If you or your former spouse are high income earners and share children, the following scenarios may be familiar when calculating child support:
In Alberta, the law on what constitutes a "child of the marriage" continues to evolve. There is a common misconception that when a child reaches the age of majority (18 in Alberta), he or she is no longer entitled to support. This is incorrect. Pursuant to the Divorce Act (Canada), if a child is over the age 18 but is unable to obtain the necessities of life, he or she may be entitled to child support.
Breaking up is expensive, particularly when parties resort to litigation. It is not uncommon for large disparities in parties' financial means to frustrate the division of matrimonial property. For example, one party may initiate proceedings and be ready to move the matter forward while the other party does not have the finances to advance his or her side of the litigation.
When thinking of your estate planning goals, it is important to know that the law in Alberta does not automatically ensure that your children will receive your assets farther down the road. This is a particularly important point to ponder if you have divorced and remarried as your current spouse may have a claim against your estate for maintenance and support. If successful, such a claim will trump any designation of assets to your adult/independent children.
The factors that must be considered when determining a fair spousal support arrangement are many and varied, and the agreements mediated between former partners vary a great deal. In general, though, matters of spousal support are decided in two stages of legal analysis. First, it must be determined whether the spouse seeking support is entitled to it. Second, if the spouse is entitled to support, then the amount and duration must be decided.
The lawyers of Kirk Montoute LLP are experienced litigators, but our firm also helps families resolve their disputes outside of court. Litigation places the parties in opposition to one another, and that situation is not always appropriate if the goal is to come to an agreement on family law issues such as child custody.
The common perception used to be that divorce always had to be a battle, resulting in a winner and a loser. While many divorces do require litigation to resolve difficult disputes, ending a marriage can be done in a way that allows the spouses to cooperate and resolve their differences amicably.
Divorce can affect every aspect of a person's life, including his or her estate plan. Your estate planning documents will not be automatically updated or cancelled at the end of your marriage, and failing to properly address these matters could lead to family disputes and financial troubles down the road.
Alberta's Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines offer formulas for deciding the amount and duration of support to be paid. However, use of the guidelines can lead to a variety of potential payment amounts, and the determination of spousal support can be very complicated.
Parents going through separation or divorce often feel overwhelmed by the process of establishing an appropriate child support arrangement. Even the legal language may seem strange in an already complicated and emotionally fraught time. To clarify these matters, let's go over some of the basic aspects of child support that parents can expect to encounter.