Child support is an obligation that parents must fulfill by providing financial assistance for their children. The amount of money you pay varies depending on the income of the parties, the number of kids and how old they are.
In Alberta, if you don’t have custody or visitation rights over your kids, you can still be ordered by the court to pay child support payments.
There are two forms of child support in Alberta:
Section 3 (base child support) is a monthly payment designed to cover basic necessities such as food, clothes, shelter, health care, etc., for children under 18 years old.
Section 7 support covers some extraordinary expenses like additional costs associated with post-secondary education, child care, private school fees, summer camps, sports equipment, musical instruments, and so forth.
Child Support Amounts vary greatly depending on several factors including if the parents live together, which parent provides primary care, where they live, and each person’s annual income. There is little or no room for adjustment, but there are a few select circumstances where the amount awarded can be increased or decreased.
The individual providing child support may also be required to pay a fair share of other expenses, such as education, health, medical , childcare, and extracurricular activities.
If the parent providing care for the children has no income, that parent can seek 100% of the child expenses.
The easiest way to determine how much child support you owe is to use an Alberta child support calculator. This simple calculation takes into account your annual income and the number of children you have and the Section 7 expenses you incur each month. Please keep in mind that online calculators do not provide exact calculations based on your situation, and they are for informational purposes only.
There are laws, both federal and provincial, that enforce child support obligations.
For example, the payments, made by the Government of Canada towards Employment Insurance can be garnished and put towards your child support payment obligations.
You may also risk losing your Canadian passport or driver’s license if you fail to comply with your obligations under the Maintenance Enforcement Program.
It is very important to understand your obligations for child support. You can learn more by contacting our family law lawyers at Chahal Raj Law, or by visiting the Government of Canada website.
If you lose your job and your income decreases, you’re still responsible for making payments, which depend on whatever new income you earn.
It’s important for anyone paying maintenance through the Maintenance Enforcement Program to contact MEP right away. If there’s an existing court order for child support, it must be addressed as well. When the parent obligated to pay support for his/her children finds new employment, he/she must start paying again at a modified level, which is determined by the new earnings.
When a couple separates or divorces, a parenting arrangement is created that outlines how custody of the children is handled. In most cases, shared custody is the best option for the children since equal time is spent with both parents.
However, there are situations where one parent ends up getting sole legal and physical custody of the children. This means that he/she will make decisions about the children’s schooling, extracurricular activities, healthcare, religious upbringing, and more.
Child support payments are commonly made to the parent who has sole custody of the child(ren). But, for circumstances where the parenting arrangement is shared or split, the determination of child support can become more complex.
Thankfully, the Federal Child Support Guidelines provide for an equitable determination of child support amounts. Parties cannot waive their rights under these rules. Child support calculations don’t take into account parents’ own expenses.
For more information on child support agreements, contact the Chahal Raj law office today to schedule an initial consultation with our family lawyers.