Children Come First: A Report to Parliament Reviewing the Provisions and Operation of the Federal Child Support Guidelines - Volume 1

Description of figures

Figure 1: How the Award was Determined

  • Percentage of cases for which the method used to determine award amount was reported (includes 14,524 cases where the method of determining award amount was known).
  • Federal / provincial guideline used: 87%
  • Different amount: 13%

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Figure 2: Parents’ Views on the Federal Child Support Guidelines’ fairness to children

  • Parents were asked to rate the Guidelines in terms of their fairness to children, both paying and receiving parents rated the Guidelines at about 7 out of 10.

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Figure 3: Relationship of the Award to the Table Amount, by Disposition of the Order

  • Figure 3 shows that, for both types of cases, the proportions of cases in which the child support amounts were "less than," "equal to," or "greater than" the table amounts were virtually identical. The amounts were less than the table amounts in between 5 and 6 percent of the cases. Two thirds of both types of cases had amounts that were equal to the table amounts and 30 percent had awards that were greater than the table amounts.

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Figure 4: Relationship of Child Support Award to the Table Amount, by the Presence or Absence of a Spousal Award Amount

  • Figure 4 compares sole custody cases with and without spousal support amounts. It shows that there is little or no difference between the two groups in the proportion of cases with child support award amounts that are less than, equal to, or greater than the applicable table amounts.

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Figure 5: Proportion of Contested Cases Decreases Over Time

  • 1998: Contested 40%, Uncontested 60%
  • 1999: Contested 30%, Uncontested 70%
  • 2000: Contested 22%, Uncontested 78%

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Figure 6: Proportion of Original Orders, Judgments, and of Variations that were contested, by year of judgment

  • 1998: Original Order/Judgement 37%, Variation 42%
  • 1999: Original Order/Judgement 27%, Variation 29%
  • 2000: Original Order/Judgement 19%, Variation 23%

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Figure 7: Proportion of Contested Cases by Type of Custody

  • Split 12%, Sole-mother 11%, Sole-father 8%, Shared 7%

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Figure 8: Methods Mediators Use to Deal with Special Expenses in Arriving at an Agreement

  • Negotiate an agreement on responsibilities: Often 33%, Sometimes 36%, Rarely 27%
  • Negotiate consensus on a global amount: Often 30%, Sometimes 36%, Rarely 29%
  • Apply section 7: Often 42%, Sometimes 26%, Rarely 23%

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