There are three statutes in Alberta that deal with issues relating to the support of children when parents do not live together.  These are the Family Law Act,  the Divorce Act  and the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.   The forms and process that you rely on is different depending on which statute you are using.

How do I know which statute I use?

If you were not married to the other parent, and both of you live in Alberta, then you use the Family Law Act.

If you were married, you may have a choice of either the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act.  However, once a divorce action is started in Alberta, then all further applications must be made under the Divorce Act.

If the other parent lives outside Alberta, and there has not been a divorce action started (or you were never married), then you use the Interjurisdictional Support Order.

How much child support should I ask for or how much do I have to pay?

The amount of child support is based upon the incomes of the parents and the needs of the children.  In determining what a payor’s income is, the Court uses the individual’s gross income. For individuals who receive a salary and/or wage from their employment the individual’s income is normally reflected on line 150 of their Income Tax Return is used to determine the appropriate income upon which child support would be paid.

In situations where an individual is self employed and/or paid by a corporation in which he or she has an interest, the determination of his or her income is more involved and should be determined through the assistance of a financial professional and/or lawyer.

What do I need to do before I start?

You must gather up your income and special expense information.

The paperwork that the court will want to see is:

  • Your complete tax return and Notice of Assessment for the past 3 years;
  • Your pay stubs or other proof of your income for this year; and
  • If you are asking for special expenses, a list of the amounts you spend for those expenses, and, if possible, receipts showing the payments.

What Else?

Have you taken the Parenting After Separation Seminar?

Before you go to court, consider mediation.

If you want a lawyer to help you, see Legal Advice and Assistance information.

To help decide which court to file in, see “Which Court?

For this type of application please feel free to contact us at Sawatzky Family Law for more assistance