Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: November 01, 2010
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04 Court

Court Preparation

Required Court Documents

Alberta Child Support Guidelines and Tables
Alberta Rules of Court Regulation - Division 3 Subdivision 2 - "Actions Relating to Proceedings under the Family Law Act"
Family Law Act Section 8, Section 46, Section 66 and Section 93
IESA Section 29 and Section 30
Provincial Court Procedures (Alberta Justice Social Enhancement Legal Team) Regulation Section 1

INTENT

To ensure the required court documents are completed to meet legislated and court requirements.

POLICY

Introduction

All Child Support Services (CSS) applications are heard in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The worker makes applications for child support orders that include a finding that the respondent is a parent.

In some situations, the presumption of parentage exists, e.g. the parents are legally married. In other situations, further information must be provided to the court to support a finding of parentage.

The worker starts court action when a CSS 0045 Support Agreement cannot be negotiated because:

  • The respondent does not respond to the worker’s request for contact, or
  • The respondent agrees to being a parent but the matter of support cannot be negotiated, or
  • The respondent denies being a parent, or
  • The applicant has named more than one possible father.

In some situations, the matter is resolved at the initial court or List Date either by consent or by a hearing at the end of the List. In other situations, the matter may be adjourned for a trial or a hearing at the next List Date for the matter to be resolved by a judge. If a presumption of parentage does not apply to a matter, other evidence must be obtained to support a finding of parentage in the support order.

A Support Order finds the respondent to be a parent of the child and states the amount of monthly child support payments. The order may include reasonable expenses of the mother in the last trimester of pregnancy. [FLA Section 66(5)] The order may also include costs for DNA testing. [FLA Section 93]

Court Considerations

Claim
To start support action under the Family Law Act (FLA), all applicants must file a Claim with supporting Affidavits and documents with the Clerk of the Court. The Claim identifies the type of order requested and gives notice to the respondent about the court hearing date. The respondent is served with the Claim package so they are aware of the evidence prior to the court hearing. When rescheduling a court date for an ongoing action, a new Claim is completed and filed with the court.

Sworn Affidavits
CSS matters proceed in court using sworn evidence obtained from the applicant during the assessment interview.

Preparing for Court

Initiating Court Action
Under the FLA, a parent or guardian, the child, or a person who has care and control of the child may make an application for a Support Order. The Director may also bring an application for a support order that includes a finding of parentage. [IESA Section 29(3)(c)(d)] [IESA Section 30(c)(d)]

The Provincial Court Procedures (Alberta Justice Social Enhancement Legal Team) Regulation and the Alberta Rules of Court Regulation recognizes the Director under IESA Part 5 as a party to an application with the right to commence, defend, intervene or take any steps in respect of the application.

The application must be initiated:

  • Prior to the death of the respondent
  • Prior to the eighteenth birthday of the dependant or prior to the twenty-second birthday of the dependant if the dependant is attending school full time [FLA Section 46]
  • Within two years after the expense was incurred, if claiming expenses for the last trimester of pregnancy [FLA Section 66(5)]

    Note
    Child support action is not commenced for a dependant who has returned to a parent’s care and control if the dependant was legally married or was an adult interdependent partner.