Do I have to go back to court each year to update my child support?

You may be able to avoid going to court or even seeing a lawyer! On December 1, 2009, Alberta Justice started a new service called the Child Support Recalculation Program.

Upon application by one party, the service recalculates child support using most recent income tax information for each parent.  It can review numbers both for base monthly support as well as proportionate shares of special expenses.

To enroll in this service, one parent must submit an application along with a copy of their order or agreement.  Eligibility is then assessed.  A recalculation may be done on the anniversary date of your order or agreement.  For the new support figures to be provided, income information must be provided to the Program.  Then, they will provide a Recalculation Decision, which becomes as enforceable as a court order.  Each recalculation costs $75 per parent.

What if one party refuses to provide income tax information? The Program has the authority to deem that the non-disclosing party’s income has increased anywhere from 10% to 25% from the date of the order, depending on how long it has been since child support has been reviewed.

Sounds simple? Although there are many people who will be able to use this service, there are significant limitations on the types of orders and/or agreements that are eligible to use this service.  I’m certain that I have left you with more questions than answers.  For more information, go to www.recalculation.gov.ab.ca.

Feel free to contact Stephanie to answer your questions or to set up a consultation.  Archives of all articles can be viewed at www.kindrachukdobson.com.