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

APPENDIX 3: SURVEY OF CHILD SUPPORT AWARDS UNDER THE DIVORCE ACT

The federal Department of Justice developed the Survey of Child Support Awards in close collaboration with the members of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Research Subcommittee. The survey monitors the way the Guidelines are being put into effect and whether they are achieving their objectives. For the pilot phase of the survey, data were collected from fall 1997 to September 1998.

Following some minor methodological adjustments, the revised survey was put in place on October 1, 1998, and will continue until April 2002. All jurisdictions except Quebec[70] and Nunavut participated in the survey and provide data from at least one court.

The provincial representatives on the Research Subcommittee selected these court sites for the study:

  • St. John's, Newfoundland;
  • Charlottetown and Summerside, Prince Edward Island;
  • Halifax, New Glasgow, Sydney, Truro, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia;
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick;
  • Ottawa, Toronto, and London, Ontario;
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba;
  • Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan;
  • Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta;
  • Victoria, British Columbia;
  • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; and
  • Whitehorse, Yukon.

The survey is designed to record, at each participating court, all decisions under the Divorce Act[71] involving children. As of February 2001, the sample consisted of more than 23,000 cases. Data sources include all interim child support orders in divorce files; final divorce judgments that specifically incorporate separation agreements; minutes of settlement or previous court orders; final divorce judgments that are silent on child support even though children are involved; orders varying divorce judgments; and final divorce judgments that contain corollary relief orders.

Please see the following reports for additional information on the cases in the database, and for more details on case processing in each participating court:

  • Bertrand, Lorne D., Joseph P. Hornick, Joanne J. Paetsch, and Nicholas M.C. Bala. The Survey of Child Support Awards: Interim Analysis of Phase II Data (October 1998– March 2000). Ottawa: Department of Justice, Child Support Team, 2001 , (CSR 2001-2E/2F).
  • Bertrand, Lorne D., Joseph P. Hornick, and Nicholas M.C. Bala. The Survey of Child Support Awards: Preliminary Analysis of Phase II Data (October 1998–May 1999).
    Enquête sure les pensions alimentaires pour enfants : Analyse préliminaire des données de la phase 2 (octobre 1998 – mai 1999).
    Ottawa: Department of Justice, Child Support Team, 2000 (CSR-2000-2E/2F),
  • Hornick, Joseph P., Lorne D. Bertrand, and Nicholas M.C. Bala. The Survey of Child Support Awards: Final Analysis of Pilot Data and Recommendations for Continued Data Collection.
    Enquête sur les pensions alimentaires pour enfants: analyse finale des données de l'enquête pilote et recommandations concernant la collecte de données.

    Ottawa: Department of Justice, Child Support Team, 1999 (CSR-1999-2E/2F)
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