Child Support Guidelines for the Self-Employed

Divorced entrepreneurs who are on the line for paying child support need to know how that support should be calculated. Family law rules in Alberta say child support payments should be determined on the payor’s income, but that’s not always so easy to calculate for those who own businesses. A parent who is paying child support must, under the law, be transparent about his or her income and benefits. If the parents can’t come to some understanding of what child support payments should be, a court will look at expenses the payor claims under the Income Tax Act to come to a decision on payments.

A family court judge will issue a ruling of adverse inference if an entrepreneurial parent fails to provide complete disclosure of his or her compensation, benefits and a detailed explanation of his or her expense claims. An accountant may need to be called in to review the self-employed parent’s financial statements to come to a income guide for calculating child support payments. The same method would be used when deciding on spousal or support for a former common law partner.

In Alberta the law stipulates that the self-employed must prove that certain business deductions are reasonable when it comes to calculating income for the purposes of child or spousal support payments. Failure to do so is not in keeping with family law guidelines. It is in the best interests of all those involved when a self-employment parent fully discloses his or her income or the ultimate outcome regarding support will be given to a judge.

An Alberta family law lawyer is able to guide a self-employed client when it comes to child support and/or spousal support issues. These areas can be complex and the law may need clarification. A lawyer can answers questions and offer explanations for those areas which may be confusing.

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