Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: April 30, 2009
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03 Case Management

Respondent Assessment

Financial Circumstances

Alberta Child Support Guidelines and Tables

INTENT

To assess the respondent’s financial circumstances to ensure the respondent is aware of their support obligations under the Alberta Child Support Guidelines.

POLICY

The Child Support Worker (CSW) assesses the respondent’s ability to pay support when parentage is acknowledged. The CSW:

  • Explains to the respondent that the applicant is receiving or has been receiving assistance
     
  • Tells the respondent the department is legally entitled to receive part or all of the funds paid to the household unit for the time they were on assistance. This includes funds paid for pregnancy related expenses.
     
  • Informs the respondent of their financial responsibilities for their dependants
     
  • If the respondent had been contacted by mail with a request to complete a CSS 2589 Respondent’s Financial Statement, reviews the form and declaration
     
  • Verifies respondent’s income by reviewing the documentation provided by the respondent, e.g. pay stubs, income tax assessments

Referring to the Alberta Child Support Guidelines and Tables, the worker:

Amount of Support

The Family Law Act includes the Alberta Child Support Guidelines, which are applied to all cases involving support for children in Alberta. CSWs use the Alberta Child Support Guidelines for the purpose of unenforceable agreements and legally enforceable support agreements/orders. The intent is to maximize all child support arrangements and obtain an amount that will assist income support recipients to achieve self-sufficiency.

The CSW uses ChildView or the Child Support Data Sheets to calculate the amount of support.

Additional Amounts of Support

Applicants may be entitled to additional amounts of support based on special or extraordinary expenses that may be incurred by the custodial parent. [Alberta Child Support Guidelines Section 7]

The extraordinary expenses most likely to be incurred by parents with whom the child resides are child care, medical costs, orthodontic payments and extra-curricular activities. These are subject to negotiation with the respondent/legal counsel, taking into account the necessity and reasonableness of the expense and the family’s spending pattern prior to the separation. Extraordinary expenses are shared by the applicant and the respondent as a percent of their income.

To calculate support for any extraordinary expense the CSW uses ChildView. The Guideline Table amount and extraordinary expenses are automatically calculated to determine the amount of support a respondent may be required to pay.

Alberta Health Care (AHC) premiums are waived for assistance clients. Since the applicant does not incur this cost the CSW does not negotiate to increase child support if the payer stops providing the coverage. When negotiating medical insurance coverage, the CSW needs to determine whether medical or dental insurance coverage is available to the respondent, through their employer or otherwise. [Alberta Child Support Guidelines, Section 6]

When the respondent has coverage available, and when it is reasonable to expect the respondent to continue to include the dependant(s) on current medical insurance coverage or to add dependant(s) to the respondent’s medical insurance coverage, the CSW ensures that the payer’s obligation to provide medical and dental insurance coverage is included when completing the CSS 0045 Support Agreement or requesting a court order.

If respondents do not have medical insurance coverage available, this is not included as part of the agreement/order.