This page is for parents who have already registered with the Child Support Recalculation Program. If you are not registered, see the Overview page to get started.
Recalculation decisions are based on the anniversary date of the order being recalculated. This is the case even when the child support order directs a different date for recalculation to occur.
Recalculation decisions take effect about one month after they are issued by the program.
After reviewing the payor’s income information – and the recipient’s in some cases – we send both parents a written recalculation decision.
The recipient’s income information will be reviewed if we recalculate either:
- proportionate shares of special or extraordinary expenses
- monthly support in shared or split custody (parenting) situations
Each parent is charged a $77 service fee for each recalculation that changes their child support amount.
What a recalculation decision states
- the parents’ new guideline incomes, if different
- whether the recalculated guideline income was based on income disclosure or a deemed income increase
- the new monthly child support payment amount (especially the table amount)
- use the Child Support Online Lookup tool to find the table amount of support for your guideline income
- the new proportionate shares of special or extraordinary expenses (if applicable)
- when the first payment of the recalculated amount is due
- the effective date of the recalculation decision
- the deadline for the parents to object to the recalculation decision
Amount payable changes
If our calculations show a difference of at least $10 per month in child support (or at least 10% in proportionate shares), the recalculation decision changes the amount of child support payable in the parents’ court order.
Amount payable stays the same
If our calculations show only a minor difference in child support (less than $10 per month or less than a 10% change in proportionate shares), the recalculation decision explains that child support under the existing order is not changing.
Your responsibilities and rights
Parents are responsible for paying the new amounts stated in the decision unless an objection is made within 30 days after the recalculation decision is received. The objection deadline is stated on the first page of the recalculation decision.
Either parent can object to a recalculation decision. To find out more, see the Know your rights page.
A parent cannot ask us to recalculate at different times or to respond immediately to income changes. To find out more, see the Changes to income section below.
Objecting to a decision
If you do not agree with a recalculation decision, you have the right to object to the recalculated child support amount within 30 days of being notified of the decision.
To object, either parent must follow these steps:
- Apply to the court to vary, suspend or terminate your child support order:
- include a copy of the recalculation decision
- in the application (or claim), you must say why you do not agree with the recalculation decision
- Submit the documents to the Child Support Recalculation Program:
- filled-out Notice of Objection to Recalculation Decision form (PDF, 150 KB)
- copy of your filed court application
- copy of your affidavit/statement
In some cases, a parent must complete a course or meeting (called a mandatory prerequisite) before filing a court application. In these cases, the parent’s objection to a recalculation decision is still valid if the prerequisite is scheduled before the objection deadline stated in the decision. Additional steps may also be required.
Common types of mandatory prerequisites can include the following:
- Child Support Resolution (CSR) meeting
- intake meeting
- case management meeting
- attend Family Docket Court
- mediation session
- Parenting After Separation (PAS) course
For specific instructions about what you must do within the objection period for each prerequisite, contact us.
Payors must supply their income information each year.
Recipients must provide their income information only if we are recalculating either:
- proportionate shares of special or extraordinary expenses
- table amounts in shared or split custody situations
At least 60 days before the anniversary date of the child support order, payors – and recipients if necessary – must provide us with a:
- copy of their Personal Income Tax Return (PDF, 286 KB) filed for the most recent taxation year (previous calendar year ending December 31)
- copy of every Notice of Assessment or Reassessment (PDF, 73 KB) received by the recipient from Revenue Canada for the most recent taxation year
- completed Income Questionnaire (PDF, 125 KB), which allows us to determine if the parent is involved with a private corporation
If either parent’s notice of assessment for the previous calendar year is not available, the payor can submit tax return documents for the year before the previous calendar year. However, they can only do this if the income information due date is before June 30.
About a month before it is due, we will send both parents a courtesy reminder to send their income information. It is each parent’s responsibility to ensure their income information reaches us on time, even if they do not receive the reminder.
If income information is not provided
If either parent does not provide us with income information on time, we may complete a ‘deemed income increase.’ This is when we do a recalculation of the parent's income, based on whichever is higher:
- increasing the parent's income by 10% to 25%
- considering the parent's income to be $31,200
The percentage of the increase depends on how much time has passed since the parents’ last court order or recalculation decision. The longer it has been, the higher the deemed income increase will be.
To find out more, see the Deemed Income Increase information sheet (PDF, 196 KB).
Changes to contact information
Both parents must provide us with their current contact information – within 30 days of it changing. You can submit this securely through Recalculation Info Online (RIO).
If one parent’s contact information changes, the other parent is encouraged to inform us.
Recalculation decisions and other notices will be sent to each parent’s last known address and will be legally considered to have been received.
Changes to child support
Both parents must:
- promptly provide us with copies of any court orders granted that change or confirm their child support
- keep us informed of any ongoing court applications regarding their child support amounts by providing us with copies of all application documents
Changes to income
The program works on an annual schedule for recalculations and looks at the parents’ incomes over a whole year, rather than at one point in time. This means we do not:
- recalculate immediately on the request of a parent
- consider these types of documents as proof of income:
- Employment Insurance slips
- letters from employers
- pay stubs
Example: If a payor receives a large pay cutback, we will not immediately change the child support payable. Rather, our recalculation of child support will take this decrease into account the following year, after it appears on the payor’s income tax return.
Changing your child support right now
If you need to change your child support right now, you must either:
- go back to court
- get a consent order through negotiation or mediation with the other parent
For help with this:
- see the ‘Changing a court order’ topic in the ‘Making payments, changes and penalties’ section on the MEP – Making and receiving payments page
- provides information on how to go back to court
- see the Support in preparing court forms page to get help with the forms needed to file a court application
- see a lawyer to help you go to court and get the child support amount changed now
- get legal assistance
New court order
When getting your new court order, we recommend that you:
- use the eligibility criteria as a reference
- include a standard recalculation clause that allows the order to be recalculated
This way the order will be eligible to recalculate in the future.
To find out more, see these sections on the Eligibility page:
- Recalculation clauses in court orders
Withdrawing from the program
The parent who registered with the program can also choose to withdraw from the program. To do this, you must fill out and submit a Withdrawal form (PDF, 122 KB) – at least 60 days before the anniversary date of your court order.
After a parent withdraws from the program, the other parent is notified of the withdrawal. Recalculation will continue if the other parent then registers with the program.
If the withdrawal is received late, the file may be closed only after the current recalculation is completed.
Either parent can ask us to not recalculate for any given year, with agreement from the other parent. To do this, you must fill out and submit a Waive Recalculation form (PDF, 122 KB) – at least 60 days before the anniversary date of your court order.
We will apply appropriate legislation and regulations to recalculate child support in an unbiased manner. We cannot weigh evidence, exercise discretion or consider special circumstances like a court can.
Some situations, such as those involving significant self-employment or private corporation involvement by either parent, may need to be handled by a court.
Unlike the court dealing with a parent’s request for a variation order, we do not deal with:
- retroactive child support
- maintenance arrears
- deciding if a child is still eligible for support
- the entitlement to special or extraordinary expenses
- changes other than income (such as a child no longer being dependent or moving to live with the other parent, or changes in the nature of special or additional expenses being incurred)
- relief other than child support (for example, parenting time, property)
- evidence of income – other than the type of income information we require
- enforcement of child support (this is handled by the Maintenance Enforcement Program [MEP])
- in some cases, MEP may be able to address some changes in child eligibility or special expenses through their policies on reducing enforcement
- this would only apply to parents who are registered with MEP
We cannot go back and adjust child support amounts owed for previous years (known as ‘retroactive adjustments’).
One of the goals of our program is to do regular child support recalculations so neither parent suffers the economic hardship a retroactive child support change can sometimes cause.
If you believe you have overpaid support in the past or that you were entitled to receive more support in the past, consider negotiation or mediation with the other parent – or bringing a court application if this is not successful.
Was this page helpful?
Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca. If you require a response, please go to our Contact page.
You will not receive a reply. Submissions that include telephone numbers, addresses, or emails will be removed.