Close this search box.


Case Review: Making Changes to Child Support Orders & Payments

Are you or your former spouse attempting to vary a child support order? Are you trying to claim or dispute overpayments in child support?

If so, a recent Court of Appeal decision may be of particular interest to you.

The Initial Court Order

In the case of Gray v. Rizzi, the applicant wife obtained an order in court, which provided that she was to get sole custody of the children, that the Respondent husband was to remit to her monthly child support payments of approximately $1,500 per month, and that the Respondent husband was to pay about $2,900 every month for spousal support.

The final order stipulating these terms was issued in November of 2005.

Changing the support amount

The husband brought the matter before the courts again, and argued that because his income decreased substantially in 2002, the child and spousal support payments he was making were based on his former income, and were now too high.

The trial judge and the Court of Appeal employed different reasoning and methods to infer a lower income to the husband. They calculated a lower amount of support that he was to owe the wife (and terminated the earlier support obligations). This effectively required the wife to reimburse the husband for any overpayments she received in support.

This case is of particular importance to anyone who is looking to change a support order. If your income is in fact lower than it was when a final support order made by the courts, the option to not only vary the order, but to claim retroactively for the overpayment is open to you. In situations such as these, it is always wise to consult with an experienced lawyer to explore your options.