This ruling, although in Canada, will eventually filter down to the US and, of course, have many disparate impacts on mothers and their children…
First of all, it will cause more men to fight for custody. Since no matter what financial agreement you reach with them, they can never be sure that it won’t be overturned retroactively years after the fact. Thus, there is no incentive for a man to ever settle custody now without a court fight, since he can never be sure of what forfeiting custody might cost him over the long haul.
Thus, mothers must prepare for every separation, divorce or action involving children to end in a court fight today and btw, court are not friendly to the parent without money and that’s usually mothers. Not just because of the money issue (and men generally still make more of it) but also because the entire legal system inevitably favors the parent who is the more aggressive (again men generally but some few women).
Anyhow, courts are generally male-friendly territory. They play to the male strengths. After all men invented and are more comfortable within them. As it favors the personality of the more aggressive amongst us, the one who doesn’t give a damn how much stress they put their kids under or how many times they have to return to court or pull any shady stunt to win, just as long as they win. That’s their goal: winning.
Additionally many gender neutralized feminists populate the legal system in the west today and giving fathers custody is seen by them as progressive and trendy, thus turning courts into dangerous places for women and children to be too involved with.
Second of all, these annual reviews can eventually have the unintended consequences of giving custodial mothers overall LESS money. As the standard of basing ALL child support on an annual review of the financial position of the non-custodial parent could eventually result in a lowering of child support for many of us. Since we’ll never know what changes have taken place in the non-custodial parent’s household over any given year.
Right now once a status quo amount is established for most of us (of course mothers receiving public benefits probably have to be reviewed every year, but that isn’t most of us) anyway that support amount generally would never change, either up or down, unless either parent returned to court. Most men won’t bother as why should they go back with a chance that they might have to increase the support; and, most women attempting to avoid another court fight, would leave it alone as well.
NOW you won’t have any choice as men to protect themselves will HAVE to return to court annually for this review.
AND mothers don’t be fooled and think that a child support fight cannot morph into a custody battle as they can and frequently do…
Thus, ultimately this mandated review could trigger anything in your lives, like an unstable and seething volcano over the hill from your house, which you can never tell if or when it has the potential to erupt destroying your home and/or family.
Additionally of course, we would be foolish if we believe that men are not going to lobby hard and eventually have this review going both ways. For the same way it can be raised by changes in circumstances, it can be lowered through the same. We will eventually even see additionally children used by second wives to lower child support for the first family. As right now in some states in the US this is allowed. Or if not lowered, never raised due to a second family, which can have the same impact.
So overall I see the net impact of this ruling as being a negative for mothers and children. As the possibility of additional monies will not prove to be worth the aggravation of endless court dramas and the ongoing attempts to get more custody or visitation, overnights, etc., to lower the basic child support award before the next annual review comes up.
Mothers can now be assured of more chaos in their lives and the lives of their children generated by a bunch of bureaucratic busybodies who can’t seem to keep their noses out of other people’s business.
C-News Law and Order
SCOC rules on child support payments
OTTAWA (CP) - Divorced or separated dads who don't boost their child support to keep pace with their income could face hefty retroactive orders to pay up under a new Supreme Court of Canada judgment.
But in a 7-0 ruling, the judges leave plenty of room for lower court decisions to vary based on the facts of each case.
The issue arose when four Alberta fathers challenged the retroactive awards imposed on them. The high court ordered two of them to pay up, while the other two were absolved.
The legal principles involved extend far beyond the four cases and could affect thousands of couples.
Federal law sets guidelines that tie child support to ability to pay and number of children.
But people often leave old jobs and take new ones as the years go by. Custody arrangements also change as children move back and forth between parents, so support payments often become outdated.
In practice, the onus has typically fallen on recipient spouses - usually the mothers - to go to court if they think they're owed more money. But they say they can't do so if their ex-partners haven't disclosed their new incomes.