Whenever British Columbia parents file for a divorce, both parents will be responsible for the welfare and care of the child. Regardless of whether they were in a common-law relationship or married, one parent typically has to pay child support. One of the first questions asked in such circumstances is regarding for how long child support must be paid.
Under the Family Law Act and the Divorce Act, child support must continue until a child turns 19 years old. Also, if the child is disabled or has an illness that prevents him or her from caring for themselves, the parent must continue to pay child support. Another situation in which a parent must provide for a child’s board, room and basic necessities of life even after his or her 19th birthday is when the child is studying at an accredited institution such as a technical college, university or college.
There are exceptions to these laws, and an unemployed child older than 19 years who continues to live in the home of the custodial parent may not necessarily be taken off child support. The court will consider the circumstances. If a child is not gainfully employed because he or she has not bothered to find a job, the court may order an end to child support. On the other hand, if the parent lives in an area known for high unemployment levels, ongoing child support might be ordered.
An experienced British Columbia family law child custody lawyer will be able to answer all questions about child support and other issues. If the custodial parent seeks more money, or the non-custodial parent wants a reduction due to financial hardship, a motion for child support modification can be filed. The support and guidance of the lawyer will be available. A skilled lawyer will assess the circumstances and explain the potential remedies to enable the parent to make an informed choice about how to proceed.
Source: familylaw.lss.bc.ca, “When does child support end?“, Accessed on April 5, 2017
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