How to get child support recalculated?

Over thirteen years ago I was married and living in Ontario. My marriage was a bit rocky but I was willing to work it out with my husband after I caught him cheating on me.

During the summer I got word that my Grand-mother’s mental state was worsening and I decided to come to Edmonton to spend the summer with my family. During that time I found out I was pregnant. Excitedly, I called my husband to tell him the happy news! (His last words to me) “I don’t want to have anything to do with you.” I was devastated to say the least!

I was left with only two suitcases of belongings and I had no choice but to move back with my parents. I looked into a divorce and of course child support a year later. I went to trial and the judge was generous and order my ex-husband to pay me $500 in child support and $500 in spousal support a month. Reason for the judgement was because my ex was a coward and wouldn’t keep in contact with his lawyer. Basically ran like a coward. He didn’t need be in court just stay current with his lawyer. Of course I never saw a dime of it.

Fast forward five years and I get a summons in the mail that my ex suddenly wants custody of our child that he never met. Claiming I was the one that cheated on him and was in denial of the paternity of our child. I never did, of course! DNA came back positive that it was his child.

Again, I went to trail but this time the judge re nagged on the previous judgement taking everything away except $1000 for the year I couldn’t work to take care of our son and $197 a month in child support because my ex only worked part-time.


Oh ya and as for him trying to get custody, what a joke! I didn’t mind he got to know his father except as soon as he found out that our son was diagnosed with Autism he again vanished, and didn’t have any contact with his lawyer.

Eight years later, my ex rarely pays his child support, he only pays when maintenance threatens to take his drivers licence away. I did some research and found out he remarried, had another son and went college. He now is an account manager at a huge company and $3000 in debt to child maintenance.

As for my son and I, barely making ends meet. I took the initiative to go back to school so that I can support my son and I better. Doing crappy retail jobs just doesn’t cut it and I wanted some kind of future for my son. What my ex didn’t inquire about was his son is high functioning Autistic and the greatest kid ever, I’m a lucky mom to have him.

I’m asking all of you, how do I go about going back to court to get my child support recalculated on a next to nothing budget?

Also, one other note…when you live in different provinces, maintenance never seems to know what to do. Why does it take so long when we have e-mail to correspond? When I inquire here about why my ex is in arrears, it takes weeks to “e-mail” Ontario and get any information back. They gave me an excuse that they didn’t know where he worked and asked if I knew, of course I didn’t until I did a quick google search and found his linkedin account. Rocket science!

I appreciate any advice you can give me, and thanks for reading my rant!



30 Responses

  1. Frank Yurich Frank Yurich says:

    Forget about the bum ! Make your life better for you and your son thru career,etc and you be fine ! Karma will bite him in the ass one day !

  2. Robin Warner Robin Warner says:

    You apply to the court that awarded current order and need to have proof of his income and they use a calculation table based on his income.
    Costs $50 to file an application, otherwise no cost.

  3. Maybe legal aid can help you based on the income you have you may be able to get the help you need and lawyers can handle the huge stress instead of you doing it all alone. He is a coward and your son has you that is a that matters… so try and take some weight off your shoulders and see if you can some how speak to a lawyer and see what advice you can get. Maybe fight for full custody in court chances of him showing up to fight you for 50 /50 probably wont happen. So win that battle first then ask the judge what to do next or hire a lawyer through legal aid . Don’t know much but just trying to help out and see of this route may work.

  4. Karen Thomas Karen Thomas says:

    Child support recalculation program

  5. Hazel White Hazel White says:

    Check legal aid they also have free seminar here and there and if you qualify they can refer you to a lawyer. You just need to pay very little fees

  6. Arcand Dee Arcand Dee says:

    Brown lee building. Apply for child support and custody here in Alberta. Each application costs $50 but youll get an order here and within Alberta rates. He’ll have to travel to Edmonton for the hearings or one will be made without him.

  7. Call the Family Law Information Center and book an appointment to go in

  8. Family law counsellors will do it for you and you can apply to waive the application fees. If you never had a custody order to assign powers, access, and responsibilities, then he can file. It doesn’t mean he’ll get it. Because he hasn’t paid support or been in her life, he’ll have to explain that.

    • If you suggest mediation or any kind of resolution, that will also help. You can also sign up for the co-parenting conflict resolution course which you’ll end up doing anyways. You can also try legal aid.

    If he doesn’t pay today he will one day slip up and the Maintenance enforcement is one of the first to get paid.

  10. I know from past experiences that in Ontario, if you are in arrears you will not get your licence renewed until you are caught up with your support.

  11. You can simply call child support recalculation and they do it for you if you are on maintenance enforcement. There’s no work for you to do.

    • Lara Clement Lara Clement says:

      Bobbi-lee Susan there has to be a variance in the court order. Can only be done by agreement of both sides or by going to court. We are going through this same exact thing sadly

  12. Dana McVey Dana McVey says:

    Good advice abounds here. I wish you luck and hope things work out.

  13. Lara Clement Lara Clement says:

    I have an amazing family lawyer. You do need to go to court unfortunately and it should go through the MEP (maintenance enforcement program). Legal aid may be able to help. The family law system can be ridiculous at times. I know we have spent thousands on my husband’s court issues with his ex.

  14. The table for support is on the Internet. But that doesn’t really help you to get anything. It’s numbers on a screen. Maintenance enforcement takes care of the details.

  15. Maintenance enforcement will be able to help direct you on how to have it recalculated. Since he is out of province it is more difficult but can be done. There are forms that you have to fill out but Maintenance can provide them.

  16. Maintenance enforcement will NOT help you to get the child support recalculated. They only SUPPORT whatever the last court order states. You will likely have to file at the court house to have the support agreement reviewed/amended. Luckily for you the filing is done at the local courthouse where the child resides regardless of where the father resides. He will have to provide his taxes and/or paystubs to the court to prove his income, as will you.
    You may also wish to call the Support Recalculation Program and ask their advice, they may be able to help guide you. However they cannot simply recalculate his support either unless they have all his tax forms and pay stubs etc and your last court order states that you will use the recalculation program.

  17. My husband died when our kid was 5. I sure as hell didn’t get $500 a month for her and another $500 for myself. Wow. I got less than $400 a month widows pension and orphan benefit combined.
    What I am saying is – it sucks but best to move on and figure your own finances out without him. Why ask for more if he’s not even giving what you ask him to give. And if you need more than $1000 a month wow.

  18. Mary Haggart Mary Haggart says:

    Legal Aid will help you

  19. You can apply for a recalculation at no cost. I’ve done it and so has my ex.

    Good luck.


Join the Discussion!