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Child Support Services Policy

Published Date: March 01, 2007
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04 Court

Court Planning

Support Orders

Alberta Child Support Guidelines and Tables
CASS Regulation Section 2
Family Law Act
IESA Section 29   

INTENT 

To help case management decisions by providing an overview of the types of support orders that Child Support Services (CSS) may request. 

POLICY 

Introduction 

The Child Support Worker (CSW) initiates court action when:


All CSS matters are heard by the Court of Queen’s Bench.

When commencing any court action, the CSW must notify the applicant by phone or mail of the action being taken and of all subsequent court actions when they occur. [CASS Regulation Section 2(1)]

Court Planning

The worker brings matters to the court by serving court documents on a respondent for a List Date appearance. Many matters are settled by consent or by a hearing held at the end of the List on this initial court date. While the goal of the CSW is to obtain an order for ongoing support, other requests may be made to the court and other decisions may be made on the List Date.

Support Orders

Orders for support can be granted for on-going support, interim support or term orders covering a specified period of time.

For these orders CSS does not request retroactive child support. The earliest start date for an order is the date the CSW requested the respondent in writing, to provide financial disclosure during the applicants current assistance period.

Depending upon the circumstances of the matter before the court, the Judge has the option to grant orders specifying various terms.

Support Order
The court finds the respondent is a parent of the child(ren) and orders an amount of monthly child support payments.

The worker makes an application for a new order under the FLA when there is no existing order or the applicant has:

  • A Divorce Order with support adjourned sine die or support is silent
  • A parenting order under the FLA with support adjourned sine die or support is silent
  • A declaration of parentage under the FLA and support is silent


Support Orders When Continuing Child Support Services
The CSW has authority to continue to pursue ongoing support for an applicant after the assistance file closes unless the applicant requests otherwise. [IESA Section 29(8)]

Support Order with Support Adjourned Sine Die
The court finds the respondent is a parent of the child(ren). The issue of child support is adjourned sine die when the respondent (including a minor respondent) has no ability to pay child support, or the department is unable to pursue the matter.

Support Order with an Adjournment Date to Review Support
In these situations, the amount of support is less than what is acceptable on an ongoing basis. The CSW has determined the respondent’s financial circumstances will improve in the future. The terms of the order include a finding of parentage and allow for review of the support amount on a specified date.

Support Order with Interim Support
The court finds the respondent is a parent of the child(ren) and the order includes the amount required for short-term interim support. The order specifies a trial or hearing date at which time the matter of ongoing support is determined.

Term Order for Former Assistance Clients
When an applicant’s assistance file has closed and the applicant has requested the CSW stop support action, the worker may continue to pursue support to obtain a term order. [IESA Section 29(9)]

Order to Vary Support
The CSW makes an application when information shows circumstances have changed that will support an increase in child support. The order changes the amount of ongoing support.

The CSW also makes an application to vary when the applicant has:

  • An FLA order with a finding of parentage and support is adjourned sine die or support is silent. These types of orders would most often have been previously obtained by CSS.
  • An FLA order with a declaration of parentage and support has been adjourned sine die. These orders would not have been obtained by CSS.


Consent Order
A Consent Order is agreed to by the respondent prior to the first court date. A Consent Order rather than an EMP 45 Support Agreement is completed when:

  • Varying an existing order or
  • It is the preference of the respondent’s solicitor.