Child Support – The Ties That Bind
Matthew Katsionis, Vancouver Family Lawyer
It’s a question often asked about child support: Is there any way to get out of having to pay?
Child support is the right of the child, not the spouse who receives it. Prospectively paid month-to-month, and based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines correlated to the spouse’s income – typically Line 15000 of their tax return (formally, Line 150) – child support in most cases involves payment on the 1st of each month.
Before exploring support parameters in more detail, it’s worth examining the conditions under which it occurs.
It is a common misconception that parenting time must be an even 50/50 split. In situations where parenting is shared, each party must have parenting time with the child(ren), ranging between 40%-60%. In situations of shared parenting, child support for the payor ultimately results in what is known as a “set-off.”
A typical example: Spouse A is required to pay $500 in child support to Spouse B, Spouse B must in turn pay $300 in child support to Spouse A. The resulting set-off is $200 ($500-$300) owing to Spouse B.
Is there a Situation Where Neither Party Pays Child Support?
Oftentimes, spouses have close to, or identical incomes. In such instances, parties can agree that their income equivalency results in zero child support payable. Worth noting though: child support is updated annually, and if income levels change, so too will the support arrangement. The same applies if there is a material change of circumstances such as parenting schedule or the earning capacity of a party. The bottom line? As circumstances are ever-evolving, so too is child support. And contracting out of it is never an option.
If you are looking to calculate the amount of child support you would have to pay or receive, check out our free child support calculator or contact one of the lawyers at Crossroads Law who are experts in complex child support cases. They can offer the best advice on how to plan for your children’s future post-separation / divorce. Contact us today for a free twenty-minute consult.