Child & Spousal Support

Parents have a legal duty to support dependent children.  Spousal support is conditional on entitlement, whether it be compensatory or non-compensatory grounds.

Vancouver Child Support Lawyers

Laura Allan and Nassim Nasser: Top-notch Vancouver LawyersOur experienced Vancouver child support lawyers can assist you with all child support matters including calculating and obtaining guideline child support, collecting arrears of child support, enforcing and varying child support orders.   We have an extremely high rate of success resolving even the most complex child support issues and a track record of satisfied client’s.


Your parenting arrangement will determine who has obligation to pay child support.

In shared custody situations or where the payor parent has the children more than 40% of the time, set off child support will apply. 

When determining income, the court will generally look to a payor spouse’s line 150 income as reported on their T1 General Tax return for the most recent tax year.

The Federal Child Support Guidelines provide a framework for imputing income in the case of self-employed individuals.

Who Pays Child Support?

All parents have a legal responsibility to financially support dependent children.  Child support is a right of the child’s and it’s purpose is to assist in your child’s day-to-day child related expenses.  The parent who is primarily caring for your child is entitled to receive a monthly amount as determined by the Child Support Guidelines.  If your child resides with both parents equally, then an analysis must be made to account for the appropriate amount of child support, often referred to as “set off” child support.

What are s.7 Special Expenses?

Child support is different to special or extraordinary expenses, commonly referred to as “Section 7 expenses”.  These expenses are paid in addition to base child support and are meant to cover things such as daycare, recreational sports, medical, dental and other special needs.  These expenses should be shared in proportion to each parent’s income.

Modifying Child Support Orders

It is possible to modify child support orders when circumstances change.   Two common scenarios warranting a change child support include a change the payor’s income (either increase or decrease) or a change in the custody arrangement (ie. you pay full child support but now your child lives with you more than 40% of the time).

Changes to child support orders must be done legally and with the approval of the court otherwise a party may later find themselves facing a substantial child support arrears charge.  Our family law lawyers can help you determine if your child support order should be changed.

Non-Biological Parents & Child Support

Non-biological parents, ie. step-parents or even individuals who have cohabited with a child, may have an obligation to support children after separation.   This may be the case if the step-parent has stepped into the shoes of a biological child, this can be the case whether the parties are married or in a common-law relationship. In determining whether a non-biological parent has stepped into the role of a parent for support purposes, a court will analysis the role and relationship between the child and the non-biological step-parent or individual and consider whether that relationship is akin to a parent/child relationship.

We suggest drafting an co-habitation agreement if a non-biological step-parent wants to ensure they avoid this unintended financial liability when cohabitation with a new spouse.

Child Support Articles

Child support Covid-19

Child Support Payments & Covid-19

If your financial circumstances have changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic you may need to terminate or vary your child support payments.

common law separation and financial disclosure

What is Financial Disclosure in Family Law – What Documents to Give Your Ex?

Financial disclosure in family law is critical to the success and resolution of all family law cases.  Without it, parties cannot fairly negotiate, litigate, or have productive discussions regarding their property or support issues.

child support and university expenses - Judicial Case Conference - JCC

Child Support and University Expenses for Adult Children – Explained by Our Vancouver Divorce Lawyer

If your case involves child support and university expenses, act quickly. Waiting and not applying to change child support may be prejudicial to your case.


Vancouver Spousal Support Lawyers

Whether you are seeking spousal support or think you are entitled to spousal support, our experienced Vancouver spousal support lawyers are highly skilled at ensuring you obtain a fair spousal support judgment.  Our years of experience mean we have the skills necessary to resolve complex spousal support claims as efficiently as possible, without sacrificing results.


To receive spousal support, you must first prove entitlement.

The amount and duration of spousal support is impacted by the duration of the relationship, parties age, respective incomews. 

Quantum and duration of spousal support is based on SSAG (Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines).

Lump Sum spousal support is not tax deductible, whereas Periodic Spousal Support is tax deductible at the payor’s hands.

What is Spousal Support?

Spousal support, sometimes referred to as alimony, are payments made by one spouse (generally the higher income earner) to the other spouse, under a separation agreement or divorce order.  The purpose of spousal support is to help the economically disadvantaged spouse continue to maintain a similar standard of living as that enjoyed during the relationship.  The duration of the relationship, the role of the parties, and the age of the recipient spouse upon separation are all factors which play into the amount and duration of the award, if entitlement is proven.

Entitlement to Spousal Support

Just because you were married or in a common law relationship does not necessarily guarantee a right or entitlement to spousal support.  Spousal support is not meant as a punishment for bad behavior duration a relationship, nor is is a reward for having tolerated your ex during your relationship.  An award of spousal support is discretionary and the recipient spouse must first establish entitlement to the award.  Entitlement will largely depend on the role the parties took during the relationship and relieving any economic disadvantage resulting to one party due to that role.

Considerations in Spousal Support Awards

British Columbia courts will look to the following factors when determining entitlement, duration and amount of any spousal support awards:

  • length of the marriage
  • relative earnings and estimate earning capacity of each spouse,
  • age,
  • physical, mental and emotional conditions of each spouse.

Temporary or Interim Spousal Support

You may be left wondering how to pay your bills or buy groceries in the months and weeks following separation, especially if your role in the relationship was primarily as a stay-at-home parent.  Temporary or interim spousal support orders are just that – interim orders based on rough justice to help  you make ends meet until you receive a final order.

Spousal Support Termination and Modifications

If there is a major change in the financial situation of either party, the court can order a modification or termination of a spousal support order.  This may be the case when  the circumstances of either party have changed since the original order, such as one party suffering financial difficulties or the other spouse no longer requiring the same level of support.

Spousal Support Articles

costs in court, divorce lawyer vancouver, JCC, Judicial Case Conference, marriage-like relationship, common law relationship

Am I in a Marriage-Like/Common law Relationship? Find out what our Vancouver Family Lawyer has to say

Our Vancouver-based family lawyer, Nassim Nasser, explains how the duration of your relationship can impact your family law case and what factors to look for to ascertain if you are in a marriage-like/common law relationship.

retroactive spousal support, financial restraining order

Can you Vary Your Separation Agreement and Obtain Retroactive Spousal Support?

Spousal support refers to payments made to a former spouse after separation. In some cases, a party may claim retroactive spousal support to recoup support that should have been paid by a payor spouse back to the date of separation.   Prior to obtaining retroactive spousal support, you will have to first satisfy the court that you were […]

Vancouver Interim Spousal Support Lawyers

It is important to remember that there is no automatic right to spousal support, the need for spousal support and the ability of the payor to pay support are important considerations. GET URGENT AND INTERIM SPOUSAL SUPPORT When determining whether an interim support order is appropriate, the court will consider the individual fact circumstances of […]


Send us mail

“These last couple of months have been very stressful for me. Laura Allan has been very reassuring and patient. I found myself in the middle of a high conflict custody battle and I felt protected and taken care of the entire process. The emotional support and dedication to my case has been incredible.”


“Nassim was an excellent Lawyer. She helped us settle our case with ease. The result was greater than we expected in such short time. She was knowledgeable, informative and an absolute pleasure to work with. I would recommend her to anyone looking to for a family lawyer to get the job done.”


“Laura is a very experienced family law litigator and she is one of the few family law lawyers out there that won’t waste your time or money.  Laura took care of my case and achieved an excellent result.  From start to finish, the communication, care and knowledge of my case was outstanding.”


“Laura and Nassim are a very experienced family law and divorce lawyers.  This is one of the few family law firms in Vancouver that that won’t waste your time or money. They negotiated with passion and integrity to achieve an excellent result for both myself and my children.   I truly felt that they actually cared for me and my case. ”