Child Support and Spousal Support
Caring For The Financial Needs Of Children
Following separation or divorce, parents must continue to contribute to the care of their children. Although most parents are committed to meeting their financial obligations, there is often disagreement about payment amounts and schedules. While basic child support is established as a matter of law, many special expenses may be negotiated.
When you need information about child support, the lawyers at Kirk Montoute LLP in Calgary can advise you. Schedule a consultation at our firm to talk with us today. We will work with you to negotiate an arrangement that meets the needs of your children and is consistent with an appropriate allocation of special expense obligations between you and your co-parent.
Legal Guidelines For Child Support
Section 3 of the Child Support Guidelines specifies that the amount of basic child support is based on the income of the paying parent and the number of children he or she must support. A court can order a different amount if the paying parent's income is more than $150,000. When the non primary parent cares for the children more than 40 percent of the time, his or her payment obligations may be reduced.
In addition to basic child support, expenses should be shared between parents for special and extraordinary expenses incurred on behalf of the child. According to Section 7 of the guidelines, these may include:
- Uninsured medical expenses
- Medical and dental insurance premiums
- Physical therapy
- Psychological counselling
- Educational expenses
- Extracurricular activities
Many couples choose to establish a child support agreement through negotiation, instead of going to court. At Kirk Montoute LLP, we can represent you in an out-of-court process such as mediation to negotiate child support. Child support is one of many important issues addressed in a separation agreement prior to the finalization of divorce.
Factors Influencing Spousal Support
When judges decide on spousal support, they undertake two distinct stages of legal analysis. First, they decide if there is an entitlement to support. Then, if there is entitlement, they will determine the amount and duration of support with reference to federal advisory guidelines. These guidelines, unlike child support regulations which are based on strict calculations, offer a range of potential payment amounts.
Many facts about the couple's relationship will affect the amount and duration of spousal support: the length of the marriage, imputed income, whether one spouse took time out of the workforce to raise children, and whether a spouse has the capacity to become economically self-sufficient within a reasonable period of time. Spousal support may also be paid on an ongoing "periodic" basis or on a one time "lump sum" amount.
Negotiating A Fair Settlement
Spousal support is often a vital component of any final separation agreement that precedes a divorce. A reasonable agreement on asset division, support and child care issues can usually be negotiated without resorting to an adversarial litigation proceeding. At Kirk Montoute LLP, we can determine a fair agreement given the specific circumstances, and we will advocate for our clients' interests in private dispute resolution forums.