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Calgary Sun - Wed, February 9, 2005

Court rules to hike support

By CP

EDMONTON -- Parents paying child support must immediately increase payments if their income goes up, the Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled. The court said the increase cannot wait until a parent discloses the higher income to the custodial parent or until that parent finds out about it and demands more child support, the court said.

In cases where that was not done, increased payments should be retroactive, the court added.

"Child support ought not to be a game of hide-and-seek and courts should avoid imposing procedural requirements which make it one," Justice Marina Paperny wrote for the Appeal Court in a unanimous decision Jan. 7.

Paying parents should be required each year to provide income information to their former partners, Paperny wrote.

Gus Sleiman of the Men's Education Support Association the idea of being able to retroactively increase payments, for whatever reason, smacks of unfairness.

Edmonton divorce lawyer Michael Pollock said the decision is excellent because it plainly sets out the responsibilities of a parent required to pay child support.

Copyright 2005, Sun Media Corporation / Netgraphe inc. All rights reserved.