Family Law Blog

Our Separation Agreement is About To Expire, Does My Ex Still Have To Pay Child Support Until Our Child Turns 18?

child-support-torontoChild support is the right of the child.  Parents generally cannot deprive a child of his or her right to child support.  Further, a child's right to child support can go past the child's eighteenth birthday.   So, just because a separation agreement or child support agreement ends, the obligation to pay child support does not. Even if parents agree that child support will end on a certain date, that does not mean that child support will end.  

Ontario Family Law Podcast


10 - Child Support - Who Pays and How Much?

24 - How to Have a Valid and Enforceable Separation Agreement

40 - How to Keep Your Money in Separation and Divorce

Section 33(12) of Ontario's Family Law Act says that if a parent brings the issue of child support before the Court for a child under the age of 18, the court will only make an Order that is different from the Child Support Guideline Tables  if the child support arrangements benefit the child as much, or more than, the amount payable under those tables.  Any agreement that suggested child support should end before a child turns 18 or becomes 17 years old would clearly violate that provision.


One of the biggest mistakes people make after separation or divorce is not paying child support because not paying support really upsets judges.  So, for as long as a child is entitled to support, the paying parent should just pay it, whether there is an agreement or not.  Of course, the payor parent should make the payments in such a way that there is a record of having made them (no cash!) so that the other parent cannot go back and ask for the same child support again.


For more information about how child support works, watch the child support video below, or listen to this episode of the award winning Ontario Family Law Podcast.


Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law - 4th edition cover


You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including a comprehensive explanation of 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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Paperback available from:

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To make sure child support is right in your case, speak to a top family law lawyer about your rights and options. Child support is the right of the child.  Contact Certified Specialist in Family Law (and author of the book above), John Schuman, by emailing him, calling 416-446-5847, or using the contact form below.  We answer all inquiries promptly and we can arrange for you to come in quickly for a consultation (charged at a reduced hourly rate).


Many thousands of people get family law assistance from this website everyday.  If you have found this page useful, please share it on your social network using the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons at the bottom of the page.  Please comment on this page using the comments section at the bottom to share your thoughts on the child support issues after separation and how to best to protect the children.


How Do I Convince A Family Court Judge That My Ex Is A Bad Parent?

child custody


Concerns and differences about parenting are a frequent cause of separation and divorce.  Alternatively, concerns about changes in a spouse’s behaviour can lead to the end of the relationship and even mental health concerns.  Added to that is the fact that separations often occur when one spouse believes the other is a bad persons, which can lead to concerns about what the children are learning from the example being set by that parent.  All of these concerns can mean that when parents separate, one or both of them can feel that it is best for the children if they have little contact with the other parent.

 

Ontario Family Law Podcast

7 - Custody of the Children - what it means and how it is decided

15 - Family Court Step by Step - Part 2 - From First Appearance to the last appearance before trial

17 - Sole Custody, Joint Custody, Shared Custody- How do Judges Decide?

19 - What To Do If A Child Won't See One Parent

27 - Domestic Violence- The Critical Information

35 - Resolving Children's Issues Outside of Court

However, moving out and taking the children, or otherwise acting unilaterally to prevent the children from seeing the other parent can get a parent into big trouble in Family Court.  If children are going to be denied post-separation contact with a parent, then invariably, the parents will be heading for Family Court – perhaps on an emergency motion to restrict or allow a parent to have parenting time.

 

Any parent going to Family Court on one of those motions has to convince the judge that he or she is right to get the order he or she wants for the kids.   Obviously, to get the desired order, a parent has to know how to be convincing on parenting issues while in Court before the judge.  Here are some tips on how to get the right parenting order including, where necessary, showing the judge that the other parent is a bad parent:


1.Family Court judges are not interested in how one parent feels about the other parent – even if that parent has been wronged.  Ontario (and Canadian) Family Law says that all a judge is consider is what is in the child’s best interest.  A parent who is focused on the children’s perspective and best tells the judge what the children need will be the parent who wins. The parent who appears focused on him or herself will lose in Family Court.


2.Parents have to base their case in evidence, not suspicions.  Judges don’t care what people think or what their concerns are – no matter how terrible one parent believes the other parent may be.  Judges only care what the evidence says.  They need to see proof.  Judges will not base a decision on suspicions unless there is some evidence those suspicions are correct.


 

3.If a parent has not screwed up yet, there is no basis on which a judge can say that he or she is a bad parent.  The only exception to this is where there is objective evidence (not just the other parent saying) that a parent has threatened to harm the children or has said things that sound like he or she might let the children be harmed.  Other than that, it is necessary to create an opportunity for a parent to make big parenting mistakes – but obviously in a way that the children can be protected from any real harm.  Than can require some careful planning, and perhaps some ideas from an excellent family lawyer.


4.Judges view parents who try to undermine a child’s relationship with the other parent as a bad parent.  They believe it shows poor judgment.  So, if there are texts, facebook posts, tweets, instant messages, emails or other evidence of a parent saying bad things about the other parent, or trying to undermine the children’s relationship with the other parent, that can convince a judge that the parent sending them is a bad parent. Judges can also view not doing enough to make a child go for parenting time with the other parent as an indication of bad parenting. 


police-lights

5.Domestic violence, against any family member, is also a sign of bad parenting. Section 24(4) of the Children’s Law Reform Act specifically requires a judge to consider all forms of domestic violence when evaluating parenting.  However, judges will not like any party who makes false or exaggerated claims of domestic violence to get an advantage in Family Court.


6.Domestic violence is not the only form of conflict that harms children.  The evidence is clear that creating parental conflict in front of the kids actually does brain damage.   Creating or exposing children to parental conflict is bad parenting.


7.Finally, it is almost certain that a judge will view a parent who defies court orders, or will not cooperate with a parenting coordinator, as a bad parent.  But, again, a judge will not assume that a parent will breach a court order unless there is some evidence of the parent doing so in the past or there is clear of evidence of the parent’s intention to breach an Order (or defy a parenting coordinator).



The key to convincing a judge, even on an emergency motion for child custody, is to have evidence of a parents bad parenting and to express those concerns from the child’s perspective – how do the concerns negatively impact the child.   Once that is established, it is important to tell the judge, in light of the parenting concerns, what parenting arrangement is in the child’s best interest so the judge can order it.

Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law - 4th edition cover

 

You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including a comprehensive explanation of the Family Law related to parenting after separation, child support, 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.

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Paperback Available on:

Paperback available on Amazon

 

However, if protecting the well-being of your children should always be your top priority.  To get the best advice, specific to your situation, you should speak to family lawyer.  Certified Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, is known for his concern for children in separation and divorce and has won many child custody cases.  To contact John, call 416-446-5847, email him , or fill out the form below. You can use the same form to comment on this page.

 

Many thousands of people get family law assistance from this website everyday.  If you have found this page useful, please share it on your social network using the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons at the bottom of the page.  Please comment on this page using the comments section at the bottom to share your thoughts on the best ways to resolve matters for your children after a separation. 

 

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