Working with family law specialists will ensure that your child support calculator is correct and that you’re following the most current Alberta child support guidelines. Parents have an obligation to support their children and Canada’s child support law is founded on the principle that children should continue to benefit from the financial means of both parents, just as they would if the parents were still together.
Child Support Entitlement in Alberta
Children in Alberta are entitled to child support if they are under the age of majority (18 years of age) and are still dependent on a parent. Children attending post-secondary are entitled to child support, as are children over the age of majority if they are unable to become independent due to illness, disability, or ‘other cause’.
In Canada, child support payments for married or divorced couples are calculated based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines (FCSG).
For common law couples, child support is calculated in accordance to the Alberta Child Support Guidelines.
In both child support calculations, how much child support each parent should pay is based on their income (line 150 of their Notice of Assessment or Income Tax Return) and the number of children they support. If one or more parents are unemployed or self-employed this calculation can become complicated and an family lawyer is recommended.
Your child support calculation can also include ‘special or extraordinary expenses’ which could 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.
Child support orders and agreements should be registered in Alberta with the Maintenance Enforcement Program. This provincial government agency will attempt to enforce all agreed to and court-ordered child support payments where it is administratively possible and practical. Both parties must exchange their income tax returns annually to ensure they are paying the correct amount of child support.
Calculating the Emotional Toll
It is incredibly difficult to come to an agreement on your child support calculations that results in all parties feeling like they’re getting a ‘fair deal’. Child support agreements are complicated, emotional, and stressful. Working with an experienced, compassionate family lawyer can make all the difference when it comes to determining child support payments during your divorce process. To ensure you’re paying or receiving the correct amount of child support, please contact our child support lawyers.