Monday, October 27, 2008

Are Canada's Child Support Guidelines Unfair to "Second" Families?

A raging debate has been brewing among our readers at Wise Law Blog.

Should Canada's Child Support Guidelines consider the expenses of raising children of subsequent relationships in determining child support obligations for first families?

The extensive comments at our post, Supreme Court of Canada to Child Support Payors: Income Increases Must be Disclosed will illustrate the competing arguments in this highly charged discussion:

Maybe before bashing your husband's ex wife for receiving payments for her child as per the law, you should have thought of that before having more children with this man who seems to have a problem with supporting his first child, secondly his 1st child should have the lifestyle she had before his or her parents split up because it was not her fault at all in any of this, so why should she suffer because you decided to hook up with a man and bear more of his children, you should have thought of that before marrying him or having more children if you are complaining about the amount he is paying.


I can't tell you how sick I am of people saying "well maybe your husband shouldn't have had more kids if he couldn't afford them" I am mad as %^%$ about this. These people are obviously NOT in the system, or on the receiving end of the money, for whom it is NEVER enough. When I married my husband and had kids with him, he paid 500/month in child support. He now pays 1300/month. Was I to look into a glass ball and predict the future? Did I know the Custodial mother would quit her job and make us pay 100% of extra-ordinary expenses? Did I know she would move across the country and make us pay 3600/year in flights? Did I ever see my husbands taxes and see that this money is actually AFTER TAX money and he gets no tax breaks for having sent her all that money? You people should be ashamed of yourselves, REAL children are growing up in POVERTY....

In my view, there are compelling reasons to call for additional legislative flexibility as to the quantum of support payable under the Guidelines in clear circumstances where the financial well-being of the children of a later relationship is genuinely compromised by a parent's onerous child support obligations to a first family.

The law of child support should be predictable and standardized, to the extent possible. This was, and remains, the great strength of the Guideline system.

The financial resources of support-payors, however, are often limited, if not entirely strapped. The pie must be shared more fairly.

Support-paying parents have a legal and moral obligation to provide financially for the children of their "second" families.

The Guidelines should not be blind to these responsibilities.

Too often, they are.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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Anonymous said...

they are blind, and it's ridiculous. Gone are the days when a well-heeled man left his pregnant wife to live in squalor for his secretary. My children are very real, and in much need of the financial support our family must give them. Regardless of the reason of the demise of the first marriage, no one disagrees that one should support their children; it's the amount and extent that causes all the hardship. You know what? We had to give up a trip this year, the first one we would've taken in 12 years in order to pay lawyer fees for a motion to vary the child support. Guess where the ex is going in December with my stepdaughter, her son and husband? DisneyLand. For the THIRD time. How do I tell my kids that? I worked hard to help save that do you think *I* feel to have to hand it over and watch them jet off yet again? Our laws have to change. It's too easy and too convenient for the receiver to piss away my families money. And for what? To save the court time and aggravation? In this economy, that would be providing jobs to people, dealing with the backlog. Is it to get the money to the "first family" quicker? Where is it fair that a payor should be practically put in the poor house? If they were still together, would he not be obliged to have a roof over his family's head? Under these laws, he can't even support himself, let alone a family. It's disgusting. And I hope it changes in the next 8 years before we have to cough up another $100,000 (tax free) + in child support + extra curricular activities + college/university. I'll be working til I'm 80 at this rate. What do I tell my children?

Anonymous said...

I agree, the Candian Laws are archaic with regard to "second" families. Most people who say "he shouldn't have other kids if he can't afford the first ones" have no idea just HOW MUCH some fathers are made to pay.
The amount my husband pays for his "first" 2 kids for 1 month would be enough to support our 2 kids for 4 months.
Nobody is saying "don't support your first kids", just make it more reasonable and hold the custodial parent to the same financial accountability as the paying parent.
Although you'll never hear a recipient of child support saying it's enough.
And it would really be nice if we could somehow get rid of the term "second" wife/children. I am his wife and these are his children. Maybe if it was stated that way it would make it seem even more bizarre that the government imposes such draconion measures on his income that he can only support 2 of his 4 children.

Anonymous said...

Ontario father of 7

I read, I write, I work. I pay full child support for all my children. I have 7 children from different relationships, 3 under my roof. Do I stop loving, do I stop caring, do I stop living because of the amount of support. I won't get into the amount of support I pay because it doesn't matter. Do I struggle to make ends meet, sure I do. Does my second wife like what it does to our family? Of course she doesn't. We have 3 children together and we receive Family Child Benefit amounts to help support our children an amount that our same Government believes they can contribute to assist us raise our children. We manage. How much is enough? I've studied and moved into a better position to advance in my career and got a huge raise and got promoted. I worked endless hours of overtime and this year and i will go on my first vacation. I have to disclose my income annually. I wrote my ex's each a letter and told them because my wife supported me through night school I won a promotion and got a raise and I know the Government believes your entitled to this money, so line up to get your share.
Since I started living on my own at 16 years old I've been putting a roof over my head, feeding myself and enjoying life. I really don't see how paying support for my chilren changes anything. They just need love. People think kids need so much and mistake what they believe their kids need for what their kids want. Giving them what they want isn't giving them happiness. I was raised on love not money. Where and when did this change. I lived in a bush and now all we see these days in concrete and asphalt. Our Governement is teaching us that it all about money. I believed my wife when she said that it didn't matter where we lived even if it was in a cardboard box.
There's an agency who knows me well called FRO who works hand in hand with my files. I can't afford vacations, and any of that fancy stuff people call luxuries. My children's mom's all re-married and are enjoy life and having fun. Spend the support how every they feel it necessary. Do my kids go without, sure they do. Is that my fault. No, it's not. Access visits a tough to listen to about simple things they go without. I still chip in where needed for those extra's even though I have a tax free income that the Government inflates to place me at my gross amount as if I were paying taxes.
It's all about the kids. Period.

Are the support amounts high? Sure they are. Can you do anything about it except share your dismay and disgust on this blog, sure you can. Vent to the Government, change only comes when a society is ready. Are you ready? I think that supporting a child never ends. Maybe having a set amount across the board for each income bracket would make it easier for payor's to pay and be responsible. Like EI in Canada there is a max amount payable regardless of how much you make.
My first wife's worried about what's going to happen this next year when I don't have to pay her for my oldest child. I never booked those vacation plans and can't afford them.

We have a 3 month old still in hospital who had a heart transplant at 6 weeks of age. When your faced with so much in life, some things seem so little in comparison.

Anonymous said...

Yes 2nd families get screwed.

Ladies and gentlemen you need to start a positive web site that promotes equality. Women can’t be equal if they are entitled to support. Enforceable access for the non-custodial parent. Kids get alienated from their NCP parent, and grandparents all the time. Lets quit complaining and start writing what is fair. Then we need to support one lawyer to bring it to the highest court. I have some web experience I'm sure their someone out their with more.

If you do lets contact Wise Law and get a web petition started.

Anonymous said...

Is there support from Wise Law? Or is this just hopeful thinking?

Anonymous said...

Of cource the Canadian Child Support Guidelines are unfair to second children. Why?

Becasue the mathematical formula used to calculate how much money should be sent to the "first kids" is based on 2 assumptions:

1) that the paying parent has no other children in his care to support
2)that the paying parent is living the life of a bachelor with minimal expenses.
(This information is provided in the government document which outlines how the child support payments are calculated, anybody can look it up.)

Obviously, when the paying parent has additional children, a formula based on these false assumption causes him to pay too much. ANd then "extra" expenses get tagged ON TOP of the CS, without any regard for second children that need support as well.

People who are not in the system just don't understand. They think when "second" families complain, that the father somehow doesn't want to support his first children. This is totally untrue. What the paying parent wants (usually the father) is to be able to support ALL his children equally. For instance, my husband sends 1300/month to his first 2 kids. What is left for his second 2 kids? (after all our resonable bills are paid). About $100/month.

Both first AND second families NEED to be considered, and changed need to be made to the flawed child support calculations.

Anonymous said...

I am the parent of a 2.5 year old. Her father asked me to have an abortion, assaulted me during my pregnancy, then bailed completely.

I tried to remain open to the possibility that they would have a relationship. I allowed him early access. He became verbally abusive to me again.

Months passed and he didn't and wouldn't see the child. I applied for child support and he came back with a request for 50% (shared and joint custody). My lawyer told me it was possible that his motivation was only to get out of paying support.

Over the past 2 years he has cancelled MANY visits, has married, refuses to provide for daycare, extra-curricular costs, etc. He is paying only $300. per month.

He and his new wife and child are moving into a 300+ thousand dollar home, driving 2 vehicles, etc. and I am struggling.

I am afraid to pursue a more reasonable level of support to which my daughter is likely entitled because I am afraid she will end up being hurt by a binding legal agreement which forces her to spend 50% time with him in a place where she is unloved or unwanted or worse.

I am left feeling threatened by this and forced to carry the load in order to protect my child. I don't quite see how the second family is being treated unfairly.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster,

I am sorry to hear of your predicament, but I fail how this has anything to do with the topic. Your problems have more to do with a bad relationship and your fears of going for what is owed you within the guidelines.

This topic is about how the Canadian Child Support Guidelines do not recognize the rights of second children as equal to their step-siblings.

Many, many second families are in dire financial situations directly resulting from the money ordered sent to the first family.

Under the guidelines, even if he had 50%/50% custody, you would likely still get child support, as the person with the higher income still pays the other (after her income is off-set). If there is a large discrepancy in incomes, he would pay the full amount.

While this clause would work in your favor, this same clause can financially devastate second families. They pay once through child support, then pay twice when the children are staying with their father and step-siblings.

Anonymous said...

Well, here is my story, I am a paying father to a beautiful little girl who I see 50/50. Her mother and I dated for only 3 months before she was pregnant. during our relationship I was kicked and punched in the back, the relationship ended and she would only let me see my daughter on weekends and evenings, never over night, I spent over $7000.00 on a lawyer so I could see my daughter I pay nearly $900.00 dollars a month in child support, I have recently found a woman I would like to marry, but I cant afford to, and if we do get married I would love to have children, but I am affraid to because of things I read on here....if my ex-girlfriend quits her job i will be forced to pay 100% of everything our child needs and 100% of the guidline payments...which will end up being nearly $2000.00 a month....this makes it way to easy for mothers to sponge off of there "CHILDRENS" child support. Yes I have a better lifestlye then my that my fault that I paid for my own college education, and work hard to have a great job?? most days I feel like quiting my job and getting a minimum wage paying job then she wont always have her hand in my pocket thinking of new ways to pull money out of my bank...I realize how rediculas these thoughts are but....the goverments high child support guidlines are making me feel this way....I cant imagine how hard it will be when/if we have more children. No-one can tell me that it takes $2000.00 to raise a kid or even $900.00/ month, any one who does say this is using the money for themselves and should be ashamed for stealing from their children. I can not even afford to spend $900.00 on my daughter for the time I have her (50%).

Anonymous said...

Is this blog just to let off steam or is the goverment actually going to read these and get the hint that their child support calculations are way out to lunch!!!???

Anonymous said...

To anonymous posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 2:53:00 PM in response to my previous posting...

The issue is that I cannot go after support my daughter is legally entitled to because I cannot risk, her being there for 50/50 under that kind of influence.

I forgot to mention that the woman my ex married has a 10 year old (previous marriage) who is benefiting from the 300+ thousand dollar home, driving 2 vehicles, etc. This daughter also has a father supporting her.

I am struggling, with less support than my child needs because of this other factor (the right for a father to disingenuously fight for 50% custody).

I know alot of women who are raising children on less than the children are entitled to receive just to avoid the involvement of an abusive or indifferent parent's influence.

I just want to point out to you that I don't believe that all second families are hard done by. Mothers like me make up a huge demographic - women who try to shield their children from father's who go after the custody just to avoid paying support to the first family, while the second family lives in the lap of luxury and that is relevant.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster,

You noted "The issue is that I cannot go after support my daughter is legally entitled to because I cannot risk, her being there for 50/50 under that kind of influence."

In your case, your ex's second family is doing better than you. But his good fortune has nothing to do with the Canadian Child Support Guidelines. The Guidleines have nothing to do with a 300K house and nice cars. He married a well-off woman who also recieves child support for her child.

I agree not all second families stuggle. If they came into the situation wealthy, they probably are ok. But again, this has nothing to do with the guidelines.

Many second families struggle to make ends meet, DIRECTLY because the Canadian Guidelines make them pay out way more than is resonable to their first families. I did not say ALL second families suffer, but from many posts here and on other sites, beleive me, many are in dire financial situations due to the Guidelines.

Most people are already aware of the problems a lot of single moms have. I think it is time the problems of second families were brought to light too. Nobody knows about our problems, and they should because they are very real!

These children are just as precious as the "first" ones and yet the courts can order such high amounts to go to the first family that the second family lives in poverty.

In your situation, your ex going for 50/50 may be to get out of paying child support. But on the flip side there are many ex-wives who do not let their "good" ex-husbands have 50/50, because THEY do not want to lose the full amount of child support.

And many situations are the direct opposite of yours i.e. the ex-wife remarries a rich guy, and the ex-husband still sends full child support and his new family continues to suffer while the first kids live in luxury.

There are thousands of different situations. What we need are flexible guidelines that are not "cookie-cutter" "one-size-fits-all", that are there to make it EASY for judges and courts.

Every situation needs to be dealt with thoughfully and in detail by the courts. After all, these are our LIVES, and these guidelines have a HUGE impact on us and our futures.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that each case is different and if the goverment is going to get there nose into peoples personal business that they need to realize they need to personalize each case....look at the different people in each case. the mother and father of the child and their history and records etc. Can any one out there tell me honestly it costs $1200.00 a month to raise a child for only half the month you have the child. Also justify yourself if you think it does cost this much!!

Anonymous said...

Does Anyone know who to get in contact with in the goverment to get these issues brought out in the open and to be rectified!

Anonymous said...

My suggestion is to write to the Attorney General, your local MPP and MPP and don't give up. find or start a petition, don't get angry - stay focused on the outcome for all of the second families that are out there who will benifit from more EQUALITY. Be educated and keep going. they are making changes, they just aren't the right ones! We all need to become a loud enough RATIONAL voice that we are heard and things get better!

Anonymous said...

Write (if in ontario, it is the policy division for the Provinical Attorney General, Chris Bentley)

For Federal (I don't know know the email address, but this where I have been directed.)

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellingtion Street
Owatta, ON
K1A 0H8

Don't expect much, but keep going. Don't give up, they expect you to go away after a few pointless responses directing everyone to persue the issue in the courts.

Anonymous said...

The law should treat every case separately because not all situations are the same. I met my husband 3 years ago and we recently got married. During our engagement he was contacted by a woman he had a one night stand with a few years prior to us meeting. He did the paternity test and was ordered to pay retro pay for child support. I am very upset that a portion of his pay and every promotion goes to monthly child support. If there was any mutual relationship or if my husband would have been made aware of the pregnancy, my feelings might be different. If the money actually went for care for this child it would not bother me as much. The woman is constantly seen in nightclubs, drunk and on drugs every weekend. The child is her second one; she is working on a third victim. I guess she is making a living by getting pregnant and ruining couples that want an honest relationship. She also lives on the Reserve which leads me to think she may get other benefits. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I love my husband, but I hate being in a situation where payments to her come first. There is no law and no help for couples in our situation. We are unable to plan to have kids of our own because the payments to her are too high. I've been thinking about contacting Child Protective services, but frankly our laws should have protected us (and the child) already.

Anonymous said...

I want to know without it costing us yet another fortune in legal fees, if, after the ex wife told a judge right in front of me that she didn't "want" retro, and he repeated the question, and she refused it a second time (he was all set to hand it to her even though it wasn't in the motion to vary), IF she can wake up one morning and say, "I've changed my mind, I want retro" Can she get it even after refusing it to a judge?

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of posting a petition for second families on-line. I will post the link to it here when it is complete. This petition will then go to my MP who will (hopefully) read it in parliament.

Anonymous said...

Whoops, I posted this on another Wise Law Blog, but meant to post it here....

What I have noticed is that ususally only the women (or custodial parents) that complain about the system are the ones who's ex's are NOT doing the right thing, not paying any child support and not looking after their children.
But the custodial parents whose Ex's ARE paying child support and extra expenses do not post on these sites.
Why? Becasue they have a good thing going, they don't have any issues with the system and certainly don't want it to change.
What people need to realize is that the "good" fathers are taken advantage of by the system, many of them and their second families can barely survive.
But we don't hear their stories enough, we just hear the "deadbeat dad" stories.
While I certainly feel bad for any single parent whose ex does not help out financially, it is time people realized - THESE ARE TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES.
We just want the good dads that are getting scr%%#ed by the system to be recognized too.
So I know alot of women write in and say "my ex doesn't pay etc. etc." By writing OUR stories, we are not trying to take away from you.
But good men who can barely pay their bills cause the law makes them pay TOO MUCH to their ex's need a voice too!!!

Anonymous said...

Please sign this petition and pass it on!

We need fairness in these guidelines for ALL the children they affect.

(please copy and paste the above link into your browser)

Anonymous said...

to previous posted... i totally agree with your petition but it needs to be made more public..only 58 people have signed it as of jan 2...i will be sending it to everytone i know..thank you for starting it though!!

Anonymous said...

Canadian Charter of Rights
Equality Rights

Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
Affirmative action programs (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Children in "second" families are discriminated against (they are not entitled to an equal amount of their fathers income as their step-siblings, and they not entitled to have their post-sec. education paid for by law)

Support paying parents are discriminated against (they are not allowed to deduct basic "living expenses" to ensure they can support themselves after CS and extras are paid, they pay all the taxes on CS but are not afforded any benefits for this under tax laws, they can be imputed incomes greater than what they earn, and are made to pay CS on incomes that aren't even real, they are forced to work and have limited choices i.e. are often not able to "up-grade" in schooling as judges order them to keep paying a high amount, they have no choice but to continue working, they are not able to provide equally financially for ALL their children etc. etc.)

"Second" wives are also discriminated against. (they are often told to go back to work to support their families when their children are still babies (because CS and extras that the fathers pay to first wife are well above what is actually needed to raise children, and well above the amount fathers would be required to pay if BOTH the parents of the divorced union were held financaily responsible for their kids after divorce), the first wives are not instructed the same, and are thought of by courts as having the "rights" to be a stay-at-home mom until kids are school age. Thus, second wives lose their right to be a stay-at-home mom until their kids are school-age, and "second" kids are not able to have a stay-at-home mom.)

I do believe "second" children are discriminated against due to "birth order", support payors are discriminated against as they are not "equal under the law" as their ex-wives, and "second" wives are discriminated against due to "order of marriage". These are contrary to Canadian Charter of Rights. Does anybody know if the guidelines have every been challenged in a Canadian court?

Anonymous said...

about having only 58 people sign the petition; I would LOVE to sign it, and will print it and get more signatures right after the court date in February. God knows I don't want to give the ex more fuel. Fow now, I remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

What a devestating situation this is for my children and their future and many other families. I think its great that this petition was created. I will try my best to do my part. I to feel at this point that nothing will be done unless we do something about it - we can change things.

As reading the above I realize how not alone I am. I have never been able to take a trip with my family and my husband and I support my step-daughter and 2 children of our own. The amount of child support he has to give his ex will clearly get her ahead and give her a good life - I call it her having a THIRD INCOME (not only hers and her husbands) but also our income as well. One of which she does not have to pay any taxes from. How horrible is that. My husband and I are hard workers and he does crazy hours just to pay for bills and our mortgage - but as we all know the more he works .. the more he will have to pay her. Please all dont take this the wrong way because I do believe we should all pay support but the calculations are unfair to us and to our children.

With the way these guidelines are I cant see us being able to get ahead in life unless we win the lottery. We have at least another 12-13 years of this - How hopefull is that?


Anonymous said...

To the previous poster,
Glad to hear you are getting on board(when it feels safe for you to do so). The more people that present this petition to their MP's and ask to have it read in Parliament, the more the government will be forced to listen to us!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the guidelines are discriminatory to the second families. There are fathers who pay regularly and on time, and want to spend time with there kids regardless of how much they pay. The guidelines do not take into account the recipients lifestyle. I could be making $100 000 as a family and the recipinet is making $150000 beteween her and her new husband and I still lose $10000 AFTER TAX and give it to her. How is that fair. Since we split up she has had several trips out of the country and I have not been able to leave the province.

I have signed the petition and also have copies of it to circulate among my coleagues and friends. I hope that it will be heard in parliament and change will come soon.

Each case should be heard and evaluated on an individual bases. I am not a father who wants to have 50/50 time so I don't have to pay more. I want to support my second 2 children with the dame equality as my first. I don't love any of my kids more than the other and when they are all together they get treated as equals so why does the law put my first child as more important, but my ex can treat her anyway she wants?

Anonymous said...

I have written on here before, and of course now my ex has come up with a new issue that I am forced to deal with, she has been laid off from her work but wants to continue to put our daughter in day care, I am currently paying 75% of day care costs and 75% of extraordinary costs (actually 100%). I am affraid that she will be asking me to pay 100% of daycare and 100% of the childsupport guideline, this will cause me to have to sell our home, and lets not kid ourselves I am the father, so the law is on her side. So she will successfully take her daughters home away from her just so she can recieve more money. Can you imagine how I am feeling right now as a shared parenting father. I spent over $8000.00 just to get shared custody, I cannot afford to get a lawyer. Please post a comment!! thank you

Anonymous said...

Please look at this it will take a load off your chest.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous,

I do not know a lot about your situation (shared parenting and loss of one parents income). I have been on a web-site called Ottawa Divorce. You can ask questions there and get some legal advice from people who know the system well.

I don't think her situation should become YOUR problem, you are divorced and we are talking about child support, not spousal support. If you lost your job would she be paying you 100% of CS table amounts and 100% of other expenses?

I would hope you would continue paying CS in the amount you do now, and it is up to her to find a another job.

Anonymous said...

I noticed many americans are divorced (on paper only)for financial reasons. By being divorced to the second family, kids are finaly recongnized as equals, the payments are split among the kids. This is not an option we would like to take, but this may be our only alternative. It goes to show how these laws make no sense and create more disfunction among families. I am going to look into this and see if it is the same for Canadians.

Anonymous said...

sign the petition at

Anonymous said...

The Canadian Laws are designed to hurt. I have 2 children.. After our divorce, I paid 900/mo in support, 800 for childcare, and 200 for "specials" 1900/mo. My net salary was 2550/mo. Yes, you read correctly. She was in school so I paid for childcare. She didn't start school until after we split. Our eldest, whom was a child from a previous relationship with her is special needs. He's my son and I have no issue with that all. So after a few years of being separated, she asked me to take the kids. I was happy to. I had them for 4 years during which she remained a student with no income - supported by family so she paid $0.00 in support. After 4 years, I had to send my eldest back. He required more support than I was able to provide - I'm not in Canada and the support networks here for special needs aren't strong.

End result, even though I received no financial no help for 4 years, the first thing I got was a request for support based upon my current income. Oh yes.. so 8 years after we split - she still has no job - still in school.

Now, I pay $1500.00 plus
"specials" - I won't bother with the amount.

Long story short, I'm about to lose my house - the home that my kids have lived in. I can no longer pay for the family car. I'm faced with declaring bankrupcy.

Oh, and I'm required to pay for childcare so she can continue on her life-long venture for an education.

I quit university 2 semesters from graduation so I couls support my kids.

I'm not angry about taking care of my boys. I'm happy to. What I'm angry about is from a financial position, I have been 100% financially responsible for them when the other parent just couldn't be bothered to work and just remain indefinitely in school. I have no doubt that I will also be paying 100% of their post-secondary educations.

The law should REQUIRE that both parents make financial contributions. It is shameful that the law makes the payer 100% responsible for basic costs and then splits up the remaining based on income because in my case, she has had no income for 8 years. She's getting a graduate degree, and I'm going to be homeless.

It's funny that the only way I can stop being treated like a wallet with legs is to quit my job and stop trying to be a good parent and build a foundation for them. It's funny that in order to do what I felt was in their best interest is now making me homeless.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend has two grown children 21 yrs. old and 24 yrs. old. He is on CPP Disability and has a modest income from investments from when he worked. He has been told that he is in arrears with his payments and will pay until the day he dies.

His rent has gone up twice this year and he just received a notice from FRO that his payments are going up about $250.00 a month.

He has to pay for some of his very expensive medication as he is on Trillium and more on over the counter salves and such that are not covered.

Bell regularly threatens to cut his service and cable TV already has. He needs $1,000 worth of work on his teeth, but because he is on CPP Disability and can never work again and is between the ages of 19 and 64 there is no coverage available from any service.

The concept of "disposable income" does not exist. He eats a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and bologna sandwiches. Our entertainment is visiting friends in similar conditions.

Both children have cars, live in a nice house and go to university. One just came back from vacation down south and the other lives in residence at his/her university.

My boyfriend lives in a building which has a quota for disabled people in the worst part of town. The super warned him not to talk to his next door neighbour. Buses and cars whiz by night and day.

Another entertainment of ours is watching the firetrucks and ambulances come rolling in to other buildings.

We cannot get married because his rent subsidy will disappear and - I think - I will lose my disability. Even if I don't I can't my part of the rent. In fact we couldn't afford the marriage certificate.

I am outraged at the inequity that exists where the children live comfortable middle class lives (I don't want them to be deprived of the essentials, I myself am a divorced child whose support was stopped by a bitter stepmother.) boyfriend lives in poverty. Poverty. Can you get your head around that? While his children lack for NOTHING.

In addition, they don't phone him on his birthday or Father's Day. He has to phone them. He loves and misses them dearly and only sees them at their whim a couple of times a year. Now I must say that they are wonderful kids, but the situation isn't.

As I said, I was a divorced child and I have my own experiences to draw on. My mother asked for modest support for me at the time knowing she did not want to destroy him.

This man, an incredible man, my boyfriend deserves justice - again not at the expense of his children, but they both have jobs, so...

What about the old days when the kids supported the parent into old age? There's something wrong when you can't get enough change together to buy laundry detergent and washing will have to wait. Again.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone out there that has had any luck with changing their situation around? I hear a lot of stories ie: payments to high, cant afford to maintain second families, had to sell my house etc... I guess we (my husband and I) have had nothing but really bad luck. The corrupt law wins ALWAYS. He is a great dad. Our situation is a bit different. His ex. will not let him see his daughter (who is 10) for the past 9 years he has been fighting to see her and has represented himself. After many years he has been able to get her for almost 40% but its not enough to lower payments.(it took him thousand of dollars and 9 years to get to this point) He is supposed to have a great income - he worked his tail off and is in a comfortable and great job. BUT as we all know his ex wants it all. Nevermind the 1200 per month payments - she needs the section 7. We have a mortgage and life is not cheap - with two kids of our own.

The funny part of my story is that her husband makes a lot of money and she is a hair dresser (doesnt claim any of it to the gov) and works as a part time bus driver making 18,000/year. Oh YES, you heard it right.. she says that she does not have any other skill. I thank her so much for trying her best and giving it all she's got to better herself as an individual but mostly thanks for bringing women in general down!

THings just dont add up. I have emailed everyone in the justice system. Never hear back ... just wanting to know:

'why my children dont also get 1200 each PLUS extra section 7 expenses' Apperently after all we are a very discriminatory system. SICK!

Here is the math:

Husband brings home 4500 net/month
pays almost 1600/child support - also has to buy clothes (winter and summer activities) also dont forget food. His ex refuses to provide and the courts.. well you know how it is.. unless you have a child psych they help.. otherwise you are all alone. mortgage is 1800 or so plus all the rest.

Whats left for my children? cents maybe?

The reality of it all is that I am wondering how much longer as a family we will last? the stress and burden we both feel is incredible. We love eachother but i have gone past the point of being bitter and he.. well.. he feels aweful.

There is nothing we can do?

These are very sad stories i read about all the time. Please someone answer if they have had a change and maybe share it.

I belive in both parents sharing costs and i think is sick when dead beat parents run away from this responsibility but something has got to give?

Unknown said...

let us not forget these are our children. these moms[and Im not mom bashing], that decide to not work because they are recieving more than enough money from the fathers of they;re children, should work. Even part time! After all would they not be doing this if they were still with the original dads? And as for extra coricular activities, GIMME A BREAK! i NEVER GOT HE CHANCE TO DO HOCKEY, FOOTBALL, BASEBALL, ETC.hello again, I was in a cab the other day, talking to the driver as he drove. He tells me he had 2 young girls in his cab, he happened to hear them. 1 19 yr old says to the other[AND I CANT F%$#@ BELIEVE THIS, YOU DONT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY, YOU NEED TO HAVE SOME MORE CHILDREN,THE GOV WILL PAY YOU 1,000.00 per child on Welfare!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING WITH THESE YOUNG GIRLS!!!

Unknown said...

Things have to change. This Country is falling apart at the seams. Inequality is the word of the day with the upstanding authorities turning a blind eye to those whom are truly impoverished by and archaic justice system based on cookie cutter laws. I work my ass off for my money, just as those that pass judgement, as has been granted the right to them by those I've not ever met. My ex should also have to work for her money. I have no problem providing for my daughter, that is my responsibility and one I accept with glee BUT I want to provide for HER not her mom who is living in a 750000 house with a common law husband going on two years now...of course she is another life time student so SOMEHOW she qualifies for legal aide (oh right, I am stuck renting 700 sq feet of upstairs suite in a house). Yep, this is our Country, our Canada...and it's God damn time we stand up and remind these hacks and jack asses who works for who. Our taxation system, our justice system, our medical system, the list is endless. Power in numbers. We have the technology to bring about this realization, to unite a strong should-to-shoulder force to be reckoned with and answer to. Let me assure you, I have it in the works, and I will be letting everyone who reads this know, every similar blog on Canadian beefs will know...and that willbe the start. I'm done taking it in the ass. Time to make a change people!

Anonymous said...

In Canada parents pay for University up whatever age the child is when they graduate (21, 22, 23, 24......)

At the same time, the NCP may be forced to pay not only for college, but continue to pay child support to the custodial parent, even if the child no longer resides at the CP's house full-time.

The reasoning? The CP has to maintain a home for the child when they come to visit on weekends and holidays.

I say this is the most obvious arena in the child support laws that are blatently spousal support and have nothing whatsoever to do with the child.

These laws were written for women who don't want to lose CS when the child grows up, so they were added in.

The reasoning behind paying the CS while the child lives elsewhere is so outrageous it is hard to beleive this was ever passed.

Hasn't the NCP maintained a home in the exact same manner (for when the child stays with him on weekends and/or holidays) but there is NO compensation for him doing this for 18+ years?! But when the CP has to do this, they are fully compensated.

No wonder in Canada over 90% of CP are women, they would never give it up, basically getting the kids is like winning the lottery.

I am terrified of the time when my husbands first kids start going to University, as our own 2 children will still be in elementary school, and even with both of us working full-time, I don't know how we will pay for this.

We can't claim "undue hardship" because she either doesn't work or works PT, so our household income will always be larger than hers, and if I quit my job, we wouldn't be able to pay our bills.

The system says you can claim undue hardship, but in reality 2nd families cannot do this as both parents HAVE to work full-time in order to survive.

Pitted against single moms that live off child support awards, CCTB, tax refunds and part-time work, we can NEVER claim hardship, therefore our kids will NEVER be recognized as suffering at the hands of an ex-wife who chooses not to work, which DIRECTLY affects how our other 2 children can live!

Therefore second children are NOT considered when awarding money for the first kids. And his ex-wife has already told us "they are going to University and YOU are paying".

For the last 8 years our "proportional" part of any extra expense has been anywhere between 100% (when she doesn't work) to 80% (when she works part-time). So I expect we'll be paying 80% of school AND still paying her CS.

If anything needs to reformed when it comes to child support laws, it is the idea that children of divorce have entitlements that transcend the reality of what a parent can reasonably contribute.

Write you MP's. Tell them FORCED child support payments/education payments for ADULTS need to stop.

All contributions after a child is an adult should be VOLUNTARY or do they believe only "first" children have a right to go to University, while "second" children can be homeless as far as they care.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever thought to contact 16:9 The Bigger Picture, in regards to the content of this blog? I think that if a good chunk of people got together and emailed or phoned, maybe they'd look into some of the stories shared here, and maybe just maybe they'd do some research on this. Then maybe something could be done to change the system.

I am a mother of two children, married to a man who had a child in a previous relationship. We can't afford anything. We pay child support, and are not looking to get out of that, but to seek a fair amount. This child is in every sport imaginable, and we struggle just to put food on our table. Entering our child into any one sport is just not ever going to happen because my husband's first child needs to be in 6 different sports. Plus he needs to be in the latest clothing styles, and all that jazz, and we shop at second hand stores for "new" clothing for our children. This is just my rant, and there is much much more things that my children and our family go without because of the way this system works. My hubby's ex collects from two different men for child support, works, is on welfare, and in a common law relationship. She lives the high class life, and we live in poverty to provide her with her lifestyle. I am sick to my stomach at how this system works. It's disgusting, and something needs to be done.

Anonymous said...

We had some good news lately. I lost my job and we were worried about husband's job too. But after his performance review not only did he get a $7000/yr raise, he got a $10,000 bonus. That was great news, right when I lost my job and we need the extra income while I look for another one.

Then I did the math. My husbands seperation agreement says that he adjusts his CS payments every year. Which means we have to ADD $17,000 to his income and pay CS on this new amount.

What really gets me is it is the GROSS amount (17K) meanwhile, bonuses are taxed at 50% in this country (Canada) and the 7K put him in a higher tax bracket too! So, we'll get $5000 or so from the bonus, and an extra $291/month in income.

However, we now have to pay ex-wife and extra $248/month in Child support. So his "raise" of 7K gives us and extra $43/month in income. But here is the cruncher, his shared extra expenses now go up. She recently got a job (finally) but he will still be paying over 80% of all "extras" Because there are so many, we will actually PAY OUT MORE than the extra $43/month in income.

So what the HECK is wrong with this picture???? We have 2 kids, she has their 2 kids. MY HUSBAND gets a raise and a bonus and SHE AND THE FIRST TWO kids benefit. My husband and the "second" family get screwed again.

Welcome to the wonderful world of family law and "first" wives. Entitled by our F*&*&ED up LAWS to ex-husbands hard earned money. Physically divorced, but financially still married to OUR HUSBANDS!

Anonymous said...

I made a mistake with the above comment. The bonus and raise was taxed at 40%, not 50%.

But the conclusion stands;


Anonymous said...

So I am wondering, is it a human rights or possibly discrimination against my children to not have equal consideration under the law due to their birth order? (they have a MUCH lower standard of living due to child support commitments of my husband)

Anonymous said...

Australia automatically takes 2nd family children into account. They have always done it, but now have made it even fairer to 2nd families. They even add the family allowance (CCTB in Canada) as part of the CP's true household income. Unlike in Canada, where the custodial parent can can get up to 7K (tax free in CCTB) (on top of CS) and it is not even counted as income in the CP household when determining the % for special expenses each parent should pay. Nor is it added to the CS recieved to see how much the CP is really getting "for the children". In our case the CP gets $1700/month tax free "for the children" (between CS and CCTB) and claims an income of only 20K/year.

Anonymous said...

I am a single mother who has raised two children to adulthood (both in university). Their father has done the absolute minimum in raising them, leaving all the work to me and fighting to get out of paying for them all the way. We were divorced over his 10 yr long affair which blew the marriage into high heaven. Because of the work involved in raising children on my own, my career, health, and financial situation has suffered much more than his. His new wife went into the marriage with eyes wide open knowing he had two children to support yet constantly moans about his payments of $1100.00 a month, a pittance in raising two children. Personally I think second wives should reconsider having children with men who are fathers with obligations if their incomes cannot compensate for the child support going out of the house. Better yet, people should stay married to the other parent,and try to be good spouses instead of having affairs, or moving on to younger trophy wives. (apologies to men who have been shafted by golddigging opportunists...) My new partner pays $3300.00 a month and will forever, to an exspouse with whom he had NO children, and has lost 100% of his wealth fighting this in court. Be thankful for the fact that when family number one is grown, you will then be off the hook for children that YOU brought into this world. Children need to be supported, and the guidelines are not excessive. Perhaps it would be better to push for reform to the section 7 expenses, which seem to be more problematic. Incidentally with two kids in university, I can tell you that having them in residence does NOT reduce the monthly cost of raising them, sorry. In fact it just adds more expense to many already struggling FIRST families, many of whom are single moms, like me. Petitions to make changes will not work if it results in first families ending up in poverty which would happen, if many of the suggestions contained within were acted upon.

Anonymous said...

My big question is, what's being done about this? Whatever happened to that petition? Obviously, countless families are affected negatively and the guidelines need to be reassessed.

My husband who is paying child support to his ex-wife is so frustrated with his situation, he has basically given up. Not that he doesn't want to support his children; he is a wonderful father and desperately wants to be with his kids, but his ex wife has alienated his children and continues to refuse access (despite a court ordered agreement that outlines an exact schedule of access). Financially we are in the same boat as the countless '2nd' families on this blog due to unreasonably high child support payments.My husband can't even take the time off work to get surgery done because we cannot afford to. Last time he was laid off work for a few months and was on EI, he was still required to pay the full amount of child support, leaving $135/ month. How can this be justified?

My daughter from a previous relationship lives with us,and I have joint custody with her father. By the way, I can also speak to the other side of the argument. I think I will be one of the few (if not only) recipient of child support payments from a 'good dad' that has ever posted here.....My ex pays me $250/month in child support. This was based on his income 9 years ago (we settled out of court) and to this day he is still paying me the same amount despite making about $80,000 now. Why haven't I demanded more money? Because I believe that money isn't everything. Sounds cliche? maybe. However,I would rather keep a good relationship between us for the sake of my daughter than fight about a few hundred extra bucks every month ( although we could sure use it).

Maybe the bigger problem is not necessarily with the system (although it's certainly in need of some revamping)but with our values. Maybe if the women who put their ex husbands in impossible financial situations would have some compassion and enough foresight to realize they are only hurting their children in the long run, they would be more reasonable about their demands. I'm not speaking about the honest, single parents who really NEED the support(because I have also been there....), or about the women who are dealing with truly 'dead-beat' dads,but about those who take advantage of a flawed system. Do you ever stop to think what you are teaching your children???? So, my message is to women who feel that they are entitled to receiving large, unreasonable amounts of money from their exes-here is my advice. Show your child(ren)a good example; try to maintain a decent relationship with your ex, and teach your kids that money isn't everything. Be reasonable about your financial demands and try to have compassion for the 'other' family. Is that so much to ask?

Anonymous said...

To the poster that said "$1100 doesn't begin to cover the costs of 2 children", I'll ask you to put your self in your exes shoes for a moment.

Now pretend your ex has custody of the kids. So instead of recieving $1100 every month, you now have to PAY $1100 every month. Your income will go down by $2200, because you no longer have the 1100 coming in, and now must pay out 1100.

Remember this is AFTER TAX money, so you probably have to earn around 3000 more to have the same level of household income you now have (with custody of 2 kids).

Now, with your household income reduced by 2200 after tax dollars, you have to have a place for your kids to stay when they come and visit you. You have to feed them. You have to entertain them. You have to buy them things they need when they are with you.

You no longer get to claim the "child equiv. to spouse" on your income tax, so you pay ALOT more in taxes. You no longer get the CCTB, or any other money, that goes to your ex.

If they attend university, you can subtract not only 2200 net/month from your current income, but probsbly MUCH more.

But your ex is just complaining for nothing right?

Anonymous said...

My husband has a daughter from a previous casual relationship. The mother married her now husband when the child was a year old, they have 2 more children of their own. I have been with my husbad since his daughter was 2. The mother did not acknowledge him on the BC. He was always willing to pay child support, and wanted to have a father & daughter relationship with his child. They had a DNA test done to prove his paternity. We have 2 more children of our own as well. So we are almost a mirror image of each other. We have the privelege of having his daughter once a week, and every second weekend. We would love to have a week on week off custody arrangement. But her mother finds all kinds of excuses to avoid that situation. According to the Guidelines my husband should pay $670 a month to his daughters mother which would put us in such a tough financial position. If we paid $670 for each of our kids every month that would be $2010/month. We bring in $3700 after taxes so with our mortgage of $1740 a month we would be left with a deficit of $50 a month. Where is the logic in that? We have a home with a room just for her, she has clothes, books, toys, everything she needs while she's here. We pay an out of court agreed upon amount of $350, roughly 10% of the amount of his net income, which is a lot more appropriate in my eyes. Thank goodness for amicable situations. BUT should things change and we would be forced to pay the guideline amount, we'd need to sell our home, which we have worked and sacrificed so much for. How can we be treated the same as a father with no other children and zero time with his child? Our situation is unique, and should be assesed for what it is. I understand there are a lot of single mom's out there struggling to make ends meet, but my step-daughter's mom is not one of them. There are so many great, reliable, responsible men out there who deserve financial comfort just as much as the mother and child do. She had the right to have a second family, and so did he.

Jennifer AP said...

I am the second wife and have gone through 10 years of hell dealing with my husbands ex wife, access issues, support issues and with 2 kids of my own am at my wits end. Can all this talk start making headway to a higher entity and have the laws ajusted to reflect a fair situation for all involved. Tell me where to start!!!

Connie said...

I am in the same boat as you.. I have been dealing with this stupid issues for the last 6 years.. How do you handle it.. Have you been able to stay out of their problems.. I have a hard time.. because it is affecting my life with my family.. we can always help who we fall in love with..

Anonymous said...

I am a second wife, we have struggled for 8 years to support his 4 kids and our household. My son is from a previous marriage, my son's father died, there is no survivour benefits or anything. My son is disabled...I have always worked full time to put food on the table, the support payments are always on time and in full. The government of Saskatchewan has cut off ALL of my services for my son..I have had to quit my job..the ex-wife shrew is now taking us to court for more money...without my income there is only $500 for gas, groceries, diapers and nutritional supplements...Iam scared!! Something must be done to save these "second" families...we are not "second"...we are families it should not make a damn bit of difference...these kids should all be treated equal. my husband loves my son and my son loves my husband. My son is classed as nonverbal and every night he will not go to bed without saying goo nigh i yyuy you to my husband.We have been put in a position we have no control over and will loose everything

Andrew T. said...

To all second wife whiners: Don't marry a man who has minor children for whom he is paying child support. Simple as that.

I hear a second wife whining "But it's my right to have children with my husband."

Yes, you have the right to have children with whomever you please. You also have the responsibility of choosing a man who can support all of his children. Choosing a man who cannot do this--REGARDLESS OF HOW UNFAIR THE LAW IS--is an irresponsible choice.

You know full well going into this that the child supports laws are stacked against you. Yet you choose to marry and have children with this man in spite of this. To put it bluntly, that is stupid.

Being a second wife with non-custodial step children is a choice. A stupid choice. You could have easily married:

a childless man
a man with adult children
a custodial father

But no, you married a man with child support obligations to his first family. First come, first served. If you don't like being second best, don't become a second wife and make a second family.

On a touchier note, second wives have no right to feel resentful toward first wives. They were there first before you came into the picture. YOU chose to enter the picture, the first wife did not have a choice.

If your husband dumped his first wive to "upgrade" to a younger model, what makes you think he won't do the same to you? Everyone knows that second marriages have higher rates of divorce than first marriages. If you're the "other woman," what makes you think he won't cheat on you and replace you with another other woman?

Frankly, I think these unfair laws are a good thing, because they might make men think twice before dumping their first family willy-nilly.

If my comment touches a raw nerve with some of you second wives, good. You need a reality check on your bad choice.

Anonymous said...

Loved your comment Andrew T! And to add, men who complain about paying child support yet go off and have more children by someone else are just idiots.

It's not fair to your original child(ren) to go off and start a second family. If anything, child support should be raised even more, maybe that would encourage a bit more family values. If you fail your first family, then you sure as heck have no right to go and start another one.

Does anyone ever ask themselves "how does having kids by someone else affect my original children?" No matter how you look at it, starting a second family takes time, money, and resources away from your original children.

Adults need to think about how their actions affect their kids.

Jennifer2ndwife said...

I am disgusted by the comments by Andrew T and others in agreement.To start I was a single childless woman who never knew the unfair and greedy conundron of the ex wives club and the unfair government that supports it. My husband has always paid his support and that still is not enough for his ex who chooses to MILK the system. We have been lied about, refused access and countless other issues and the only thjing we can do to fix it is TAKE IT BACK TO COURT $$$$$$$. We have (responsibly) 2 other children and if it wasnt for his SPOILT child from his ex wife we could spoil ours a litte bit. NOW we are paying for 71% of tutoring while she socks away money into RRSP (of which we cannot afford) that lower her income. Not to mention the fact that she does not have to declare the $25000 GROSS income from us and we have to pey extraordinary expences based on this money existing in our pockets. WHAT!!!! Not to mention the extra $250 a month we spend on tutoring is just replacing the fact that his 15 year old daughter rarely attends school as it is...oh so you say then have it canged....BACK IN COURT$$$$$$. The ex can write off legal fees...we cannot!! By your rediculaous comment ANDREW T et al....once a man has sired a child he is PUNISHED for the rest of his life by not being given the decency to have a fresh start!! We are NEVER asking to neglect paying waht is appropriate....But honestly the system as it is is FAR from appropriate for the fathers.

Jennifer2ndwife said...

Oh and as far as the comment to raise child support for second family fathers....this is a comment obviously coming from a greedy ex wife wanting what she is NOT entitled to so she can buy that PRADA PURSE instead of putting away for the child themselves. Might I add I am a child from a single parent that asked for nothing from my father and did it on her own. Grow up LADIES And Move on and stop making these men PAY for your bitterness!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I read these comments and realize I am not alone...we pay $1400. per month for 2 kids, plus extras, the boy plays 4 instuments, the girl 12 yrs old, has art lessons to the tune of $600. ? what? my husband and I can only take a weekend or two camping or staying with a friend..this is SPOUSAL cant tell me it takes more than $700. to care for a 12 yr old..PLUS we pay dental, summer camp, horse riding lessons, etc etc...they just had A ONE MONTH VACATION....they do it EVERY YEAR!!!! and then mini holidays thru the year....question is HOW DO WE CHANGE THIS? The mother now wants more, my husband works 6 days a week, his health is failing and we are about ready to move into a rural area and quit everything....DONE AND DONE!!

Anonymous said...

As a mom in a second family, I'm now realizing I have to look out for my child....I love my stepchildren dearly and support them as much as possible....but when it is all said and done, my child will receive a lot less in the fancy vacations and possibly not as much for post-secondary education and/or living expenses (i am an older mother - retirement age when my child will enter university). I am going to make sure this is taken care of in the Wills....stepchildren will get less than my child..just to even it out. I am not taking child support into consideration as that money went to mom's mortgage/fancy stuff and of course feeding the children. I will make sure it is written into the Will that my child's education and living expenses are considered before splitting the pot evenly among all the children. My child is 12 years younger with only us to inherit from...the others have many sources of support.

Anonymous said...

I just typed out a post that was too long to explain and define the specifics of how these guidelines based on the income of the payor and not the needs of the children (all paternal children) in fairness affected me as a Canadian. It is definitely causing severe problems and costing amazing amounts for the tax paying family, and I cannot even begin to explain my story as I may have to write a book! definite discrimination, unlawful practices, child abuse and neglect of interest's as per court orders!Sad Sad Sad, and it will continue as it has for recipients to have free lawyers, support, health, and do not contribute them selves even half the amount they are receiving! No child lives on these amounts... some adults do... and if you make them fair and double them (so both parents show receipts of contribution ie.. 600/month x2=1200 if its fair) Thats completely ridiculous! Parents would talk about what they could afford to at given times. The paying parent with 2 children in his home are disregarded and not considered under our own laws?? I think that is Child neglect and could it not be a form of child abuse and ignorance? thats right.. So write to your MP! May be the only thing I can think..I have, no response but maybe he needs 30,000? maybe 700,000? I dunno maybe just the 1/4 send one who are going through it! Call CBC, News papers, Lobby... 1 hr writing a letter to your MP can save years of agony on these children and hard working support payors!

Second but best! said...

Hey all you second wives out there, I have a story, Some news and a suggestion.
My husband and I have been together going on 10 years, he has 4 beautiful kids from a previous marriage and we have one as well. My son has autism, it is classed as servere.I live in Saskatchewan any support from the provincial government is income capped for special needs kids. In july 2011 all my funding and support from the provincial government was cut off because of our "high income" Keep in mind I can not even bring in enough money to supplement the child support payments. So in july I had to quit my job to stay home and care for my son. My son's added expenses total over $6000 per year for nutritional supplements and incontenance supplies.We have had 2 "undue hardship" claims, and both we lost, the latest one was in april 2012 This is when I started emailing. I have emailed every level of government, both provincial and federal explaining what happened in both cases. I emailed my MP, the Minister of Health for both levels of government (our children live in poverty), the Minister of Justice for both federal and provincial, the Minister of finance (child support is tax exempt which in many cases since child support isn't shown on our taxes we do not qualify for any assistance) and every single MLA in this province. Every single one of my emails were then forwarded to the Minister of Justice, and I mean every single one! I have also emailed many senetors. I finally got some attention! If you look through the parliment website you will find that the rules of "undue hardship" are different between the province. Quebec for example, they have a civil code in their guidelines which forces the judge to take ALL the children into consideration, not just the children in the recipents home. There have been some changes in BC's system as well. I am not entirely sure about this one. it is new and maybe not comming into force until 2013. But if I am understanding correctly if there is an undue hardship claim, and the claim is warrented (more kids) then the court will send someone out to assess both households! Something like that anyway. The really great news is I finally got some positive feed back at the provincial level. We have a new Minister of Justice in Saskatchewan and he forwarded my emails to a member of the Crown Counsel, who is also involved with Policy, Planning and Evaluation Branch in Saskatchewan. I am very pleased to inform you that this person has asked for access to our court files going back to 2007 and also has been in touch with both the Quebec and BC's justice system to verify their procedures! This person knows the system needs to change, it is too late for us my husband is declairing bankruptcy soon but we still have 6 years to pay. With a little luck and more pressure from "second" wives maybe things can change! One thing I do need to clarify is my husband is not my son's bio father, my son's father died when he was young, there are no death benefit's either. My suggestion is sign every petition you can find for change and send emails to all your MLA's in your province, send emails to the Minister of Justice (not through the contact form, you can find thier email addresses on the parliamnet website) of both governments, send emails to both Minister of health and the minister of finance. With your emails be sure to include pictures of your children. It is alot of work time and effort that I am hoping it will pay off.

Anonymous said...

I've been on both ends. I never took a dime from my ex. It's not about money and I didn't want any. I'm also a second wife as well. I am not against child support. I believe that every child is worth the same amount. The government should create a flat rate. So if it costs 200 to raise a child per month then you pay 200 regardless of income. If you have 3 kids you pay 600 or whatever the government deems appropriate. Income shouldn't matter. Why would a woman better herself when she can sit on her fat ass and collect? Why would a man better himself if he has to pay more money. My husband walked away from his two kids because 1 we can't afford to feed two more mouths. And 2 his ex is the laziest goldfigger ever. She barely works and went to Mexico twice this year, once by herself. We can't make ends meet. And he misses his kids desperately but it was a painful decision to make. A flawed system by far. Everything should be a flat rate, income tax, child support, baby bonus etc. Why suffer if you at successful?? Things are so bad, my husband talks about ending his life far too often. Can't wait to tell my kids and step kids that the reason daddy killed himself was so fatass could buy her self new purses and go to the spa. Lots of guys walk away, not because of children, because of bitter exes.

Anonymous said...

Well get this. My girlfriend suffered an episode of depression mainly caused by her ex. He then uses this time frame to brain wash the children and prevents any contact over 2 years. he wants child support. Him and his new family make over $180k a year. So my girlfriend pays child support even though she never did naything wrong other than to submit to his harassment. To unilaterally steal the children away was bad enough, but to have to pay child support for children who have no repsect or responsibility is far too much. There is no common sense and the parental alienator knows this. There is no recourse almost.

So it is not just men who get burned, it is women who made the mistake of marrying a harasser and manipulator. This is so sad to see "children" who by the way are 18 and 16 team up with a "brain washer" and cause hell to second families.

Anonymous said...

Not even half that!!! I raise two on my own and earn 70,000 a year! I don't spend that on the each and every month or even through out the year and they are spoiled rotten! These people have to stop being soo nieve! No one should be paid to be a parent, and the other have should have to "step up" and match it! Big words a lot of parents are using against the working paying fathers! Step up? Mommy, you carried the baby, your not pregnant anymore! Get to work like every body else! We need room for the real bums on welfare and the real disabled people! Disability claims, welfare! But ask these people and they will not say they are disabled! Just to work, but for nothing else! Pathetic! And the tax payor pays! How many people need to support their asses!!

Anonymous said...

MP, OR CBC... The government can't hide these people from the taxpayor any longer!

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed! The fathers pay and believe its ok to move on and have children with another spouse. After all it is okay for the woman to as she is never accountable anyways (a woman could live off of multiple men). This is why the laws don't state that your second born children will be neglected when it comes to support for your fist born. After all that would be "PREDJUDICE". Its not written that way, but we all are clearly aware it is that way, and none other. This is a very bad message we tax payors paid to have put out there by our government. People seeking child support should start seeking a job (well a lot of them) thierselves and in particular cases. Some very wise words... Don't get mad, don't get even... GET AHEAD! Work out fair monies for CHILD SUPORRT and cut out these collection agencies and all the stress that you put on eachother!! It effects the children! Selfish! Selfish! I resent my mother for hounding my father... He tried his best, and she sat on mothers allowance and believed she should be paid to be a "stay at home mom". That's not a career, its a nanny! Be parents!!! The kids will grow up and realize this bull!!!! Trust me, as I am one of them!

Second but best! said...

Hi second families!
In the beginning of sept 2012 I sent out emails to all 305 MP's about our situation regarding my disabled child living in extreme poverty as a direct result of child support, the income tax act and disability supports use of the income tax act. Child support is seen as the right of the child, which is in my opinion is true. The amounts however are absurd. The rights of the children of the subsequent union are IGNORED, our children do not have the same rights as the first born. According to the UN convention of 91, all children are supposed to have the same rights! Canada signed with the convention in 1991! I have started getting replies from Gail Shea, Leona Aglukkag, James Flaherty, Rob Nicholson and Harper himself! Email, people, email!!

Anonymous said...

Andrew T are you for real? Do you really think that most marriages split up because the man want to "upgrade" to a newer version? Actually, it is well documented that over 70% of divorces are initiated by the wife. That's because it is much easier to divorce if you are pretty certain you are going to get the kids and the cash that comes along with them. How many men want to divorce, knowing that they are going to effectively lose their kids and a huge chunk of their income will go to support the ex. It is always easy to tell who really has never been down this road. Do we tell single moms or women that get pregnant a second time "too bad, you should have not had a second kid, that kid gets nothing". No, actually we go after the father and make him pay support for HER second kid. Do we make the moms who re-marry and have second kids only spend the child support on kid#1? Of course not, we let her spread her household income, including child support(which now includes more kids) evenly to ALL her kids. As it should be. For both families. Second children in intact families are the ONLY children that are deemed less "important" than other children. Currently any child, other than kids of fathers who pay child support, are deemend to require their fathers financial support, whether it's a one-night stand, or a second divorce. But the truth of the matter is that these men that we marry, that are paying support, are the good guys. Child support, in reasonable levels, has pretty much been supported by all the posters on the board, even us evil 2nd wives (lol). But the amounts are simply too high, and people not living it, just don't get it. They don't get that the child support is one small part of a bigger financial burden. We pay taxes on that money, but it leaves our houses. We support a dependent (the first kids) but don't get to claim them for tax credits. We don't share in child tax benefits, even though we are also supporting the children. We then have to pay "extra" expenses on our WHOLE income again, as if the child support (which we paid taxes on and sent to the ex) is still in our homes, so we pay on this fictional amount of money AGAIN. We get turned down for provincal help for funding for OUR kids with things like playschool or sports funding, because our income are deemed too high, becasue they figure we have all the income we paid taxes on, only we DON'T have it, plus the "extras" we paid for are gone too. But now our children don't get the financial help when they need it. Those lousy second children, should have never been born I guess. Our kids get a scrap of CCTB. If they based it on our real household incomes (after CS, other expenses) we'd be getting a fair amount, instead of a pittance (while the ex doesn't claim it, so gets ways more for the kids than she would get if she actually had to claim the child support income in her home). In the end, I am sure that on top of child support and extras, the tax loop-holes that exclude us in every manner, make our households lose on average another $400/month. So, to people like Andrew T., do you really think the fathers couldn't support ALL their kids better if things were not soooo in favor of the custodial parent? There are plently of good fathers and second wives that are working very hard and paying child support, but the system really is broken and it is so complicated, that unless you LIVE it, you really don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Belinda Poole

I have to say , i think child support is very unfair to the payor. I have 2 children of my own and divorced due to my ex having an affair. I never once went after him for full support as I didn't want my children to live with me and see me eating steak going out and yet go to their dads and live in poverty there and eat kraft dinner. Yes he made a mistake but at the end of the day we decided to have our children and the lifestyle they were accostumed to at that time of the divorce is the lifestyle we maintained for them mutually, without me benefitting from his growth in his job and raises.

I have since re married and my current husbands ex that wanted out of the marriage drags him to court constantly for more money every year in excess of 1300/month. My children suffer as i help him to pay her. Mean while he makes about 73k pays taxes then another 15k to her and takes home about 40k when all is said and done. She lives high on the hog working at the casino , collecting over 200 in tips per night 5 days a week, collects her 15k from him and her wage of 34k. Tell me how this is fair. There is no betterment for the payor and she repeats all the benefits. She doesn't claim her tips in excess of over 25k/year and nets over 65k per year. Then on top of that if we want the kids we have to pay to fly them to see us and she will not share that exspense. HOW is the payor of child support suppose to better themselves. I believe incomes should be 50/50 split or whatever the payor was making at the time of separation is what the ex receives as that's the lifestyle the ex and children were accostumed to. Any comments feel free to email me at I've been on both sides of this fence and the law is very unjust!


Anonymous said...

So how do we get these laws changed?? Everyone who is NOT receiving child support agrees that the "child support chart" is not fair, I struggle to pay my bills living pay cheque to pay cheque while my ex takes extended unpaid summer holidays. I have "shared custody" I have my child 50% of the time, so I support her 50% of the time, I added up what it costs to raise a child her age and I am giving my ex twice that amount every month and supporting my child 50% of the time on top of that seriously who comes up with these charts?? As a result I am very bitter with me ex, all the problems and stress this has created isn't good for any of the family all over money. LETS GET THIS CHANGED.

Anonymous said...

Both Parents are responsible for their children, too often one parent wants the other parent to pay for all the expenses. My husbands ex-wife stop working to be a stay home mother, 18 years ago, and has been living solely of child support my husband has paid. His oldest son is now 18 years old, and just finished high school. Although he is no going to attend post-secondary education, he is still paying the same amount of child support so the younger child is not deprived. How is it fair that she has not provide any financial support to either child. I believe both the mother and father have to take responsibility. I am sorry that there are so many men that fail to provide for their children but there is a equal amount of women that have children solely to get child support. Me and my husband have decided to have children, but I financial support my children.

Anonymous said...

I find it appalling the injustice herein Canada after reading the postings , especially of second families. I myself married to a man who has two children from a previous marriage. His ex left the marriage for someone else, took the children to another country. My husband moved their to be near his children and increased child support without judgement. His ex wife now earns over 180 000 us tax free money, not to mention her job provides an education allowance for the two children. She came to Qu├ębec to use the federal child support table for her two children 18 and 20 . My husband earns 66000 gross and we have three children Under 12. My salary and my husband's do not match his ex's salary, but the judge ordered my husband to pay 750/month of his take home salary to his ex who passes her time having plastic surgery. It is summer time I earn less in order to stay home with the kids, summer camp is too expensive for three kids, we do not take vacation, we do not eat out. This is the Canadian justice system.

Anonymous said...

My husband had always paid child support,good...that's not my problem.My problem is how much we pay now...we have another child and we do have to always watch our spending.By the end of the month we are at 0$ .we've never had a vacation.We don't spend that much for our child...they say 'you have to support your child' good,but it seems to me we pay for absolutely everything for him.She doesn't mind taking him to expensive daycares cause we pay almost all of it!you know what? Sometimes I just want to cry...I'm wondering...did any of these parents that receive money say 'this is how much we need ,you don't have to pay more' ?

ex wife shrew said...

In response to the posts by "Second but best!"..

The bottom line is simple...parents are responsible for their own children! She has an autistic child from a previous relationship. She used to work full time to provide for him. Then the government cut her funding because they had a combined income of $80,000 that year!! That falls into the top 19% of family household income in Canada!! The average income of a Canadian family is just under $48,000...I'm not sure how $80k warrants "extreme poverty"! On top of their income, she received $800 in government benefits for childcare expenses so she could go to work and hired my older son to babysit after school til she got home. He received only $600 of that money, putting $200 of that into her own pocket! So I think she quit to have those benefits reinstated. Her son goes to school 5 days a week, gone for 8 hours a day, even the judge told her that she is responsible for her own son, so if it means working while he's in school, so be it!

I, have also been on both sides of the fence. I have been the payee, and the payor. I took her to court because I was paying support for my son, even after he graduated from high school, relocated to the city, and worked full time! I was looking for back pay of over $2000 because she refused to change the agreement. I waived those arrears because I was 4 months pregnant at the time, and didn't want to be in court AGAIN< 2 months before I was to give birth.

2 months after I had the baby, my daughter found a note my ex's wife had written stating that my son would move in with them in May of this year, and that she would impute income on me based on my decision to have my tubal ligation reversal! She had calculations for child support and cctb figured out. This was after we had been in court, with a completed "Voices of the Children" report, stating they wanted to live with me.

She keeps talking about equality for "all" our children. Every parent is responsible for: 1) shelter, 2) food, and 3) clothing. Anything else they aquire is just a bonus. She wants to talk about how my kids have a higher standard of living in my home, than her son..the boy has 2 ipads, a computer, 2 flat screen tvs, has every gaming system under the sun, and countless dvds. And when he wants something else, all he has to do is write it on the calender, and he expects it, in a timely fashion! My kids have some nice clothes, my son has an xbox, and my daughter has an ipod, both paid for with their own money.

Simply, they control the situation they are in. The guidelines did not put them in that position, their choices do. They are both smokers....seems to me that he reported $3000 a year in tobacco expenses, and he uses marijuana. I lived with him for 16 years, and I know how much he used to the math? That's over $10,000 in additional monies they "could" have for any of her sons added expenses. Not to mention, most of her sons expenses are tax deductible.

She's tried taking my cctb away numerous times. Even going as far as calling me stating that I had to sign it over to her for the summer months because my children were in their care for that month. I called in to cctb, got the correct information, relayed it to her. All she replied with was how she needed extra money to pay off her credit card debt, so she thought she'd try.

She's trying everything in her power to sabotage me. My kids have extracurricular activities he's never paid for, nor will I ask. I have only expected support based on the guidelines. No more, and no less. I did not get any breaks paying support for my son. I was seasonally employed, and I paid even when I was laid off, just because it was for my kid.

She once stated "Yes! Father's should pay for their children, but not at the expense of another child." I don't understand how she expects my ex to put the needs of her son, from a previous relationship, over the needs of his own children.