Need to Reduce Support Payments?

COVID-19 has affected your income. You can’t afford support payments. We are an Ontario Family Law firm with finance experience. We can help.

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    Where to begin, was recently facing a 6 month driving suspension and some fines for driving well suspended. When at... read more

    Thomas Hunter

    Was amazing and worth ever penny! Couldn't have asked for a better outcome, I owe more then I paid to them

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  • Ashley Chaar

    My husband had gotten into contact with this firm, he had multiple driving infractions. We got into contact with Dan,... read more

  • Eddie Croft

    Well I hired Dan at NextLaw for 2 seperate charges , when i say this firm goes to bat for... read more

  • David Moro

    Dan was absolutely fantastic! Great communication always providing updates and complete honesty. He in no way as some lawyers... read more

  • Joseph Lintlop

    Where to begin, was recently facing a 6 month driving suspension and some fines for driving well suspended. When at... read more

  • Thomas Hunter

    Was amazing and worth ever penny! Couldn't have asked for a better outcome, I owe more then I paid to them

  • Spence Henry

    I found this company when at my first appearance (planning to self-represent) I saw this one lawyer in work and... read more

  • Ty Owen

    I'd honestly recommend Mr. Joffery to anyone that needs traffic court assistance best lawyer in the field of law 100%... read more

  • Mark Carr

    Dan is just incredible. Professional and helped my family when we were at our lowest. I cannot say enough.

  • Dan Panszczyk

    These guys are like magicians. I truely believed that me winning my suspended license case was impossible with my record,... read more

  • Tyler Bigwood

    After so much stress and anxiety about my situation this law firm helped me keep my license and was transparent... read more

Get Free “Reducing Support: What You Need to Know, Now (in Plain English)”

Times are uncertain. We’re in uncharted territory. If you want to reduce your support payment, here is what you need to know. Now.
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Below is our Family Law support payment guide.

(But we can explain much clearer by getting in touch with us directly by clicking below)

Reducing Support: What You Need to Know

Introduction

We all know the world turned upside down in 2020.

If you’re reading this, your income has likely dropped, and you’re no longer able to afford your support payments.

You may be entitled to lower support payments.

Here are answers to some key questions we hear from clients about reducing support payments.

Can my support payments be reduced?

Maybe. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut rule or formula which will give you a simple “yes” or “no,” whether you can reduce your support. You may be entitled to a reduction in support, but it all depends on the details of your specific case.

Can I stop making support payments because of my changed financial situation?

No. You have a legal obligation to pay your support. This is true even when your financial situation has changed (and even when you can prove that your financial situation has changed).

What are the penalties if I stop making payments?

  • Driver license suspension - Your driver's license can be suspended. If the police charge you with driving while under suspension, those penalties are severe. They start with a mandatory 6-month driving suspension (on top of your family law suspension), and if you are a repeated offender, you can go to jail.
  • Garnish your wages - The court can remove a portion of your paycheck. And, they can collect interest on past due amounts.
  • Garnish federal payments - The court can seize your income tax refunds.
  • Seizure of your bank account or other assets - If your garnishments don't cover the amount you owe, the court can seize your other assets such as your home, cars, etc.
  • Reporting non-payment to credit agencies - This will hurt your credit rating and make it difficult to get credit or loans.
  • Jail time - The court can put you in jail.
  • Revocation of your passport

Can the Family Responsibility Office, FRO, change my payments if I show them proof of reduced income?

No. FRO is not a court. FRO is not a judge. FRO is a government agency with the power to enforce court orders or written agreements. FRO does NOT have the authority to reassess your support obligations.

My original support agreement was not fair. I should have had a lower payment, to begin with. Does this help my case to get my support lowered?

No. When you try to get your support reduced, the courts assume that the original support order was, in fact, correct. When you seek to lower your payment by an action called 'Motion to Change' your support, this is NOT an appeal of the original support agreement.

I don’t want to speak with my ex. Can we go straight to court to get my support reduced?

No. While your case may ultimately end up in court, going to court for your case should always be viewed as a last resort. While you may want to avoid your ex, family courts require that you try to negotiate or mediate with your ex before going to court. If your case goes to court, we need to show proof of this negotiation or mediation.

How Can I Reduce My Support Payments?

1) Make a new agreement

  • If both parties agree to a change in support, you can make a new agreement. The new agreement has to be signed by both parties, dated and witnessed.
  • If the new agreement changes an old agreement that was filed with the court, the new agreement should also be filed with the court.  
  • If the new agreement is not filed, FRO cannot enforce the new support amount.

2) Use Ontario government online service

  • In some cases, parents can use the Child Support Services (CSS) to change child support.  
  • The parent asking would need to provide new income information.  
  • The other parent would be given notice. If they don’t respond within 25 days of the notice being sent, CSS might change the support payment without the other parent’s response.
  • Visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/set-up-or-update-child-support-online

3) Get an order from the court

  • If the parties cannot agree, or cannot or don’t want to use Child Support Services, either parent can ask the court to change support.

If my ex won’t agree to lower my support, in what cases can I get my support reduced?

  • There is no definitive “hard-rule” to conclude that you can get your support reduced.
  • The judge will look at your unique facts to determine whether there has been a “material change in circumstances.”

What will the judge consider to conclude that my drop in income is a “material change in circumstances”?

The judge will consider whether your drop in income:

  • is NOT insignificant
  • is NOT trivial
  • is NOT temporary

Your drop in income must be severe, significant and long-lasting.

Let’s assume that a judge agrees that my drop in income is, in fact, a “material change in circumstances.” Will I then get an order to reduce my support?

  • Maybe.
  • One of the most significant issues today, in these uncertain times, is whether your drop in income is long-lasting. That determination is tough to make.
  • A possible outcome would be to get a temporarily adjusted, interim order, without prejudice, reducing your support. That would give you immediate relief, and in the future, when revisited, it may result in a permanent order to decrease the payment.

Doing this yourself can cost you 2x more money than using the right lawyer.

You deserve better.