What is the effect of a material change in circumstances at the time of child support arrears accumulated?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Rosemary Leonor Corcios v. Edgar Zenon Alfaro Burgos, 2011 ONSC 3326 (CanLII):

In Brown v. Brown, supra, the court also considered the situation where a material change in circumstances at the time that arrears accumulated is not established, but the child support payor seeks to reduce or rescind arrears of child support on the basis of current inability to pay and hardship. There was no legislative authority in New Brunswick to forgive arrears in this situation, and the court concluded that as a matter of statutory interpretation and policy, there was no residual discretion to reduce or rescind arrears in this situation. It concluded that the payor’s inability to pay arrears in this type of case is relevant to enforcement only, and that the proper approach is to either suspend enforcement of the arrears or implement a payment plan that is feasible having regard for the payor’s current situation.

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