Child Support Recalculation Program – Overview

The program recalculates court-ordered child support based on parents’ current income tax information.


Recipients and payors

The recipient of support is someone who gets child support payments.

The payor of support is someone who pays child support.

The Child Support Recalculation Program helps parents with child support orders meet their legal obligations to update the child support they pay based on their income.

We annually recalculate child support based on the parents’ current income tax information. Our goal is to help parents keep child support levels in line with their income, so that families can avoid the time and expense of asking the courts to review their child support orders.

Payors must provide us with their income information each year.

We can recalculate both:

  • table (monthly) amounts of child support, where a payor must pay according to the tables in the Child Support Guidelines
  • proportionate shares of special or extraordinary expenses, sometimes referred to in court orders as ‘additional expenses’ or ‘section 7 expenses’
    • examples include expenses for education, medical, dental and vision (including eye glasses)

We only consider changes in guideline income, as shown in both parents’ income tax returns. This can result in:

  • a new amount of support being payable
  • updated proportional shares of special or extraordinary expenses

No other terms of the existing court order are affected.

We only recalculate child support on a go-forward basis. We do not:

  • help parents get a child support order or agreement
  • reduce or award arrears
  • provide retroactive child support

Court and Justice Services can provide you with information about resolving legal disputes.


Either parent can register for the program.

Once registered:

  1. Payors must provide us with their income information each year.
    • Recipients also must provide their income information in either of these situations:
      • we are recalculating proportionate shares of special expenses
      • the recipient’s income was used to set the table amount of support in shared or split parenting situations
  1. We issue a recalculation decision that contains the new child support amounts.
    • By law, the recalculated child support amounts must be paid as if they were stated in the original order.
  2. Your file will be assessed for recalculation every year, about 3 months before the anniversary date of your court order.

To register, first see if you are eligible.

Self-employment income

We can recalculate in some, but not all, cases when income information shows a parent is self-employed or involved in a private corporation.

A parent who is self-employed will have their income reviewed differently by the court when their child support amount is calculated. Since these reviews involve investigation and discretion, they are generally outside the scope of what our program can offer.

We can do a recalculation in cases where:

  • the self-employment income is minimal (20% or less of the self-employed parent’s total income from other sources)
  • business expenses from a sole proprietorship are 20% or less of the gross business income
  • the self-employment income shown benefits the parent who is not self-employed (such as when the payor’s self-employment income will result in an increase in child support, or the recipient’s self-employment income will result in a decrease to the payor’s child support)

If the income of the self-employed parent decreases, we will ask for consent from the other parent before proceeding with the recalculation. If the parent does not consent, we will abandon the recalculation.


Our program allows parents to have their eligible child support orders regularly recalculated to reflect changes in their earnings, as shown by their income tax returns.

Once you are registered, the program:

  • offers an easy and inexpensive way for both parents to fulfil their legal obligation to ensure the child support their children receive matches the parents’ incomes
  • provides annual changes to child support amounts that correspond to either increases (for example, raises) or decreases (for example, cutbacks, job loss) in income
  • ensures accessibility no matter where in Alberta the parents live
  • does not require either parent to attend court or go to a government office
  • provides certainty, predictability and transparency in the method of recalculation

While registered with the program, both parents still have the right, at any time, to apply to the court to vary their child support.


Each parent is charged a $77 service fee for each recalculation that changes their child support amount, even if they do not agree with the program’s decision.

The service fee must be paid by cheque, money order or bank draft and must include their program file number.

Service fees can be mailed to:

Child Support Recalculation Program
8th Floor, John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7

Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) clients

If you are already registered with the MEP program, your service fee will automatically be applied to your MEP file.


The program’s authority to recalculate child support comes from the: