Child support in arrears: Getting compensated with interest
Have you been suffering and struggling to pay for the things your child needs because your ex-spouse’s child support payments are in arrears? The Family Maintenance Enforcement Act (FMEA) Regulations in Canada discuss how you can collect these funds and how they’ll be treated, so you know how much money to expect. For instance, did you know that the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) can charge daily interest on unpaid maintenance? If the payor is receiving income assistance, that won’t be charged, but otherwise, the maintenance fees will continue to rise.
When interest is added to the bill, it goes onto the gross bill at the end of the month. Then, that amount becomes the amount owed to the recipient. The next month, the interest is charged again on the full amount, charging even more over time. It’s possible for a payor to request that the court reduce or eliminate interest on late payments, but it’s the court’s decision on whether or not the interest is grossly unfair in the individual situation.
As a recipient, the good news is that when the payments are made, the interest, if it’s not reduced or dropped, will be paid to you, not to the Canadian government. This means that when you’re finally paid, you’ll actually receive more money than you were expecting in the first place.
Supporting a child on your own is hard enough, but these funds should be provided to you as designated by the court. If you have trouble accessing them, then FMEA is there to give you a way to seek that compensation.
Source: British Columbia Ministry of the Attorney General, “A Guide To The Family Maintenance Enforcement Program,” accessed June 16, 2015
Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators
2755 Lougheed Hwy #710, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 5Y9