The Legal Perspective on Child Support in Calgary Divorces: Part 3
January 30, 2017
In Part 2 of this article, we dove into the subject of child custody in Calgary divorces. You saw that Canada's Divorce Act allows judges to award custody to one or more persons, which paves the way for what we typically call "joint custody" or "shared custody." In many divorces in Calgary involving children, some form of joint or shared custody is typically preferred by parents and by the Court, as it is generally considered within the child(ren)'s best interests to continue to have both parents remaining a positive presence in their lives.
Every divorce is unique, however, and circumstances may lead to an unequal custody split—where one parent maintains custody a majority of the time—or even in a sole custody arrangement, where one parent has all of the custodial rights. In such cases, the parent without custody may be granted "access," which means the right to be given information regarding the child(ren)'s health, education, and so on. This type of access can sometimes be sought by individuals who are not parents or legal guardians of the child(ren) involved, and may or may not include direct contact (i.e. "visitation").
Again, as was pointed out in Parts 1 and 2 of this article, decisions regarding custody (and access) are made with the best interests of the child(ren) in mind. No other considerations are taken into account; whatever custody arrangement the judge feels will allow for the most advantageous upbringing will be ordered. Your Calgary divorce lawyer will be able to help you understand how this applies to your unique circumstances.
Child Support in Calgary Divorces: The Law & The Guidelines
When it comes to child support, the philosophy of the law is very similar—child support is not ordered as a form of punishment or vindication, nor to provide extra income to the ex-spouse receiving support payments. When a judge orders child support in a Calgary divorce, they are doing so to provide for the needs of the child(ren), and to ensure minimal disruption to the child(ren)'s lives during and following the divorce. This includes a consideration of the income earned by the ex-spouse ordered to pay child support.
The Divorce Act refers several times to "guidelines" that judges must consult when ordering child support. In divorces in the Calgary area, the federally-published tables for Alberta parents are a significant part of those guidelines; these tables show how much child support a parent might be ordered to pay based on their income and the number of children support is ordered for.
Keep in mind, though, that the Divorce Act provides several provisions for altering the amount of child support ordered, and it can deviate substantially from the amounts listed in the guidelines themselves. Again, discussing your unique situation with an experienced Calgary divorce lawyer is the best way to receive accurate and specific information regarding your case.
Call a Calgary Divorce Lawyer Today with Your Child Support Questions
Get the answers you need, and the help you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable, dedicated Calgary divorce lawyer.
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