Canada has been supportive of the family and children. Child support in Alberta, Canada, supports equality in households. The law considers the best benefits of children.
Child support laws in Alberta have been taken aback by the coronavirus. Its impact on our lives has been real and still ongoing. Many people have lost their jobs and eligibility for child support.
With a dramatic reduction in family income and pay-cuts, it has affected their child support. Without a doubt, a mature and reasonable process must be known on how to handle child support in Alberta during coronavirus.
What does Child Support Cover in Alberta?
Child support is the right of every child. The Alberta and Canadian legal system safeguards every child’s right to child support. A full family where both parents live together happily support their children with enough money coming from both of them. When a child lives in a situation where parents are separated, they should not be deprived of such comfort. Each parent must support their children financially.
Types of Child Support
Section 3 and section 7 are the two types of child support obligations. Section 03 child support type is widely common in Canada and Alberta. Under this section, parents must pay monthly support payments until the age of 18.
Under the Federal Child Support Guidelines, the amount of child support to be paid under Section 3 is allocated differently in different provinces. The amount is also affected by the requirement of the children for their support. Besides, the income of the parents plays a huge role in determining the child support amount
Section 7 covers extraordinary and special situations of child support. In section 3, each parent was entitled to pay the same amount of child support after separation. However, section 7 allows the proportionate allocation of child support amount. This amount depends on the income of each parent.
Furthermore, section 7 expenses are not the everyday costs of bringing up a child. It involves medical expenses, childcare expenses, extracurricular expenses, and many more.
How to Calculate Child Support Amount?
02 factors create a significant impact on the calculation of child support amount in Alberta.
The Amount of Income
Income is the first and most crucial factor in calculating child support. The type of income impacts highly on the entire calculation guideline. Self-employment, investment, owned entities, etc., have different criteria for calculating child support amount.
There are some criteria when the income of parents can be considered for imputation. For instance, if the parent is deliberately unemployed or intentionally provides false information about income and many more.
The type of child custody or parenting order will also impact the calculation of child support amount. In shared custody, both parents have an equal 40% time with the child. In such circumstances, the child support amount is shared, and the extra amount is paid to the lower-income earning parent. Other factors like need, means, and the judge will consider different scenarios in determining the child support amount.
Child Support in Alberta: How to Handle During Coronavirus
The primary purpose of child support is the better upbringing of the child. It is the right of the child. Despite the situation, a child should never be deprived of basic needs. The major question during coronavirus would be how much child support amount will be payable by the payor.
Child Support During COVID-19
The Federal Child Support Guidelines govern child support based on the arrangement and earnings of the parents. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the lockdown has immensely impacted the lives of many families in Alberta. In spite of that, child support still remains exceptionally crucial for a child going through the separation of parents.
Moreover, child support may have gotten even more critical during COVID-19. Even though Canada’s economy has been hit hard by the virus, child support still remains payable. Despite the closure of courts and other official activities, you will need to be strategic about handling child support during COVID-19.
Communication is Key
The first task would be to inform the other parent about your current employment status. You may have been laid off from your workplace, Or, there might have been a pay-cut. It would help if you were not late in providing information with evidence about your current income status.
There are a few documents that can assist you in showcasing your income during coronavirus. You can show a Record of Employment (ROE), a termination letter, reduced employment hour letter, a pay-cut letter with a change in income, and a confirmation letter of every government benefits you will receive.
Request a Revision in Child Support
Once you have provided evidence of change in income and employment status, you should request a temporary revision in the child support amount. Recalculate the current child support amount concerning your current income. Then send the calculated amount and revision request to the other parent.
If your revision request is being considered, try to be flexible with some other party’s requests as practicably as possible. For instance, you should accept paying installments in advance if asked by the other parent.
Keep a Trail of All Paper Works
That is a common yet the wisest thing to do. It would be best if you kept a trail of every communication with the other party. You should also have the child support calculation and payment records documented to avoid overpayment or underpayment.
Modify Child Support Order on Your Own
If you have been receiving child support payment through the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP), you can change the child support order independently. All you need to do is log in to your MEP account. During the COVID-19, you can modify any arrangements of child support all by yourself.
Coronavirus has affected our lives and overall economy very badly. However, the child support system has remained equally important, if not more, in the current time. If you are going through any financial constraints, you should know how to handle child support in Alberta during coronavirus to modify the child support agreement.