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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 01-31-2011, 01:47 PM
Randi Randi is offline
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Default Another Child Support Question

I'm new here and have been browsing the forums but can't seem to find a situation close to mine.
My ex and I have been separated since June '09, I continued to live in our matrimonial home until it was sold in January '10, with our two children.
Once I moved to my own home with the kids, our SA (which was drawn up by our respective lawyers but not registered with the courts) stated that child support would be paid on the 1st of the month at $xxx.xx based on his line 150 the previous year. My ex provided me with 5 postdated cheques for the amount laid out in our SA. In July '09 my ex provided me 5 more cheques for a reduced amount of child support stating that he was not making as much money for the year so far therefore the amount laid out in our SA was an undue hardship. I accepted the reduction and life went on.
Since the end of Dec '10 the ex has been without work due to a layoff situation at this job (with no hope of getting his job back) therefore in the process of collecting EI. He has provided me with 2 postdated chqs for CS based on his forward projection of how much he thinks he is going to make this year.
My question is, is this how child support is calculated? Can he just adjust child support payments without amending the SA or at the least providing written notice that he plans to decrease the CS amount? As I am the CP of the kids and have a mortgage etc it would be helpful to plan my finances for the children each month instead of guessing how much my ex will pay.
Thanks for any advise/help any one can provide.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:12 PM
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billm billm is offline
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He should pay CS according to his income.

Your SA should clearly state how and when CS is adjusted to accommodate changes in income. If it does not, then your lawyers are idiots.

In my opinion, CS should be adjusted every year July 1, based on notice of assessment for the previous years tax returns.

In the case where large drops in income happens, it is up to that person to be able to handle these changes while waiting for the adjustment in CS to catch up. This is where I think there is a problem in that stupid/selfish people can't handle the concept of receiving or paying CS based on the previous years income levels when there is current drop in income - they need to realize that it will all work out in the end, and that it is fair, and they need to plan (ie have resources available) to handle these situations.

The yearly July 1 adjustment is only one way to do things, but also is the least complicated, as compared to estimating and adjusting on the fly and then retroactively balancing things out when the tax year is done.

The only problem that I see with automatic adjustment of CS based on yearly tax returns is that some people do not report all of their income, and in that case, another income amount should be used - though this is tricky because they are practically admitting to tax fraud. The key is that the payor and recipient both have the idea that CS should be based on actual income and if the tax return does not represent that, then an alternative should be used.

Last edited by billm; 01-31-2011 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:22 PM
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Hi BillM

Our SA does clearly state that the adjustment in CS should occur by July 1st after we have exchanged our Notice of Assessments, but clearly my ex is on his own schedule.

I guess my question should really be, how should I proceed if I'm not happy with the way he is handling the decrease in payments? As I mentioned the SA is not registered with the courts as we didn't go to court so therefore there is no one really "controlling" the way the CS should be paid and/or adjusted. Is FRO (I'm in Ontario) the way I should proceed?

I just was wondering how other people handle their ex's loss or reduction of income?

Thanks
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:28 PM
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Just follow what the SA agreement says. I think a lot of people would think that was the best way and most simple way. You've agreed to it and have it in a signed agreement. Simple.

Now he is not following the SA, which he should be and has no excuse not to.

I would tell him that he needs to follow the SA (and make up for arrears).
I would threaten to hand it over to the FRO (after registering it with the courts).

I think that any other solution would have you wondering for ever what was going to happen next and shows him that he can mess with CS. What the hell is he thinking anyway - the SA HE signed says to adjust yearly in July, which will handle his changes in income - he must be one of those stupid people...they drive me crazy!
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:29 PM
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You can also tell him to join this forum - the members will set him straight pretty quick!
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:43 PM
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Well he is definitely "one of those people" ahem............

Anyways, there is a clause in the SA that states in a nutshell that is a variation because of material change -- basically in addition to the yearly review either party can seek a change in CS due to undue hardship, I believe this is where he "feels" it is his right to just change things up when necessary.

I'm assuming (which I shouldn't do as I'm new to this) that if he didn't change any amounts, paid the amount as stated in the SA, that when we exchanged NoA's that if he overpaid CS I would owe him back the difference?

So I guess I will speak to him about this and let him know that if we can't resolve this amicably I will have to register with FRO.....
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:52 PM
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"undue hardship" is determined by a Judge - not your ex.

Personally, if joe blow and his cousin were allowed to hide behind that one based upon their own "opinion" what do you think would happen.

My ex causes me undue hardship every day I think that I should get extra for that.

On the other hand - FRO is not fun to deal with from all that I have heard on this forum. But - yes - if you have no other recourse - then register your separation agreement with the Courts - get a "domestric contract" number (I believe) and send it on to FRO - make sure that they calculate the arrears correctly too.

And btw - I agree with billm's handling of updating CS annually.
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:56 PM
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Agreed, thank you both. I just needed some confirmation that I was handling things in fair way and that indeed the ex needs to follow the rules laid out in the SA that he signed.
I have heard horror stories about FRO too which is why I am hesitant about involving them.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:20 PM
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I'm assuming (which I shouldn't do as I'm new to this) that if he didn't change any amounts, paid the amount as stated in the SA, that when we exchanged NoA's that if he overpaid CS I would owe him back the difference?
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:34 PM
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Nope - that's what Billm was trying to say - yes, you are always 6 months behind - but in the end - it all works out in the wash.

What if his income were to go up? Would he "make up" for the amount he underpaid from Jan 1 to Jun 30?
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