The first issue to be determined in most cases is whether child support is payable. A spouse may be entitled to child support if there are one or more children that reside with him of her. If a spouse is entitled to receive child support then child support is calculated based on amounts set out in the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The amount of child support payable is calculated by looking up the payor parent’s income in the child support tables. The amount of child support payable for any given income will vary depending on the province the payor is resident in, and the number of children.
Children generally have a right to financial support until they reach the age of majority. If a child is over the age of majority, he or she may still be entitled to receive child support depending on the circumstances (i.e. whether an older child is attending post-secondary education). The age of majority is 18 in Alberta.
Generally, the payment of child support has been perceived by the Courts in Alberta to be the right of the child to receive and right of the residential parent to demand. As such, child support is generally payable from one spouse to the other unless incomes of each spouse are approximately the same and there is a shred parenting arrangement. The calculation of child support in these circumstances is more complicated and requires analysis.