Legal Insights / Family Law / Calculating and Recalculating Child Support – free resources

Calculating and Recalculating Child Support – free resources

Apr 8 2022

There are several resources online to help parents determine their child support obligations.

Federal child support guidelines:

The Federal Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) set out an amount for basic child support dependent on the income of the paying parent (the “payor”), the number of children and the location of the payor. The Guidelines are adjusted from time to time and are mandatory for use by the Court, while there may be some variance in limited circumstances.

The amounts in the Guidelines are based on situations where the child(ren) are with one parent for at least 60% of the time. Other shared-parenting arrangements may result in a set-off where the parents’ obligations are set-off against each other (and then just the difference is paid). Also, qualifying special expenses, like braces or daycare are typically paid for in proportion to the parents’ respective incomes.

A tool to look up the correct child support figure in the Guidelines is here: Child Support Table Look-up. All you need to do is type in the income of the paying parent, select the number of children and select the province the payor is located in.

To determine income, you should be looking at ALL sources (employment, rental income, dividends, etc). You will also be looking at gross income (before taxes), not net income (take home pay). Typically, this is determined by reviewing the payor’s (or both parents if applicable) full income tax return or T4s, and other records depending on the source(s) of income.

Recalulating child support:

Child support obligations are directly related to the income of parents and therefore it is expected to change over time. This is typically referred to in the court order or separation agreement, but even if it isn’t you have options.

The BC government recently introduced a brand new free service called the Child Support Recalculation Service (“CSRS”) that will assist you with recalculating child support.

Going forward, new court orders that require child support recalculation will be sent by the court registry to CSRS. If you have a written agreement that refers to recalculation you may submit it yourself. If your order or written agreement does not say child support must be recalculated, either parent can still apply to CSRS for enrolment.

Once enrolled, CSRS will set a recalculation anniversary date, request current income tax information and if the recalculation differs by at least $5.00 per month it will send a Statement of Recalculation to the parents, the court registry and Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (if you are enrolled). If a parent refuses or fails to provide relevant income documents, CSRS may add 10-30% to the parent’s income that was last used (depending on how long has past since the last review).

For more information of the CSRS you should visit this site: How the Recalculation Service works – Province of British Columbia.

Need help?

If you need assistance determining your child support obligations or guidance regarding other issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, our team of Family Lawyers can help. Please contact our office at 604.853.0774 to schedule a consult.

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