INTRODUCTION

Your relationship has ended, and you have minor children.  You may be wondering, “how am I supposed to find out about what should be paid for child support?”  The answer to your question may be as simple as using your smartphone.

In order to calculate child support, the first thing to determine is the residence of your child.  If a child resides primarily with one parent (more than 60% of the time), the other parent will need to pay child support.  If a child resides roughly equal time with both parents (at least 40% of the time), there may or may not be a child support amount payable.

CHILD SUPPORT IN CANADA

Child support in Canada is determined in consultation with The Federal Child Support Guidelines.  Section 3 of the Guidelines states that the amount payable is based on the tables.  This is known as the ‘table amount’ or ‘base amount’ of support.  This is because it is determined with reference to the tables for child support.

set out the base child support amount payable for parent.  The Guidelines list the amount.  The amount in the guidelines is based on the payor’s income

HOW TO CALCULATE CHILD SUPPORT

  1. Go to the Canadian Child Support Calculator 
  2. Enter in your details:
    • The paying parent’s income
    • The paying parent’s residence
    • How many children
    • Click ‘enter’, viola! You have a child support amount.
  1. The support payable amount:

In a situation with a child residing primarily with one parent, the input of the paying parent’s income should provide you with the base amount of child support that is payable.  In a situation with a child residing roughly equally with both parents, the court will often look at what each parent’s obligation would be and order the parent with the higher amount to pay the difference. This is known as ‘the set-off’.  For example, if one parent would owe $1,000, and the other parent would owe $700, the parent with the higher income would pay the difference: $300.

WHEN DO I NEED A PROFESSIONAL?

 Every situation is unique and it can sometimes help to have an experienced legal professional to explain your circumstances to the Court. Some situations where a lawyer might make your life a lot easier are:

    • When you are self-employed
    • Where you own a corporation
    • Where your financial situation is unpredictable
    • If you think you are paying too much in child support
    • If you think you are not being paid enough in child support
    • If you and your child’s other parent disagree on what expenses are to be shared
    • If you think you are not being provided accurate information about the other parents income or expenses

SUMMARY

  • The child support calculator is easy to use and can give you a breakdown
  • There are limitations
  • In more complex situation, you may need to hire a professional

Questions?  Give us Call! Our dedicated family team solves family matters large or small.  We are happy to help you.

While the courts are currently closed due to Covid-19 for all but emergency applications, there is another option to have matters resolved quickly and at generally less cost than using a lawyer for a traditional court hearing. Arbitration allows parties to use a private decision-maker to give a written decision. That decision is binding and enforceable similar to a court order. This process is legislated in Saskatchewan pursuant to The Arbitration Act.

The parties to arbitration can determine the exact format as to how the arbitrator will receive evidence. This means that arbitration can be completed in a manner that does not require any face to face contact, such as with written submissions only, or having a hearing entirely by telephone conference call. While parties are each welcome to involve a lawyer, it is not mandatory to be represented by a lawyer in arbitration.

Almost any type of family law or civil dispute can be resolved using arbitration, and typical family law situations include determining or varying an amount of child or spousal support; deciding on a parenting schedule; resolving health or education decisions about children; and property disputes such as possession of a home or vehicle.

Issues that are unique to the current health and economic crisis can also be resolved by arbitration. For example, parents may be in disagreement over the amount of support payable given recent layoffs or income reductions. Parents may disagree on how to share time with the children given recent social distancing concerns, or disagree on medical treatment for a child. These are all issues that can be decided through arbitration.

David Flett is a lawyer in our office with 25 years of experience in family and civil law. He is a Qualified Arbitrator through the ADR (Alternate Dispute Resolution) Institute of Canada and a Family Arbitrator recognized by the Province of Saskatchewan. If you would like more information on using arbitration to resolve your issue, please contact David Flett at dflett@nychuklaw.com.