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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 02-28-2013, 04:04 PM
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Default Challenging the child support tables... possible?

There has been a quite a bit made of the inequity of the Child support tables and I recently found some documentation that shows that the cost apportioning for the children used by the tables includes costs that are dealt with under section 7 of the guidelines (There is a thread I started in the financial forum that shows the effect).

I'm still doing some research into the process that was undertaken in the early 90s to confirm a few things, but my question is how would someone challenge the table amounts that are attached to the Guidelines?

An act of Government is unlikely since most politicians would probably consider it political suicide and won't touch the subject, so what are the options if any?

Does the inclusion of costs that are covered under section 7 make the Tables "Ultra Vires" or beyond the powers of what the tables are intended to be? Would someone have to appeal an award of child support under those grounds?

Would it have to be a proceeding at a higher court claiming that the Guidelines are a violation of section 7 of the CRF (slightly weak argument unfortunately)?

Would someone have to bring a class action lawsuit against the Government?

Is it possible? is it worth it? I'm seriously considering pursuing this but I'm not sure how.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:58 AM
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So I thought I would at least get "You're crazy! There's no point." from some people or a "Go for it! The system is broken". I'm surprised no one had an opinion.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:54 AM
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I'll throw in a few comments on the topic...

I understand the thinking behind having a simple mechanism to decide child support BUT like most payors I honestly think the numbers are way too high especially given that they are "after tax". Especially for higher income earners, I feel that much of the CS is really disguised spousal support but without the tax break !

The implied logic that parents who have less than 40% access have "nil" child related costs is also ridiculous !

Like you said, politically I can't see the government changing it ("they are taking away money from poor children ") so a court challenge could give the govt a scapegoat.

I suspect it would have to be overturned by a senior court which means it could be very expensive. However, perhaps you could find a law firm which would take on the case "pro bono" in order to reap the benefits of the media attention ? You could also try and get a class action lawsuit and ask for donations - I suspect most payors would be glad to throw in a few dollars in the hope of getting something fair.

In my opinion....

-CS should be deductible to the payor and taxable to the recipient

-for higher wage earners especially amounts need to be scaled back and actually reflect EXTRA cost of the children

-eliminate the arbitrary 40% line in the sand and have the "offset" principle apply for ANY amount of access the other parent has. For example, a parent who has 35% access should get a break vs a parent that NEVER sees the child.

-should be a mechanism that if a payor believes CS funds are being spent on the recipient parent rather than the child it can be challenged

Sadly, I don[t think the odds of success are high BUT if no one complains it will never change so I honestly hope you are able to do something to try and make the system not punish payors ruthlessly in the "name" of the child's best interest.

Just because a payor is divorced shouldn't mean he/she has NO RIGHTS in this country. When I was married the govt couldnt DICTATE the amount of money spent on "child support"; why should it change just because a couple divorce ?. Honestly, convicted criminals have more "rights" than a divorced "payor" in this country !!!

Last edited by shellshocked22; 03-05-2013 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingDad View Post
So I thought I would at least get "You're crazy! There's no point." from some people or a "Go for it! The system is broken". I'm surprised no one had an opinion.
I'm curious, and I hope you don't mind answering my questions.

How much do you make?
How many kids do you have?
How many overnights per week do you have your kids?
How much do you pay in CS?
How much do you pay in Section 7?
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:35 PM
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If you sit down and explain the guidelines and their rationale to ANY intelligent person in this country who has not experienced them, they will almost universally agree there are problems with it.

This is a sign that these laws after 15 years do not fit the expectations, perceptions and needs of Canadians today.

However no one will ever be able to legislate change that is perceived to take money away from kids UNLESS the money is going to the government instead.

Consider the tax set up today... the PAYOR pays the taxes on the child support so that the government can maximize the tax revenue they receive from the family by taxing the biggest earner in the family at the maximum marginal tax rate they can. If the payee had to declare it as taxable income the government would likely never see any tax paid on the money since most payees have a ton of tax deductions for their children.

A very small example of why it is strictly against the government's interest to do otherwise.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FightingForFamily View Post
Consider the tax set up today... the PAYOR pays the taxes on the child support so that the government can maximize the tax revenue they receive from the family by taxing the biggest earner in the family at the maximum marginal tax rate they can. If the payee had to declare it as taxable income the government would likely never see any tax paid on the money since most payees have a ton of tax deductions for their children.
Very interesting, never even thought of it that way.

In my case, where I get half of the summers but normally have an EOW schedule, I need to have a room for our daughter. Yes I "could" have her sleep in my bed and me on the couch, but at some point that is not in the childs best interests. So now not only do I have to pay for a roof over our daughters head at her moms place but also one at our place. The main difference is food costs, as actual transportation for our daughter is minimal and transportation meant for my ex to work (not that she does) should be her issue, as I have to get to work as well. I enroll our daughter in summer camps and some weekend activities at my cost, but my ex always wants money for these things when our daughter is with her.
Its not like an access parent has no child related costs. We have clothing for our children, a roof to put over their head, food to feed them and so on and so forth. When a large chunk of my income is going to support her at my ex's, they should be eating well every night but my ex like many (but not all) spend the CS on themselves and they see it as something for them and not the children.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by billm View Post
I'm curious, and I hope you don't mind answering my questions.

How much do you make?
How many kids do you have?
How many overnights per week do you have your kids?
How much do you pay in CS?
How much do you pay in Section 7?
I don't mind...

I make in the area of 70K
I have 3 kids
I have them (with vacations and holidays) just over 30% of the time, but that isn't final yet
I pay $1300+ in CS
Goes up and down, but hasn't been bad the last little while. Summer will suck with camps and such since I pay 85%+ in s.7

SD
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:10 PM
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Basically if all parents were willing sharing the actual cost of children, there will be no need for CS regardless of the amount of access you have. That would also stop the parent trying to have the child higher than 50 just for the money.

The issue is that even today there is a lot of parents who would not pay their share eventhough it would be only for the child.

Money is always an issue and the cause of most problems. The problem rely with the parents.

Face it, remove divorce from the equation, take a business that is own by 2 good friends. Relationship broke and you bet that each of them will fight fro their portion.

One of them will even manage to get a bigger portion or even make the other one loose everything.

There is some couples with children that divorce and maintains it equitable and have preserve the respect towards each other. Unfortunatly this is not the case for most people on this forum.

After experiencing this venture and dealt with someone that was completly unreasonnable and that resulted in complete destruction where there was no need for.

Nobody can give the ideal solution both parents themselves.

As long you expect that a third party needs to solve your problem, it will not be to your liking.

Same as 2 of your children fighting and coming to you for your support, you will force them to make peace and ask both of them to give in a little.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireweb13 View Post
Its not like an access parent has no child related costs. We have clothing for our children, a roof to put over their head, food to feed them and so on and so forth. When a large chunk of my income is going to support her at my ex's, they should be eating well every night but my ex like many (but not all) spend the CS on themselves and they see it as something for them and not the children.
Agreed, in another thread I outlined that almost 50% of my monthly budget can be attributed to my access time with our son.

I don't have enough money to put a roof over my son's ahead, and I never will as long as the ex rides the spousal support wagon. I have $550 per month in my budget for housing. Even at that rate, I am overdrawn by almost $400 per month.

My son's access time is only good because of the generosity of my parents and my girlfriend who welcome him into their homes. Lord knows I can't provide anything for him. It was his birthday this month, and simply to host a party for 4 guests with some food and loot bags put my rent onto overdraft.

My computer has been broken for 2 months and I can't afford to fix it. It's very frustrating living this way. I have a perfectly good income (60k+) that vanishes into other people's coffers so that I am living in poverty.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellshocked22 View Post
I'll throw in a few comments on the topic...

I understand the thinking behind having a simple mechanism to decide child support BUT like most payors I honestly think the numbers are way too high especially given that they are "after tax". Especially for higher income earners, I feel that much of the CS is really disguised spousal support but without the tax break !

The implied logic that parents who have less than 40% access have "nil" child related costs is also ridiculous !

Like you said, politically I can't see the government changing it ("they are taking away money from poor children ") so a court challenge could give the govt a scapegoat.

I suspect it would have to be overturned by a senior court which means it could be very expensive. However, perhaps you could find a law firm which would take on the case "pro bono" in order to reap the benefits of the media attention ? You could also try and get a class action lawsuit and ask for donations - I suspect most payors would be glad to throw in a few dollars in the hope of getting something fair.

In my opinion....

-CS should be deductible to the payor and taxable to the recipient

-for higher wage earners especially amounts need to be scaled back and actually reflect EXTRA cost of the children

-eliminate the arbitrary 40% line in the sand and have the "offset" principle apply for ANY amount of access the other parent has. For example, a parent who has 35% access should get a break vs a parent that NEVER sees the child.

-should be a mechanism that if a payor believes CS funds are being spent on the recipient parent rather than the child it can be challenged

Sadly, I don[t think the odds of success are high BUT if no one complains it will never change so I honestly hope you are able to do something to try and make the system not punish payors ruthlessly in the "name" of the child's best interest.

Just because a payor is divorced shouldn't mean he/she has NO RIGHTS in this country. When I was married the govt couldnt DICTATE the amount of money spent on "child support"; why should it change just because a couple divorce ?. Honestly, convicted criminals have more "rights" than a divorced "payor" in this country !!!
I share a lot of you frustration.

When the family law committee set up the tables it increased the average awards over 30% right at the same time that the Supreme court came down with the decision that CS was no longer Tax deductible, so the net effect is in the range of a 50% swing in favour of the recipient all at once.

The biggest problems are the cost ratios and the lack of recognition of direct costs incurred by a support payer with less than 40%.

The cost ratios are a huge deal because the apportion the support payments based on all costs of the support recipients family (including those that should be s.7 and Adult only Costs).

Part of my question was is this something that could be challenged under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
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