Changes to child support require disclosure to Alberta courts

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

Change is the only constant in life — a truism exemplified in the raising of children from infancy to adulthood. Family law, in Alberta as elsewhere, embeds its recognition of children’s evolving needs in its definition of child support, as part of the legal imperative of ensuring a child’s ongoing well-being. As such, the courts take into account changing needs, lifestyles and, importantly, current incomes when an application to alter child support is made.

Providing financial disclosure statements to the courts — not just to each party — has often been, surprisingly, overlooked. Divorces in which the parties have been forthright about their income sources have not, in the past, always filed disclosure papers with the courts as well as with each other. For their part, the courts hadn’t always enforced the legal filing of disclosure papers when there was no pressing need to do so.

It may be that what motivated a more stringent adherence to financial disclosure was the frequency of applications for changes to child support, rather than initial child support applications. Certainly, the information needed to adjudicate cases where modifications were requested would be more readily at hand. This would prevent court time spent chasing down information or having to impute income in the absence of actual financial status.

Whatever the reason, family law courts will not accept applications for support changes if unaccompanied by disclosure statements. At its own pace, the law and its procedures change. An Alberta family law lawyer familiar with procedural guidelines might help a divorced parent seeking changes to child support to avoid unwelcome surprises.

Source:, “Changes to Child Support Applications“, Sarah Dargatz, Accessed on May 7, 2018

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