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Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: August 05, 2016
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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 employment income by reviewing the documentation provided by the respondent, e.g. three most recent statements of earnings or pay stubs showing year-to-date earnings or a letter from the employer indicating the respondent’s rate of annual salary or remuneration, statements from Employment Insurance, Pension Plans, Workers Compensation, personal income tax returns, Notice of Assessments and Notices of Reassessment for the last three tax years, 
     
  • Verifies respondent’s student income, if applicable, by reviewing the documentation provided by the respondent e.g. a statement indicating the total amount of student funding received during the current academic year including loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships and living allowances.
  • Verifies respondent’s self-employment income, if applicable, by reviewing the companies past three taxation years, profit and loss sheet, a statement showing a breakdown of all salaries, wages, management fees or other payments or benefits paid to the respondent or to persons and corporations that the respondent does not deal with at arm’s length.


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

  • Assesses whether a current unenforceable agreement or legally enforceable support agreement or order between the parties are in accordance with the Alberta Child Support Guidelines and Tables or
     
  • Negotiates a CSS 0045 Support Agreement or
     
  • Informs the respondent the matter will proceed to Court of Queen’s Bench if the respondent refuses to pay in accordance with the Alberta Child Support Guidelines and Tables.


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.

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 Insurance Plan (AHCIP) 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.

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.