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At What Age Do You Stop Paying for Child Support in Saskatchewan?

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When Can Someone Stop Paying Child Support in Saskatchewan?

It’s sometimes said that parents never stop raising a child, even once they’re adults. However, there is usually a stop date when it comes to providing financial support. In Saskatchewan, the parent who pays child support is generally required to continue child support payments until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 in this province. The law clearly states that parents are required to support their children financially, including parents who were never in a spousal relationship.

There are some exceptions to this where child support continues to be payable, for example if the child is a full-time student past the age of 18 or if the child is disabled or has a chronic illness..

If One of the Parents Remarries, Does That Change the Child Support Requirement?

When the child lives most or full-time with one parent who receives child support payments, and that parent remarries, the new spouse’s income isn’t considered as part of the child’s financial support. The original child support agreement will still stand, subject to annual reviews based on the paying parent’s income.

If the parent paying child support has children from a previous marriage who they are paying support for, and if they can prove that paying the table amount of child support under the Federal Child Support Guidelines is causing undue financial hardship they may have a basis for paying a lower amount of child support. If a parent is making an undue hardship claim there is a formula that is used to compare the standard of living in both households that takes into consideration all the income that is flowing into the households, which may include the income of a new partner.

Can the Amount of Child Support Being Paid Ever Be Adjusted?

Yes, there are specific circumstances in which the amount of child support paid could be changed. Those circumstances include:

  • Either parent’s income significantly increases or decreases. Note that deliberately leaving a job or striving to be underemployed to avoid paying child support is not acceptable.
  • The parenting arrangements change (for example, the child previously lived full-time with one parent, but the parenting arrangements are such that now the children are spending at least 40% time with each parent).
  • There’s a change in the child’s situation that may require an adjustment to support change, such as if the child became chronically ill or disabled.

In Saskatchewan, child support should be reviewed each year, usually in the spring after tax season. This is a good time for both parents to visit their lawyers to determine if changes are recommended and should be pursued.

It’s important to note that child support variations that are requested because the paying parent doesn’t have access to the child will not be accepted. This is a parenting issue, not a support issue, and will need to be approached from that direction.

Also, child support payments legally must continue while changes are reviewed and accepted or denied. If the paying parent stops paying while waiting for a resolution, there could be serious consequences such as having a garnishee against the parent’s income.

What Is the Process for Requesting a Change in Child Support Amounts?

That depends on whether the parents are in agreement or not regarding the changes.

If the parents agree to the change, they can update the amount by agreement between them or draw up a new written agreement.

If they don’t agree, they will likely need help from a lawyer or a mediator to help them come to a compromise. Working with a collaborative law firm that understands the value of mediation is highly recommended. Financial disagreements can often become contentious, and that’s not good for either parent or their child. Fortunately, there are techniques that can be used to keep the discussion calm, productive, and focused on the child.

How is Child Support Determined?

The first thing to understand is that child support is designed not to be a punishment to the paying parent or as a reward for the recipient, and both parents should take this to heart. Support is meant to benefit the child, hopefully as equitably between the parents as possible.

The law applies a set formula to calculate what child support payments should be. The formula used in Saskatchewan is the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Essentially, the basis for determining child support payments starts with how much each parent earns, how many children there are, their ages, and what type of parenting arrangement is in place. If the child lives with one parent full-time, the child support payment is likely different than if the child spends time living with each parent.

Child support calculations can be complex and there is tremendous benefit to parents when they are working with experienced child support lawyers.

What Should I Do if I Need Help with Child Support?

Call Panko Collaborative Law & Mediation at 306-518-8107 for a consultation. We understand that while both parents want what’s best for their child, support payments can often become a contentious issue. Our team of experienced, knowledgeable lawyers works with a collaborative approach that’s more holistic and may lead to a less stressful proceeding–which, in the end, is also best for the child.

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