Experienced Family Law Lawyers for Child Support Determination in Calgary

Adequate financial support is the right of every child and an obligation on every parent. Whenever a relationship breaks down and there are children involved, whether a marriage or common-law partnership, the issue of child support will become a key factor to be decided between the parties. In cases where parents are unable to come to terms regarding the support amount, an order from a court or arbitrator will become necessary.

While there are guidelines in place to determine the calculation of child support, there are several factors that can complicate matters, such as special expenses or the potential for the payor spouse to underreport their income or remain deliberately underemployed in order to reduce their support obligations. It is important to seek the counsel of experienced and skilled family law lawyer whenever child support obligations are in question.

At Mincher Koeman, our lawyers have considerable experience assisting clients through the process of determining child support obligations. We have a practice dedicated to family law and have helped guide numerous clients through the process, in situations that are both amicable and high conflict. We will thoroughly review a client’s circumstances and advise on the best path forward, keeping both costs and efficiency in mind.

How is Child Support Calculated?

The Federal Child Support Guidelines determine the calculation of child support. Each parent’s Guideline Income is determined. This is a fairly simple process for parties who receive regular employment income. For parties who do not receive income in the form of a paycheque, such as self-employed parties, parties who receive investment income, trust income, disability income, or income from other sources, arriving at their Guideline income may be more complicated.

The Child Support Guideline Tables are used to determine the amount the payor parent must pay to the primary caregiver parent based on the number of children and the payor parent’s income.

In addition to standard support payments, the payor parent may be required to pay a share of the following additional extraordinary expenses:

  • Extracurricular activities;
  • School-related expenses;
  • Post-secondary expenses;
  • Childcare expenses;
  • Medical and dental premiums; and
  • Medical expenses exceeding $100.00 per annum, over and above that which is covered by health insurance.

Other rules for calculating child support may be triggered in special situations. For example:

  • Where a parent would suffer from undue hardship from paying the Guideline amount of child support, the table amount may be reduced. It is very difficult to prove undue hardship and a reduction in the table amount will be awarded in only the direst of situations;
  • Where a payor earns in excess of $150,000.00 per annum;
  • Where parents share the time, they spend with their children in excess of 40%;
  • Where parents split caring for the children between two houses such that one child is with one parent primarily and the other child and/or children are with the other parent primarily; and
  • Where the children are over the age of 18 years.

Example of How Extraordinary Expenses are Calculated

If the payor parent is required to pay a share of any of the above expenses, the amount is calculated as the payor parent’s percentage of the combined incomes of both parents. For example, if the payor earns $40,000.00 and the other parent earns $60,000.00, then the payor may be required to pay 40% of these extra expenses (because the payor earns 40% of the total income).

Contact Mincher Koeman for Practical and Knowledgable Guidance with Respect to Child Support Obligations

At Mincher Koeman, our family law lawyers are exceedingly experienced in matters relating to the determination of child support. We will always guide a client towards the most efficient and cost-effective method of resolving the matter, whether that means going to trial to seek a court order, or simply providing candid advice through amicable negotiations between the parties. We will take a big-picture view of the family’s circumstances in order to assess the most appropriate way forward for our client while prioritizing the best interests of the child or children involved. For assistance with any child support matter, contact our office for a consultation by calling us at 403-910-3000 or by contacting us online.

A team above all. Above all a team.

1300, 707 7 Ave SW
Calgary, AB, T2P 3H6

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