Child support review delay frustrates P.E.I. woman
A Summerside woman says she tried for years to get the P.E.I. Maintenance Enforcement program to help move forward her case for more child support, but what she says was a seemingly small stumbling block made for frustration and delay.
Lorna Paynter asked maintenance enforcement for help in 2008. Her ex-husband was paying child support based on his P.E.I. earnings of $26,000. But he had moved to Alberta the year before, and Paynter had heard welders there were making at least $100,000.
Department officials told her she would need her ex's address to apply for recalculation, said Paynter.
But she didn't have the address.
Paynter thought, since her ex was sending support payments to the province's maintenance enforcement department, they would have it. But she said they told her they couldn't help her.
Paynter said, after three years of trying, she wrote to P.E.I.'s justice minister.
"Because I did send letters to maintenance enforcement over the years saying, 'Do you know where he is?'" I always would phone them, or email them or fax them letters asking them to help me because I didn't have his address. So I couldn't do anything," said Paynter.
A short time after complaining, Paynter said she got a call from maintenance enforcement saying they had located her ex's address.
P.E.I. then sent a court order to Alberta for a hearing to review support payments. At that hearing, her ex said his address was on the cheques he regularly sent to maintenance enforcement.
The Alberta judge ordered Paynter's ex to pay two year's retroactive child support, based on his salary of more than $100,000. The judge also increased his ongoing payments.
CBC News was unsuccessful in attempts to reach Paynter's ex.
Maintenance enforcement officials said they expedited Paynter's case, as soon as they first heard her complaint in 2011. Paynter said that is three years after she first asked for their help.
Paynter is happy she's getting more money, but frustrated it took so many years of prodding.