Under the Divorce Act, the Supreme Court of British Columbia may change, suspend or terminate a child support order on application by either spouse if the court is satisfied that a change of circumstances has occurred, as stated in the federal Child Support Guidelines.
As per the Child Support Guidelines, a change in circumstances is found to have taken place when:
- If the previous child support order is made in accordance with the child support table amount, any change in circumstances that would result in a different child support order or
- if the previous child support order is not made in accordance with the child support table amount, any change in the conditions, means, needs or other circumstances of either spouse or of any child who is entitled to support.
To summarize, a change in the payor’s income or the child’s expenses may trigger a change in circumstances sufficient to warrant a change to the existing child support order.
Under section 152 of the Family Law Act, the court may change, suspend, or terminate an existing child support order if it is established that:
- there has been a material change in circumstances,
- there is evidence of a substantial nature that was not available when the order was made, or
- there is evidence of lack of financial disclosure that was discovered after the order was made
Based on the above stated grounds, lack of financial disclosure, increase in income of the non-custodial parent, or significant change in the needs of the child(ren) entitled to support are deemed material changes in circumstances that warrant a change in child support.