Child Support Facts And Myths

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Let’s discus some of the most common child support facts and myths. Whether you live common law, or are married, if you have children, understanding the family laws in Alberta can be beneficial, according to divorce lawyer Edmonton. In fact, Janan Jarrah, owner and principal lawyer at eLaw Alliance in downtown Edmonton says, the law is the same, regardless of the marital status of the parents. Therefore, when the relationship ends, the laws concerning the children are the same.

Unfortunately, there are many misunderstandings when it comes to family law. This is because the legislation changes over time, and what was once true, may no longer be accurate. As well as the proliferation of American media, where family laws are often very different from Canadian and even Albertan laws.

One of the most common myths about child support and family law is that child support is a penalty for the parent who has the child less often. Janan Jarrah, expert divorce lawyer Edmonton says this is heard over and over. However, nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, it is not a penalty at all, it is simply the legal mechanism that the courts use to ensure both parents are financially contributing to the child’s life. This is considered the most important right of the child – to have both parents financially contribute to their upbringing. Child support simply ensures this can happen after a separation or divorce.

Child Support Is Mandatory By Law

On top of that, says Jarrah, expert divorce lawyer Edmonton, the reason the parent who has less access pays child support, is to offset the cost of the food, clothing and shelter for the child or children in the relationship. It is a simple calculation, based on a percentage of the parents annual income, as per line 150 of their notice of assessment on their last tax return. It is not a penalty at all, and the courts will be very reasonable to listen to both parents regarding this topic, as long as they are both communicative.

The second myth is that parents can agree to not pay child support. Divorce lawyer Edmonton says parents will talk among themselves, and agree for various reasons that the parent who is required to pay child support won’t have to. This is absolutely not within the parents’ abilities to do, according to Janan Jarrah of eLaw Alliance. Child support is the right of the child, and no parent – for any reason – has the ability to negotiate that away. In fact, there are very few circumstances that relieves the parent of their obligation to the life they created. Even walking away from their parental rights doesn’t mean they can are relieved of this duty to their child.

Can Child Support Be Avoided

Myth number three is that no parent will be required to pay child support when they share access equally. Divorce lawyer Edmonton, Jarrah says this is a simple misunderstanding, but a very common one. They assume that since no one has the child more, and they share the food, clothing and shelter responsibilities, that child support is not necessary. However, it is still simply calculated differently. Rather than a percentage of the parents’ income, it is a percentage of the difference between both parents incomes.

Janan Jarrah, an expert divorce lawyer Edmonton says the fourth myth she hears in her practice, is that if a parents’ income changes, their child support payments stay the same. Again, since child support is not viewed as a penalty, simply a mechanism to ensure both parents are contributing to their child’s life, child support can be modified as life circumstances occur.

If a parent is laid off, gets a lower, or higher paying job, or has a significant financial burden – such as becoming the primary caregiver of a parent – all they have to do is contact their divorce lawyer Edmonton to go to court and inform them of all changes. As long as there is communication, the courts will be more than happy to adjust child support as needed. From raising it, lowering it, or temporarily stopping it.

Child Support Is Required During Hard Times

The final myth that is heard a lot, is from parents who believe that if their spouse is on social assistance, they do not get child support. This is not true at all, according to Jarrah. However, the misunderstanding likely comes from the fact that when a parent is on social assistance, the child support goes through a government agency. Instead of directly to the parent on social assistance. Under no circumstances should a parent take it upon themselves to stop child support payments. Doing so will earn them a trip to the courtroom, and a stern lecture by a judge.

These are great reasons why knowledgeable, competent expertise from a divorce lawyer Edmonton is so valuable. They can advise you on what to do, what to avoid, and keep you from making costly mistakes. If you would like some help, a free consultation is available from eLaw Alliance, where you will be able to talk directly to a lawyer, and find out what to do next.