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

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The Honourable Martin Cauchon
Ottawa, Canada K1A 0H8

Honourable Martin Cauchon

I am pleased to present Children Come First:  A Report to Parliament Reviewing the provisions and operation of the Federal Child Support Guidelines, in accordance with the provisions of section 28 of the Divorce Act.

When the Guidelines came into effect on May 1, 1997, they significantly changed the way Canadian parents determine child support amounts.  Five years later, it is clear they are working well.  Child support amounts are now predictable and consistent, ensuring that children receive the financial support they deserve from both their divorcing parents.  The guidelines have reduced conflict and tension between parents by making the calculation of child support orders more objective.  This, in turn, has improved the efficiency of the legal process and most parents are now setting child support amounts without going to court.

The success of the Guidelines would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of both levels of government as well as the contributions of the legal community and the Canadian public.  I would like to commend the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Task Force on the Implementation of Child Support Reforms, the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Family Law Committee and the Advisory Committee on Child Support for their valued input.

Signature of honourable Martin Cauchon

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