Child Support

A separation or divorce can be an emotional difficult time for children. It is important that a child’s wellbeing is preserved with as little additional disruption as possible.

Is Child Support Payable?

A spouse may be entitled to child support if there are one or more children that reside with them. 

How is Child Support Calculated?

If a spouse is entitled to receive child support the support is calculated based on amounts set out in the Federal or Alberta Child Support Guidelines. The amount of child support payable for any given parent will vary depending on the payor’s income, the income of the recipient parent and the number of children.

In Alberta, child support is calculated using the Child Support Guidelines based on gross parental income. For a parent whose income is $150,000, the court may deviate from the Child Support Guidelines in calculating child support. Special or extraordinary expenses are also taken into consideration during the calculation. If the child lives with only one parent, then the income of the paying parent is taken into consideration.  If the child lives with both parents approximately an equal amount of time, then child support is calculated for each parent separately and the amounts are then set-off against each other such that the higher earning spouse will pay child support. In situations where each spouse earns approximately the same income and there is a shared parenting arrangement, the calculation of child support becomes more complicated.

How Long is Child Support Payable?

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 whether they are still a child of the marriage. Even though the age of majority is 18 in Alberta, there are many situations in which child support may be payable for an adult child.  Child support payments in Alberta depend on your unique circumstances.  Talking to a family lawyer can help you navigate these difficult times.

Useful Links

Federal Child Support Guidelines [link to:]

Alberta Child Support Tables [link to:

British Columbia Child Support Tables [link to: