If you cannot come to an agreement on your own, the following services may be able to help you:
If even after trying these services you still can’t reach an agreement, you will have to go to court.
General information about family law in Nunavut is available during business hours through the Legal Services Board of Nunavut’s Law Line at 1-866-606-9400.
In mediation, you and the other parent will work with someone who is specially trained to help you reach an agreement. A mediator will:
A mediator will not make decisions for you, but can help you and the other parent communicate with each other about all of the issues involved in your separation. Both parents also have to agree to mediation for it to work.
Mediation gives you more control over what happens. It allows for more creative and flexible arrangements that suit your particular circumstances. If you go to court, the judge will decide for you, using the limited range of options available under a court order.
People who use mediation are usually more satisfied with the outcome than those who don’t. This means they are more likely to follow the terms of the agreement.
It is informal and private. While a lawyer can attend mediation with you, there is usually no one else there but you, the other parent, and the mediator. No one else has to know the details of your agreement.
The Government of Nunavut Department of Justice offers family law mediation, who can be contacted at 867-975-6363.
It is a lot less stressful if parents can work out a child support agreement on their own, but that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes court is the only option left available to ensure that children get the financial support they need when their parents separate.
Parents can apply for a child support order at the Nunavut Court of Justice. The Nunavut Court of Justice is based in Iqaluit, Nunavut, but travels to all of the Nunavut Communities in Nunavut on the “court circuit.” If you live in Iqaluit, you can file an application for child support at the Nunavut Court of Justice. If you do not live in Iqaluit, you can contact Nunavut Court of Justice at 1-866-286-0546, who can provide you with information about how to file materials by fax or email.
The paying parent will be required by the court to provide proof of their present income, together with their recent income tax returns, and other financial documents that may be important. In most cases, such as when the parents are paying for special or extraordinary expenses, or when the parenting arrangement is shared, the receiving parent will also be required to provide financial documents.
The judge will make a child support order based on the Child Support Guidelines. The judge will make a decision about how much child support should be paid, who should pay it, and how often. Parents have to obey court orders.
It is also a good idea to get legal advice before going to court. Some services provide legal help for free or for a small fee. General information about family law in Nunavut is available during business hours through the Legal Services Board of Nunavut’s Law Line at 1-866-6069400.
What if a parent doesn’t pay child support?
The Nunavut Maintenance Enforcement Office (MEO) is a service established by the territorial government to help parents receive their child support payments. “Maintenance” is another term used to describe support.
If you enroll in the program, staff at (MEO) will monitor your child support order and enforce it if payments are late or unpaid. MEO staff will contact the non-paying parent and arrange for payment to be made. There is no cost to enroll and there is no time limit when a parent can file their child support agreement or order.
Some parents enroll in the program because it is easier to have MEO collect payments than it is to do it themselves. When necessary, however, MEO has the power to take wages, make financial agreements,, and take other legal action to get payments on behalf of the children.
It is better to pay child support when your children need it. If parents don’t pay child support and get behind in their payments (are “in arrears”), their Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan benefits can also be taken (“garnished”) to pay the debt.