One of Our Teenagers Moved In With My Ex, What Happens to Child Support?

Child support is a common area of contention amongst former spouses, and variations and changes to child support amounts are common. Watch the video  below on how child support is payable, by who to whom, and how much.  It is always good when parents pay child support consistently and reliably.  Although, a parent can come to rely on that support continuing, which is not something a teenage child may take into account when deciding to change homes.   The teenager may move to be closer to friends, or to school, or because the “rules” are better with the other parent.   In unfortunate circumstances, a child may move because the support paying parent lures the child just to avoid paying support – a move that can backfire because children are often more expensive  than child support (especially teenager children) and there can be a big emotional backlash if the teenager figures out the true motives.  Regardless, having one of your children change households constitutes a ‘material change in circumstances’, an event that can trigger a review of child support payments.

It is very important to consult with a lawyer in these circumstances to determine what the proper child support arrangements should be. If support is being paid pursuant to a court order, the process is more complicated and the video below explains the steps required to change a support order. If there is an order in place, it is necessary to talk to a lawyer before changing arrangements.  If you do not change your order properly, you could find yourself owing a massive retroactive child support payment – even if you thought you and your ex had a “deal” on child support. 

Despite the change of living arrangements, child support will still be payable according to the Child Support Guidelines. And payments will still be made based on the number of children in each household. Since your son is now living full-time with your ex-spouse, you will have to pay him child support based on your income, and your ex-spouse will continue to pay table support to you for the child that lives with you, based on his income. There will then be a ‘set-off’ and the whoever has the higher support obligation will get a credit for the amount they are due. For instance, if you owe your spouse $200 per month in support, and he owes you $500 per month, there will be a set-off and your ex-spouse will pay $300. However, this example is simplistic and real cases involve more calculations. As well, if there are s.7 expenses, there will have to be a reapportionment of them, which is a more complicated exercise.

To learn even more about child support, you may want to get a copy of this easy-to-understand book on the basics of Ontario Family Law as a paperback, or as a $9.99 e-book for KindleKobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac.  You may also want to listen to this podcast or watch this video. You can also use the search on the right to find lots more articles about marriage and divorce.

Child support can get complicated, and it can involve a lot of money  To make sure that child support is right in your situation, contact Certified Specialist in Family Law (and author of the book to the left), 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).

 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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