Questions & Answers

child support and special expenses

I have 2 children that are in college. I have custody of our 3 children. We mediated in 2012 and came up with a settlement. Our oldest child had just started college at that point. Since then, my ex husband has not paid any section 7 expenses, will not pay any expenses of either of the children going to college. My one child finished high school in January of 2014. He worked part-time and then started full-time college in September 2015. My ex-husband stopped paying child support during that time I have incurred approximately 14.000 in special expenses including paying for auto insurance because both children commute to their colleges and also to their employment, I also have extra curricular sports, educational costs, computers for college etc. We have returned to Mediating these issues but, after Mediation was postponed becuase no reasonal settlement was becoming of the the Mediation and the fact my husband and his lawyer said there will be no payment of college expenses and any of the special expenses I incurred the Mediator decided to adjourn the situation. That whole bit cost mealmost 10, 000.00. I already paid my lawyer 48,000. in 2012 to resolve the issue in Mediation. I am a self employed house cleaner and make less than 20, 000. per year. My lawyer received over 75% of my settlement money. I do receive a small amount of spousal support and receive table amount child support. Our oldest daughter holds down a part time job and because of my low income, both our children receive OSAP. Both the Mediator and my Lawyer and my Ex and his Lawyer are saying that any college expenses should be paid by the children because of their part time jobs. Although my second child does not have a part time job now since the start of his 2 year college course in 2014.My ex did not submit his higher income so as to get an increase in child support. His income is approx 124,000.00/year. The Mediator suggested they get back together and try again in Mid February 2015. It is past mid-February and I received an email from my lawyers assistant saying that my ex did not submit his final pay stub for 2014 so the proceedings are put on hold until he receives his T4. None of this was mentioned in Mediation. They Mediator said we will wait for my Ex’s final pay stub so they can figure out the updated child support and calculate the retroactive amount he will owe. Now with the recent email, they are saying they require his T4???? FRO is in charge of the payments. Never did they receive a written order that my EX was allowed to pay less in child support, but, yet they have not garnished his wages over the period he did not pay child support for our son when he was in between school because of his completion in February 2014 and his college start up in September 2014. It has been a very long hard struggle with all the legal woes. I am lost. I do all I can to make ends meet……..They call this Family Law??? I always did what was best for the children. It is sad that we have to lilve day by day in a struggle and not know where all of this is leading us.

is the relationship status of the payor of any importance when calculating child support? If they are living together, would their combined income be considered as household income or is it just the payor himself? I received an email today from lawyer and they now want me to prove my status as single and not commonlaw with my boyfriend as the opposition are now saying my boyfriend lives with me ( we absolutely are not living together!!!) They also now are going to proceed with mediaition but not until May 2015 as they promised it would be mid February. The mediaiton was going to take place between lawyers and it was going to be a 90 minute mediation conference call but now they require us to be there in attendance. Is there anything I can do?

— MARGARET F.

Answer

Wow. This is a very sad story. The issue of child support is one of the easier ones to tackle. But, if you have someone who just won't cooperate, it too can become a nightmare. Eventually, a judge can make the right order but in the meantime, it can cost a fortune. I wish we could create a better system. The best system I have seen is the Collaborative Process but it too relies on people being reasonable with each other. So sorry for your struggle. Good luck.

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