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Child Support Calculations in Canada

Published On: January 23, 2013

Federal Child Support Guideline Calculations

Child support is calculated according to the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Since these guidelines are clear (for the most part) and established by law, parties are less likely to fight over the amount of child support when these guidelines are followed.

Long gone are the days when child support was a subjective matter and different amounts could be ordered in similar situations, often leading parties to feel that they were treated unfairly. Under the new Guidelines, everyone is treated the same way. Challenges can arise, however, when determining income for self-employed persons, when income is hidden or misrepresented, or when one person is purposely under- or un-employed.

Child Support Calculator

Child support can be calculated using one of the following methods:

Court House: contact your local court house (Court of Queen’s Bench Divorce Section or Provincial Court Family Section). Most courts provide free family law services–they can assist you with the calculations.

Lawyer: you can hire a lawyer to do the calculations for you. You can also be advised as to how guideline incomes should be calculated according to your situation and whether there should be a deviation from the guidelines.

Free On-Line Calculator: though the results are not guaranteed, you can calculate child support in Canada with the following free online calcultor:


Child Support Deviation

Parties can propose to deviate from the Federal Child Support Guidelines. In a divorce application, if a judge is not satisfied with the proposed support of children, the divorce can be rejected. Once rejected, the parties must either provide additional information to prove the original proposal was reasonable or change the arrangements to satisfy the judge.

Often, a judge won’t allow the parties to deviate from child support unless one of the following conditions exists:

  • The parent who has the children primarily (the recipient) has a higher income or standard of living than the payor and willingly agrees to receive less child support than otherwise entitled to. The recipient does not have to agree to a deviation. If the recipient refuses to deviate, the payor may be able to remedy the situation, but only if he or she is entitled to spousal support. The payor may be able to offset child support with a claim for spousal support.
  • There has been an unequal division of property, assets or debts in favor of one party.
  • In a 50/50 or split parenting arrangement, one parent’s household standard of living is higher than another, taking into account incomes of all parties in each household and the number of dependents supported by each household.

Child Support Disputes

Before arguing over child support, do your homework. You can find a lot of detailed information on the guidelines by rearching the act at:

Federal Child Support Guidelines

CAUTION: The information found in this article is general in nature, does not constitute legal advice and may not apply to your specific situation. There may be exceptions and the information may not represent the laws in your area. For legal advice as it relates to your specific situation, please consult with a lawyer.


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