Child Support

Child support and the child’s residency generally go together, in that the parent with whom the child lives usually receives financial support from the other parent.

Child support is the right of the child. You cannot opt out of it in a separation or cohabitation agreement, the way you may be able to opt out of spousal support.

In many cases, you can determine the basic amount of child support by entering the noncustodial parent’s income and the number of children into an online calculator. The online calculator uses Canada’s Federal Child Support Guidelines to calculate the amount of monthly support due.

Sometimes, however, the determination is not quite as simple.

Exceptions To The Rules

Our child support lawyers will work with you to determine a fair amount that takes into account factors such as:

  • Shared parenting: If the children divide their time with both parents almost equally, each parent’s support amount is calculated, and the parent with the higher amount generally pays the difference to the parent with the lower amount.
  • Self-employment or unusual income: If either parent is self-employed or has income that includes bonuses, commissions, shares or seasonal variations, it may be challenging to determine the proper amount of child support; sometimes their business expenses are added back in.
  • Extracurricular and extraordinary expenses: Child support should cover some activities. If your children have expenses such as private school, special coaching, uninsured medical and dental expenses, or extraordinary recreational activities, we will help you determine how to handle those extra expenses.
  • Unusually high or low incomes: We will help you determine what to do if your incomes fall outside the normal limits for the Guidelines.
  • Adult children: Your children may require support because of medical reasons, or they may need help with higher education. These cases are fairly fact-specific, but we can help you determine obligation or entitlement for continued child support in these cases, especially if your child is pursuing a secondary or professional degree, such as a medical degree, as well as the amount of the child support.

Child support will need to be adjusted as your children grow, your incomes change, and custody and residency arrangements are modified.

If support has been too high or too low in the past, we can help you determine how to make retroactive adjustments and deal with arrears.

Contact Calgary Family Law Associates

To learn more about your rights as a payor or recipient of child support in Calgary and surrounding parts of Alberta, call us at 587-393-7850, or contact each lawyer individually. You can also fill out our online form.


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