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.

 

On Wednesday June 30th the British Columbia Court of Appeal (BCCA) quashed Kaela Mehl’s first degree murder conviction. In September of 2017 Mehl was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with 25 years parole ineligibility.

In December 2020 Nychuk & Co. lawyers, Barry Nychuk & Sharon Fox, represented Mehl before the BCCA. Nychuk and Fox argued that; (1) Mehl received ineffective assistance of counsel at the first trial; and, (2) One of the Jurors was biased, which they made known by gesturing to the gallery throughout the first trial.

In the first trial our client admitted to causing the death of her 18 month old daughter by feeding her a lethal quantity of prescription sleep aid. Throughout the first trial there was evidence brought by a forensic psychiatrist and her treating psychiatrist that she was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the incident and was therefore incapable of knowing her actions were wrong.

On Appeal Nychuk and Fox, pointed out numerous inadequacies in the defence provided by Mehl’s legal counsel including: a failure to adequately prepare her for trial, a failure to make her aware of the implications of trial decisions, and a failure to bring the apparent bias of one of the Jurors to the attention of the Judge. Nychuk and Fox also brought in fresh evidence by way of witnesses and affidavits to show the bias of one of the jurors.

The BCCA concluded that:

On several issues, trial counsel failed to provide reasonable professional assistance. Viewed collectively, the acts and omissions of trial counsel resulted in a trial that was unfair in fact and in appearance. Additionally, if reasonable professional assistance had been given, there is a reasonable probability that the outcome would have been different, as that phrase has been defined in the jurisprudence. Second, the juror engaged in behaviour during the trial which meets the test for a reasonable apprehension of bias. The appearance of trial fairness was undermined by the juror’s conduct. On both grounds of appeal, the appellant was found to have met her onus of establishing that the verdicts were the product of a miscarriage of justice.

The BCCA agreed that our client did not receive a fair trial, the conviction was quashed and it was sent back for a new trial.

Read here the June 30, 2021 Judgment from the Court of Appeal for British Columbia.

Regina criminal defence lawyer Sharon Fox.

Regina criminal defence lawyer Barry Nychuk.

At Nychuk & Company we are taking steps to reduce the possibility of the spread of infection:

  1. All surfaces in our Reception area and meetings rooms are regularly sanitized.
  2. All reading materials, including newspapers and magazines, are removed.
  3. Only disposable cups are provided to clients for water, coffee, and tea.
  4. No member of our team has travelled outside of Canada in the past few months. We will ensure that any person returning from outside of Canada will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
  5. To encourage social distancing and reduce the possibility of community spread of this virus, we are asking that all non-essential meetings be conducted by phone. If you do not feel comfortable conducting your meeting with your lawyer by phone, please ask them about the potential of Skype and/or Facetime meetings.
  6. We would ask all people attending at our office to not enter if you have fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  7. People attending at our office are also asked to sanitize your hands upon entering using the hand sanitizer available at the Reception desk. Please also maintain physical distancing of 2 meters.

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.