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Old 01-26-2014, 09:35 PM
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Default New Member - Child Support Issues

Hi all, new member here, looking forward to reading everyone's posts and hopefully gaining information and insight into my own issues.
I have been divorced for 12 years, have three kids: son 22 lives at home, twins 19 - boy and girl, both living away at post secondary school. My child support order was made 14 years ago, and has never changed. He has always refused to provide his income tax assessment,and has never paid any extraordinary expenses. (Our relationship was abusive, so I did not push him for any) Even though the kids are all over 18, he is still paying the same amount, because neither of us have contacted the courts to have it changed. I have been told by one lawyer that he will have to pay retroactive the amount he should have been paying (as the tables changed during this time, as did his income); and I've been told by another lawyer that I will end up owing him money. I know it's not helping, but I have been dragging my feet getting this done, probably because I know his reaction will be anger and he will aim that anger at the kids. Any opinions and input would be appreciated. Anyone else in a similar situation?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:42 PM
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He shouldn't be paying support for the 22 year old. You would owe him for this.

He should be paying for the two in school. He may owe back support due to increase in income for them.

Since you don't have his financials, you don't actually know if he has had an increase in income. Presumably he has over such a length of time, but not everyone has enjoyed regular income raises to meet the rate of inflation. It is not possible to say exactly what he might owe.

If you sought retroactive increase, as far as I know from case law, you would be limited to going back 3 years. You certainly would not be able to go back 14 years.

How many more years will the twins be in school? What is the amount you are receiving for 3 children? What type of job does your ex have, and what would you estimate for his current income?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:51 PM
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One of the twins has two more years university, and the other has one more year of college. It's difficult keeping them in school even with OSAP because he has not contributed anything towards school expenses. My ex works in a factory, is unionized, so they get raises every three years when their contract renews. At the time of our separation in, he was making roughly $38,000 and I've been receiving $732 a month support. My son actually took one year off after high school before going to college. Does this affect whether he's still eligible for support? And can any support go right to them instead of me?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:58 PM
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Usually taking one year off school won't make a difference.

If the children live with you, then support should go to you. If the children live on their own, there may be no support due at all, or it may go directly to them, or it may go to you but you would be responsible for the bulk of their expenses. It depends on the details, and it depends on the judge.

If you wanted to open this up in court, this is what I believe you would expect:
  1. The courts would go back three years to examine his income;
  2. You would owe him back support for the 22 year old, this would subtracted from anything he owed you;
  3. He may owe some support retroactively for the twins, due to increased income;
  4. The retroactive support would have the amount you owe him for the 22 year old subtracted;
  5. It's not clear if he would actually owe you much;
  6. The courts would say that he should share about 1/3 of the school expenses, you should pay 1/3, and the children should pay 1/3
  7. This is not carved in stone, but most court decisions are like that.
The kids would be out of school in 2 years anyway. Is it worth the legal costs?

One thing the courts would ask, why have you not sought any increase until now? They would not see that the ex is at fault if you did not ask.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:54 PM
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You are behind by not receiving help with tuition and not having annual increases in regular CS. You are ahead by receiving CS for the oldest child when you should not be.

Presumably your ex is aware of the school status of the children, and knows he should be paying for only two kids. Presumably he is aware that he should have been helping with tuition and updating his CS. That he chooses to do nothing implies that he is in the better position and should owe you money.

What you have to do is decide if that is correct or not, and if the money he would owe you would be worth the hassle of getting it out of him.

Do you have any way of determining what his income actually might be? Maybe you can inquire with his workplace or find out from job advertisements or things like that. With that extra information, you can figure out what portion of tuition he should be paying, and what the CS amount should be and make your decision.
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