Can an Inheritance Cause A Change in Child Support?

Money from inheritance that may go to child support

The short answer to this is yes.

Inheritances do not form part of the property to be shared at the end of a marriage (
listen to this podcast for more), but the income on inheritances (for example bank interest or rent on an inherited property) is income for the purposes of child support (but probably not spousal support - listen to this podcast).  The sections of the Child Support Guidelines that cover how to calculate income, do not make any exceptions for income earned on an inheritance. 

Sometimes it can be difficult for a child support recipient to get information about an ex-spouse’s inheritance.  For obvious reasons, the support payer may want to keep that private.  However, Ontario Family Law requires child support payers to disclose information about inheritances that they have received.

When changing a support order that is not "on consent" (or agreed to by both parents) (here is a video on the process), Rule 13(4.2) of the Family Law Rules requires the support payer to serve and file a financial statement (together with tax Notices of Assessment for three years).  On that financial statement, the support payer is required to list all his or her assets (bank accounts, property, cars, etc.) whether they were inherited or not.

In addition, if the disclosure does not allow the support recipient to have a "full understanding of the other party's financial circumstances" then the support recipient can ask for the necessary additional information, which Rule 13(11) requires be delivered within 7 days or the Family Court can make an order requiring the disclosure.

Ontario Family Law Podcast - Episode 23 - Why You Need a Last Will and Testament

10 - Child Support - Who Pays and How Much?

11 - Child Support's Special and Extraordinary Expenses

In addition, at the same time as filing the financial statement to start the court proceedings to change support, Rule 13(3.1) of the Family Law Rules, requires the support payer to provide all the financial disclosure listed in
section 21(1) of the Child Support Guidelines. That disclosure includes a lot of information about what is available to the support payer from a testamentary trust.

Listen to this series of podcasts for more information on child support generally to make sure the amount of support is right.

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

You can get a lot more information about child support, the process to change a support order, and all the law involved (as well as information on most other Ontario Family Law issues) by downloading this $9.99 e-book for KindleKobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac or ordering the paperback versionYou can learn a  more about the family court process in general by watching this video or listening to these podcasts (iTunes version here).  

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But, to makes sure you are doing the right thing, and the support amount is right, it s always best to speak with a good family law lawyer Contact Certified Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, by emailing him, calling 416-446-4036 or using the form below to contact him.  We respond to all inquiries promptly.

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