Our child support lawyers know that monthly Child Support in BC applies to all parents who reside all over British Columbia. Child Support laws also apply to you if you are a parent who does not live in BC but your child primarily resides with the other parent who does reside in BC.
There are three element you should consider when it comes to monthly child support in BC:
- Are you a Parent and if so, do you have to pay Child Support?
- What types of Child Support are there?
- How much Monthly Child Support do you have to pay in BC?
Who is a Parent for the Purposes of Monthly Child Support in BC?
The BC Family Law Act states that a parent includes:
- the natural parent of the child,
- the guardian(s) of the child and also,
- the child’s step-parent.
Therefore, if you were just a step-parent for a child and later separated from your spouse, you may have to pay monthly child support in BC.
The Family Law Act says that the primary responsibility to pay child support is the responsibility of the natural parent regardless of whether his/her ex-spouse decides to remarry or have a common law relationship with another individual. Therefore:
Your monthly child support in BC does not end because the other parent remarries.
Monthly Child Support in BC for Step Parents
However, imagine this scenario:
You and your ex-spouse have a child together. Your income is $50,000 per year and your ex-spouse’s income is $50,000 per year. Since separation, your child primarily resides with your ex-spouse (more than 60% of the time). In this scenario, you can go here and calculate your monthly child support in BC. You would have to pay $458 per month plus 50% of the child’s extraordinary expenses.
However, imagine this scenario: your ex-spouse begins a relationship and later marries another person. That person becomes your child’s step-parent. That person earns approximately $100,000 per year. After a few years, your ex-spouse and this person separate. In this situation, your ex-spouse can apply for child support from you and also the step-parent.
The BC Family Law Act states that the primary responsibility for child support lies with the natural parent so you will have to continue paying child support as long as the child primarily lives with your ex-spouse. If you are paying $458 per month, your ex-spouse may advance another claim again the step-parent to “top up child support” because the step-parent makes more money than you. So your ex-spouse may ask the step parent to pay an additional $400 because the child is used to a higher standard of living while the step-parent lived with your ex-spouse.
The BC Family Law Act says that the step-parent’s duty to pay child support is secondary to that of the child’s natural parents and guardians, and extends only as appropriate on consideration of:
the standard of living experienced by the child during the relationship between the step-parent and his or her spouse,
the length of time during which the child lived with the step-parent.
Please also note the limitation of time under which a parent can advance a monthly child support in BC claim against a step-parent:
A child’s step-parent does not have a duty to provide support for the child unless:
- the step-parent contributed to the support of the child for at least one year, and
- a proceeding for against the step-parent, is started within one year after the date the step-parent last contributed to the support of the child.
What types of monthly child support in BC are there?
There are two types of child support:
- The Monthly Child Support: this type of support is to cover the basic living expenses of your child including food, shelter and day-to-day expenses. You can determine the amount of monthly child support you or your ex-spouse would have to pay by clicking here.
You will have to pay child support based on your income. If you own a company and therefore have both corporate and personal income, the court will take both incomes in to consideration to see what your ability to pay child support is. For more information, click here.
This is when ‘retained corporate earning” arguments come to play to reduce child support. In these situations, it’s best to seek the assistance of an income evaluator or corporate evaluators. Family lawyers are familiar with corporate income and the best evaluators to choose for your family law case. For more information, please contact us.
The other type of child support is payment for s.7 or Special and Extraordinary expenses.