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Child Support Variation

There are three statutes in Alberta that deal with issues relating to the support of children when parents do not live together.  These are the Family Law Act,  the Divorce Act  and the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.   The forms that you use are different, depending on which statute you are using.

How do I know which statute I use?

If you were not married to the other parent, and both of you live in Alberta, then you use the Family Law Act.

If you were married, you may apply under the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act, depending upon which Act was used to make the Order that you want to change.  If the Order was made under the Divorce Act, then you apply under the Divorce Act.  If the Order was made under provincial legislation, and both of you live in Alberta, then you use the Family Law Act.

If the other parent lives outside Alberta, and there has not been a divorce action started (or you were never married), then you use the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.

The questions below will help you choose the right process.

How much child support should I ask for / offer to pay?

The amount of child support is based upon the incomes of the parents and the needs of the children.  For general information on the guidelines, go here.

What do I need to do before I start?

You must gather up your income and special expense information.

The paperwork that the court will want to see is:

  • Your complete tax return and Notice of Assessment for the past 3 years;
  • Your pay stubs or other proof of your income for this year;
  • If you are the PAYOR of support and are asking to reduce your arrears, your complete tax return and Notice of Assessment for all of the years in which the support was not paid.
  • If you the RECIPIENT of support and are asking for special expenses, a list of the amounts you spend for those expenses, and, if possible, receipts showing the payments.
  • A copy of the Order or Agreement that you want to change. 
  • If the order that you want to change was not made in Alberta, you MUST have a certified copy of your Order.  This will have a stamp on it and a signature from a court official saying the copy is a certified or true copy.  A photocopy of the certified copy is not acceptable.  Contact the court that made the order to find out how to get a certified copy.  There may be a fee.
    Sample Certified Stamp

If you have a court file in Queen’s Bench in Edmonton or Calgary, you should read about the Edmonton Child Support Resolution Project or the Calgary Dispute Resolution Project before you start any paperwork.

Have you taken the Parenting After Separation Seminar?

Before you go to court, consider mediation

If you want a lawyer to help you, information is here

To help decide which court to file in, go here.

For this type of application, you must do the paperwork yourself.  We can give you the forms and instructions.