A protest took place outside the courtroom in Truro - a city in Nova Scotia, Canada - when a father of two considered it wrong that he should alone be responsible for paying child support and that the court had the right to demand to see evidence of his financial status.
The dad thought that both parents should pay equal amounts as the children equally belonged to him and his ex-wife and they, therefore, both have equal responsibility to provide for them.
Under the family court system in Canada, only the payer is expected to provide financial details. Only when it comes to spousal support are both parties expected to present their financial status.
The Canadian situation differs somewhat from the situation here in Australia, where even though each parent’s situation is unique, both parents incomes are taken into account equally when it comes to child support calculations. An amount is subtracted to allow each parent to support themselves and then the child support is calculated. Other considerations are the amount of time each parent will spend caring for the child or children. If there are children included that are also part of other families, they will be treated similarly.
Unlike in Canada, child support is worked out to support sharing by parents and the contribution both parents make through the direct care they give and the costs that entail.
If parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding the amount of care that each provides for the children, the child support will be assessed based on any information that is available and calculates the amount of care provided. When a parent regularly cares for a child that is between 14 percent and 34 percent of a year, assessing the amount of child support is acknowledging that the parent is directly contributing to the expenses of bringing up a child.
When parents are sharing the care of a child, there is an adjustment made to child support. The parents may both be eligible for family assistance payments which will assist them with the children’s expenses, and the two parents might be eligible to share Family Tax Benefits.
If you care for your child between 65 and 85 percent of the time as the primary caregiver, you might be entitled to receive 100 percent of the Family Tax Benefit and parents are not assessed to provide child support if they provide more than 65 percent of the care. Additionally, if you provide care for your child or children more than 86 percent of the time, you may be entitled to 100 percent of Family Tax Benefit.
Our Principal Solicitor at CM Lawyers, Ms Christine Manolakos has been involved in Family Law Matters for over fifteen (15) years.