Obtaining Reliable and Repeatable SSAG Calculations

2. Gathering Information

The accuracy and repeatability of the results returned by Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines software depend on:

  1. a sound understanding of the different information required by the Advisory Guidelines formulas;
  2. making careful and defensible decisions about the data entered into the Advisory Guidelines software; and,
  3. accurately interpreting and inputting that data into the software.

Negligible errors will generally have a correspondingly negligible impact on the formula calculations. More significant discrepancies will arise from the gross under- or overstatement of a party’s income and, in more subtle ways, from the mischaracterization of a party’s income or the attribution of inapplicable tax benefits or credits to a party.[6] Although careful use of the Advisory Guidelines software will go some way to addressing these concerns, a working knowledge of the various benefits, credits and deductions available to parents and the calculation of income under the Child Support Guidelines is essential.

This chapter will discuss the collection of information for the Advisory Guidelines formulas, including the calculation of income. As these data are essential to the results returned by the Advisory Guidelines software, counsel should consider canvassing problem areas with each other before contested court appearances and attempting to reach some consensus.[7]

2.1 Calculation of Time

Apart from information about the parties’ incomes, the minimum data required by the Advisory Guidelines are the length of the parties’ relationship and the age of the recipient at separation. The with child support formulas will additionally require information concerning: the ages of the children, to calculate the tax benefits, credits and deductions available to the parties; the length of time until the youngest child starts full-time school; and, the length of time until the youngest or last child leaves school.

2.1.1 Length of Relationship

The information required is the length of the parties’ relationship from the date of marriage to the date of separation plus the length of any period of cohabitation prior to marriage. Prior periods of cohabitation should be included only if the cohabiting relationship was marriage-like or conjugal in nature. SSAG §3.3.5

Length of relationship may be expressed in whole years, in half-years or in smaller fractions. In most cases, the difference in calculations based on whole numbers versus fractions will be negligible. When calculating time in whole years, round down at fractions of six months or less and round up at fractions of seven months or more.

2.1.2 Age of Recipient

The information required is the age of the recipient at the date of separation. SSAG §7.1

Age may be expressed in whole years, in half-years or in smaller fractions. In most cases, the difference in calculations based on whole numbers versus fractions will be negligible. When calculating time in whole years, round down at fractions of six months or less and round up at fractions of seven months or more.

2.1.3 Age of Children

The information required is the ages of the children of the marriage,[8] expressed in whole years, as of the date of the determination of spousal support.

The age of each child is important for the determination of net income under the with child support formulas as entitlement to the various tax credits, benefits and deductions terminates at different ages.[9]

2.1.4 Youngest Child’s Entry into School

The information required is the number of years until the youngest child enters full-time school, expressed in whole years, as of the date of the determination of spousal support. SSAG §8.5.3

Depending on the particular regulations of the local school district, full-time school may begin in Kindergarten or Grade One. Entry into full-time school may be delayed for children born late in the year, usually in September or later months.

NOTE: Any delays in the child’s entry to full-time school known at the time spousal support is determined should be reflected in this datum.

2.1.5 Youngest or Last Child’s Exit from School

The information required is the number of years until the youngest or last child finishes high school, assuming the child follows the local school district’s standard course of study and graduates with his or her present cohort. SSAG §8.5.3

Children who have skipped one or more grades or who drop out may finish school early; likewise the finish date may be delayed for children who have repeated one or more grades or taken extended absences from school.

NOTE: Any advances or delays in the child’s finish date known at the time spousal support is determined should be reflected in this datum.

2.2 Income

The Advisory Guidelines formulas use three calculations of income: gross income, largely income as determined using the Child Support Guidelines; net income, calculated taking into account income taxes and certain payroll deductions against gross income; and, individual net disposable income, net income calculated taking into account any available tax deductions, benefits and credits, the notional and actual amounts of child support paid, as well as the tax consequences of the payment and receipt of spousal support. The relevant time for the determination of income is the date of the initial spousal support decision, unless there has been a long period of separation before the initial order or agreement or there has been a significant post-separation increase in the payor’s income.[10] SSAG §6.7

Counsel must enter each party’s income (generally the income reported by the party in his her most recent T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return,[11] subject to a number of exceptions to be discussed shortly) into the Advisory Guidelines software, making the adjustments permitted under the Child Support Guidelines, including the imputation of income where appropriate. The software may prompt for some or all of the adjustments allowed by the Child Support Guidelines and counsel must know which adjustments are appropriate in the circumstances of each case.

The Advisory Guidelines software will calculate net income and individual net disposable income based on the income information input by counsel, subject to any additional information the software may require about the tax deductions, credits and benefits available to the parties.[12]

2.2.1 Gross Income

Gross income is calculated using the sources of income and the adjustments to income prescribed by the Child Support Guidelines at ss. 15 to 20 and Schedule III. The Guidelines’ starting point is the general rule that a party’s income for child support purposes is the party’s aggregate income from all sources listed under the heading Total Income in the T1 General Income Tax and Benefit Return, as reported at Line 150 and adjusted under Schedule III. CSG s. 16

Great care must be taken in entering a party’s income into the Advisory Guidelines software as the Line 150 sources of income variously:

  1. invoke different statutory deductions, such as employment income which is subject to the deduction of Employment Insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plans contributions, self-employment income from which no EI premiums are paid but is subject to twice the standard rate of CPP/QPP contributions, and “other” income which is subject to no deductions at all;
  2. require different tax treatments, such as income reported in gross amounts (employment income, most notably), income reported net of expenses (as is the case for rental income and partnership income), income which is grossed up for tax purposes (dividend income) and income of which only the taxable portion is reported (capital gain income); and,
  3. demand differing degrees of scrutiny, especially where income is reported net of expenses and those expenses are wholly or partially discretionary, such as self-employment income and rental income.
Income Adjustments under the Child Support Guidelines

After each party’s income from all Line 150 income sources has been entered into the Advisory Guidelines software, counsel should apply any relevant adjustments required by Schedule III of the Child Support Guidelines. The most common adjustments are these:

  • s. 1 allows the deduction of certain employment expenses from a party’s income, including (d) sales expenses, (f) travel expenses, (f.1) motor vehicle travel expenses, (g) dues and (h) motor vehicle costs;

  • s. 3.1 requires that any Universal Child Care Benefits be excluded from a party’s income;

    NOTE: UCCB is excluded from a party’s income for the purposes of calculating child support, however the Advisory Guidelines require that any UCCB payments relating to children of the marriage be included in a party’s income for the calculation of spousal support. The Advisory Guidelines software should make these distinctions. SSAG §6.4

  • s. 4 requires that the potion of any social assistance benefits paid in respect of persons other than the party be excluded from the party’s income;

    NOTE: Although the portion of any social assistance payments relating to a party are to be included in the party’s income for the purposes of calculating child support, the Advisory Guidelines require that all social assistance benefits be excluded from a party’s income for the purposes of the calculation of spousal support. SSAG §6.2

  • s. 5 requires the actual amount of dividends received by a party to be included in a party’s income, not the grossed up amount (the grossed up amount is reported as Line 150 income);[13]

  • s. 6 requires the actual amount of capital gains received by a party, net of the actual amount of any capital losses, to be included in a party’s income, not just the taxable portion (only the taxable portion is reported as Line 150 income);[14]

  • s. 8 allows the deduction of carrying charges and interest expenses from a party’s income;

  • s. 9 allows sums paid to non-arm’s-length parties or companies to be included in the income of self-employed persons;[15] and,

  • s. 11 requires that capital cost allowance deductions for real property be included in a party’s income.

Once any adjustments under Schedule III have been made, ss. 17 to 20 of the Child Support Guidelines allow for the further refinement of a party’s income. Many of these additional adjustments are discretionary and will require the prior agreement of the parties or the direction of the court:

  • s. 17(1) allows a party’s income to be calculated as the average of his or her income over the three most recent tax years, rather than be fixed as the party’s current income, where the party’s income fluctuates from year to year or includes non-recurring income;

  • s. 17(2) gives the court the discretion to discount non-recurring losses, or ignore them altogether, in determining a party’s income;

  • s. 18(1) allows the court to adjust a party’s income where his or her reported income does not reflect all of the income available from the corporation, and to include in the party’s income the corporation’s pre-tax income or an amount commensurate with the value of the party’s services to the corporation;

  • s. 18(2) allows the court to include some or all payments made to non-arm’s-length entities in a party’s corporate income;

  • s. 19(1) allows the court to impute income to a party in a number of circumstances, including where (a) a party is intentionally underemployed or unemployed, (b) the party is exempt from paying federal or provincial income taxes or both, (c) the party lives in a country with lower effective tax rates than those prevailing in Canada, (e) the party’s property is not reasonably used to general income, (g) the party unreasonably deducts expenses from his or her income,[16] or (h) a significant portion of the party’s income derives from untaxed sources or sources taxed at a lower rate than employment income; and,

  • s. 20 requires the income of non-residents to be calculated as though the party were a resident of Canada.

Averaging Income

The income averaging provisions of the Child Support Guidelines apply to the determination of income under the Advisory Guidelines for both the payor and the recipient of spousal support. Under s. 17(1) of the Guidelines, the income of a party with a fluctuating income (such as a realtor, farmer or commissioned salesperson)[17] or a party who is in receipt of non-recurring income (such as from a severance payment or bonus, or the exercise of stock options)[18] may be determined in light of the party’s income over the previous three years.[19]

Imputing Income

The income imputing provisions of the Child Support Guidelines also apply to the determination of income under the Advisory Guidelines, and are perhaps more important in spousal support cases than in child support cases as income can also be imputed to the recipient of spousal support to address self-sufficiency issues. SSAG §§6.1, 13.2

Section 19(1) provides a list of the circumstances in which income can be imputed to a party, including in circumstances in which a party chooses to earn less than he or she is capable of earning or refuses work when capable of working,[20] a party unreasonably deducts expenses from his or her income,[21] a party fails to reasonably use property to generate income[22] or a party has income which is taxed at a lower rate than employment income.[23] The factors itemized in s. 19(1) are not exhaustive, and income has been imputed based on other factors such as lifestyle or career choice, earning history and the availability of student loans.[24]

NOTE: It is possible for a payor to have different incomes for the purposes of child support and spousal support. In the imputation of income, for example, income may be more readily imputed for child support than for spousal support. Further, in some cases, the division of property, such as stock options, may require an adjustment of income for spousal support that is not required for child support.

Non-Taxable Income

As one specific example of imputing income, non-taxable income (for example, the income of aboriginal persons earned on reserve and disability benefit income) may be grossed-up for the calculation of spousal support under the without child support formula as it is grossed up for the calculation of child support under the Child Support Guidelines. A party’s grossed-up income is the amount of gross, taxable income the party would be required to earn in order to have an income net of taxes equivalent to the non-taxable income. CSG s. 19(1)(b); SSAG §6.6

NOTE: The Advisory Guidelines provide an exception for payors whose income is wholly or mostly non-taxable and cannot deduct their spousal support payments. SSAG §12.8

NOTE: It is not necessary to gross up non-taxable income for the with child support formulas which work with net income amounts. SSAG §8

2.2.2 Net Income

The Advisory Guidelines use the parties’ individual net disposable incomes to determine the maximum amount payable under the high end of the range of the without child support formula and to determine quantum under most of the with child support formulas. At its simplest, individual net disposable income is the total of a party’s income from all sources less income taxes and mandatory payroll deductions but adjusted to includeany benefits and tax credits available to the party, the payment of actual and notional child support, and the tax consequences of the payment and receipt of spousal support. SSAG §8.3.1

The Advisory Guidelines software will calculate net income based on the data provided by counsel for gross income, subject to a number of important adjustments at counsel’s discretion. As a result, it is critical that the data input to determine gross income are accurate as possible and that counsel are aware of the tax treatment of different kinds of income and the rules governing entitlement to the various tax deductions, benefits and credits.

The following are the general tax and source deduction rules applicable to the most common types of income:

Employment Income:
Employment income is subject to federal and provincial income taxes. The employee’s portion of EI premiums, CPP/QPP contributions and provincial health care premiums will be deducted at source by the employer.
Self-Employment Income:
Self-employment income, net of expenses and other work-related deductions, will be subject to federal and provincial income taxes. EI premiums are not deducted, however the earner must remit both the employee’s and employer’s CPP/QPP contributions, effectively doubling the rate normally payable.

NOTE: The expenses and other deductions which reduce self-employed persons’ taxable incomes should be subject to scrutiny for reasonableness under CSG ss. 18(1), 18(2) and 19(1)(g).

Dividend Income:
Dividend income received from Canadian and foreign companies is taxable. Income tax is payable on the grossed up amount of dividends received from Canadian companies. EI premiums, CPP/QPP contributions and provincial health care premiums are not deducted from dividend income.

NOTE: The actual amount of dividends received by a party is included in a party’s income for the purposes of the Advisory Guidelines, not the grossed up amount. CSG Sch. III, s. 5

Pension Income:
Pension income is received from private pension plans, public pensions such as CPP/QPP and government benefits including Old Age Security payments. Income tax is payable on pension income and is deducted at source. EI premiums, CPP/QPP contributions and provincial health care premiums will not be deducted.
“Other” Income:
Income qualifying as neither employment income nor self-employment income, such as scholarship or gratuity income, will be taxable at the party’s marginal tax rate. EI premiums, CPP/QPP contributions and provincial health care premiums will not be deducted.

As the Advisory Guidelines software will automatically calculate and deduct source deductions from a party’s income, it is important that the party’s income be accurately entered by type of income to ensure that the correct deductions are made.

Tax Deductions

Certain tax deductions may be available to either or both parties which will lower a party’s tax burden, affecting the party’s net disposable income for spousal support purposes:[25]

Annual Union, Professional or Like Dues (Line 212):
This deduction is provided for in the Child Support Guidelines and should be automatically taken into account by the Advisory Guidelines software. CSG Sch. III, s. 1(g)

NOTE: The deduction of dues under the Child Support Guidelines and the Advisory Guidelines is frequently overlooked.

Child Care Expenses (Line 214):
This deduction is available where a party requires child care for a child under the age of sixteen to earn employment or self-employment income, attend school or carry on grant-funded research. Only the portion of this deduction relating to any children of the marriage should be included in a party’s net income. SSAG §6.3
Support payments (Line 220):
This deduction is available for the purposes of the Advisory Guidelines where a party is under a spousal support obligation from a previous relationship, a situation dealt with as an exception. SSAG §12.3
Carrying Charges and Interest Expenses (Line 221):
This deduction is provided for in the Child Support Guidelines and should be automatically taken into account by the Advisory Guidelines software. CSG Sch. III, s. 8

Certain other deductions should not be taken into account in the determination of income, including:

  • Registered pension plan contributions (Line 207)

    NOTE: The non-deductibility of pension plan contributions under the Advisory Guidelines is frequently overlooked. SSAG §8.3.1.

  • RRSP contributions (Line 208)
Non-Refundable Tax Credits, Income

Certain non-refundable tax credits may be available to either or both parties. The Advisory Guidelines require that all tax credits received in relation to a child of the marriage be reflected in the party’s net income,[26] affecting the party’s net disposable income for spousal support purposes. These are:[27]

Spouse Amount (Line 303):
A credit equal to the basic personal credit claimed for a party’s new spouse or common-law partner.
Eligible Dependent Amount (Line 305):
A credit equal to the basic personal credit which can be claimed for one child under the age of eighteen, or older if mentally or physically impaired and living with the party and the party does not have a spouse or does not claim the spouse amount.
Canada Employment Amount (Line 363):
A credit of $1,019 claimed by persons reporting employment income (Line 101) or other employment income (Line 104).
Amount for Children (Line 367):
A credit of $2,038 which can be claimed for each child under the age of eighteen except for any child claimed as an eligible dependent.
Infirm Dependents Amount (Line 306):
A credit of $4,095 which can be claimed for each child who is eighteen or older and mentally or physically impaired.
Disability Amount (Line 316):
A credit of $7,021 which can be claimed by persons who are mentally or physically impaired.
Non-Refundable Tax Credits, Special Expenses

Certain non-refundable tax credits may be available to either or both parties in relation to the children’s expenses.[28] In the calculation of a party’s individual net disposable income under the Advisory Guidelines, the credits received in relation to a child of the marriage will be applied to reduce the cost of any expenses qualifying as special expenses. (Any tax credits received in connection with expenses not qualifying as special and/or extraordinary expenses should be included in the calculation of a party’s net disposable income in the same manner as the tax credits discussed above.[29]) These tax credits are:[30]

Children’s Fitness Amount (Line 365):
A credit of up to $500 per child under the age of sixteen in relation to the registration of the child in an approved program of physical activity.
Disability Amount Transferred from a Dependent (Line 318):
A credit equal to the portion of the $7,021 personal disability amount unused by a disabled dependent.
Tuition Amount Transferred from a Dependent (Line 318):
A credit equal to the portion of the $5,000 personal tuition, education and textbook amount unused by a child.

NOTE: The transfer of this credit is at the election of the child. The amount transferred is the amount remaining after the child’s own tax burden has been reduced to zero and will not likely be calculable in advance of the end of a tax year.

Medical Expenses of Children (Line 330):
A credit for qualifying medical expenses of children under the age of eighteen.

Certain other non-refundable tax credits should not be taken into account in the determination of the cost of a special expense, including the following:

  • Public transit amount (Line 364)
  • Interest paid on student loans (Line 319)
  • Personal tuition amount (Line 323)
  • Medical expenses (Lines 330 and 331), where the expenses do not relate to a child of the marriage.
  • Donations and gifts (Line 349), including donations made in relation to a child of the marriage.
Refundable Tax Credits

Certain refundable tax credits may be available to decrease a party’s income tax obligation, affecting the party’s net disposable income for spousal support purposes:[31]

Working Income Tax Benefit (Line 453):
A credit of up to $1,044 available to persons with a dependent spouse or child who earned less than $22,105.[32] A supplement of $261 is available to persons who also qualify for the personal disability non-refundable tax credit.
Employee GST/HST Rebate (Line 457):
A rebate of GST/HST paid on expenses deducted from employment and self-employment income.
Government Benefits

Certain government benefits may be available to either or both parties. The Advisory Guidelines require that any benefits received in relation to a child of the marriage be included in a party’s net income,[33] affecting the party’s net disposable income for spousal support purposes. These are:[34]

Canada Child Tax Benefit:
A non-taxable benefitpaid for all children under the age of eighteen in the amount of $1,307 per child, with an additional $91 paid for the third and each subsequent child. The benefit is phased out by 2% (one child) or 4% (two or more children) of family income above $37,885.
National Child Benefit Supplement:
A non-taxable benefitdirected at low income families, with $2,025 paid for the first child, $1,792 for the second and $1,704 for the third and each subsequent child. The benefit is rapidly phased out for family income above $21,287.
Universal Child Care Benefit:
A taxable benefit paid for all children under the age of six, regardless of family income. UCCB income is not included in the government’s calculation of family income for the purposes of the other child-related benefits.

NOTE: Although UCCB is excluded from a party’s income for the purposes of calculating the table amount of child support, the Advisory Guidelines require that any UCCB payments relating to children of the marriage be included in a party’s income for the calculation of spousal support. The Advisory Guidelines software should make these distinctions. SSAG §6.4

Child Disability Benefit:
A non-taxable benefit paid for children with a severe mental or physical disability in the amount of $2,395 per child. The benefit is phased out by 2% (one child) or 4% (two or more children in receipt of this benefit) of family income above $37,885.
GST/HST Credit:
A non-taxable GST/HST refund in the amount of $242 plus $127 per child under the age of eighteen paid on a quarterly basis. The refund is phased out by 5% of family income above $31,524.

NOTE: All of the GST/HST credit is to be included in party’s income, not just the portion relating to the children of the marriage. SSAG §6.3

Where the parties share the children’s time equally or near-equally and this circumstance comes to the attention of the Canada Revenue Agency, the CRA will rotate the CCTB, UCCB and the child-related portion of the GST/HST Credit between the parents on a six-month basis.[35]

NOTE: Counsel must be aware how the Advisory Guidelines software treats these benefits when the parties have shared custody and ensure that the software is set to reflect the circumstances of the parties. SSAG §8.6.1

Other Benefits and Credits

The following general rules can be used to determine how other deductions, benefits and credits, including future federal benefits and current provincial and territorial benefits should be treated for the purpose of calculating a party’s net income under the Advisory Guidelines. SSAG §§6.3, 8.3.1

  1. Credits relating to the special and/or extraordinary expenses of the children of the marriage, such as enrolment in sports, arts or music programs, will be applied to reduce the cost of those special expenses in the calculation of a party’s individual net disposable income.[36]
  2. Credits relating to the expenses of the children of the marriage not qualifying as special and/or extraordinary expenses, will be included in the calculation of a party’s individual net disposable income as any other credit.
  3. Benefits and credits which result in a party receiving actual income rather than a tax reduction, such as the federal GST/HST credit or British Columbia’s climate action dividend, will be reflected in the party’s income.
  4. Only the portion of children’s benefits and credits relating to children of the marriage should be taken into account.
Other Source Deductions

Source deductions in addition to the statutory deductions for income tax, EI premiums, CPP/QPP contributions and provincial health care premiums may be deductible for the purposes of the Advisory Guidelines if the deduction provides a direct benefit to any children of the marriage. Deductions apart from these, even those deductions an employer deems mandatory, will not be deductible under the Advisory Guidelines. SSAG §8.3.1

The following additional deductions will be applicable to the determination of net income under the Advisory Guidelines in the circumstances specified:

Extended health and dental insurance premiums:
Deductible only if the insurance covers the other party and/or a child of the marriage.
Life insurance premiums:
Deductible only if the beneficiary is the other party or a child of the marriage.

The following deductions will not be applicable to the determination of net income under the Advisory Guidelines:

  • RESP, RDSP and RRSP contributions
  • Pension plan and savings plan contributions
  • Employee stock purchase plans
  • Garnishments, repayment of loans and advances
  • Gym, health club and social club memberships

2.3 Other Information

The Advisory Guidelines software will require additional information about child support and the children’s special expenses for the purposes of the with child support formulas. Information about the amount of the payor’s support obligations from previous relationships, if any, is required for the prior support obligations exception to both the with child support and the without child support formulas.

2.3.1 Provinces of Residence

The information required is the province of residence of each party, determined in the same manner as the applicable table is determined under the Child Support Guidelines. CSG s. 3(3)

This information is required to determine the provincial tax rates, benefits and credits available to each party and set the child support tables applicable to each party.

2.3.2 Net Amount of Children’s Special Expenses

The information required is the net cost of those of the children’s expenses which qualify as “special and/or extraordinary expenses” within the meaning of ss. 7(1) and (1.1) of the Child Support Guidelines,[37] after any subsidies and third party contributions have been applied to reduce the out-of-pocket cost of the expenses to the parties. CSG s. 7(3)

Although parents are presumptively required to contribute to the net cost of qualifying special expenses in proportion to their incomes, they can share the expense in another manner, usually by agreement. The parents’ actual contributions to the special expenses of the children of the marriage are deducted from their incomes in the calculation of individual net disposable income under the Advisory Guidelines with child support formula. CSG s. 7(2); SSAG §8.3.1

NOTE: Counsel must be aware how the Advisory Guidelines software apportions the cost of children’s special expenses and ensure that the software is set to reflect the parents’ actual contribution to those expenses.

NOTE: The proper accounting of the parties’ contributions to any special expenses is critical to the calculation of quantum under the Advisory Guidelines and is often overlooked.

2.3.3 Children’s Residential Arrangements

The information required is the primary residence of each of the children of the marriage as between the parties.

The children’s individual residential arrangements are relevant to determine:

  1. which party pays child support to whom and in what amount;
  2. the child-related tax deductions, benefits and credits each party may be eligible to receive; and,
  3. whether the parties have shared custody of the children, within the meaning of s. 9 of the Child Support Guidelines, or split custody, within in the meaning of s. 8 of the Guidelines.

2.3.4    Amount of Child Support

The information required is the actual amount of child support paid where the amount departs from the amount specified in the Child Support Guidelines tables. The Advisory Guidelines software will deduct the table amount of child support from both parties’ incomes in determining individual net disposable income. SSAG §8.3

NOTE: In cases involving step-parents, the table amount of child support will be deducted in the determination of individual net disposable income, even where the amount actually paid is less than the table amount. SSAG §6.3

The amount of child support payable under the Child Support Guidelines is presumed to be the amount set out in the child support tables for the number of eligible children at the payor’s income, subject to a small number of exceptions: where a child is over the age of majority; the payor earns more than $150,000 per year; the payor is a step-parent to a child of the marriage; or, the payment of the table amount would cause undue hardship for either the payor or recipient. CSG ss. 3, 4, 5, 10; DA s. 15.1(3)

Where the parties have split custody, the Child Support Guidelines require a departure from the tables, calculated as a set-off between the parties’ respective table amounts. Where the parties have shared custody, the Guidelines allow a departure from the table amounts with proof that the payor is incurring increased costs as a result of the custodial arrangement.[38] Child support may also be payable in a different amount if an order or agreement makes special provisions that directly or indirectly benefit the children such that payment of the table amount would be inequitable. Csg ss. 8, 9; DA s. 15.1(5)

2.3.5 Support Paid for Prior Relationships

The information required is:

  1. the total amount of child support paid by the payor in relation to previous relationships; and,
  2. the total amount of spousal support paid by the payor in relation to previous relationships

This information is required to adjust the payor’s income for the purposes of the Advisory Guidelines prior support obligations exception. SSAG §12.3

NOTE: It is important to distinguish between prior child support and prior spousal support obligations in order to capture the different tax treatment of each for the purposes of the without child support formula.

NOTE: The prior support obligations exception also applies where the payor has a child of a prior relationship not qualifying as a “child of the marriage” in his or her care following separation. In such situations, the information required is the payor’s notional child support obligation in respect of that child, namely the table amount of child support plus the amount of any special expenses, which will be applied to reduce the payor’s income. SSAG §12.3.3

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