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Calgary Child Support Lawyers

What is Child Support?

Child support refers to periodic payments made by one parent to the parent who the child resides with, following the end of a marriage or any other relationship. The child support payments are based on child’s best interest and should benefit from both parents’ financial abilities to support them and are generally non-negotiable.

What are the Factors Affecting Child Support?

There can be numerous factors affecting the amount of child support you are required to pay or receive, which is why we recommend the clients to meet with our lawyers to discuss in details what their situation entails. Below are some basic factors that may affect the amount of child support:

Child Custody Will Affect Child Support Payments

The amount of child support will be affected by your child custody arrangement. For instance, in case of shared child custody, a situation where a child lives at least 40 percent of the time with each parent, then the courts will consider a number of factors to determine child support, such as income of both parents. We strongly suggest that you meet with our Calgary Family Lawyers for more in-depth analysis of your child support payments and how we can prepare you for a better outcome.

Federal Child Support Guideline Amounts

There are three distinct factors that will affect child support payments:

  • The number of children
    • The age and any special needs of the child can strongly impact the amount you will be paying or receiving
    • Number of dependent children of the paying spouse
  • The province or territory where the paying parents live
    • Living in the same or different province/country may affect the amount of child support payments 
  • The paying parents annual income before taxes
    • Typically, the paying parent’s income will be needed but depending on the situation, both parents income may be considered

To lookup the estimated amount, please use the Department of Justice’ Child Support payment calculator.

What Will Child Support Cover?

Child support is meant to cover the living expenses of the child. This also includes special expenses or section 7 expenses, such as: 

  • Child care expenses
  • Education costs including post-secondary tuition fees
  • Extracurricular costs
  • Dental and medical expenses for the child

The special expenses are usually divided based on the proportionate income of the parents. Also note such expenses have to be reasonable in relation to the parent’s financial circumstances and the child’s needs.

How Long Does Child Support Last For?

In most cases, child support lasts until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years in Alberta. The child support may continue after 18 years of age, if the child has any illness, disability or is enrolled in a post-secondary institution. For more information please refer to the Alberta Government’s General Child Support Information Guide.

Our Child Support Lawyers can Help!

Paying child support can be complex and the calculations for each individual varies. Come see your Calgary Child support lawyers for more in depth analysis of your case and how we can reduce your financial problem. Please call us at (403) 476 – 2011 now or book a consultation online.

The length of the property division process can vary depending on the circumstances. It could take a few months if there is an agreement or several years if there is no agreement but resort to a trial.     

Child Support FAQs

How is child support calculated in Calgary? 

In Calgary, as well as throughout Canada, child support is calculated based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines. These guidelines provide a framework for determining the amount of child support to be paid. The primary factors considered include the paying parent’s income, the number of children requiring support, and the province or territory where the paying parent resides. The guidelines utilize specific tables and formulas to determine the appropriate amount of support. While there are online calculators available to estimate child support payments, it is advisable to consult with a family law attorney to ensure accurate calculations that comply with Alberta’s laws. 

What expenses does child support cover? 

Child support is intended to cover a wide range of expenses associated with raising a child. These expenses typically include housing costs, groceries, clothing, school-related expenses, healthcare, extracurricular activities, and other essential needs. The goal is to ensure that the child’s standard of living is maintained as closely as possible to what it would have been if the parents had remained together. 

Can child support be modified? 

Yes, child support orders can be modified in Calgary. If there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a substantial change in the paying parent’s income, the child’s needs, or a change in custody arrangements, either parent can apply to the court for a modification of the child support order. It is essential to provide evidence of the change in circumstances to support the modification request. 

What happens if a parent doesn’t pay child support? 

If a parent fails to meet their child support obligations, legal actions can be taken to enforce payment. In Alberta, enforcement measures can include wage garnishment, seizing bank accounts, or involving the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP). MEP is a provincial agency that specializes in enforcing support orders and ensuring that payments are made as ordered by the court. 

Do child support payments continue after the child turns 18? 

Child support typically continues until the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 in Alberta. However, there are exceptions. If the child is still financially dependent on the custodial parent, such as if they are attending post-secondary education, child support may continue beyond the age of 18. In such cases, the court may order support to continue until the child completes their education or reaches a specific age specified in the court order. 

Can child support orders be enforced across provincial or national borders? 

Yes, child support orders can be enforced across provincial or national borders in Canada. This is made possible through the Interjurisdictional Support Orders (ISO) Act, which allows for the enforcement of support orders between different provinces or territories. It ensures that child support obligations remain valid and enforceable, regardless of where the custodial and non-custodial parents reside within Canada. 

Can child support be waived or canceled by mutual agreement between parents? 

Child support is considered a right of the child, not the parents, and cannot be waived or canceled solely by mutual agreement between the parents. However, parents can seek court approval for a child support agreement that deviates from the standard guidelines if it is in the best interests of the child. The court will assess such agreements to ensure that the child’s needs and welfare are adequately protected before approving any deviations from the guidelines. 

About Shim Law

Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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