How Is Child Support Calculated?
How child support is calculated often feels like a mystery for parties on either side of the child support order. Understanding how child support guidelines work can help both parents better understand how the courts determined the amount and if a modification is possible later on.
In British Columbia, child support orders are generally created by looking at the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The guidelines are set up with specific directions as far as support amounts based on the income of both parents and the number of children involved in the order. Each province also has a specific table that shows what the support amount will be based on the paying parent’s location.
While these tables are available online for parents to view, it’s important to understand that this will not always be exactly what your order comes out to be. There are many reasons that the courts may choose to deviate from the standard guidelines, and these can include if the amount is deemed to create an undue hardship on the paying parent, if the child is over the age of 18 or if the child is no longer in school.
The child support amount may also be different from the guidelines if one parent has an income greater than $150,000 or is incurring extraordinary expenses in the care of the child. A lawyer who deals with family law can help you understand whether you have any grounds to request a deviation from the standard child support guidelines for your province and how you may be able to use the mediation process to come to an agreement.
Source: Legal Services Society, “What the child support guidelines are and how they work,” accessed July 30, 2015