2006 Amendments to the Federal Child Support Guidelines

By Elizabeth Jollimore Q.C.

Checklists[1]

Amendment to Tables – Section 3

ISSUE

  • Ensure your reference tables are current   
  • Consider the appropriateness of an application to vary, given the table change   

Amendments to Extraordinary Expenses - Section 7

EVIDENCE

For all expenses:

  • Ensure expense falls into an enumerated category.   

Adduce evidence of:

  • The amount of the expense;   
  • Identify whether the amount stated is the actual cost or an estimated cost; and   
  • What portion of the expense does the applicant request be paid.   

To prove the expense is necessary in the best interests of the child, adduce evidence of:

  • The child's best interests.   

To prove the expense is reasonable, adduce evidence of:

  • The means of the parents;   
  • The means of the child; and   
  • The family's spending patterns prior to parental separation.   

To enable application of the guiding principle in s. 7(2), adduce evidence of:

  • The contribution, if any, from the child   

To determine the amount of the expense in s. 7(1), adduce evidence of:

  • Any subsidies, benefits or tax deductions or credits relating to the expense and any eligibility to claim a subsidy, benefit or income tax deduction or credit relating to the expense   

For a child care expense, adduce evidence of:

  • The expense is incurred as a result of the custodial parent's employment, illness, disability or education or training for employment.   

For medical and dental insurance premiums, adduce evidence of:

  • The "family" premium cost and the "single" premium to establish the portion attributable to the child.   

For health-related expenses:

  • Identify the nature of the expense (orthodontic treatment, professional counseling provided by a psychologist, social worker, psychiatrist or any other person, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses and contact lenses);   
  • Review the parent's tax return to identify the expenses claimed, this may suggest an expense that had not been considered;   
  • Identify and quantify the extent of reimbursement provided by available insurance; and   
  • Consider whether the expense exceeds insurance reimbursement by at least $100.00 annually.   

For extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other educational programs, adduce evidence of:

  • The child's particular needs.   
  • How the program meets the child's particular needs.   

For post-secondary education expenses, adduce evidence of:

  • The spouse's income; and   
  • The amount that the spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate; or   
  • The nature and number of the child's educational programs and extracurricular activities;   
  • Any special needs and talents of the child;   
  • The overall cost of the programs and activities; and   
  • Any other similar factor that the Court considers relevant (review pertinent case law): whether the paying parent was consulted (and agreed to) the expense, does the underlying program or activity interfere the parent's access or contact time with the child (making it not in the child's best interests), or does the activity compensate for the non-custodial parent's lack of involvement with the child.   

For extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities, adduce evidence of:

  • The spouse's income; and   
  • The amount that the spouse would receive under the applicable table or, where the court has determined that the table amount is inappropriate, the amount that the court has otherwise determined is appropriate; or   
  • The nature and number of the child's educational programs and extracurricular activities ;   
  • Any special needs and talents of the child;   
  • The overall cost of the programs and activities; and   
  • Any other similar factor that the Court con­siders relevant (review pertinent case law): whether the paying parent was consulted (and agreed to) the expense, does the underlying program or activity interfere the parent's access or contact time with the child (making it not in the child's best interests), or does the activity compensate for the non-custodial parent's lack of involvement with the child?   

Determination of the Income of a Non-resident Spouse - Section 20

EVIDENCE - Adduce evidence:

  • To show the spouse is a non-resident of Canada.   
  • To prove the effective rates of income tax in the country where the spouse resides.   
  • To prove the effective rates of income tax in the province in which the other spouse ordinarily resides. Many accounting firms have websites or publications which provide a summary of provincial and territorial income tax rates.   
  • To show the effective rates of income tax are "significantly higher" in the country where the spouse resides than those applicable in the province or territory in which the other spouse resides.   

Amendments to Undue Hardship Provisions (Comparison of Household Standards of Living Test) - Schedule II, Step 1, Section 2

EVIDENCE

  • Determine the income of each income-earner in each of the households (the parties' income, the income of their partners, and children) using sections 15 – 20 of the Guidelines.   
  • Provide the information on which to base the income determination: in its absence, the Court may impute income in the amount it considers appropriate. Consider the federal website which provides information about wages and salaries for occupations in various Canadian locales.   
  • Determine each person's source deductions for premiums paid under the Employment Insurance Act and contributions made to the Canada Pension Plan and the Quebec Pension Plan . Many payroll management companies will provide information about annual premiums levels for CPP and EI. This information can be assembled annually, assuming there are no legislative changes by the federal government.   

Endnote

[1] Adapted from Len Fishman, "2006 Amendments to the Federal Child Support Guidelines."

Date modified: