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Child Support Payments in Alberta

Child Support Payments in Alberta

There are many things to think about before getting married. Similarly, while getting divorced, there is much more to consider. Parting ways is not a big deal to help people stay happy, but if they own a child together, their priority is to ensure their rights and protection. Proper behavior of parents enables children to get out of stress when they realize the situation changes.

What is Child Support?

Couples need to bear expenses while raising a child. Legally, when parents live in different states/countries, separated or divorced, they also need to cover the basic necessity of a child, which we know as child support.

What do Child Support Payments Include?

Child support payment is calculated based on four different criteria, which are:

  • A couple having children
  • Age of children
  • Net income of parents
  • Parents spending time towards children

What are Child Maintenance Payments Meant to Cover?

There are mainly two types of child support expenses. One is the basic expense covering meals, regular clothing, laundry, babysitting, and pocket money. The other is extraordinary expenses which cover health care expenses, medical bills, school fees, extracurricular activities, daycare fees, etc.

What is The Average Child Support Payment in Alberta?

Child support payment depends on the parent’s total income and the total number of children. However, the higher the number of pay and children, the lesser benefits the family receives. Though these are common factors, parenting time also plays a significant role in child support. In addition, we cannot find an average child support payment because it varies for different reasons.

In most cases, children live with one parent, and this parent is supposed to receive child support. The one who does not have the children is the payer.

Another reason can be both parents get equal time to spend with the children, which is shared parenting. In this case, parents use a set-off amount for their children. The parent who has relatively more minor income does not need to pay, but if they have a new partner to bear expenses, they might need to pay. In addition, as we cannot calculate the time so people usually see the one who takes more responsibilities can pay less.

In some cases, couples have more than one child where they use split parenting time. Here, each child lives with one parent and bare the expenses equally.

Alberta Child and Family Benefit

ACFB is a legal system where a family gets paid as they have children under 18 years old.

Child/ income per yearMore than $2760Less than $24467Between $24,467 and $41,000
First$681$1330receive partial benefit
Second$620$665receive partial benefit
Third$371$665receive partial benefit
Fourth$123$665receive partial benefit

How Can I Avoid Paying Child Support in Canada?

Provincial, territorial, and federal law has ways to impose support. Some of the methods are:

  • Seizing federal payments: people receive money from the government that would not be given and used to clear support depts.
  • Suspension of federal license and passport: legally, Maintenance Enforcement Program can request for passport suspension. However, the government would accept MEP’s request if a person missed more than three payments or has more than $3000. If a person receives notice of returning a passport and does not do it, they can be fined or even sent to jail.
  • Wage Garnishments: The garnishment, Attachment, and Pension Diversion Act mentions government can take your income to clear your support dues.
  • Federal payment garnishment: based on Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act, the government can use tax refunds and insurance to pay for support. In some cases, the government can use payers’ pension benefits can also for child support.
  • Government can seize bank accounts or assets

How to Stop Child Support Payments?

Child support payments stop when a child turns 16 years old, but if they are in grade 12, it can stop at 20. However, a parent can also stop paying in some exceptional cases. For example, the other parent does not accept the payments; the death of a parent applies for “nil rates,” and many more.

How to Reduce Child Support Payments?

Due to financial problems, many parents want to know about the ways of reducing child support payments. The legal form of reducing expense is possible by taking the help of a lawyer and making the changes.

If the child support payment is a court order, both parents can set a written document with valid reasons. They can submit the copy in court, and the court can reduce the amount.

Again, if the payment is a Separation Agreement, it can be reduced. The document should have the main clause of the court order with valid reasons to reduce child support payments.

What if You can’t Afford to Pay Child Support?

Parents are obligated to support their children. However, a payer can file for “undue hardships.” The court will look into the matter for two reasons.

The first criterion is the reason for the difficulty in paying for child support. Some parents have high debts and low income to live, so the increased cost towards a child makes it difficult to handle. Moreover, they might have a legal responsibility to support another person with medical issues or a child without marriage.

The second criterion is the other parent has a better standard of living. If the receiver parent is remarrying, the new partner’s income is looked at as well. However, only in this case, the new partner’s income can help.

After comparing all new sources of information, the court can change the amount that the parents should pay. However, the change will be for a certain period, so the payer must resume initial payments. Unfortunately, the payer continues having problems; they can file again to re-examine.

What Happens to Child Support Payments if One of Them Has a New Partner?

Child support cannot be affected if one of the parents has a new partner. The support payment system would not even change if one gets married or starts a civil partnership. The only change that will affect child support payments is when the receiver parent has a better income.

Can You go to Jail for Not Paying Child Support in Alberta?

Based on provincial or territorial laws of enforcement, ignoring the court order might lead a person to jail. For example, if the court asks a person to pay fine or clear support dues and the child supporter does not, then the court can forcefully give an order of imprisonment.

Legal Advice on Child Maintenance

Calgary Divorce, Child Custody & Family Lawyer have family lawyers who got results. It is a great idea to have an experienced family lawyer to get help. Contact here:

There are thousands of legal consultancy firms around Alberta that solely work on family issues. They would always help to support a child. If you need help, start working now!