A man who lived with his family in Canada for several years before getting a divorce and then moving back to the United States is unhappy about a difference in Canadian child support laws that could result in him making payments for far longer than he thought he would have to. Unlike in British Columbia, child support payments typically end in most states in the U.S. when the child reaches the age of 18.
After faithfully making child support payments for 15 years, he stopped making his $300 monthly payments after his son and daughter became adults. However, he soon realized his error when he received a letter from a state agency notifying him that he owed his ex-wife almost $3000 in back child support payments. The man says that he has inquired about the costs of returning to court to have the child support payments ended, but has been told that the likelihood of having the payments ended remains uncertain. Although his 20-year-old daughter does still live at home with his ex-wife, his 22-year-old son has moved out and is attending college.
Even though the man is a citizen of the United States, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ensures that the participating countries honor the legal decisions made in other partner countries in the event of a dispute. In addition to the ongoing cost of paying child support for his adult children, the father indicated that the temporarily unpaid child support also negatively impacted his credit.
Dealing with complex issues like child custody can be made even more difficult when the two parties no longer reside in the same country. A lawyer may be able to help a client negotiate a more agreeable arrangement.
Source: Rapid City Journal, “Pierre man protests paying perpetual child support“, Joe O’Sullivan, April 05, 2014
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