HOW TO TALK TO THE CHILDREN ABOUT THE DIVORCE - RESOURCES
- the BC government provides:
Changeville: a kids animated interactive program,
Kids Guide - kids talk about stuff to young children
MOVIE TO VIEW WITH YOUR CHILD, OR BY YOURSELF TO OPEN THEIR/YOUR THOUGHTS AND TO DISCUSS YOUR SITUATION AND CONCERNS WITH YOUR SPOUSE OR YOUR CHILD
Seven-year-old Maisie is caught in the middle of
a custody battle between her mother, Susanna, an aging rock star, and
her father, Beale, a major art dealer. In a race to win the court's
favor, Beale marries Maisie's nanny Margo, prompting Susanna in turn to
marry friend and local bartender Lincoln. Both forced into a battle
neither wishes to be a part of, Margo and Lincoln come to empathize with
Maisie's position and over time with each other's situation. Enticed by
the notion of making their own surrogate family, the trio must either
submit to the will of Maisie's parents or eventually face their wrath.
It is very worth viewing this film which a shot of from the child’s point of view. It is my hope that those who do view this film may focus more on a mediated separation to minimize the effect on the children and focus on an effective parenting plan after separation with a greater commitment to making it work.
ASSESSING A CHILD SUPPORT AMOUNT
Most no single parents, and those who have been granted major parenting time with the children, want to need to know how they will manage on their income and how much help they can expect from their ex-partner or other parent. In Canada and in most provinces there are support tables to assist in calculating a fair amount based on the yearly income tax statement of each partner/parent.
If the income were the same and the parenting time equally shared than it is at 50/50 (or 40/60) arrangement but several other factors are usually weighed into the equation. These include considerations such as: special needs of the child, extracurricular activities based on needs and talents of the child, education requirements including university/college/training, medical and dental insurance, health expenses, and other extraordinary costs in the interests of the child.
The Family Maintenance Enforcement Program
The Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP) is a free service of the British Columbia Ministry of Justice. It collects over $200 million each year for 45,000 BC families.
We help families and children entitled to maintenance (child support and spousal support) under maintenance orders or agreements.
We receive payments from the person required to pay maintenance (the payor) and send the money to the person entitled to maintenance (the recipient).
In many cases, the payor makes payments voluntarily, but FMEP will take steps to collect the outstanding maintenance if necessary.
FACTORS AFFECTING CHILD SUPPORT
AND DIVISION OF PARENTING TIME
Generally, the guiding principle in the federal and provincial child support guidelines is “the expenses shared by the spouses in proportion to their respective incomes after deducting from the expenses the contributions, if any, of the child” (CSG sec. 7-2). Therefore, the income of each ex-partner /spouse over the last three years of tax returns at line 150 and any income not claimed on those returns is considered. So in a soul parenting time arrangement, the contribution of the paying parent is easy to determine but in an arrangement where one parent has one child and the other has two children then the support for each parent is determined from the tables with the difference being paid to the receiving spouse. (The lower income spouse)
Nice if it were that simple but other factors can come into this calculation such as:
1 Undo hardship – can be claimed if extraordinary costs exist for the paying spouse. This includes another child from another relationship for which the ex-partner/spouse has to pay a higher level of debt coming out of the marriage/relationship.
2 A major disparage in the comparative standard of living between the 2 ex-partner/spouse households.
3 The percentage of shared parenting time within the parenting plan (once called shared/split/sole custody)
4 Other expenses, and some other benefits received on behalf of the child.
One parent is often motivated to share the children equally partly to eliminate or minimize the child support. Now here is the surprise. It cost more to have the child 50% of the time than the guideline contribution the lesser time partner provides. (see COST OF RAISING A CHILD - BELOW). Also, the other parent needs to consider what they have to 'give up' to share 50/50 in raising a child. 50/50 does not necessarily mean more time with the child but it does mean more responsibility and costs.