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Ulysses101, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 3561
Experience:  11 years experience in Canada family law, plus criminal, civil, and employment
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I have been divorced for 7 years now. My mother passed away

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Hello. I have been divorced for 7 years now. My mother passed away last year and I will be receiving an inheritance in the near future. My ex wife is under the impression that the inheritance is something to be factored in to my child support payments. I pay my child support based on my income calculated by the Department of Justice I and am of the impression that child support is based exclusively on income. My question is, can my inheritance be a factor in child support payment? My ex wife if insisting that my monthly payment be significantly increased, or a lump sum payment made. Nowhere in the will is my ex wife even mentioned. What is the legal opinion in a matter like this? Many thanks in advance. Andrew

Hello, thank you for the question.

Approximately how much are you paying now, based on what income, for how many children?

How much approximately do you stand to inherit?

The law gets fuzzier as the numbers get larger, so I just want a general idea of how much we're talking about here.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Right now I am paying $375.00 per month based on a $25K a year income. The estate is not finalized yet but a rough estimate is between $80K and $90K.

I understand.

You're right, the child support is based on your income. You pay on the $25K under the guidelines, as you've observed.

In Canada, an inheritance is a windfall, not taxable income, and not income for the purposes of child support.

If you invest the money and your income goes up because of it then with that higher income you'd pay more support. So indirectly an inheritance can bump up the child support. However, we're not talking millions of dollars in an inheritance. Even if you invested $100,000 at 4% return annual (which would be a pretty solid return in this market), your income would then go up by $4000 per year, add that to your other income, and pay support based on that total. But if you used the inheritance to pay off debts then your income wouldn't go up at all.

I asked about the size of the numbers because that's important. Let's say that I inherit a billion dollars and plop it into a chequing account that pays zero interest and I quit my job planning to simply spend from that billion for the rest of my life. Yes, my income is zero. But no judge would say that I should pay no child support.

Does that make sense? I'm here if there's more to discuss or if you have question or comment. If I've answered you I'd appreciate a positive service rating please. Ratings are how I get paid by the site for helping its customers.

Ulysses101 and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Many thanks for the fast response and confirmation of my legal position.

My pleasure to assist. Thanks for the rating, and good luck.