All parents are legally required to support their children financially. This means both parents share this duty equally under Saskatchewan law, even if they were never married (or divorced).
At the point where the parents are not living together, either because they separated or in cases where they have never lived together, it is usual that the other parent will pay child support to the primary caregiver who resides with the child or children.
When a married couple with children separate, the spouse who leaves the home may be legally obliged to provide financial support to the spouse that continues to take care of the children.
How is Child Support Decided?
Child support is decided by looking at
- the respective incomes of both parents and
- the current parenting arrangements in terms of time spent with the child by each parent respectively.
Will My Child Support Case Have to Go to Court?
Our Saskatoon child support lawyers routinely encourage reaching family solutions without going to court.
This can be achieved with a round table meeting between the two parents and their respective lawyers, or more formally through mediation, collaboration or dispute resolution with a judge.
There are options, but the most important factor will be the willingness by you and your ex to do so. And in many cases the best option may be to go to court quickly without delay in cases where the parties will never agree come hell or high water.
Child support arrangements need to be approved by the Court in order to be considered valid. A child is automatically entitled to child support.
How Much Child Support Will I Pay or Receive?
Well, it’s complicated so there is no short way to say it. But we will try to cover as much as we can here.
The amount of child support to be paid in Saskatchewan is determined by Federal Child Support Guidelines. It may vary a little from province to province depending upon where the parents reside, the income of each parent, and the number of children requiring support.
In addition to the Guidelines amount, the parent paying child support will also be required to pay their fair share of any other child related expenses, such as childcare, medical, health, and education expenses.
There are really two factors that are paramount. The first is the income of each parent relative to the other’s. This information is usually determined by reviewing income tax information which can be obtained directly from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
At the commencement, both spouses can be legally required to state all relevant financial information, earnings, salaries, and income from all sources. A Saskatoon child support lawyer retained can compel this information.
For the self-employed or other businessmen or businesswomen, it can become entirely more complex with all the more need to have a good Saskatoon child support lawyer looking out for your rights and interests where additional examination and scrutiny should be required.
For example a self-employed business man may run his affairs through a limited company and thereby utilize some tricks to pay expenses in such a way that makes his income on paper or his income tax return to appear to be a lot less than it is in reality. The courts can be asked to impute income.
If one spouse is dragging their heels with this, a Saskatoon child support lawyer can compel this information by serving a “Notice of Disclosure.” Incomes may be imputed where the court believes income is being obfuscated or hidden by one spouse.
The spouse to be receiving the child support payment may also frequently be asked to do the same.
The relative percentages of each parent’s gross monthly income or “GMI” will then determine the child support payable and it will go up per child. The amounts are listed in the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
If the parent providing day-to-day care for the children has no income whatsoever, the other parent will be legally required to pay all of the child’s expenses.
The second factor depends on time spent with the child by each parent also known as the custody and access arrangements.
Who has or will have the day-to-day care of the children?
How much parenting time (formerly known as “access”) does the other parent spend with the children?
Typically the parent who has access, and has less time with the children in the month, will pay to the day-to-day custodial parent some amount based on the Guidelines.
The access time can operate as a set off to the amount to be paid as can extraordinary expenses required to effect access. This could include gas mileage or hotel costs where travel is involved.
There may also be extraordinary expenses specific to the child or their needs which require extra contribution beyond the federal child support guidelines amount. So all of this is where an experienced Saskatoon child support lawyer can be useful.
Another example is where you can have what is known as “shared parenting”, “shared custody” or “split custody”. Under this kind of arrangement, it means that the children are with both parents for more than 40% of the time with each parent. This approaches 50:50 but can be 60:40.
Child support in a shared parenting circumstance gets determined by a slightly different calculation which will necessarily take into account the comparable household fiscal capacities of each party, the costs of the shared parenting regime, and the respective incomes of the parties.
What if I Am Already Paying for Other Children?
Another issue will be if the payor has other biological children. This needs to be proven to the court and once it is shown that you are supporting other children who are your direct biological offspring, the court will reduce the child support you are legally required to pay accordingly.
Is Child Support Payable in Respect of an Adult Child?
Your responsibility to pay child support can extend past the age of majority, and you can be required to contribute right up until children finish university. Even if your child is over the age of 18, child support can be ordered to continue until that child reaches 22 years of age, if the child is in full time attendance at a post-secondary educational institution like a college or university.
Furthermore, if your children have any special needs, this will need to be borne in mind and will affect the outcome as to the amount of child support payable. The court may demand higher child support than what would have otherwise been payable to help pay for the increased medical costs and other special needs of your child.
Child support payments, ordered by a court or arranged by the spouses with the legal help of their respective Saskatoon child support lawyers, will necessarily take into account covering of expenses such as medical care.
For more information about the federal child support guidelines and their application in your case or to speak to one of our Saskatoon child support lawyers offering a complete range of family law legal services.
Saskatoon Child Support Lawyers— Do I need a lawyer?
You may have started off with a fairly straightforward separation only to find that as time progresses things may get more complicated in dealing with your ex, or the mother or father of your children.
As time progresses, the tendency of the other parent (typically this is the man but not always) may be to move on a bit and he or she may not wish to continue to readily proffer the same amount of money over to you as he or she may have been very willing to do at the outset immediately after the initial separation or birth of the child.
Emotions can be running high when a couple are separating or getting divorced especially when children are involved. Even for those who have never been married, the best interests of the child are almost always a prime consideration for any parent.
A separation will most often be traumatic for all involved and particularly for children, but often there may be extra and needless additional suffering both to the separating spouses and to the children. The converse is also true that by having a more positive relationship between the separated parents ought to be beneficial both for yourselves and for your children.
Bear in mind that you will have to continue to interact with your ex for a long time. You have a child or children together. Making this whole process as smooth as possible will be the best for yours and your children’s emotional wellbeing long term.
Moving on will require that you settle the issues of the separation including that of child support. Even though the marriage or relationship between the parents may be at its end, both parents remain legally and morally responsible as parents for your children and to provide for their needs.
Our Saskatoon child support lawyers routinely handle retroactive payments of child support, such as in cases where no child support or an insufficient amount of child support had been paid, whether there was a past agreement or not.
Other cases can be complicated by the issue of determination of the parties’ respective incomes, this arises in particular in cases where one or both parents are self-employed or own their own business. Other cases can involve child support for an adult child between the ages of 18-22 who may be in university or children of any age who may be disabled or have special needs.
Additionally there can be issues of the sharing of additional expenses for a child, for instance day care costs, school fees, tuition costs, extracurricular activities like sports or music lessons, medical expenses, dental expenses like braces for teeth, and so on.
Variance of the payment is also possible if you can demonstrate to the court that your capacity to pay has changed due to a dramatic loss of income since the prior order for child support or conversely if the payor has significantly more income than at the time of the prior court order.
Saskatoon Child Support Lawyers — Help For Men
Every individual deserves a fair shake by the law, and our Saskatoon child support lawyers take their duty to their clients very seriously, whether the client is the man or woman.
Saskatchewan courts today regularly recognize that giving mothers custody is not necessarily in a given child’s best interest. Additionally women in the workforce working long hours might mean that a father is available to care for his children and courts should encourage this.
A case for increased time with the child for the man can be made as a better alternative to third party child care.
And bear in mind this may have the effect of the amount of child support that may be payable if your time with the child gets to be over 40%.
Men can receive full custody of children or be involved in a “shared parenting” relationship.
If the mother makes more money than the father the payment of child support must flow in the other direction from the mother to the father in such cases.
For instance, in joint custody, shared parenting, or other alike situations, it can often be the case that neither parent is ordered to pay child support.
However in a situation where one parent’s income is significantly higher than that of the other’s, that parent could be required to pay child support payments to ensure the child’s expenses and best interests are covered while with either or both parents.
Tax implications are also important and should be discussed with your lawyer.
What if I already have an Order but I need help with enforcement?
If you need help getting an existing order for child support enforced, feel free to call one of our skilled and experienced Saskatoon child support lawyers to help you. It may be as simple as referring it to the Saskatchewan Maintenance Enforcement Programme.
Saskatoon Child Support Lawyers – Get the Help You Need
The child support lawyers in our Saskatoon office also assist residents of the following nearby Saskatchewan towns and cities:
Kindersley, Melfort, Tisdale, Prince Albert, Humboldt, Nipawin, North Battleford, La Ronge, Lloydminster, Canora, Esterhazy, Martensville, Warman, Rosetown, Outlook, Watrous, Dalmeny, Osler, Langham, Rosthern, and Delisle.
We specialize in going to court. Although we will always help to explore other avenues for settlement without court through negotiation, mediation and collaborative law when it serves the best interests of our client.
How to Get in Touch
Stop by our office at 224 Fourth Ave South during office hours. We recommend you call to book a time to see a lawyer in advance.
We also offer telephone consultations. Call us today at 306-653-7777 for a free consultation with one of our Saskatoon child support lawyers.
Or else fill in the contact form on this webpage for a response from us within one business day.
Our Saskatoon child support lawyers offer free consultations seven days a week.