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Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: October 25, 2016
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03 Case Management

Applicant Assessment

Adult/Spousal Support

Divorce Act
IESA Section 6(2)(d), Section 29 and Section 31
Family Law Act


Adult support order means spousal support, alimony, or adult interdependent partner support. An Income Support (IS) worker refers applicants with existing adult support orders to Child Support Services (CSS) using the CSS2922 Referral to Child Support Services.

Historically, CSS has not pursued adult support.  Although the Department of Justice Canada has released non-legislated discretionary spousal support guidelines, they are not legally binding and their use is voluntary. Determining adult support is complex and is dependent on a number of factors such as:

  • The strength of the legal arguments put forward to the court,
  • Fairness for all parties,
  • An analysis and finding of entitlement,
  • The definition of income, and
  • A with or without child support formula.

Request for Adult Support Order

Given the complexity of this issue and the need for different Affidavits and Statements for an adult support order, a Child Support Worker (CSW) does not start any adult support action. The CSW gives consent to an applicant requesting this service to pursue their own support. The CSW refers the applicant to legal resources available in their region.

MEP Registration on Existing Adult Support Orders

When the respondent is not a regular and full payor of adult support, the CSW refers the adult support order to MEP. When the respondent is a full and regular payor, the applicant continues to receive support directly from the respondent.

Responding to an Adult Support Variation

The CSW refers the applicant to legal resources for assistance in responding to an adult support variation. MEP will defend any crown arrears.