Child support calculations in Canada are based upon 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 calculations can be made using one of the following methods:
Canadian Legal Resource Centre Inc: we automatically assist with child support calculations if you hire us to assist you with a divorce and/or legal separation agreement.
Federal Child Support Guidelines: Check out the Justice Canada Child Support Online Lookup. NOTE: this look up is for basic child support calculations only. If following the guidelines, the parties would also share extra-ordinary expenses in proportion to their incomes. In some cases, undue hardship might also entitle either party for a reduced or increased amount of child support. This calculator does not easily help you figure out how to complete child support calculations in 50/50 or split parenting arrangements.
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 child support calculations and possibly spousal support calculations.
Parenting After Separation Seminar: You’ll also learn about Child Support Calculations using the Federal Child Support Guidelines in this free seminar. See links at bottom for information on seminar locations throughout Alberta.
Lawyer: you can hire a lawyer to do the child support 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 use the following free online calculator for child support calculations and spousal support calculations:
Parties can propose to deviate from the Federal Child Support Guidelines. In a divorce application, if a judge is not satisfied with the proposed child support for 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:
Before arguing over child support calculations, do your homework. You can find a lot of detailed information on the guidelines by researching the act at:
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.