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In family law, we are seeing a growing number of clients with multiple ex-spouses and children from past relationships. These clients bring with them new challenges for family lawyers. For example, clients may want to have the same parenting relationship, or may they wonder why their child support obligations are so much greater than that of their children’s arose from one relationship. It is important for a client’s dispute over custody, access and support.
A parent paying child support must support the Child Support Guidelines’ table amount of child support. Understandably, some customers may think this is unfair, because it requires them to pay a higher amount of child support than they otherwise would have had. For example, a customer who makes $ 45,000 per month for two children in the same household. By contrast, They Would Be required to pay $ 406 per month for Each of two children if They Were in separate Households, total gold of $ 812 per month.
Is there an argument to be made for splitting the $ 644 table amount and giving one half to each child’s household? The general answer is « no. » The courts said that the Child Support Guidelines assumes « economics of scale »; that is, the cost of supporting children under the roof. The Guidelines assumes that all children are living under the same roof, and therefore the guidelines should be applied separately to the household.
A client may be able to pay a reduced amount of child support if he or she can show that paying the child support table for multiple households will cause him or her undue hardship. The threshold for proving is hardship is very high. Nonetheless, it may be considered that they may be financially struggling to maintain their child support obligations, particularly if there are other factors, such as a high debt load.
With respect to custody and access, step-or-half-siblings’ relationships with each other may be an important factor for a judgment determining what parenting is in the child’s best interests. Conversely, where a child has a prior relationship is endangering the physical or mental wellbeing of the child at issue, a short that the child should not live with that half- or step-sibling. This was the case in AA-L. v. ML Where the mother’s form child’s aggressive tendencies Reviews towards the parts ‘child Was a factor in the court’s determination que le parts’ child shoulds Primarily resides with her father.
A client’s history with respect to their current claims regarding their custody and access or even support. In Venco Lie , the court ordered a lump sum child support payment part of the payor had a history of child support arrears for his child of a relationship.
SEM v. JJR aptly decided by Justice Jennifer MacKinnon, is an excellent example of how a client has a relationship with children. In this case, the court was asked to determine custody, access and child support for the parties’ only child. The father had two daughters from a previous relationship, for which he shared joint custody and had them on an alternating weekly basis with the children’s mother.
At the trial, the first wife has a relationship with the family . This and other evidence concerning the father’s relationship to the child is highly relevant to the court’s decision. On the issue of child support, the father and mother of the child .
In an interesting twist, the father and the first wife had a relationship with their husband and wife.
Paula Lester is an associate at Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP ( www.nelligan.ca ) and a member of the family law practice group. Her practice includes drafting domestic contracts and advising on family property, support and custody / access matters.
This article originally appeared in the May 27, 2016 issue of The Lawyer’s Weekly
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