In order to succeed on an application to vary an order of child support, particularly where the order had its genesis in an agreement between the parties and was embodied in a consent order, the applicant must show a material change in his circumstances. It is well settled that a material change is one which, if known at the time, would likely have resulted in different terms. The decision of Martinson J. in Earle v. Earle,  B.C.J. No. 974, usefully sets out the basic principles applicable on applications to reduce support and cancel or reduce arrears.
As Sopinka J. wrote in Willick v. Willick, supra at 21 that: ...the change must be a material change of circumstances. This means a change, such that, if known at the time, would likely have resulted in different terms. The corollary to this is that if the matter which is relied on as constituting a change was known at the relevant time it cannot be relied on as the basis for variation.
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