New Brunswick child support recalculation service ‘long overdue’, lawyer says

A prominent jurist praises New Brunswick for taking a “significant step” in finally adopting an automatic recalculation service for those who pay child support.

New Brunswick’s Child Support Recalculation Service (CSIS) “helps ensure fairness between payor and recipient at no cost, without having to go back to court,” says a recent government press release.

The service launched on April 25 and within two days, 20 residents had applied to participate, said New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety spokesman Geoffrey Downey.

“The [CSRS] will provide New Brunswickers with the ability to have an order recalculated, which can reduce the time, cost and stress associated with the court process,” Downey said in an email. “However, there will be orders that will require the discretion of the court to have an adjustment made. …While not everyone is eligible for this service, there are other tools through the Maintenance Enforcement Office that can provide temporary relief until the case is heard by the court.

He said that “the team behind the [CSRS] consulted with many other jurisdictions to create the service.

The annual recalculation is based on the payer‘s submission of their previous year’s income tax assessment.

According to the service’s webpage, those who are ineligible include people who are primarily self-employed, earn more than $150,000 a year and are looking to adjust unpaid support.

Rollie Thompson, Dalhousie University

Family law professor Rollie Thompson of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia says it’s good that New Brunswick has now joined other provinces in providing such service.

“It’s a good thing,” Thompson said. “It is long overdue. This is an important step for New Brunswick.

Thompson went on to say the service will benefit those who cannot go to court.

“The lower your income, the more important it is because the problem with child support is that the amounts are not huge, and it makes it difficult for people to go to court and do things because you cannot afford a lawyer; it’s hard to do it yourself. So it’s a big step forward. »

Thompson confirmed that New Brunswick has now joined all other provinces, as well as the Yukon, in having one.

British Columbia announced the launch of its province-wide recalculation service in early April — 16 years after it launched a pilot program in the city of Kelowna.

Nunavut does not currently have such a program, and a call to the Northwest Territories to confirm the lack of a program there was not returned by press time.

Thompson was asked about the list of New Brunswickers ineligible for service.

This is also the case in other jurisdictions, he said.

“It seems like a long time, but they are actually only a small percentage of the total. We don’t have good data, but the data we have from the five-year review of child support guidelines showed that two-thirds of all orders were just base table amounts.

Asked that most self-employed people aren’t eligible, Thompson said that reflects the fact that it’s harder to track their income — some of which can be cash.

“Remember that the reason for [the service] is the ease with which you can prove someone’s income, and the problem with self-employed, it’s really difficult. Whether you make $18,000 a year… or $200,000 a year as a self-employed person, determining your income is just as difficult. … Determining a self-employed person’s income is very tricky. they do not recalculate [this] because you have an administrator who does that, not a judge. So you must have some ease in determining someone’s income.

If you have information, story ideas or topical advice for The Lawyer’s Daily, please contact Terry Davidson at [email protected] or call 905-415-5899.

Previous Sanders resurrects 'Medicare for All' single-payer healthcare proposal
Next Poland's controversial central bank chief wins second term