R. Suspension of Orders

Author:Julien D. Payne - Marilyn A. Payne

Page 505

Temporary suspension of a child support order has been granted for a variety of reasons. Child support payable by a mother has been suspended for a period of several months to allow her to care for her newborn child without having to resume employment during that period.166The enforcement of arrears of child support may be suspended pending the obligor’s resumption of employment167or the re-establishment of his business.168A court may order child support payments to be suspended until the payor becomes employed or until a fixed date, whichever comes first, but automatic reactivation of the order may be declared subject to the obligor’s right to apply to extend the period of suspension if employment has not been found by the date fixed for revival of the order.169If child support obligations are suspended by reason of unemployment, it may be inappropriate for a court to order automatic revival of those obligations upon the obligor’s resumption of employment if it is not known when employment will be found or what income it will generate.170

Child support arrears do not accumulate while the order is suspended. An order for the suspension of support payments precludes any future liability arising under the original order until such time as it is reinstated.171Support for an adult child may be conditionally suspended if the payee does not respond to the payor’s request for information regarding changes in the adult child’s circumstances relevant to the issue of support.172A present inability to pay arrears of child support does not justify remission of the arrears but may justify suspension of enforcement for a designated period173or an order providing for periodic payments on the arrears.174Judicial postponement of child support obligations may be deemed inappropriate where the obligor had failed to provide complete financial disclosure.175

1) Suspension of Child Support as a Sanction for Denial of Access

Before the implementation of the Federal Child Support Guidelines on May 1, 1997, a court could reduce, suspend or terminate the payment of support as a result of the deliberate actions of the custodial parent in frustrating court-ordered access,176although it would de-

Page 506

cline to do so when it could harm the child.177It is not clear whether this judicial discretion to terminate or suspend child support payments continues to be exercisable under sections 15.1(4) and 17(3) of the Divorce Act or whether it has been...

To continue reading