Legal Insights / Fees / Child Support Calculation Packages

Child Support Calculation Packages

Apr 2 2024

The law requires that parents look at their children financially, even if one parent does not see or take care of children and even if the parents were not in a committed relationship. The money exchanged to help support the child(ren) is called child support. It is considered a right of the child(ren) and therefore cannot be waived of their behalf by a parent and the court requires that sufficient financial disclosure takes place to ensure the appropriate amount of support is being paid.

How much child support will I receive or have to pay?

The basic child support is set out in the federal child support guidelines. In almost all cases, judges are required to follow the guidelines to determine the amount of basic child support. In order to determine the child support obligations, we will need the following information:

  • gross amount of income the paying parent is expected to make;
  • number of children; and
  • paying parent’s province of residence.

Calculating the parents’ income can be complicated, depending on the sources of income. If a parent is strictly an employee and does not have other streams of income (like rental or investments) then it would generally be based on the line 150 income in their most recent tax return. Financial disclosure should take place before any agreement is entered into.

Also, if you share parenting time, which means the child(ren) live with each parent at least 40% of the time, then the child support guidelines do not strictly apply. The parent with the higher support amount typically pays some support to the parent with the lower support amount.

In addition to basic child support, there can be additional responsibilities around special and extraordinary expenses called “Section 7 Expenses” (like activities, childcare or health expenses). Typically, these are paid for in proportion to the parents’ incomes. It is a good idea to have discussions now about what types of activities you are expecting the children to be involved in and come to some agreements around those.

Can the amount of child support be different from what the guidelines say?

The simple answer is yes, but this only occurs in exception situations (apart from where there is shared parenting time as set out above). These exception situations include:

  • it would cause undue hardship to the paying parent (excessive or disproportionately causes problems like unable to support another disabled or ill dependent) or receiving parent (cannot pay for children’s basic necessities);
  • the child is 19 or over and not in school full-time;
  • the paying parent is a step-parent (who stood in the place of a parent at some point); and
  • the income of the paying parent is over $150,000.

What Financial Disclosure is Required?

If there is an ongoing court action in either Provincial or Supreme Court, the paying parent is required to file a financial statement. The receiving parent may also need to file a financial statement if requesting contribution to Section 7 Expenses or the parties share parenting time. Typically, the financial statement includes disclosure of your last three tax returns as well as information relating to expenses.

Regardless of whether there is a court action, the information required for a financial statement is similar to what would be relevant for us to consider the parents’ incomes and provide a calculation of child support. A copy of the financial statement for provincial court along with instructions for completing it can be found here: Preparing a Financial Statement – Form 4 – 01/2022 (

If the other parent refuses to provide adequate financial disclosure, you can ask the court to impute income to them. What this means is the court will consider what information you have about their income and the industry they are in to assess a reasonable amount.

For the purposes of a child support calculation, it is advisable to  obtain proper financial disclosure. If you have reliable information relating to incomes then we can provide calculations without these documents but we strongly recommend more formal disclosure take place prior to signing any agreement.

More information about our package for preparing parenting agreements can be found on our website here:


This service is meant to complementary to an initial consultation. More information about initial consults can be found by visiting our website here: We have two options for whether you are strictly seeking calculations or are looking for some guidance alongside the calculations. We generally would recommend you discuss the results with a lawyer, however in circumstances where incomes are straightforward (accurately reflected in a T4) and you simply want to ensure you are adjusting annually at a correct rate it may be helpful to strictly obtain a report with calculations.

Option 1: Strict Calculations Package

Following your initial consultation or if we have previously represented you, if you would like us to provide a report with your child support calculations we are happy to do so at a fee of $200 plus taxes and disbursements ($25). For each additional alternate calculation, we charge an additional fee of $50. This option does not include a follow up call with or commentary from a lawyer.

Option 2: Calculations Plus Call Package

Following your initial consultation or if we have previously represented you, if you would like us to provide a report with you child support calculations and have a follow up phone call we can do so at a fee of $500 plus taxes and disbursements ($25). This fee includes:

  • A review of the Child Support Questionnaire provided by you.
  • A report containing your child support calculation with up to 3 variations for alternative scenarios.
  • One follow up meeting with the lawyer for up to 30 minutes to discuss the results and answer any questions arising from the report(s).

These fees do not include costs for preparing financial statements or providing more comprehensive guidance regarding parenting arrangements. We are pleased to provide these additional services at our hourly rates.


If you haven’t had a consult yet, please reach out to our Litigation Intake Team at 778.666.3723 or We will ask you some basic details regarding the parties involved to complete a conflicts check and determine which member of our Family Law team to schedule you with.

If you already had a consult, please advise the Litigation Intake Team accordingly and we will make sure you get set up with the same lawyer and their assistant to receive a retainer letter and move forward with next steps for the child support calculations.

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