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Author Topic: Need Child Support Help - CANADA  (Read 1681 times)

dad_of_three

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Need Child Support Help - CANADA
« on: Apr 24, 2006, 08:21:05 PM »
It seems there is very little to no help for Father's in Winnipeg. I am a father of 3, and had sole custody of my oldest two for 6 years. The mother paid me child support after I fought tooth and nail - She ended up only having to pay $200 per month for both kids. I am in a common-law relationship with the woman that helped me raise my other two, and we share a son who is now five. The older kids wanted to try living with their mom a couple years ago, and we granted their wish without fighting.

I am currently unemployed for the first time in my life (I am 41), and being threatened with jail, and they have already taken my license. I have 30 days to come up with the back support (almost $7,000).

My common-law wife doesn't make enough to support herself, never mind our son. I am looking for work, but had to stop work due to an injury. I will need shoulder surgery, but of course there is a lengthy waiting list in Manitoba. I have job offers in my field, but all require a license. I have the ability to earn $40,000+ and are ready and willing, dispite my injury! I gave the Judge a medical certificate signed by my doctor, and of course he could care less.

Long story short, legal aid has turned me down, and the Judge today told me I should go to work at McDonalds, even though my EI pays me more than any job under $15.00 ever would. They have garnished my EI, and that is fine, but I need to amend the Child Support Order, and hopefully ask for Undue Hardship. My ex wife has very little expenses, her spouse pays for everything, both of them work (with good incomes), and their home is paid for. My oldest two kids are now 17 and 14. If I "Work at McDonald's" as they say, I won't be able to pay for daycare for my youngest son, and now with me not working, we may even loose our home - we rent, but won't be able to afford it with the level of garnishment they have placed. Basically, we will be homeless, or close to it, living in a dump, having to relocate my youngest son, who has had to struggle enough due to this high child support.

Bottom line, I have one child who is living on Kraft Dinner, while the other two are getting three incomes supporting them, with no expenses. I can't get a lawyer who doesn't want a retainer for less than a grand, and legal aid turned me down based on my common-law wife's income (she is just over, and I already appealed). I have heard through the grapevine that legal-aid here turns down almost every man who applies to beat a child support order, regardless of circumstance. Ironically, every other father that was in court today was told the same thing - Go to Legal Aid, and don't come back without a lawyer. Funny how once they do, legal-aid finds a way to dismiss the application. Every man's story was the same.

I believe that all three children should have the same standard of living, yet my ex-wife could care less about my youngest. In all the years I have known her (20+), she has never spent money on anyone but herself. I know the kids don't even get my letters, or money - she tells them I am a deadbeat, even though she has received money. I am currently ordered to pay her over $900 a month. The judge here refuses to lower it, no matter what my circumstances are. He only told me to get a lawyer. Too bad the lawyers gave me the same line - "We don't help men get out of child support". Of course a few offered for a hefty retainer and all said they don't think it will make a difference - Undue Hardship rarely gets granted here so I am told.

As I mentioned, I don't want to get out of it, I want it to be equal and fair. No one will help me, and I am at a complete loss of where to go, who to ask for help, and what to do next. Any advice or resources you can pass on would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.


dad_of_three

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RE: Need Child Support Help - CANADA
« Reply #1 on: Apr 30, 2006, 12:55:33 PM »
UPDATE:  

How many of you were successful in claiming undue hardship?  I am of work due to an injury awaiting surgery... have another child who is five, a common-law wife that cannot financially carry all the financial obligations, and now Maintenance Enforcement has taken all of my EI for the past three months.  They were kind enough to leave me just over $100.00

How is it fair that my oldest receive all of my earnings and EI, while my youngest son goes without?  Why should we have to move him to a new school in a new neighborhood, essentially ripping his life a part, while my other two have a MUCH higher standard of living before child support?  No one loses here but my youngest.

It seems the only way to get him some money is if I leave my common-law wife, so she can claim child support.  Again, how is that fair to this little boy?  

Advice?

Erika

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I live in Winnipeg...
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2006, 12:57:25 PM »
From what I gathered, you need to pass two tests. The first is proving why you need the undue hardship claim. From what you say, you have reason.
First, you have another child, second your circumstances have changed (job loss)

Next you have to prove your standard of living is lower in your household, than your ex's.
They will add all the income from everyone in the household. So even if your kids have part-time jobs, they will add in that income. They also add your ex's and her husband's.
Then they do the same for your house.

When they have a total for each house, they will then divide that amount by a number, depending on how many people live in the house.

Whichever household has the lower number afterwards, has the lower standard of living.

I do hear it is very hard to get, but it's worth a shot.

My husband and I are both divorced (this is the second marriage for us both)

I can say being a woman, I was favoured in the courts. My husband was treated like shit. It's a biased system, sadly. You just have to be fair, don't sling any dirt on your ex and stick to the facts. My husband did this last time in court, his ex mud slung like you wouldn't believe and my husband won! And that was with a woman judge!

Let me know if you need help with numbers and how you would do. I have the calculators for the hardship test and can help you out.

 

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