Child Support and Spousal Support – Barrie & Toronto
Child support, spousal support and property division are aspects of family law that can be complex and challenging to find a resolution. Whether you need to pay child or spousal support or deserve to be paid support, having a reputable family lawyer in your corner to help guide you through the process will ensure your rights are protected and the process goes as smoothly as possible. And if you are in a position where you own property together and can’t decide on how to divide it, a skilled family lawyer can help you get the results that are best for you.
There are many different factors that need to be considered when it comes to child support, all of which can be made easier with the help of an experienced family lawyer. Some of the most common factors include:
- Amount of monthly support
- Length of time payments are to be made
- Financial disclosure of the paying party
- If there are any retroactive payments that need to be made
- The definition of a significant change in circumstances
- How the support will be paid
- The allocation of funds for future needs
- Extraordinary expenses
Ex-Spouse Is Not Paying Child Support
If your ex-spouse is not paying child support as agreed, there are steps you can take to address the situation. Here are some actions you can consider:
- Communicate: Start by having an open and honest conversation with your spouse about the issue. Sometimes, misunderstandings or financial difficulties can be resolved through communication.
- Seek legal advice: Consult with a family lawyer to understand your rights and legal options. They can provide guidance on the steps you should take based on your specific situation.
- Contact the Family Responsibility Office (FRO): In Ontario, the FRO is responsible for enforcing child support orders. You can register your support agreement or court order with the FRO, and they will help ensure payments are made. They have various enforcement mechanisms at their disposal, such as wage garnishment, seizing tax refunds, and suspending driver’s licenses.
- File a motion to enforce: If your spouse continues to neglect their child support obligations, you can file a motion with the court to enforce the support order. A judge can order your spouse to pay the overdue amount and may also impose penalties for non-payment. This is not applicable in every situation.
- Modify the support order: If there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a job loss or change in income, you or your spouse may be eligible to request a modification of the child support order. This can be done through a family court.
- Keep records: Maintain thorough records of all communication, payments received (or not received), and any relevant expenses related to your child’s care. These records can be valuable in legal proceedings and help demonstrate the extent of non-payment.
Remember, it is crucial to seek professional legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances. A family lawyer can provide you with the most accurate guidance and represent your interests effectively.
Spousal support is another issue in a separation or divorce that can be challenging without professional legal help. When two people have been married or living common-law for a number of years, the one with the lower income is recognized for their contribution to the relationship by Ontario Family law. Having a skilled family lawyer in your corner will ensure you pay the correct amount of spousal support or receive the correct amount of support.
Some of the factors that determine spousal support in Ontario, include:
- Will the support help a former spouse become financially independent through educational courses or retraining?
- Is spousal support required so the lower income former spouse can maintain a reasonable standard of living compared to what they had during the marriage?
- Will a former spouse suffer serious financial consequences because the breakdown of the marriage caused them to give up a career or not pursue promotions and other financial benefits?
- The length of the relationship and the difference in the level of income between the two parties.
Spousal Support Not Being Paid by Ex-Spouse
If your ex-spouse is not paying court-ordered spousal support, there are several steps you can consider taking:
- Review the court order: Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the spousal support order, including the payment amount, frequency, and duration. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the obligations your ex-spouse is legally bound to fulfill.
- Communicate with your ex-spouse: Start by reaching out to your ex-spouse to discuss the issue. Sometimes, miscommunication or financial difficulties can cause payment delays. Diplomatically express your concerns and remind them of their obligation. Maintain a record of your communication, such as emails or text messages.
- Document the non-payment: Keep a detailed record of missed payments, including dates and amounts. It’s crucial to have a record of these instances, as it will be helpful if you need to escalate the matter later.
- Seek legal advice: Consult with a family law attorney who specializes in spousal support cases. They can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your rights and options. They may recommend sending a formal demand letter or pursuing further legal action.
- Send a demand letter: If communication with your ex-spouse doesn’t yield results, your attorney can draft a formal demand letter. This letter should outline the missed payments and provide a deadline for payment. Sending a demand letter can demonstrate your seriousness about resolving the issue.
- Petition the court: If your ex-spouse continues to refuse or neglect their spousal support obligations, you may need to file a motion with the court. Your attorney can guide you through this process, which typically involves providing evidence of the non-payment and requesting enforcement measures. The court may take actions such as wage garnishment, asset seizure, or holding your ex-spouse in contempt of court.
Korhani Law Can Help
Our goal is to approach each situation with an open mind and compassion, to ensure your needs are met and the best interests of your children are protected. We want to minimize long-term conflict and family disruption so the entire family can move into the future with peace of mind.
For a skilled, cost-effective family lawyer in Barrie and the surrounding area, book a consultation at (705) 230-2550 or online here.