Glossary

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A

Additional expenses

See Special or extraordinary expenses.

Anniversary date

The anniversary, in any year, of the date on which a child support order was made. For example, if a court order was granted May 5, 1999, its anniversary date is May 5 each year.

Some orders granted before January 1, 2010 may have a different anniversary date if they directed child support to be recalculated each year.

C

Child support guidelines

The federal Divorce Act and Alberta Family Law Act set out guidelines for the amount of child support a payor must pay.

Under section 7 of the guidelines, child support can include:

  • a table amount
  • an amount or share payable for special or extraordinary expenses

Child support guidelines tables

See Table amount.

Child support order

An order granted in Canada requiring a payor to make payments to a recipient for the support or maintenance of children.

Clients

Payors and recipients who are registered with the Child Support Recalculation Program.

D

Decision

See Recalculation decision.

Deemed income increase

An increase that applies to a parent's last determined income if that parent does not provide us with their updated income information.

The amount of the deemed income increase will be whichever is higher:

  • setting the person's income at $31,200
  • increasing the person's last determined income by 10 to 25%

E

Effective date

The date that something has legal effect. The effective date of a recalculation decision is listed on the first page of the decision. It becomes effective after the 30-day objection period expires.

Clients are deemed to have received their recalculation decisions 7 days after we mail them.

Eligible child support order

A child support order that is eligible to be registered with the Child Support Recalculation Program. Eligibility criteria are set out in regulations under the Family Law Act.

G

Guideline income

The income of a parent that is used to determine the amount of child support.

I

Imputed income

Income that a court can attribute (‘impute’) to a parent, as described in section 19 of the child support guidelines.

Cases where the courts commonly impute income include either:

  • when a parent has not provided documentation to prove their income
  • where the court feels the documentation provided does not show the full income the parent is capable of earning

Income information

Documents the client must provide so we can determine their guideline income.

Payors in all cases must supply income information, while recipients must provide it only if we are recalculating either:

  • proportionate shares of special or extraordinary expenses
  • table amounts in shared or split custody situations

Income support

Financial benefits (social assistance) provided by Community and Social Services.

N

Notice of objection

Clients objecting to a recalculation decision are required to notify us immediately.

O

Objection

A court application to vary, suspend or terminate a child support order brought by a payor or recipient to stop their recalculation decision from becoming effective.

P

Payor

The person named in the child support order who must pay child support.

Proportionate shares

The proportionate shares of special or extraordinary expenses a parent may be required to pay pursuant to section 7 of the child support guidelines.

R

Recalculation decision

A legal document issued by us that:

  • sets out the parents’ recalculated guideline incomes
  • advises the parents of any recalculated amount of:
    • child support
    • proportionate shares of special or extraordinary expenses

We send the recalculation decision to both the payor and the recipient and file it in court.

Recipient

The person named in the child support order who is entitled to receive child support payments.

Registration

The process a client must follow to open a file with us to have their child support order recalculated.

RIO

Recalculation Info Online (RIO) is our internet account system, which allows clients to access their file-specific information seven days a week.

S

Section 7 expenses

See Special or extraordinary expenses.

Self-employment

A person whose earnings primarily come from a sole proprietorship, partnership or involvement in a private corporation.

Shared or split custody (parenting)

Shared custody is when parents share custody of one or more children, with the children living at least 40% of the time with each parent. In split custody situations, some children may live with one parent while other children live with the other parent.

Special or extraordinary expenses

In addition to the table amount of support payable under child support guidelines, the court can order the payment of special or extraordinary expenses.

These expenses may be for:

  • education
  • medical
  • dental
  • vision (including eye glasses)
  • other health care
  • childcare
  • extracurricular activities

Special or extraordinary expenses are sometimes referred to in court orders as ‘additional expenses’ or ‘section 7 expenses’.

T

Table amount

The amount of monthly child support a payor must pay according to the tables in the child support guidelines. The table amount is based on the payor's guideline income and the number of children being supported.

V

Variation application

A court application asking for a child support order to be changed (varied), suspended or terminated.

W

Waiver

A written agreement signed by the payor and the recipient asking us to waive / skip a recalculation in any year.

Withdrawal

A request from a client asking to close their recalculation file. Only the parent who originally registered can ask to withdraw. If both parents registered, then both must sign withdrawals before the file will be closed.