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My Ex-Spouse Got Laid Off: What Happens to My Child Support?

My Ex-Spouse Got Laid Off: What Happens to My Child Support?

My Ex-Spouse Got Laid Off: What Happens to My Child Support?

If your ex-spouse lost their job, they might feel under pressure to meet their financial responsibilities including child support payments. If they aren’t able to pay for support, you might have to take over that responsibility. And that thought brings up a lot of questions. 

We hope this blog gives you some much needed clarity and comfort. Let’s talk more… 

Child Support Obligations in Canada 

Child support is a legal obligation that does not automatically end or adjust when a person loses their job. In Ontario, child support is determined primarily based on the payor’s income, following the guidelines provided by the federal Child Support Tables.

When a spouse who is responsible for paying child support gets laid off, they receive severance pay from their employer and can also apply for Employment Income. Both these payments are considered as income, which means your ex-spouse should continue paying the payments without any issue. 

However, sometimes they might not be eligible for either or both, they can get the amount reduced. It isn’t as simple though.

If your ex-spouse lost their job because of misconduct or fraud, family courts are unforgiving and their income will be imputed to meet your child’s support needs. It is the same for being fired due to illegal activities, anti-social behaviour, or failure to cooperate with co-employees. 

On the other hand, if your ex-spouse was fired because of reasons beyond their control, the court will consider their current income and reduce child support temporarily. Once they get a job, they will recalculate the child support amount. 

An employee walking out of the office with a box full of personal items

What if my ex-spouse quit their job and found a lower-paying job to reduce child support payments? 

When someone intentionally quits their job or takes a lower-paying position to reduce their child support payments, the court doesn’t look kindly on these actions. In such scenarios, the other parent can request the court to assess income based on what the individual should be earning. This process is known as imputing income, and it’s covered under section 19 of the Child Support Guidelines.

The law in Ontario is quite clear on this matter. A parent is expected to make reasonable efforts to secure a job that suits their qualifications and circumstances. The court considers factors such as age, health, education, skills, and previous work history along with the availability of work and the possibility of relocating when determining imputing income. Therefore, the ex-spouse would need to document your job search effort as the court will require evidence to reduce their payments.

What should be your next steps? 

Get in touch with a family lawyer in Etobicoke that specialises in child support laws. Our lawyers at Noori Law are here for you. We put care and attention into every case we handle and work in your best interests. Please reach out today for a consultation