child support

Protect the needs of your children and keep the calculations simple. Our lawyers will ensure your children are supported during and after the divorce process.

When a couple chooses to divorce they must consider the impact it will have on their children. Parents have an obligation to support their children when they separate or divorce. The guiding principle of Canada’s child support law is that children should continue to benefit from the financial means of both parents, just as they would if the parents were still together.

Children are entitled to support if they are under the age of majority and still dependent on a parent. Children attending post-secondary are also entitled to support, as are children over the age of majority if he or she is unable to become independent due to illness, disability, or ‘other cause’.

Child support of married or divorced couples is determined by the Federal Child Support Guidelines, or the FCSG. Child support for the children of parents that have never been married is calculated in accordance to the Alberta Child Support Guidelines. The Alberta and Canada Child Support Guidelines set out detailed rules and tables to show how much child support each parent should pay when they separate, based on the number of children and each parent’s income.

Generally, the total income (line 150) of a parent’s Notice of Assessment or Income Tax Return determines that parent’s income for the purposes of calculating the base child support. Determining income can be complicated when one or both divorcing parents is unemployed, or self-employed. A family lawyer is highly suggested in this process.

Other factors that affect child support are ‘special or extraordinary expenses’. These include child-care expenses, medical and dental premiums, health related expenses, extraordinary expenses for educational purposes, post-secondary education expenses and extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities. Each parent’s contribution to child support is based on their income.

In Alberta, parties can register child support orders or agreements with the Maintenance Enforcement Program. This provincial government agency will attempt to enforce all agreed to or court ordered child support where it is administratively possible and practicable. Parties must exchange their income tax returns annually to ensure they are paying the correct amount of child support.

Child support calculations, and child support agreements can be complicated, emotional, and stressful. A family lawyer from RCMV is your ally in these circumstances. To ensure that you’re paying or receiving the correct amount contact one of our expert family lawyers to assist you.