Child support is legislated through the Federal Divorce Act, for married couples, and the Alberta Family Law Act, for common-law/adult interdependent partners. The Federal Child Support Guidelines and similar Alberta Child Support Guidelines set out specific considerations for determining child support.
Child support is payable for all dependent children, which may also include the period of their post-secondary studies. Child support is the right of the child(ren). Parties cannot bargain child support away.
Child(ren) includes a biological child(ren) or any child(ren) to which a party has assumed a prior parenting role.
Child support takes priority over spousal support.
If one parent has the primary residence of the child(ren), the other parent is responsible to pay child support to the primary parent according to their guideline income for as long as the child(ren) are dependent(s).
In instances where there is a shared parenting arrangement, the first step is determining the amount of child support payable by the higher earning parent, pursuant to the applicable Child Support Guidelines. This amount is then initially offset by the support amount that would be payable by the lower earning parent. It is important to note that, in these instances where there is a shared parenting arrangement, the Court has the right to re-adjust child support.
Child support is not taxable to the recipient nor is it tax deductible to the payor, as long as the order for support was made after May 1, 1997.
Family law Services
Section 3 Child Support
The applicable child support guidelines then through a computerized formula calculate Section 3 standard child support which is intended to cover the child(ren)’s basic living expenses (i.e. food, clothing, shelter).
Section 7 Child Support
Section 7 of the applicable Child Support Guidelines provide that the parent who is responsible to pay child support may also be required to contribute to reasonable and necessary “extra-ordinary” expenses for the child(ren), such as:
- child care expenses;
- medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;
- health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement by at least $100 annually;
- extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education;
- expenses for post-secondary education;
- extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.
Section 7 support is normally paid in proportion to each parent’s guideline income.
CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATIONS
The resulting child support is a computerized calculation factoring in all applicable government taxes and benefits. See the below link to the Department of Justice’s child support calculator or contact us for further assistance. (insert link)
ALBERTA MAINTENANCE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
Helpful Information and Resources for Child Support Matters
Notice to Disclose Application
The Notice to Disclose Application is commonly used in family law to request financial disclosure. This provides your lawyer the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of both you and your former spouse or adult interdependent partners overall finances to assist in negotiating child and spousal support and property equalization. Once a Notice to Disclose Application is served, both parties have an ongoing obligation to provide up to date and current financial disclosure until a resolution is reached.
The Schedule A forms part of the parties standard financial disclosure obligations and is provided in the Notice to Disclose Application. This document summarizes a party’s assets and liabilities. It must be sworn before a Commissioner for Oath in and for the Province of Alberta and ensures that party’s are forthcoming and transparent when providing their financial disclosure.
A budget is included in the standard Notice to Disclose Application. The attached template provides a comprehensive summary of income and expenses. Often, budgets are used to gain a deeper understanding of each party’s current monthly surplus/deficit to assist with child and spousal support applications.
Department of Justice Child Support Table Look-up
The Department of Justice has provided this free resource that allows you to look-up your base Section 3 child support amount based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines. This does not constitute or replace legal advice. You may still wish to seek advice from a lawyer with respect to your specific situation.