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Vancouver Family Law Blog

Family law: Are child support payments tax deductible?

Parents who are divorcing have many things to work out. One of those issues is who will be paying child support. These kinds of issues fall under family law in Alberta and the payor of child support may be wondering whether he or she can claim those payments on their income tax returns. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not allow for the inclusion of child support payments as deductions for the payor, nor as income for the payee.

Prior to May 1997, child support payments were deductible for the payor and regarded as taxable for the payee. There are some conditions, however, that green stamp court orders made before the date that changed the rules. A lawyer may be able to assist a client in determining what those are based on the client's personal circumstances. 

Family law: Divorce and finances at retirement age

Divorce can be particularly painful when it comes after a couple had been married for many years. There are many things to consider in such circumstances like spousal support and the division of assets, which fall under family law in British Columbia, but there are also many other issues a couple needs to deal with, particularly how a divorce will affect their plans for retirement. Grey divorce -- or the divorce of those aged 50 or older -- is on the rise and for seniors it can be particularly painful, especially financially.

Most married couples pool their resources and moving from a 100% equity household, to a 50% one can be financially debilitating for some. Many things will change such as what a person might be able to afford in terms of living accommodations. A couple will likely have to tap into any savings they've accumulated, which could mean postponing retirement for several years. 

Children's issues: Edmonton Police Service and child protection

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has protocols in place to ensure the safety of every child in the community. Child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of children are among two of the most heinous children's issues in Alberta and the rest of the world. The EPS child protection section investigates these types of alleged abuses working in the multi-disciplinary Zebra-Child Protection Centre.

Among the cases the EPS investigates are sexual abuse complaints regarding children under the age of 14; sexual assault complaints regarding youth between the ages of 14 and 17 where the minors are in the care of others such as group homes or schools; and serious physical assault allegations pertaining to children under the age of 14. There are numerous other instances when the authorities become involved as well. The EPS also steps in when a child is allegedly in imminent danger or is at risk.  

Children's issues: When bullying becomes a nasty problem

When parents see their children struggling, they struggle, too. One of the most pressing children's issues in British Columbia, as in the rest of the country, is that of bullying. Being bullied can affect a child's welfare in numerous ways and when parents get wind of what's going on, they may feel helpless. There are, however, some proactive things parents can do to help their children.

Firstly, bullying takes in four forms: physical, verbal, social and cyber. A parent will see marked changes in a child who is being bullied. He or she may withdraw from social activities, grades might drop, the child might not want to go to school, may wet the bed, and toys or money may go missing. Talking to children and letting them know the bullying isn't their fault are the first courses of action. Determining how severe the bullying is, is extremely important and letting teachers and school managers know what is going on is also necessary.

Family law: Helping kids the first Christmas after divorce

Major holidays like Christmas are usually a time for revelry, happiness and merrymaking. But for some British Columbia residents who have experienced a loss, the first holiday after that loss can be miserable whether it is losing someone through death, separation or divorce. When it is through divorce, couples who are parents may be able to find some solace when dealing with what they're going through by way of family law tools that may help to make decisions easier -- things like co-parenting plans.

Most people who go through a divorce also need time to grieve and yet the person they've lost may still be a part of their lives especially when they share children. Divorce is somewhat akin to death in that the family unit as it once was is no longer, and the feelings accompanying that realization may be intensive over the holiday season. It is crucial to make the transition as easy as possible for children by allowing them to express their feelings, especially when they are likely not spending Christmas Day with both parents. 

Children's issues: Kids entitled to same human rights as adults

Adults aren't the only ones with rights. When Alberta residents are dealing with children's issues, they should keep in mind that children also have rights -- human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Children have the right to be protected from abuse, discrimination and other things that could put them in vulnerable positions. Canada acknowledges the value of human rights for children and in 1991 ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The convention assures children have individual identities and as such are guaranteed human rights. They have the right to be seen and heard when it comes to decisions that impact their lives. The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act also exists in Canada which outlines procedures when children's rights are infringed upon. Kids have the option of speaking to an advocate on their behalf is the need should arise.

Understand your legal options. Make informed decisions. Contact the family law lawyers of Henderson Heinrichs LLP


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