Child Support: These two simple words create so much stress, fear and anger. Family law will always look at support when there are children in a divorce. For the recipient, when they try to find out how much they will get in child support. They may also stress about bringing up child support or wonder how they will collect it. For the parent who pays, the concern is almost always “how much will I have to pay”? In cases where parentage is a unknown, paternity testing finalizes this issue.

Child Support Federal Government Links

The Federal government in Canada has set out what must be paid for child support. There are easy to read tables and calculators available on line. To make things easy, here is the link to the federal government site. Click here for the support guideline page.

Here is also the link for the online look up calculator. Click here for the child support online calculator.

Using the support tables

Using the support tables is easy. First you need to look up your province. We will assume Alberta. Next you need to find the column with the number of children that you are responsible for. Once you have that column, follow it down until you come to your income (or the other parent’s income). The number that you see there will be the amount that must be paid monthly. If the income is higher than the tables allow for ($150,000), then just take the last number and multiply the amount over $150,000 by percentage listed. To make it easy you can use the calculator.

If custody is shared evenly, then there is one more step. Shared evenly includes any arrangement that is between 60/40 to 40/60 (with 50/50 being in the middle. In this case you do this above calculation for both parents and net out the difference (subtract one child support payment from the other). The person with the higher income then pays the person with the lower income the difference between the two monthly payment amounts.

Child Support Basics Video

There are, of course, other things that come into consideration. For example if there are special needs, situations or expenses. The Kahane Law Legal Minute this week only focuses on the basics.

Click here for the Kahane Law Video on Child Support basics.