Child Support Between Orders – Recipient
If you are the recipient of child support or spousal support under a court order or a separation agreement, there are things that you can do to help you get retroactive child support in the future.
First, look at your agreement or order and determine whether or not there is any requirement for you to provide financial information to the payor of support. If you are required to provide information, do what the order says you are supposed to do when the order says you are supposed to do it. Keep a record (photocopy of the letter, date of mailing) that you have done what you are supposed to do. If you are required to inform the payor of changes in your situation or the child’s situation (ie – child no longer in school), then it is important that you provide this information to the payor.
Second, look at your agreement or order and determine whether or not there is any requirement for the payor of support to provide financial information to you. If they are required to provide information to you, and they do not provide what they are supposed to provide, then you should do two things. You should immediately write a letter to the payor of support asking them to provide you with the information that they are supposed to provide. You should keep a copy of the letter and note the date that you sent the letter to the payor. You should also note what if any information was provided to you by the payor of support and when it was provided to you. If the obligation to disclose is based on a request from you to the payor for information, then write for that information. If there is no obligation to disclose at all, write the payor of support at least once a year asking for his or her prior year’s income tax return, notice of assessment, and pay stub with year to date income.
Third, you should create a file folder containing everything regarding your support, including your court order, requests for information, information received from the payor, FRO information and correspondence, and notes regarding what you and the payor have done or not done. This will be very helpful to your lawyer in the future.
Fourth, if you want to change support, write a letter to the payor saying that you want to change support, and why you think support should be changed. Again, keep a copy of the letter, when it was sent, and any reply.
These things will help you make an argument for a retroactive change in support in the future.
Fifth, consult with a family lawyer if your income or the payor’s income has changed, if the payor refuses to provide you with financial information, if three years have gone by since the date of the order or agreement, or simply if you are not sure what to do. Obtaining timely legal advice will often help preserve your rights, and help you avoid doing something dumb, or failing to do something important in time.
This blog is not intended to be legal advice, but is only provided for basic informational purposes for persons in Ontario. Every situation is different. Always consult a family lawyer for advice as to your specific situation.