What Is Base Child Support?
In Canada, child support is divided into:
- base child support, which is intended to go towards basic childcare expenses such as food, shelter and clothing, and
- extraordinary expenses, to which some parents may be entitled, depending on the particular expenses they have to incur for their child. For example, medical expenses or child care expenses may be considered extraordinary.
Our Edmonton family law lawyers can help you to determine what is base child support and calculate the amounts that apply in your family’s situation.
Who Is Entitled To Base Child Support?
An adult who has the care and control of a child for the majority of the time is entitled to receive base child support from the child’s parent or parents.
How Is Base Child Support Calculated?
The Federal Child Support Guidelines and the Alberta Child Support Guidelines provide tables that are used to calculate the amount of child support that must be paid based on:
- the number of children
- the province in which the children live
- the before-tax income of the parent paying child support.
The Guidelines help ensure that the child support laws are applied uniformly and fairly across the province and across the country. A court is required to make an order for child support that matches the table amount unless:
- the paying parent earns over $150,000 per year, in which case the court may exercise some flexibility, or
- either the receiving parent or the paying parent makes a successful claim that the table amount will cause them undue hardship.
What If The Children Live With Both Parents?
It is very common for children to spend approximately equal time with both parents. This is called shared custody. In this case, the base amount of child support is calculated for each parent and the amounts are set-off against each other, with the higher-income parent paying the difference to the parent with the lower income.
Sometimes one child lives with one parent and another child lives with the other parent. This is called split custody. In these situations, base child support is calculated for each parent using the table and the amounts owed are set-off against each other. Which parent ends up paying child support depends on the number of children who reside with each parent and the respective incomes of the parents.
How Do You Receive Child Support?
Calculating child support is fairly straight-forward in most cases. As a result, many parents are able to come to an agreement with respect to the amount of child support that one will pay to the other.
Complications may arise if the parent paying child support is self-employed, has one-time sources of income or has income that fluctuates significantly from year to year or where one parent is deliberately unemployed or underemployed. In these cases, it may be necessary to obtain a court order.
Contact Verhaeghe Law Office’s Edmonton Divorce And Family Law Lawyers Today For Legal Advice On Child Support
Our Edmonton family lawyers can help you to negotiate an agreement or apply for a court order for child support. Contact us today to learn more about what is base child support and what it means for your family. Or give us a call today by dialling (587) 410-2500.
*Disclaimer: Please note that this article is not intended to act as legal advice; it merely provides a general overview of the legal topic. For advice regarding your legal matter, please consult with an Edmonton divorce and family law lawyer.