Conducting Annual Reviews Of Support

Most support Court orders include a clause for the "annual review" of support, as do many separation agreements. This ensures that payments keep pace with the changes in your family. For example, if the payor gets a raise or loses a job, his or her support payments may need to be adjusted accordingly to reflect this change. If the recipient gets remarried or a new job, support may need to be renegotiated.

Westside Family Law helps Vancouver families keep on top of these requirements. We also strongly encourage our clients to include them in any new family agreements they make. We understand the potential risks people run if they do not keep their financial information up to date, such as:

  • Having your agreement set aside as unlawful
  • Paying past-due child support payments ("arrears") due to a failure to disclose a pay bump or other financial windfall
  • Being sued for spousal support years later due to the same

Quite simply, reviewing your support agreement annually means you will never need to worry about any of these risks.

Preventing Issues Before They Happen

Recent Supreme Court cases in particular affirm that arrears for child support will not be waived or cancelled. You cannot bargain away your responsibility or your child's right of support in a separation agreement. Our firm seeks to prevent this kind of thing from happening by conducting annual reviews of support so there is no question as to what was paid and what was owed.

How It Works

It's a fairly simple and straightforward process:

  • Each year, we will send each of you a reminder about your annual support review.
  • We will gather each person's most recent tax return and recalculate child support according to the statutory guidelines if necessary. We can also discuss any proposed changes or amendments to spousal support.
  • If changes are necessary, we can help all parties work out new agreements and file any amendments with the appropriate Court registry.
  • Copies of everything will be provided to each side as well, so everyone understands the plan moving forward.

Doing this exercise every year may seem tedious. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Not only does it prevent payors from falling into arrears, it works to ensure that support payments remain fair and accurate.

Set Up Your Review Session Today

Whether this is a new idea for you or you need to schedule your annual support review, give us a call at 604-800-8853 or contact us by email. As a technology-forward company, we are comfortable working via phone and email. In-person meetings with one of our lawyers are also available at our office in the Shaughnessy/South Granville neighbourhood.