Overhaul of the Federal Child Support Guidelines and Child Support Tables

I hope you could champion the cause of second families in Canada.

Canada's Child Support Guidelines should consider the expenses of raising children of subsequent relationships in determining child support obligations for first families. 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. Furthermore, these guideline take no account of Federal and Provincial child tax credits, which are usually only received and benefited from by the receiving parent, to the detriment of the paying parent that also pays half (in many cases) of all of the child's expenses.

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, and too often, they are.

Currently, Canada's child tax credits and support guidelines favour support receiving households disproportionately, as outlined in the following report:

http://www.canadacourtwatch.com/files/all/Effects_of_child_support_2008.pdf

I implore you to read these findings and champion the reform that is necessary to these guidelines. There seems to be no onus on the receiving parent to continue to work (if they do not choose to), and punishments for payer parents that continue to work to support children. Should the recipient parent not financially contribute to the child in a meaningful way, the burden falls to the working parent. This seems unfair and not in keeping with the idea that custodial parents ought to act in the best interests of their children of equality in the eyes of the law.

I hope that you too can see how difficult it can be for second families, and hope that you would consider bringing this matter to the attention of those in Parliament. Every family matters. I hope you could look into this and find a place within this cause that you could bring before the decision makers of this country. With nearly half of marriages ending in divorce, it means that half of Canadian children could find themselves in these difficult financial constraints.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Yours truly,

....

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