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How can I make a claim for child support in Calgary?

Whether you are going through a divorce or a separation, arguably one of the most straightforward Court Applications to make is one for an Order for child support.

Child support is based upon two things: the parenting or access schedule of the child(ren), and the incomes of the parties.

The amount of base child support is determined by using the gross income of the non-custodial parent and applying that figure to either the Federal Child Support Guidelines or the Alberta Child Support Guidelines. This is a link that can be used to determine the monthly base child support payments the non-custodial parent will pay to the custodial parent.

If both parents parent the child(ren) for at least 40% of the time, this is called shared parenting. In a shared parenting situation, the Court usually deducts the amount of child support that parent with the lower income would have to pay to the parent with the higher income, and the parent with the higher income pays the difference between the two amounts. If that is the case, the child support paid is referred to as "offset" child support. However, frequently, the Court will apply different criteria in a shared parenting regime and this will be the subject of another post.

There is a second element to child support which the Court refers to as section 7 expenses. Section 7 expenses are paid by the parties in direct proportion to their respective incomes and the amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren), usually, makes no difference to the amount each parent has to pay. So, for example, if both parties earn the same amount of income, such expenses would be split on a 50/50 basis. If one party (A) earns double the income of the other party (B), A would pay 2/3 and B would pay 1/3 of any such expenses.

Such expenses are: child care, medical expenses (health premiums, prescriptions, etc.) extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education, expenses for post-secondary education and extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.

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