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Last week Jane Thomson posted a blog about requirements for annual income disclosure for child support payors and recipients. What happens when you do get that income information and changes in income require a change in child support? Now that most of us employees have completed our annual taxes, it’s a good time to reassess child support.

If you and your co-parent have a Separation Agreement, it likely provides the method for changing child support. You will likely have to enter into an amending agreement which provides for the new amount of child support that is payable.

If support is paid pursuant to a final court order, enforceable by the Family Responsibility Office, it becomes a bit more difficult. Either party will have to bring a motion to change, on consent or otherwise. A new court order will have to be made and then forwarded to the Family Responsibility Office.

Interestingly, as part of the 2014 budget, Ontario has proposed the creation of on-line service for parents to apply for changes in child support amounts that would avoid the need to return to court. This could potentially be a much more effective way of making changes in child support orders, particularly were the parties want to do so on consent. Ideally, the service would be a simple method to quickly change support amounts. The service could be operational as soon as 2015.

We’ll be keeping our eyes on this new proposal. Currently, changing child support orders is costly and time consuming. We’re hopeful that in the future the whole process can be a little easier.

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This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2021 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

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