When dealing with a divorce or separation, it is very important to deal with child support. Children have a right to be financially supported by both of their parents after a divorce or separation. In fact, courts will not grant a divorce, until adequate provisions are made for child support first.
To determine child support, the first step is for the parties to exchange financial information with one another. After the relevant information about their income is obtained, then we can do a calculation to see what the reasonable child support amount would be.
The 2 Different Types of Child Support Payments
There are two types of child support payments that need to be dealt with. The first is a monthly payment paid by the ‘access parent’ (the parent who occasionally sees the children) to the parent with primary parenting time (the parent with whom the children reside the majority of the time). This payment is commonly referred to as ‘section 3’ child support and it is an amount paid for the day-to-day maintenance of the children. This amount stays the same until it is changed by a Court and is paid on a monthly basis.
The other type of child support is ‘section 7’ child support which is not included and is separate from section 3 child support. Section 7 child support is calculated proportionately based on both parent’s income and it is for out of pocket expenses, things like:
- Child care expenses as a result of the primary parent’s employment, illness, disability or education;
- Portion of medical and dental insurance premiums attributable to the child;
- health-related expenses that exceed insurance reimbursement by at least $100 annually, including orthodontic treatment, professional counseling provided by a psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist or any other person, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses, and contact lenses;
- extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs that meet the child’s particular needs;
- expenses for post-secondary education; and
- extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.
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How does child support work in Canada?
There are strict child support guidelines that must be followed. However much money you make in a year will directly relate to how much child support you would have to pay, as it is decided by the guidelines.
Can a father refuse to pay child support?
No, child support is a mandatory requirement that a parent cannot refuse to pay. If a parent refuses to pay child support and the child support is enforced through Maintenance Enforcement Program of Alberta for example, they could take such actions as garnishing wages, revoking driver’s licence and passport until it is paid.
Is child support mandatory in Canada?
Yes, a child has a right to be financially supported by both parents after a separation and so it is a mandatory requirement for each parent to make contributions towards it.
Who determines who pays child support?
The Court determines child support and it does so by looking at who is the primary parent of the child and has the other parent provide child support.