As of November 22, 2017, the Federal Child Support Guidelines have been changed to reflect recent tax rules. This will have an impact on both payor parents and recipients of child support.
The Child Support Guidelines
As we’ve previously blogged about, the Federal Child Support Guidelines set out the basic monthly amounts of child support based on the Federal Child Support Tables. It is these Tables that have been updated.
The Guidelines were created by the government and are intended to assist separated and divorced parents figure out the appropriate amount of child support to be paid in their particular circumstances. They set out the basic amounts of monthly child support that depend on income of both parents, the number of children that must be supported, and the province or territory of residence of the children.
The amounts are determined based on a formula that considers federal/provincial/territorial (FPT) tax rules. The Guidelines and Tables have been around since 2011, and were originally based on 2011 FPT rules.
What Are the Changes?
The recent amendments are intended to maintain the currency and validity of the Federal Tables, while also maintaining the consistency and fairness of the Federal Guidelines.
The changes update the child support amount using the existing formula and current tax parameters. The amendments ensure that child support amounts are based on the most current FPT rules and reflect a parent’s current capacity to pay support.
Tools to Help Calculate Child Support
There are several tools available to help calculate child support. These include:
- A simplified version of the 2011 Child Support Tables;
- A simplified version of the 2017 Child Support Tables;
- A Child-Support Table online calculator (2011 version);
- A Child Support-Table online calculator (2017 version); and
- A Step-by-Step Guide to the Guidelines.
While the above can be immensely useful, it is important for parents to note that the online calculator is not a legal document, and is therefore neither “official” or legally-authoritative, only the actual Guidelines have legal weight. The Guide and the calculator provide general information and examples of how to deal with a variety of common situations.
Child support calculations are quite technical and are often complicated by factors such as non-recurring income, extraordinary expenses, child custody, and other elements. Parents who have questions about child support should consult with a knowledgeable family lawyer before making any decisions or taking any action.
What Version Should I Use?
The new Guidelines and Tables came into force on November 22, 2017, and should be used to calculate child support amounts from that date onwards. For the period of tie between December 31, 2011 and November 21, 2017, the previous Guidelines and Tables should be referenced.
To speak with an experienced Windsor lawyer about child custody or support, call 519.973.1500 or contact us online. Many of our clients are referred to us by former and current clients, and also by lawyers, counsellors and other professionals.