Getting a court order for child support when a former spouse is living outside the province or even outside the country was once a tricky situation. However, British Columbia now has agreements with all provinces and territories. Agreements also exist with several other nations that will honor child support and spousal support arrangements fashioned in the region.
The province wanted to make sure both parties involved in the process were treated fairly and that, if needed, both people could present any evidence before the order was entered. The former process could be long and arduous. So, B.C. provincial and supreme court judges discussed the matter with the provincial Ministry of Justice, which culminated in a new way of doing things — the Interjurisdictional Support Order Act (ISO).
Lawyers in the process, appearing as a “friend of the court,” should be at the ready if the case goes to trial. However, lawyers, except for Surrey and Vancouver Robson Provincial Courts, appear by video or can phone in. Standard forms are also now available to help in the timely preparation of any child support orders.
The average decision time on an application has been reduced from more than 20 to 9.3 months. Not one form has been put off without a set date since the new process has been in place. The process continues to be evaluated.
British Columbia residents who experience child support issues would do well with the guidance and experience of a family law lawyer. He or she knows the ins and outs of the process in place regarding the legalities of child support. A lawyer will be able to offer solid advice on how to address any issues.
Source: provincial court.bc.ca, “Dealing with child support issues when one parent lives outside BC,” Accessed on Sept. 11, 2017
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