit the fan to have a new order set but have not heard from them since Dec./07.
    To all you deadbeat mother’s GET A LIFE! and stop giving us good mothers a bad name. Move on for pete sake.

  44. I am the father of two girls with sole custody, the girls live with me and their mother pays child support, as her income has changed, i have not been informed of this change, i would like to see if the system can see the difference when a father has custody or the the mother.

  45. I don’t know why the system should be different just because you’re male rather than female. In either case, as the CP, you’re entitled to file a Petition to Modify and force Mom to disclose (if she won’t tell you voluntarily) what her current income is.

  46. Children of the 2nd family are the forgotten ones in all of this. In our situation the custodial mother chooses not to work but goes to school (for years and years). This is what she gets monthly from the father and from the Canadian Gov’t (who seem to think she’s entitled to money because she is lazy and doesn’t work to support her kids): $800 child support (paid by father, who has two additional children to support), $700 for extra expenses (paid 100% by the father), $616 for the Canadain Child Tax Benefit for low income families), $740 GST/HST rebate for low income families. Shoot, why would she work, money literally grows on tress for her. My husband makes 55K, but after paying taxes and paying her to go to school (cause we know none of it goes to the kids) we are left with a household income of 23,000 for the 4 of us. Shoot she brings in more than that by not working a day in her life! I have done the calculations and when I go back to work, it will take me and hubby BOTH WORKING FULL TIME to equal what she would bring home with all ther Low Income Subsidies with one person WORKING PART-TIME. Obviously we won’t get help with day care costs, our income wil be deemed too high. But if your a single mother with 2 kids in this country and choose to make only 17,000/year, well shoot you end up with a household income of approx. 41,000/year! Shoot thats like almost a 60,000/year job (after taxes)for a regular person! Oh, but it’s such a tough life for them………

  47. I’m in a situation where my husband is paying child support to his ex-wife who admits to working part time because she says that my husband will have to take care of paying for everything else for her. None of our money goes to my husbands son – it fact it goes to support her pathetic “dream” – it all gets spent on her. We are the ones that buy his clothes and his school needs, etc. In fact his son is afraid to ask her for any money at all as she has made him believe that she doesn’t have enough money. We are going back to court today as she packs for her trip to Mexico that she is leaving on in a couple of days. Not to mention she already has another trip to Miami planned – meanwhile we can’t afford to go out for dinner as the payments are so high. My husband got a promotion and because he works hard to better his life we have to pay her. His salary has increased slightly but the courts want to double the payments!! Did I mention that his son lives with us more than 50% of the time and that the days that she has him she usually gives him to her mom or stepmom or US to look after him?
    The laws are designed for deadbeat dads – this I completely agree with, however, each situation should be looks at on a case by case basis as any good dad that spends his time with his kids and truly cares about them gets completely screwed over! My husband’s ex cheated on him and walked out when their son was 6 months old. She couldn’t stay faithful and used to disappear for weekends at a time without calling. Why is it that she is getting a “salary” from my husband because she is too pathetic to do anything better with her life!!??!

  48. Oh I believe I forgot to mention above that when my husband got his divorce he took on all $50,000 of their debt so that she would be debt free and handed her $25,000 in cash in which she proceeded to go and get breast augmentation done!! Money well spent – NOT!

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