Child Support Lawyers in Calgary, AB Putting Your Child First
Every province in Canada has legal guidelines to help determine base child support, spousal support, and other post-nuptial or separation agreement determinations to cover the fundamental care of children. A child’s best interests are of the utmost importance to the court, even over other extraordinary expenses accrued during a separation.
In this post, the team at Getz Collins and Associates will explain the following:
- What is Child Support?
- What is the Family Law Act, and What Are the Federal Child Support Guidelines?
- What Support is a Child Receiving from These Payments?
- Where Can I Go With My Questions About Child Support?
Though we can give as close to an extensive overview as possible, every case is different. Call Getz Collins and Associates at (587) 849-4470 today to schedule a specific look at your individual case.
What is Child Support?
When a court orders that one parent pays child support; they are ordering the coverage of not only monthly base child support but also extraordinary expenses, health-related expenses, and any extra expenses the court determines the other parent pays in the process of raising children that are within the means of each parents’ respective incomes.
Calculating child support requires a unique child support calculator, factoring in basic expenses expected during the regular parenting schedule and the paying parent’s income. These are usually factored into the joint spousal income from which the child would benefit if the parents were still together. Still, if the lower-income earning parent is the one parent on the receiving end of the child support arrangements, then the payor’s income tax returns are used most in the child support calculations. This is to help ensure that from the regular living expenses of childhood to money paid for post-secondary education, the child functions as if the two parents’ incomes were still together.
A court cannot enforce the non-custodial parent to maintain care for a child until the custodial parent requests the child support orders. This is why, in child support cases, parents who receive primary custody of their children turn to experienced child support lawyers to verify the proper documentation is provided.
What is the Family Law Act, and What Are the Federal Child Support Guidelines?
The Child Support Guidelines enforced federally exist to provide a basic child support amount according to calculations based on the payor’s parents’ income. On top of that sum, the payee may be forced to pay for additional childcare expenses, such as;
- medical and dental premiums
- education expenses
- extracurricular activities
- daily childcare
Within the Alberta Family Law Act, there are stipulations that ‘every decision regarding the child must be made for the best interest of the child.’ While this can factor into the payor’s provided amount of child support, it is defined as ‘protecting the child so that they are physically, psychologically, and emotionally safe.’ The Canadian Family Act further delves into stating that parents are legally obligated to support their children financially.
While each case can be different, family and child support lawyers can ultimately be relied upon to help a parent figure out the required amount of child support in their case to ensure that the child’s “best interests” are well-fulfilled. However, if certain expenses do not seem to be included in the judge’s original stipulations, the payee can have their lawyer request that the judge who gave the order review and amend it.
What Support is the Child Receiving From Child Support Payments?
Child support payments are intended to go toward the basic living expenses of the custodial parent while raising a child. However, some may differ in their idea as to how much child support is required to meet the “basic living expenses” of a child. So, legally, what is the necessary amount of child support that a custodial parent receives, and for what is it required to be used?
The court defines the reasonable basic living expenses for child support payments as follows, based on roughly the income level of the payor parent (which the court calculates from that parent’s income tax returns).
- Regular clothes
- Health care (abundant medical and dental included)
- Child care (such as babysitters or daycare)
- Education, including post-secondary
- Extracurricular activities
Extraordinary or special expenses are considered while calculating child support payments but often go above and beyond the required basic child support ordered for each month. These expenses can be determined to still be within a child’s best interest by the court but must fall within reason given the payor’s income.
For instance, a lower-income payor parent may be expected to contribute roughly equal amounts to professional services required or requested by the child (such as music lessons, private tutoring in subjects they may be failing, etc.) but could not be expected to fund the majority of a child’s tuition to a prestigious private school across the world on the whim of the custodial parent. What child support gets paid depends on what a payor can afford. Essentially, the goal is to ensure the child lives a life roughly equivalent to the lives of other children whose parent makes a similar income.
Where Can I Go With My Questions About Child Support?
While several resources exist to answer questions on;
- the parentage and maintenance act
- the domestic relations act
- how self-employed income is factored
- family law
- and more;
the first step in a child support case is to get in touch with a family lawyer, receive an assessment of the situation for the families and children involved (preferably before the divorce process has ended), and discuss the monthly basis of extra costs required to raise children. Be straightforward with the family lawyers at Getz Collins and Associates at (587) 849-4470 and they will walk you through the child support guideline, provide exceptional service, and ensure the best interest of your child is fulfilled.