Ok. I have a question about child support. My ex and I split up about 15 years ago and I went through legal aid and he

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Customer: Hi there.
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: Hi there. Ok. I have a question about child support
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Yes. My ex and I split up about 15 years ago and I went through legal aid and he went through a lawyer so when we had court it was with our lawyers and judge only.
JA: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?
Customer: I’m in Canada
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The custody papers and child support was never finalized and neither of us have had lawyers for years. Quite a few years back, my ex got into an argument with me and basically said I owed him child support even though things were never finalized.
Answered by Legal Ease in 15 hours 2 years ago
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Jessica

Jessica

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Legal Ease, Expert

Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

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Legal Ease, Expert

I am sorry to hear all of this but what is your specific legal question now please?

Customer
we both ended up moving away and we both don’t have lawyers any more because it’s been too long. My ex got into an argument with me one day and said I owe him child support (he has primary care and control) and he was threatening to get a lawyer again. There was nothing ever finalized and child support was never figured out in the final arrangement but he wanted me to pay. I couldn’t afford much at the time so we made a somewhat verbal agreement that I’d pay him $150 a month plus extras because our child was in hockey so I paid for half of his equipment...etc. Anyway, fast forward about 10 plus years later. I’ve been actively sending him child support of actually $160 a month and continued paying for half of what I could including school fees and whatnot. I gave him money for child support knowing that the money was more than likely not going to the support of my child. My ex is a “bulldog” and I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him. To make a long n short, my son will be 18 in June. He still currently lives with his dad but we have shared custody and my son is with me every second day and every second wknd from Friday to Sunday. We haven’t changed this arrangement since we started. If my son will be 18 in June, technically I shouldn’t have to continue paying child support if he’s 18, is that correct? In fact, technically, should I have been paying him at all since nothing was ever finalized?
When my son was 17 last year, I decided to ask my ex if instead of paying him the “child support”, and instead wondered if I could give our son the monthly cash because he had just bought himself a car and it would help with his gas and car payments. My ex didn’t want me to do that and instead yelled at me because that’s money “he’s entitled to and if I don’t pay him he would take me to court”. My son has had a job for two years and makes his own money and pays for a lot of his own stuff. He still lives with his dad and sees me on the same days. What can I do? Can I just stop paying him his child support that he says he’s “entitled” to?? He’s always also made a lot more money than me.
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Legal Ease, Expert

I am not quite following the living arrangements. When you say that your son is with you every second day and every second weekend then don't you have him half the time each?

Customer
We have shared custody. He sleeps at his dads during the week but he sleeps here every second wknd.
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Legal Ease, Expert

OK

Then you did owe the dad child support based on your income. And if you did owe it and are paying the arrears off slowly pursuant to an agreement there is basis to stop paying now.

You would still owe support so long as your cild was a minor and after that he lives at home when not away at school and attends school full-time.

You also have to share in the special expenses which would include post-secondary school expense. You would share in proportion to your respective incomes.

Here is how to figure out what you should be paying for support:

https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/child-enfant/2017/look-rech.asp

Does that clarify the law?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer
I’m not satisfied with that answer. Sorry.There was never a finalized agreement between a judge and lawyers. Nothing was ever finished and the value of child support or how much child support anyone should be paying to anyone. So based on that and the fact that nothing was ever finalized, I felt like I didn’t owe him anything but I ended up giving in to his argument and we made a verbal agreement that I would pay child support. We pulled the number out of thin air and what I could pay at the time. I looked at the child support payment chart online and figured I was paying the amount I was supposed to based on my income at the time. He never asked for more than that over the years.
My son will be 18 in June. He still currently lives with his dad and still sees me at the days and times he always has and he does it in his own accord. My son has also worked these past two years and has paid for pretty much all of his own things. When my son turns 18, am I still having to pay my ex even though NOTHING was very finalized with a judge or lawyer (the custody agreement doesn’t even state anything about child support and is a rough draft)? Should I not just be able to stop the payments? It was a verbal agreement we made and he doesn’t even use the money for anything to do with our son.
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Legal Ease, Expert

I am a senior retired family lawyer. You are not correct. Child-support is mandatory whether there is ever an agreement or order. Your approach is not legally sound and you will end up being harmed if you don't listen to what a lawyer is telling you.

I know you pulled the number out of thin air and I am pretty sure it is much too low which is why I suggested you look up what you should be paying because if he takes you to court that is the amount you're going to have to pay and not what you agreed to. You are likely well ahead.

The law is also clear and unless you can show that your son is being neglected the other parent who receives support never has to prove what they're doing with the money. The child is living with them and they are supporting them.

My approach is that you figure out what you should be paying and if your are ahead now just keep paying it because you may be harming yourself greatly by requiring the father to take you to court.

Customer
I’ve been paying the “correct” amount based on my income, according to the chart and I’ve been paying it for the past 13 years. Why do I have to continue paying after my son is 18?!?
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Legal Ease, Expert

Because the law is that support continues if the child remains financially dependent by reason of full-time attendance at school.

Customer
Well my son pays for all of his own things and he’s planning on paying for his own schooling when he starts college this coming year so he’s not fully dependent on either of us right now. He currently works full time (he’s an essential worker) and pays for everything including his own car and phone....
Customer
if he doesn’t plan on living with his dad but goes to college, what happens then? I figured it’s a little ridiculous for something to continue even though nothing was ever finalized in front of a judge or lawyers....what was the point in even going to court then?!
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Legal Ease, Expert

A Court is a last resort when people can't settle. Generally, the goal is never to go to court. Why would you pay lawyers money when you can settle. When you go to court the only winners are the lawyers.

But the law about child support is very, very clear. If your child moves away from home and doesn't go to live back with his dad in the summers then child support would end but if he's living at home with his father then you would pay 1/3 of what the table amount sets to reflect that he is living at school for 8 months of the year.

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Legal Ease, Expert

Is there anything more I can help you with at this point in time?

Customer
No. Thank you.
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Legal Ease, Expert

And can you please rate me now? The site should have paid me on the 22nd but they are withholding my pay because they never received a positive rating.

Thanks.

Customer
Are you kidding me? lol what a joke
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Legal Ease, Expert

Hi, Counsel Creed here. Let me see if I can take a different look at your issues. What would you say is the MOST PRESSING ONE?

Customer
I’d just like to know why I would still have to pay child support after my child is 18 and there was
no finalized agreement and no agreement for child support. There was a verbal “agreement” for me to pay my ex child support after an unrelated argument over the phone way back. I voluntarily offered to pay $150 a month because that’s all I could afford at the time. My ex works and has always made way more
Money than me and always had a dual income household. How’s that fair? I’ve paid him child support continuously over these years and have not Missed a payment. My ex, through no fault of
My own, has primary care and control and we have shared custody wherein my son is with me half the time. My son is 17 and has worked for the last two years. He has paid for a lot
Of his own stuff including his own car and car payments, and all of his own hockey equipment and pretty much everything. He’s graduating this year and planning on starting college in January. My ex has always been a bulldog and a narcissist and has never been civil with me our entire separation in these 15 years. He has always emotionally abused me to a point where even to this day he still tries to get under my skin. I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him and wouldn’t put it past him to squeeze every last penny out of me till he can’t any more. Even though I’ve been paying child support over the years, he’s never asked for more than what I’ve been paying him, except he seemed to think I always had to pay half of our
Sons hockey equipment and registration very year event thigh we never discussed it before hand and I told him o couldn’t always afford it. Our son is a goalie. The most expensive player in the team. I reluctantly paid all of that over the years and school fees whenever he asked and when I could
Afford it. Why is it fair for me to keep paying even though there was no finalized agreement and no child support agreement or
Amount I was supposed to pay on any paper signed in front of a judge and lawyers. It was not court ordered. Never finalized. I know my son deserved child support but just the fact that nothing was ever finalized always sat bitter in my throat. My son is pretty independent and 18 in less than 2’months. I wasn’t planing on making any more child support payments because he’ll be 18. What should I do?! What’s the purpose of getting a finalized child custody agreement when obviously it doesn’t matter?? I don’t feel it to be fair for me to keep paying him when our child is pretty much self sufficient (and still currently working because he’s an essential worker)?
I also tried to talk to my ex last year when my son turned 17. I asked him if it would be a good idea that instead of paying him “child support”, that I would take that money and just pay our son straight up. It could’ve helped him with anything he wanted like help pay for his car insurance every month or whatever. Nope. His dad didn’t go for that. Shut it right down and yelled at me saying “you try that and I’ll be talking to a lawyer and take you to court. That’s money that I’m ENTITLED to”...
Please note I have always tried to be civil and have always been compliant and never have I given him a hard time but he’s always made me out to be the bad guy. What can I do about this?? Please advise.
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Legal Ease, Expert

REgardless of eeh fact that there never has been a court order or a "finalized agreement" as you put it, that fact remains that you regularly paid it for a number of years. I think that you also mentioned in your conversation with Debra that you had look up the calculation of what you were supposed to pay base on your real income and that you had the number right. That is all good. So, the real question is whether or not you have to pay for the child once he starts college. I know that you will not like my answer but it is: yes, you do. HOWEVER, there are two good pieces of news: 1. Your son has to contribute to his own support - in some cases up to 50%; and 2. you need to raise the issue of :financial hardship". What that means is that you will tell the judge "yes, I know that my son has the right to get money from me, but when you COMPARE the standard of living of his father's with the my own standard of living - I should pay less than what I normally would have to (i.e. "i m, experiencing financial hardship")

Customer
Also, I don’t know if either of us have claimed it.
What’s the purpose then if going through court (something I never wanted to do) to go through a custody agreement? Why did we bother with that? Our lawyer situation was a farce right from day one. What’s the purpose of going through all of that to just stop going and nothing was ever finalized? It ended abruptly and nothing very continued. Both he and I don’t even have lawyers any more. If my son is still living at his dads but pretty much paying his own way through his life currently, why can’t I pay my son the “child support” directly? He’ll be 18. I understand the law but it is flawed.
If my son is still living at his dads and still sees me half time and not going to school (college) till January, am I still supposed to pay in that time? Plus still pay during the time he’s in college?
Customer
I’d rather not have to deal with any judge or court or anything unless I absolutely have to.
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Legal Ease, Expert

I understand, adnI agree that the court would be the last resort. unfortunately, sometimes people cannot agree between themselves and SOMEONE has to make a decision for them. Wll, here is an idea: what not try MEDIATION? If your income is low, you can apply for legal aid coverage and , instead of getting a lawyer, ask that they arrange mediation for the two of you. It would be free in this case.

Customer
I can try. I wanted mediation at the beginning but he needed o turning it down. If we absolutely have to do this then I’ll suggest it. He can’t afford a lawyer either. At the time of us having lawyers (back in 2005/6) I had to go through legal aid because I couldn’t afford a lawyer. He went through an agency. There’s no way he’s be able to afford a lawyer right now. Wouldn’t he have to pay a retainer fee first? So if I end up paying my ex for the time
My child is in school and before he starts school, since it’s nut in January, how much would I have to pay?
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Legal Ease, Expert

It is one third of the table amount.

Customer
Sorry I should’ve clarified my question. How much after June would I have to pay my ex for child support till my child starts college in January? Also, can I not suggest paying my son the support instead? My ex doesn’t even “need” the financial support. I still have to pay even though my son will be 18 and he’s been pretty much self sufficient for the last two years? He can’t start school till January but do I have to pay till then and do I pay 1/3 f the child support before then and while he’s in school? I’m in Manitoba.
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Legal Ease, Expert

You should NOT pay more than one third at any time. OF your son is "self sufficient" some judges find that HE has to pay up to 50%! Yes, you can pay your son directly at the time when his is in school.

Customer
Ok. I just want to make sure I understand what you’re saying. Once my son is 18, if I’m paying and sort of child support, it should be 1/3 of what I’m paying now? I’m currently paying $160/month. Am I able to pay my son directly once he’s 18 or do I have to pay my ex? )He will argue with me about this. I guarantee it.) Once my son is in school, I should pay the entire time he is in school?
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Legal Ease, Expert

It is one third of what the GUIDELINES say you should pay based on your ANNUAL INCOME. Again, you can pay to your son directly WHEN HE IS NOT LIVING AT HIS DAD'S, and his dad WHEN THE SON LIVES WITH HIM.

Customer
Ok. Thank you for your help.
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Legal Ease, Expert

no worries

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