How the Calgary Courts View Child Support in Divorce Cases
February 20, 2017
For most common issues in Calgary divorces—the splitting of assets and debts, dividing ownership interests in properties, and so forth—Canada's divorce laws treat a marriage like nothing more or less than a legal partnership. Calgary judges aren't interested in deciding who's at fault for a divorce, and they don't make decisions based on who did what to whom or how one person feels about the other. According to the law, judges have to look at a divorce like the breaking up of an equal partnership, and everything is divided accordingly.
This doesn't always mean a precisely equal split, of course; different incomes and different roles in the marriage are taken into consideration and may require one person to pay spousal support to the other and/or take a smaller share of assets. Every divorce in Calgary is unique, and these details can vary considerably. But the overall consideration remains the same, with marriage and divorce treated largely as business undertakings.
For divorces involving children, however, the equation changes completely. Calgary's judges will no longer be looking at your divorce simply as the end of a legal partnership, but will have a new perspective based on one primary consideration.
In Calgary Divorces, Children's Best Interests Come First
The number one consideration for any Calgary judge overseeing a divorce involving children is the long-term best interests of the child(ren) involved. A fair division of assets, debts, and property based on certain aspects of the partnership you had with your ex-spouse is no longer the goal of the law or the Court. Instead, a judge will look to split your assets and property in a way that creates the most stability for your children and provides for their welfare, their education, and their interests.
In addition to affecting how your property and assets may be split, what a judge determines to be the best interests of your children can also affect child support payments. A parent's ability to pay child support is taken into consideration by the Court, but the primary consideration is what your child or children need(s) in order to maintain a healthy and nurturing home environment. If any child support payments are ordered, they will be completely independent from any spousal support, and the law explicitly states that child support payments are to be used for expenses related to raising children, providing for their education and healthcare, and other similar needs.
There's no question that divorces involving children have an added layer of complexity, from a legal as well as an emotional standpoint. It's important that you get relevant, knowledgeable advice from an experienced Calgary divorce lawyer who understands the details of your case. As every divorce is unique, only with a full discussion of your individual circumstances can you get the specific answers you need.
If you are considering a divorce and have questions regarding child custody and child support, you deserve to be informed. To schedule an appointment with one of Calgary's most dedicated divorce lawyers, please contact our office today.
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