What Happens to the Needs of Children During a Divorce or a Separation?
When there is a separation of divorce where children are involved, often financial issues arise and cause disputes between the parents.
Support payments, payable by one parent to another, are based on the gross income of both parents. Alimony is also payable for all types of custody if there is a difference in parental income. Even parents who are not married are affected by this obligation to support the child, as stipulated in article 522 of the Quebec Civil Code: “All children whose affiliation is established have the same rights and the same obligations, whatever the circumstances of their birth.”
Child support can be determined according to the federal child support guidelines, depending on where parents live.
According to the federal guidelines, only the payer’s income is used to establish support and the amount varies according to the number of children and the payer’s province. If the payer no longer resides in Canada, then it is in the province where the child and the support creditor reside. Since divorce is a federal jurisdiction, federal guidelines apply only if the parents are married or if they are already divorced and possibly under review.
For provincial guidelines, it is the two incomes and the number of children who determine child support. These guidelines are enforceable when both parents reside in different provinces or countries and were never married.
The payment of support may be paid directly to the Minister of Revenue of Quebec, just as the debtor may be exempted from this rule provided for in the Act to facilitate the payment of support payments, but a judgment must confirm this exemption.
The basic amount for the support payment includes basic expenses for children such as:
- Communication services;
- Upkeep of the residence;
- Personal care;
- Transportation; and
There are also particular and special expenses for the children that could be assumed by the parents for the children’s well-being.
These particular expenses must be necessary and reasonable in terms of cost, age and needs.
- Specific courses (tutoring);
- Medical expenses not covered by the Quebec Health Insurance;
- Private school if the parents are in agreement or if it is necessary for the child’s special condition;
- Fess for special programs at elementary and secondary levels or a boarding school;
- fees for extra-curricular activities (Note: extra-curricular expenses in excess of the amount allocated to these activities Normally, fees for extra-curricular activities are included in the basic child support. be vigilant and not automatically assume that these expenses will be covered simply because it is an extra-curricular activity. Fees such as piano lessons or violin lessons can be considered as a special or particular expense for a family but not for another); and
- day camps during the summer break.
If a parent is not in agreement with a payment, the Court can intervene. However, the Court may conclude that the particular expense is not required for the needs of the child.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions concerning the alimentary pension and special and particular expenses for your child at 514-499-2010.