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When should child support be adjusted?

As a divorce lawyer in Calgary, the question I am most frequently asked is: When should child support be adjusted?

Any increase, or decrease, in the incomes of the parties will almost certainly require child support to be adjusted. This is because the parties should be sharing any section 7 expenses in direct proportion to their respective incomes and, if one party's income increases or decreases, it is likely to affect the percentage of section 7 expenses that they are responsible for.

In addition, an increase, or decrease, in the income of the payor of section 3 child support will result in a change in the amount of base child support payable.

In my experience, most people realise this.

The change in circumstance that many people don't realise triggers a change in child support occurs when one party who, previously, did not parent the children at least 40% of the time, obtains more parenting time with the children such that they do parent the children at least 40% of the time. Unless the other party has very low income, such a change is likely to have a significant effect upon the base child support payable.

Whether the parties elect to adjust child support if any of the above situations arise is completely a matter for them. Unless they are registered with the Recalculation Program, no one is going to enforce a change in child support on their behalf and, if the parties disagree upon changing child support, an Application to the Court for either a Child Support Order, or to vary an existing Child Support Order will be required.

If you have any questions regarding the above, or if you would like to speak to me regarding any questions you may have regarding separation, divorce, division of property, custody and access, guardianship and parenting, child support or spousal support, please either email me using this link, or contact me via telephone on 403-538-2105.

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