In years past, in British Columbia as elsewhere, mothers were almost always the primary care parents and the recipients of child support, and fathers were almost always the primary earners and the payors of child support.
Today, the amount of child support depends first on the parenting arrangement. Where children spend more than sixty percent of the time in the care of one parent, child support is determined by the Federal Child support guidelines. The factors considered include the income of the payor, the number of children, and the province in which the payor resides. If this describes your parenting arrangement, you can lookup the amount of child support you are obligated to pay here.
Where parenting time is more equally split between parents, i.e. because there are two children and one lives primary with each parent, or where the children spent less than sixty percent of the time with any one parent, the calculation of child support becomes more complex. Often, parents will elect to use a shorthand approach of determining what each parent should pay to the other based on the traditional child support tables and then agree that the higher earning spouse shall pay the difference to the lower earning spouse.
However, this is only one method in which child support could be determined when custody is split or shared. The applicable provision of the Federal Child Support Guidelines states that the table amounts that each party should pay is only one consideration. Also to be considered are the increased costs of shared custody arrangements and the conditions, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse and the child for whom support is sought. This can become a complicated assessment, and the Courts have provided guidance to how to consider these factors in the case law. If this sounds like your scenario, seek legal advice.
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