Child Support

Parents have a legal duty to support their children whatever the parenting arrangements. The definition of a ‘child’ includes persons under the age of 19, persons actively pursuing post secondary education, and persons who cannot support themselves, usually as a result of disability or illness. In all cases except for persons under 19 that definition is to some extent qualified by the ability of the parents to support a child.

If the child or children live primarily at one parent’s residence then that parent is entitled to support. If the parents have equal time but one party has a lower income, that parent is entitled to support.

It is important to note that child support is the legal right of the child. The amount of child support can either be agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court. British Columbia has child support guidelines which determine the amount of child support owed based on the parents incomes. That amount may be adjusted in situations where it would cause undue hardship or where each party has the child more that 40% of the time.

In these situations a fair balance needs to be struck. Sometimes parties hide income or property in order to pay less. An experienced lawyer is able to critically review balance sheets and statements of income and expenses, and isolate those areas which should be disputed from those where there is no basis for a dispute. David Bellamy has been a lawyer in the area of family law since 1978. He has the knowledge and experience to help.