In May 1997 the Federal Child Support Guidelines came into effect for the purpose of simplifying the calculation of Child Support. In the majority of situations, the calculation of child support requires three major steps:
- First, each parent's Guideline Income must be determined. This is a fairly simple process for parties who receive regular employment income. For parties who do not receive income in the form of a pay cheque, such as self-employed parties, parties in receipt of investment income, trust income, disability income, or other sources, arriving at their Guideline income may be more complicated;
- Second, the Child Support Guideline Tables are used to obtain the Child Support Guideline amount the payor parent must pay to the primary caregiver parent based on the number of children and the payor parent's Guideline Income. Please note that the Tables changed effective May 1, 2006.
Third, the payor parent may be required to pay a share of the following additional expenses:
- Extraordinary extracurricular activities
- Extraordinary school related expenses
- Post secondary expenses
- Child care expenses
- Medical and dental premiums; and
- Medical expenses exceeding $100.00 per annum, over health insurance
- If the payor parent is required to pay a share of any of the above expenses, the amount will be calculated as the payor parent's percentage of the combined incomes of the 2 parents. For example, if the payor earns $40,000.00 and the other parent earns $60,000.00, then the payor may be required to pay 40% of these extra expenses (the payor earns 40 percent of the total income).
Other rules for calculating child support may be triggered in special situations, such as:
- Where a parent would suffer from undue hardship from paying the Guideline amount of child support, the table amount may be reduced. It is very difficult to prove undue hardship and a reduction in the table amount will be awarded in only the most dire of situations;
- Where a payor earns in excess of $150,000.00 per annum;
- Where parents share the time they spend with their children in excess of 40%;
- Where parents split caring for the children between two houses such that one child is with one parent primarily and the other child and/or children are with the other parent primarily; and
- Where the children are over the age of 18 years.
Often computer software is used to assist in the calculation of child support. Foster LLP is fully equipped to provide child support calculations to clients and to evaluate rights/obligations related to child support.
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