Each spouse must disclose their financial information for calculating child support. This is sometimes done by serving a “Notice to Disclose”. If one spouse refuses to reveal his or her finances, the Court may impute their income. This means the Court will determine a fair value of what the spouse’s income is believed to be.
The method of calculating the amount may change depending on the custody arrangement. It is recommended that parents see a lawyer or go to the Resolution Support Centre. They will have the computer software necessary to calculate the amount of child support.
Parents may also attend Child Support Resolution in order to come to an agreement on child support. If neither parent has a lawyer and they are seeking an interim child support order under the Divorce Act or are looking to vary an existing order issued by the Court of Queen’s Bench, they are required to attend Child Support Resolution.
Note that the obligation of parents to exchange financial information is ongoing as the amount of support changes with any change in income. Parents should exchange financial information every year at an agreed upon date.
Parents may also register in the Child Support Recalculation Program (RP). RP recalculates future monthly child support based on the Child Support Guidelines tables, as well as proportionate shares special of expenses. Either a recipient or payor of child support can choose to register with RP.
The service costs $75 per year for each parent. RP uses income tax information to set the new child support amount. If there is only a small change in child support (less than $10 per month or less than a 10% change in the proportionate share of special expenses) then the RP will not change the child support amount and there will be no service fee. This avoids the need to go to the Court for yearly recalculations.
To participate, both parents must live in Alberta and the original order must have been based on the Child Support Guidelines.
For more information, please contact Spectrum Family Law and schedule a consultation with a family law specialist.