The parents cannot agree to reduce or eliminate child support payments as it is the entitlement of the child and not the parent. The court maintains jurisdiction on determining the amount of child support. Child support can be ordered pursuant to the Divorce Act (Canada) for married couples and/or the Family Law Act (Alberta) for unmarried couples.
Who is entitled to child support? Child support is payable by the one parent who does not have daily care and control of the children. In other words, the parent who does not live with the children. That parent will pay child support to the other parent for every child under the age of 18 still living at home with the one parent AND for every child over the age of 18 if he/she is unable to “withdraw from the parents’ charge or obtain the necessities of life due to illness, disability or some other cause”.
Spousal support is intended for a limited duration of time. The intention behind spousal support is to assist the lower income earning spouse with some financial support for a transitional period of time.
The term “spousal support” is for married couples who are separating. The Divorce Act governs the issue of spousal support for married couples. For unmarried couples the term is referred to as partner support or adult interdependent partner support and is governed by the Alberta Family Law Act or the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act.
Deciding to separate and divorce can be an extremely difficult decision to make, especially when children are involved. As parents separate and divorce, the most important task they have is to help the children cope with and adjust to the new family circumstances.
It is important that parents recognize, as early on in the separation process as possible, that children’s needs must come first. Even as you deal with all the other aspects of separating and divorce such as child support, spousal support, property division, it is important to remember that the children may not always understand why parents are divorcing. Sometimes children might blame themselves for the parents’ separation.
If you have decided to separate or divorce, I’m sure that it was a very difficult and stressful decision to make. This is, no doubt, one of the most important decisions anyone can make especially when there are children involved. Parents need to ensure that their children are affected by their decision as little as possible. Separating and dividing matrimonial property so that each party receives a fair division as amicably as possible is paramount to the effects of divorce on a family.
At HART LAW OFFICE, our goal is to help you through the process of divorce explaining all of your rights and entitlements and those of your children regarding support obligations and property division. Our aim is to alleviate some of the stress and assist you with this major life changing transition.