Thousands of benefits could be at risk with the revamping of the term, shared-custody parent. The federal government recently introduction draft legislation that would change family law regarding what shared custody means. British Columbia parents could be affected by the legislation since a shared-custody parent would have to live with his or her children at least 40% of the time every month.
The legislation is aimed at giving clarification to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) which gives low and middle-income families monthly, tax-free funds to help defray the costs of raising their kids. It is hoped this legislation might mitigate the disputes that arise regarding the CCB. The average family in receipt of these funds receives about $7,000. The money is paid to the parent who is the primary caregiver of the children. Rules determining if each parent can collect payments hinges on whether there is shared custody.
If both parents are responsible for the child’s care, they share the CCB payment equally. Problems have arisen, however, regarding what constitutes equal living arrangements. It is hoped the new legislation will create consistency when parents have concerns regarding payments.
It may be rather confusing for British Columbia parents when there are changes to family law rules. A lawyer may be able to clarify how these changes might impact a client’s particular situation. When a parent risks losing thousands of dollars in tax-free money to help raise his or her child, a lawyer may be the person to whom the parent needs to turn first.