Life is unpredictable, and circumstances may change for British Columbia parents who are divorced. Loss of employment, unexpected medical expenses and more can lead to financial difficulties that might render a parent unable to pay child support. However, stopping payments altogether can exacerbate the problems, and it might be more appropriate to seek modification of the child support order.
Only a judge can alter a child support order, even if negotiations with the other parent lead to an agreement to lower the amount. That agreement must be presented to the judge with a motion to change the child support order. Neglecting to get such a modification authorized by the court can lead to enforcement action.
Child support enforcement can take place in several ways, one of which is a garnishee summons issued by the court that will order the person’s employer to withhold federal salary or pension. If other enforcement methods fail, a person might receive a notice of intention to suspend his or her federal license or passport. If no arrangements are made to pay the owed amount, such suspension might follow.
All these enforcement measures might be avoided with the support and guidance of an experienced family law lawyer who can answer all of your child custody questions. Consulting with such a professional as soon as financial difficulties may lead to a solution. A British Columbia lawyer can help with negotiations with the other parent, motivating a motion for modification of child support in the court, or negotiate payment of owed amounts with the Maintenance Enforcement Program. A lawyer can also obtain information on active enforcement proceedings from the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Unit and suggest available remedies.
Laughlin & Company Lawyers Mediators
2755 Lougheed Hwy #710, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 5Y9
Source: justice.gc.ca, “Resolve Enforcement Issues“, May 12, 2017