Canada Family Law
Have a Canadian Family Law Question? Ask a family lawyer.
Hello, thank you for the question.
What province are you in?
It doesn't matter how many different orders there are, sometimes too many will cloud the issues. As long as the most recent order is a final order and is clear about what the payor must do, then you should be fine.
What does this most recent order say about child support and income disclosure?
Is the ongoing support being collected through your provincial support enforcement agency?
Is the support being enforced through your provincial support enforcement agency?
If the order says he's to pay, then you should register it with provincial enforcement. They'll go after him to collect it for you. They are slow, but they do it for free and have more powers than you do to make him pay.
If he's not following the order, you take him back for contempt. That's not complicated, but has to be done exactly correctly, so go to court and get some help from duty counsel or from the legal aid family law clinic (if there is one) to fill in the paperwork and direct you what to do next. You don't have to have a lawyer for that. It's recommended of course but you can do that on your own.
Here's the website for BC enforcement:
If the child is "disabled" then support for the child should still flow. Getting spousal support this long after separation will be dicey but you can make the claim if you wish. Talk to the legal resources available at court about that.
Does that make sense?
If he's ordered to provide his income information in the existing order or agreement, then you have to take it back to court for enforcement of that term. It's not very difficult, but a motion for contempt has to be drafted very precisely.
He may be taking the position that support should end now that the child is now 18. But support can continue past that.
If you haven't already registered the enforcement with your provincial agency, that's the first thing you should do. They can't change the order or force his disclosure requirements, but they'll start to make efforts to collect from him. Even if he doesn't have a regular employee paycheque, they'll get his attention with threats to have his drivers license suspended and his credit rating affected.
The court doesn't monitor compliance with the orders it makes. The parties have to bring it to the court's attention.
Does that make sense? Anything else to discuss about this?
Doing the documents, completely and correctly, is half the battle. You shouldn't have to spend thousands of dollars to have a lawyer sit next to you for three hours waiting to get called into court to speak for five minutes leading to the inevitable adjournment.
You'll get good value for your law dollars if you get a decent law firm to do just the paperwork for you. Call around to find one, if the firm has an admin or clerk who is good with documents then that person would be doing the lion's share of the work anyway. That shouldn't cost you much, but if you're bringing a motion for contempt or to vary, it's extremely important to have your paperwork be perfect. If you are doing a financial statement (which you likely will if there are extraordinary expenses to be split), then get your attachments together first because that always holds things up. You'll need your last three years worth of your Notices of Assessment from CRA and proof of current income, as well as receipts or accurate estimates of the costs you want the court to order him to contribute towards.
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