This guide will help you figure out which guidelines apply to you. The child support laws in most provinces and territories are much like the Federal Guidelines or they may only have minor differences except in Quebec, which has its own child support model.
So, even if provincial or territorial guidelines apply in your situation, you may still find this guide helpful. The Federal Guidelines are a set of rules and tables used to determine child support when parents divorce. They are the law. Their main goals are:.
When relationships end, many parents agree on how they will deal with child support without going to court. It is generally best for everyone, especially children, when parents can agree. Asking a judge to make the decisions can be costly, time-consuming and stressful for families. It is a good idea to put your child support agreement in writing so that you can remember what you agreed to. You are encouraged to work out a child support agreement together. This guide can help you to figure out a child support agreement that will work best in your situation.
It can also give you an idea of how much support a judge would likely order under the Federal Guidelines.
If you cannot agree or if you want to have your agreement put into a court order, either or both of you can apply to go to court to get a child support order. An order or written agreement could include special provisions that benefit your children directly or indirectly. You or a court would need to consider special circumstances like this to make sure the amount of child support is fair and reasonable. If applying the Federal Guidelines would result in a child support amount that is not fair in your circumstances, you or the court may decide on a different child support amount.
There are many people who can help you reach an agreement on child support issues.
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For example, mediators, lawyers and accountants often work with parents. Also, every province and territory offers services for separating or divorcing parents. Some of these provincial and territorial family justice services are listed on the federal Department of Justice website. You may find others on the website of your provincial or territorial Department of Justice or Attorney General.
Making Plans: A guide to parenting arrangements after separation or divorce has more information on different ways to resolve issues without going to court. Family law issues can be complex. A family law lawyer can give you legal advice about all the different factors that are important in your situation.
The decisions you make and how your order or agreement is written can also have an impact on your taxes and what benefits you can claim. When you are trying to agree on child support or want to go to court to deal with certain issues, it is important to speak with a family law lawyer to make sure you understand:. Some provinces and territories have lawyer referral services that offer a consultation for free or at a reduced price.
You may also wish to contact your local legal aid office to see if you qualify for legal aid.
Finally, you may want to talk to a family member or a friend you trust about how you feel. Someone who has gone through similar situations may have suggestions to help you cope with your divorce or separation. As parents, child support is just one issue you need to think about when you separate or divorce. You also need to consider issues like parenting arrangements custody and access , spousal support and how you will divide property. The decisions you make about these issues could affect how you calculate child support.
The Family Law pages of the Department of Justice website have some general information that may help you.
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For example, there are three online tools to help you make decisions about parenting and set up a parenting plan that will work for your family. These are:. A parenting plan is a written document that outlines how parents will take care of their children after separation or divorce. If you are creating a parenting plan or have already created one, you may want to keep it with your child support agreement.
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It is a good idea to keep all documents relating to your children together. There are also some tools that may help your children understand and cope with your separation or divorce, including:.
Other Government of Canada websites offer information on issues that you may have to deal with when you separate or divorce. For example, separation or divorce could have an impact on your taxes. Topics 20x20 Export Created with Sketch.
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