Child support attorney Katie McBride says changes to Ontario’s child support program have been announced and are aimed at making it more fair.
The changes include the creation of a “buddy system” for those who have been in a dispute with their spouse or partner.
“There is a new buddy system, where each partner can ask the court to pay the other half of the child support and it’s called a child support support arrearage allowance,” McBride said.
“The amount is calculated based on the relationship and the amount that has been in the child care system.”
It’s not a cap on the amount they owe but rather they can use that as a tool to try and get the balance right,” she added.
McPartland County Court Judge Stephen Gough has said he is pleased with the changes. “
I think they were kind of like a carrot, it was meant to be a stick, and you’re just going to have to wait and see if it sticks,” she said.
McPartland County Court Judge Stephen Gough has said he is pleased with the changes.
“These changes are in the best interest of the court and the court is pleased that the changes are being made,” he said.
But McBride argues the changes should not be a deterrent to anyone looking to get their children back.
“I don’t think there’s anything that can be done about a parent who doesn’t want to be in a relationship with their child, I don’t know why the court has to be involved in the matter at all,” she explained.
“The court’s job is to protect children and they’re not going to make decisions for someone who is not the parent,” McPartland Judge Gough said.
The new system will also apply to children who have previously been in an abusive relationship, including grandparents and step-grandparents.
McBride also said the new system should not apply to parents who are currently separated and have not remarried, which she said would also be a concern.
“What I find really frustrating is that we are all working very hard to keep children together, to give them the best possible future,” McConaide said.