There are several factors that judges consider when deciding how much a parent should see a child. Whether a parent is paying child support is NOT one of them. In fact, a parent denying access for anything other than safety concerns can get that parent into trouble with the court. Child support and access are separate issues.
If you want to make sure a parent pays child support, the best thing to do is to negotiate an enforceable separation agreement and file it with the Court for enforcement or get that parent to agree to a court order for child support. If that order sets out a specific monthly (weekly, bi-weekly or annual) amount then the Family Responsibility Office will collect the support. However, an agreement that says the other parent will pay certain expenses in lieu of child support is not as good as an agreement (or court order) that says that parent will pay you a specified amount of money that covers those expenses because the Family Responsibility Office will only collect amounts of money that are clearly set out in a court order or separation agreement. When a parent does not pay the support that is set out in an order or agreement, the Family Responsibility Office can garnish that parent’s pay and bank accounts, take away his or her driver’s licence, or even put that parent in jail.
For a discussion of child support, and parents avoiding child support, listen to this episode of the Ward and Al Show.
This question shows how issues in Family Law can seem to intersect and be related. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. Confusing what issues are related and what ones are not can get you into trouble. If you want a resource that covers all the main topics of family law, and provides some advice as to how to succeed in getting what you want in or out of court, get a copy of this easy-to-understand book on Ontario Family Law.
Your best option, especially for tricky issues such as this one, is to speak to a good family lawyer who will give you advice specific to your specific circumstances and give you (or your girlfriend) a plan to solve your problems. Contact Certified Specialist in Family Law, Toronto Divorce Lawyer, John Schuman, at 416-446-4035, or by email, or using the contact form below.
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You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including a comprehensive explanation of parenting cases (parenting time and decision making), child support, spousal support, property division, and most other common family law issues by downloading this $9.99 Kindle eBook, Kobo eBook, or iBook for your iPad or iPhone or ordering it from Amazon as a paperback. But to understand how the law works precisely in your situation, it is always best to speak to a good Family Law Lawyer.
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