Financial Disclosure and Child Support
Every parent has a legal duty to support their dependent children to the best of their ability. That’s why financial disclosure and child support are so intimately connected.
After the breakdown of a marriage and as parents begin to go their separate ways, custody and access issues must be determined to ensure that both parents continue to have the optimal level of involvement in their children’s lives.
These discussions will typically include the issue of child support.
Child support payments differ from case to case and depend upon a variety of factors, including the custody arrangements to which both parents have agreed.
Generally speaking, the parent that looks after the child(ren) the most is entitled to support from the other parent (payor).
Anyone who applies for and/or is receiving child support payments, is entitled to full financial disclosure of the payors’ finances every year. This ensures that the appropriate child support table amounts are being allotted.
Usually this information is shared willingly, however from time to time the parent mandated to make these payments may be less than cooperative. Withholding the requested financial information is characteristically how this is exhibited and, in order for the matter to be resolved, the other spouse can commence a court proceeding. Once the matter is before the court, a judge may impose some very significant penalties, including dismissal of the payors’ case and issuing a contempt order against them as well.
Sometimes, however, the payor does provide the requested information, however it surprisingly indicates that they are suddenly unemployed, under-employed or have even declared bankruptcy.
When this comes to the attention of the other parent, they may ask their lawyer to commence legal action to remedy the situation. To make a determination about whether or not to impute income, the court would scrutinize the payor’s education, work history and earning potential. Often, a judge will come to some approximation of what he or she believes the payors income should to be. The court will then use this figure to determine how much child support the payee should be receiving.
Once a court order is issued for Child Support in Ontario, it is automatically filed with the Family Responsibility Office (FRO): the government office responsible for enforcing such orders. Subsequently, the payor must forward all Child Support payments directly to the FRO who will, then send the money directly to the payee.
If you have an existing Child Support order that is not being respected or want to know more about Child Support and your rights, we can help. Book a private consultation with Gelman & Associates today – (416) 736-0200 or 1-844-736-0200.