How does Covid-19 impact your child support payments?

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Your not alone if your financial circumstances have changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic – everyone’s lives have been turned upside down. Many people have lost their jobs, others are working at a reduced rate, businesses have shut down and even the City of Vancouver is contemplating bankruptcy.

Our Vancouver child support lawyers can help reduce child support payments due to Covid-19 if the pandemic has impacted your ability to otherwise make your monthly child support payment.  Contact us now on info@nasserallan.ca to speak to an experienced Vancouver child support lawyer.

Are your monthly child support payments too expensive due to Covid-19?

If you have a court Order or agreement regarding child support, that court Order or agreement should be followed – the terms cannot be unilaterally terminated or varied just because of the Covid-19 situation.  This means if you are able to make your child support payments, you should continue to do so.  Child support is a right of your child’s and it is in your child’s best interest that there be no unnecessary disruptions to child support payments during Covid-19, if possible.

However, it may not be possible to meet your child support obligations during the Covid-19 pandemic due to job loss or reduced workplace hours.  Many fields of employment are not easily transferrable to a home environment, which is why nearing 500,000 Canadians have signed up to receive unemployment insurance.  Despite our government’s Emergency Response benefit and various provincial support programs, many families are in the same boat when it comes to making monthly child support during the Covid-19 pandemic, as covered by Global News. 

If you are unable to make your monthly child support payments due to Covid-19 through no fault of you own, first try reaching an agreement with your co-parent for alternative child support arrangements during Covid-19, and do so in writing.   Under the Federal Divorce Act, an existing child support obligation may be varied when there is a ‘material change of circumstances’ since the original order was made.  A loss or reduction in employment ought to give rise to a review and variation of an existing support obligation. If you need help reaching an agreement to change the terms of your monthly child support during Covid-19, contact us for help.

If your monthly support payments are registered with the province’s Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), try contacting the case officer assigned to your file to discuss whether alternative child support payment options can be made during Covid-19.  As stated on the FMEP website, child support enforcement actions have been relaxed due to Covid-19 and alternative arrangements, such as partial payments, may be accepted on a case by case basis.

Can’t reach an agreement on reducing child support due to Covid-19?

If you cannot reach an agreement with your co-parent or FMEP case officer to reduce your child support obligation during the Covid-19 pandemic, a court order may be required.  While BC courts are closed aside from urgent matters, as set out in this blog, matters relating to children may be classified as urgent. Before making an application we strongly recommend seeking legal advice from an experienced family law lawyer as to whether your fact scenario will be considered “urgent” by BC courts.

Contact our Vancouver child support lawyers if you need to urgently reduce or vary your BC child support obligations due to Covid-19.  Our Vancouver child support lawyers are essential service workers and we are available via video or telephone conference to discuss your options to vary child support during Covid-19.  Email us now on info@nasserallan.ca.

If your monthly support payments are registered with the province’s Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), try contacting the case officer assigned to your file to discuss whether alternative child support payment options can be made during Covid-19.  As stated on the FMEP website, child support enforcement actions have been relaxed due to Covid-19 and alternative arrangements, such as partial payments, may be accepted on a case by case basis.

Can’t reach an agreement on reducing child support due to Covid-19?

If you cannot reach an agreement with your co-parent of FMEP case officer to reduce your child support obligation during the Covid-19 pandemic, a court order may be required.  While BC courts are closed aside from urgent matters, as set out in this blog, matters relating to children may be classified as urgent.  Before making an application we strongly recommend seeking legal advice as to whether their fact scenario is “urgent” from an experienced family law lawyer.

Contact our Vancouver child support lawyers if you need to urgently reduce or vary your BC child support obligaitons due to Covid-19.  Our Vancouver child support lawyers are essential service workers and we are available via video or telephone conference to discuss your options to vary child support during Covid-19.  Email us now on info@nasserallan.ca.