What happens if I quit a good paying job and take a lower paying job to reduce support? Will my spouse find out if I do cash jobs on the side and not report the income on my taxes? What if I income split with my new partner and take less of a paycheque? Lying about your income is risky.
If you are thinking about lying about your income to reduce your support obligations, don’t. Section 19 of the Child Support Guidelines allows the Court to add income to support payor’s actual income if the court believes that the support payor is intentionally under-employed or unemployed.
Also, section 19 of the Child Support Guidelines also allows a court to impute income where income is diverted to avoid paying support, the parent’s property is not properly utilized to earn income, the parent has not provided income information or the parent unreasonably deducts expenses from their income. To avoid any finding under section 19, support payors need to have credibility before the court.
In Cheng v. Sze, 2021 ONCA 346, the Ontario Court of Appeal heard an appeal of a trial decision where the trial judge made several factual findings against the support payor as “he was “generally confused about his financial affairs. His story kept changing. He could not explain many of his financial documents”. The trial judge found that the appellant’s description of his working hours (which he estimated at four to five hours per week) “strain credulity”.”
In family law your credibility as a witness is important. Often, it is one party’s testimony against the other’s. If you have done anything to hide income or are found to be lying about your income, your credibility will suffer. Getting legal advice early, before you make any changes to your income or working hours is important. Lawyers can look at your personal situation and offer frank legal advice before you have done anything that could affect your credibility with the Court.
If you have questions about your child support or spousal support or if your spouse is lying about their income, contact Windsor family law lawyers Tanya McNevin or Thomas MacKay today by calling 519-259-1820. We serve clients in Windsor, Tecumseh, Lasalle, Essex, Leamington, Kingsville, Belle River, Lakeshore, and throughout southern Ontario