Employment Instability during Uncertain Times
The current COVID-19 Pandemic has brought with it a series of ongoing issues that have directly impacted all families in Ontario. As such we were interested in the impact of COVID-19 on child support in Ontario. In particular, one of the greatest concerns stems from the abrupt and immediate loss of employment income for many parents, due to the closure of all non-essential businesses as part of the current provincial social distancing policies and federal health guidelines. The result of this is that in Ontario, there now exist countless child support orders in place, which are based upon an annual income that many parties no longer have. The result of this has been a surge in confusion and panic by parents, who are unsure as to how this discrepancy can be resolved. Our law firm is here to help.
Realistic and Reasonable Solutions
In light of the massive number of parties that will be affected by the employment restrictions brought on by COVID-19, the courts have asserted that families should make their best efforts to effectively manage and create flexible plans to address all changes that result from prior parenting arrangements. This includes both parties being flexible in relation to creating new measures to safely exercise parenting time, but also flexibility in regards to taking what has been referred to as “realistic solutions” to the financial needs of children. This approach was taken within the recent case of Land v. Tudor, which emphasized the need to balance the support needs of children, with the effective curtailing of parent’s income due to the present crisis. Effectively in the context of child support, this would involve a discussion between parties arranging for a payment plan that is reasonable in light of both the child’s needs and the ability of the payor to meet these needs. Problematically, many parents, especially those in high conflict situations, will be unable to mutually agree upon variations or changes to existing support orders in a way that can carefully balance these two needs, and as a result will need to look for alternative solutions. This would include negotiations of child support through counsel, or in the alternative, more complex solutions such as seeking a variation in support based upon a change in parental employment.
At the present time, our firm is working with both existing and potential new clients to ensure that parents who have experienced a change in employment due to the current pandemic, are able to continue to provide support to their children in a way that is realistic and practical, while also protecting the rights of parents who have concerns related to the continuation of ongoing support. Our work is currently allowing for parents to meet their child support obligations in a way that is both sustainable and viable in the current and ever changing situation that we all face as a result of the spread of COVID-19. Our firm is here to assist you in regards to all of your needs, and can assist you in any negotiations you may need to resolve within your child support disputes.
Please call one of our Toronto Child Support Lawyers today for a telephone consultation related to your family law matters by clicking the contact button above or filling out our contact sheet on this page.
Written by Adam Jaffer, Articling Student at Separy Law PC.