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    I signed a separation agreement for child support in 1998. It said I had to pay $600 monthly for child support. My income has gone up since then. There's nothing in the agreement that says I have to show her any proof of my income changes each year. Now my ex-wife says that I owe her in arrears an increase under the Child Support Guideline tables. I'm willing to pay more starting now but I don't have $53,000 for the time she never asked about until now. It just isn't there. Who's right?
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    If you lived in Alberta, she would definitely be right. In Ontario, she's still
    probably right even though our own Court of Appeal in one recent decision (Walsh) ruled
    that pending trial, you wouldn't have to pay the increase because there was nothing in
    your agreement that obligated you to disclose your income from year to year. At trial,
    you would still likely be stuck with retroactive payments. However, for many payers
    Walsh was a "lifesaver" because trials in family law are expensive and don't happen as
    often anymore. They settle or die well before trial .Some Ontario courts have ruled that it
    would be unfair to burden a payer with a retroactive increase in a large lump sum if the
    mother waited for several years or even for a period of time prior to commencing her
    court action before asking a judge to "pounce" on the payer with a large retroactive sum.
    (One judge ordered less retroactively because the mother's letter requesting exposure
    may not have reached the payer and she never "followed up" until starting her lawsuit.
    However, if the agreement does continue a clause that obligates the payer to disclose tax
    returns and other evidence of income from year to year then the retroactive payments
    would be ordered, even before trial. Most importantly, legal scholars and senior family
    law lawyers today agree that recent Alberta Court of Appeal decision recently released is
    so thoroughly decided and persuasive that it will likely be adopted by our own courts in
    Ontario, even though the decision does not technically bind them. The decision is
    revolutionary. It sweeps aside all technical objections. If your income increased, then you
    should have contacted your ex and started paying that much more under Child Support
    Guideline tables, even if the original separation agreement is silent on the issue of timely
    disclosure. So, payer start paying or you will pay interest. And recipients start calculating
    what you are owed.

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