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Ontario Family Law Act

Section 37 - Application for Variation
(1) An application to the court for variation of an order made or confirmed under this Part may be made by,
(a) a dependant or respondent named in the order;
(b) a parent of a dependant referred to in clause (a);
(c) the personal representative of a respondent referred to in clause (a); or
(d) an agency referred to in subsection 33(3).

[You can apply to vary an order for child support or spousal support.]

(2) In the case of an order for support of a spouse, same-sex partner or parent, if the court is satisfied that there has been a material change in the dependant's or respondent's circumstances or evidence not available on the previous hearing has become available, the court may,
(a) discharge, vary or suspend a term of the order, prospectively or retroactively;
(b) relieve the respondent from the payment of part or all of the arrears or any interest due on them; and
(c) make any other order under section 34 that the court considers appropriate in the circumstances referred to in section 33.

[The test on a variation application is a "material change in circumstances."]

(2.1) In the case of an order for support of a child, if the court is satisfied that there has been a change in circumstances within the meaning of the child support guidelines or that evidence not available on the previous hearing has become available, the court may,
(a) discharge, vary or suspend a term of the order, prospectively or retroactively;
(b) relieve the respondent from the payment of part or all of the arrears or any interest due on them; and
(c) make any other order for the support of a child that the court could make on an application under section 33.

(2.2) A court making an order under subsection (2.1) shall do so in accordance with the child support guidelines.

(2.3) Despite subsection (2.2), a court may award an amount that is different from the amount that would be determined in accordance with the child support guidelines if the court is satisfied,
(a) that special provisions in an order or a written agreement respecting the financial obligations of the parents, or the division or transfer of their property, directly or indirectly benefit a child, or that special provisions have otherwise been made for the benefit of a child; and
(b) that the application of the child support guidelines would result in an amount of child support that is inequitable given those special provisions.

(2.4) Where the court awards, under subsection (2.3) an amount that is different from the amount that would be determined in accordance with the child support guidelines, the court shall record its reasons for doing so.

(2.5) Despite subsection (2.2), a court may award an amount that is different from the amount that would be determined in accordance with the child support guidelines on the consent of both parents if the court is satisfied that,
(a) reasonable arrangements have been made for the support of the child to whom the order relates; and
(b) where support for the child is payable out of public money, the arrangements do not provide for an amount less than the amount that would be determined in accordance with the child support guidelines.

(2.6) For the purposes of clause (2.5)(a), in determining whether reasonable arrangements have been made for the support of a child,
(b) the court shall not consider the arrangements to be unreasonable solely because the amount of support agreed to is not the same as the amount that would otherwise have been determined in accordance with the child support guidelines.

[The court will generally follow the child support guidelines.]

(3) No application for variation shall be made within six months after the making of the order for support or the disposition of another application for variation in respect of the same order, except by leave of the court.

[You can't keep running back to court - you have to wait at least 6 months.]

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HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

Obtained Spousal Support
A client came to Behrendt Law Chambers to represent her in a divorce against her self-employed husband. Her husband refused to pay her spousal support, claiming that his business was not earning much money. We managed to show that his business was earning more than he claimed and obtained spousal support for his client.

Defended Spousal Support Payor
This is an era of record high spousal support awards. In one recent case, a judge awarded 60% of the family income to go to the wife as combined spousal support and child support for 2 children. Nowadays judges don't ask whether there is an entitlement to spousal support, this is assumed. The judges only ask "how much spousal support?" Behrendt Law Chambers has represented many spousal support payors, and successfully minimized the amount of spousal support they needed to pay. Given that the amount of spousal support awarded is such a grey area of family law, this is one area in which a good lawyer can make a difference in your case.
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