When parents are separated, both have to keep providing for their children’s needs. The child support amount quantifies the respective alimony owed by each parent.
If the couple was married, the divorce decree shall regulate the child support. If they were not married, child suppport may be requested at the same time as the custody order, at any time after the breakup of the family. Child support may also be requested retroactively after the petition.
Already set child support may be revised if it appears that the child’s needs or the parents’ respective situations have changed dramatically – for instance, if an adult child is no longer supported by the parent receiving child support, if either parent has a job that pays substantially more or less, or also if a parent has new maintenance obligations for children born out of a second relationship. Our lawyers can help you request a child support revision if you are in this situation.
When both parents dwell in Quebec, Quebec government regulations shall apply to determine the amount of child support. Essentially, each parent’s income shall be calculated proportionately to the sum of both incomes in order to ensure maintenance of quality of life similar to what preexisted before the breakup for the child. Provincial tables indicate the amount of basic alimony contribution according to the number of children and this amount is then increased by specific fees, that is custody, sports activities or tuition fees. Each parent participates in child support proportionately to their needs and the amount that shall be paid by one parent to the other is calculated depending on the custody time of this parent. Family lawyers are used to calculating these amounts, which may sometimes be agreed on by the parties.
The parents may agree to make certain arrangements for fees, for instance one of the parents shall pay tuition fees and the child support is adjusted accordingly. Some special considerations may also be taken into account to increase or decrease the child support amount owed, for example the expenses that a parent dwelling in a distant area may have to pay to come and exercise visiting rights.
As for any procedure in family law, the amount of child support can be settled out of court. However, it is generally recommended to consult a lawyer beforehand so that the parents are fully informed of what they agree to or waive in the name of the child when they accept this agreement.
Although the calculations may seem simple, it often happens that parents do not agree on the calculation of their respective disposable income and assets. For example, if either parent owns a business, they may wonder if apart from their salary, dividends or other financial benefits should be included in the income of this parent. It is also possible that parents do not agree on specific fees that should be covered for the child. If this is the case, our lawyers will passionately defend your position in court.