How is Child Support Enforced By the Calgary Courts?
August 25, 2016
No divorce in Calgary is truly easy. The emotional and practical disruptions that typically accompany the end of a marriage can be daunting, even when you know a divorce is the right choice for you. An experienced Calgary divorce lawyer can help you put the divorce process behind you more effectively and efficiently, helping you on your way to a new life with as little stress as possible.
Some divorces don't end even when the final judgement is entered, though. Things like ongoing child support payments can keep you financially and legally tied to your ex-spouse for years. Understanding how child support orders are enforced after Calgary divorces, and learning about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to child support payments, can help eliminate uncertainty and alleviate some stress when it comes to this ongoing issue.
How Calgary Child Support Orders Are Set
Child support payments are typically determined as part of a Calgary divorce, though child support orders can also be put in place in cases where a marriage never took place and can also be instituted or adjusted after a divorce is finalized if circumstances change. In all cases, child support orders are issued by a judge and they carry the force of law. If you are owed child support, or if you are required to pay child support, there are systems in place to help ensure that the payments take place according to schedule.
The Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program
Alberta created the Maintenance Enforcement Program to help those who are owed child support (and/or spousal support) payments and those who are required to make these payments. Whether you are owed or owe support, you can register the Support Order with the MEP. From that point forward, payments will be made directly to the MEP, which will then issue a government cheque to the support recipient. This enables those paying support to pay in advance, if they wish, and to have their support payments officially recorded and sent at the proper times to the recipient.
The MEP also has certain powers to enforce support payments, including accessing the payor's financial records, taking money directly from bank accounts or paycheques, driver's license suspensions, personal property liens, and more.
Collecting through the Calgary Court of Queen's Bench
There are also steps that can be taken through the Calgary Court to enforce payment of ordered child and spousal support. This is something you can discuss with your Calgary divorce lawyer if you have questions about your unique situation.
Your divorce lawyer can continue to be a valuable resource for all support orders and other ongoing issues with your Calgary divorce. You don't have to go through your divorce alone, and you don't have to handle continuing issues on your own, either. If you would like to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer today, please contact our office.
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