Long-Awaited Update to Federal Child Support Guidelines
Important news for those who pay – or are eligible to receive – child support anywhere in Canada.
What are the “Guidelines”?
As most of my readers will know, the Federal Child Support Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) are the government-sponsored tool that helps separated and divorcing parents set the appropriate amounts of child support that must be paid in respect of the children they have together.
The Federal Child Support Tables, which reflect the principles and calculations mandated by the Guidelines, set out the basic monthly amounts of child support that result from various permutations.
The Guidelines and the corresponding Tables have been in force since late 2011, and until recently have reflected the calculations that accord with 2011 tax rules.
The Guidelines and corresponding Tables have been amended to reflect more recent tax rules, and have been incorporated into an updated version that takes effect on November 22, 2017. The official (and updated) Federal Child Support Tables, plus additional information and some “legalese” about these new amendments, are located here.
Where, and When?
As with the last version of the simplified Tables in PDF, there is a streamlined, simplified version of the 2017 Tables (also in PDF). There is also a Child Support Table Look-up for both the 2011 and 2017 versions. There is also an updated, Step-by-Step Guide. (Note however that these streamlined and simplified versions are not “official”; only the original Federal Child Support Guidelines and Tables are considered legally-authoritative as to child support amounts. This also means that the amounts of calculated support may be different when using the official Guidelines or Tables versus the more simplified tools).
One final point: the new 2017 Guidelines and Tables come into force on November 21, 2017. For people who need to determine how much child support is owed for a period before that date, the prior version of the Guidelines should still be used. (And for those who need to calculate child support for a period earlier than December 31, 2011, an even earlier version of the Tables should be consulted.)