Years later, Marie's friend explains the importance of getting child support owed from previous years.
If you find yourself in this position, you can get help from these resources:
How do you change an agreement
Describes how to change an agreement that was made after separation to deal with issues such as support. Includes information on when to file a changed agreement with the court.
People specially trained to help couples work together to resolve conflicts.
Family justice counsellors
Family Justice Centre staff specially trained to help people find solutions to family law problems (they are accredited mediators).
Panel 1: Marie and Fatima sitting at kitchen table, playing cards
Fatima (firmly): So Marie, you know what I’m about to bring up, right?
Marie: I know, I know. The information you gave me about getting more child support.
Fatima: Juan got his promotion and raise five years ago, Marie! I have to be bossy about this! There’s a lot of money involved now.
Marie: But he’s never been a “deadbeat dad,” Fatima. He’s always paid the full amount we settled on when Mateo was young.
Marie: And later, he agreed that Mateo could live with me full time. Things have been pretty smooth between us ― I don’t want to cause problems.
Panel 6: Mateo is shown outside the window playing basketball
Fatima: Juan’s the one causing problems – for himself! You’d be doing him a favour, Marie – right now, he’s just building up a bigger and bigger debt.
Fatima: With child support, you’re always supposed to tell any time your income goes up – so it’s fair for Mateo. It’s Mateo’s right!
Fatima: When you bring it up with him, Juan should be smart enough to give you all his financial information. Guys who don’t, get in serious trouble.
Panel 9: Mateo is shown outside the window playing basketball
Marie: Everything Mateo needs is so expensive now that he’s a teen ― we could sure use more money going forward.
Fatima: But you also need to work out what Juan owes going backward to the date of his promotion. You could try mediation.
Panel 11: Fatima holds Marie's hand
Fatima: But if you end up in court, they’ll know that Mateo should have benefited from day one. Believe me, any judge will be on your side with this one.
Marie: Just like you’ve always been on my side, Fatima.
Fatima (smiling): And just a little bit bossy when needed.