Common Question in Calgary Divorces: Child Support and Custody: Part 2

December 5, 2016

In Part 1 of this article, we addressed two common questions our Calgary divorce lawyers commonly hear about child-related issues: what is the difference between custody and access, and can custody/access orders be changed after a Calgary divorce is final?

The answer to the first question, as you may recall, are that custody entails direct rights and responsibilities for the physical and psychological care of a child, including living arrangements, education, and healthcare, while access entails a right to information about a child and, in most cases, rights to communicate with and visit a child. When it comes to the second question, whether or not custody and access agreement can be changed after a divorce is finalized, the answer is yes, these agreements can be changed, but working with your divorce lawyer to come to a fair and equitable agreement at the time of your divorce is in everyone's best interests.

Here are some other common questions our Calgary divorce law office receives in regards to child custody and support, and answers that might help you better understand how Calgary divorce law works.

Are Fathers Always Required to Pay Child Support in Calgary Divorce Cases?

The Calgary Courts do not recognize a difference between parents based on gender. Under the law, a judge presiding over a divorce will look at the best interests of the child(ren) in determining their order of custody and any order of support. If it is determined that the best interests of the child are served by a lower-income parent having shared or primary custody, then the other parent may be required to pay child support to help with the costs that come with custody: housing, food, healthcare, clothing, and so on.

How are Child Support Payments Enforced Following a Calgary Divorce?

In many divorces, collecting child support is easy. The parent who owes support can write a check, use an electronic transfer, or any other means to give the court-ordered amount to the other parent. If support isn't being paid in full and/or in a timely manner, Alberta's Maintenance Enforcement Program can also be used. This program collects the money from the parent who owes support and distributes it to the parent who is owed; parents can pre-pay into their account to ensure disbursements are made on time, and the MEP also has several other powers to enforce collection.

The parent who owes support can also go through the MEP to ensure that support payments are recorded and tracked, which can help avoid disputes down the line. If you have reason to believe your child support payments aren't being used to meet the needs of your child, your Calgary divorce lawyer may be able to help you explore options for enforcing the use of the support as required by law, or for amending your existing custody and support agreement.

Talk to a Calgary Divorce Lawyer Today

If you have specific questions or concerns related to your unique situation, we urge you to contact one of our experienced Calgary divorce lawyers today.

This entry was posted in Blog, tagged Divorce and Separation Contracts and posted on December 5, 2016

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