Common Questions for Paying Child Support in Alberta

Going through a divorce means a variety of arrangements that you would have to participate in during and after the legal agreement. One of the most important issues that you will be faced with is the issue of child support.

In Alberta, many regulations will determine how much of the family income will be spent on the child after the divorce when applicable. Apart from many emotions being thrown into the mix, there’s also the subject of law and finance-related questions that come into play with it.

When it’s all too overwhelming, it’s best to seek a capable divorce financial planner who can handle all of your queries and enlighten you about your situation. To get you started and informed, here are some of the most common questions that will initially come to mind when getting involved and paying child support in Alberta:

How Is Child Support Calculated in Alberta?

Child support will be calculated by using a formula called the Alberta Child Support Guidelines. This formula is similar to the Federal Child Support Guidelines, with more suitable provisions for this province of Canada.

The formula is based on two parents’ incomes and the time spent with the child. Whatever type of custody each parent is handling may also come into play to figure out how the child support will be calculated.

When Does Paying for Child Support End?

The timeline for paying child support is the most common and controversial question. In general, child support will last until the child reaches the age of 18 or 21. The end of child support will be determined by the age of the majority of the province.

There are exceptions to this rule, especially if the child is unduly prevented from having a stable childhood or cannot live on their own. Allow your divorce financial planner to shed some light on the particularities of your situation.

Can Child Support Terms Be Changed?

Many factors could alter a child support agreement. For example, the court can adjust the terms of the original child support agreement if there are significant changes in the ability of the parents to pay for the support or the needs of the child.

Changes can also come into play if the custody arrangement is altered. If the child support agreement is made by both parents as it applies to the child support after a divorce, then the parents must sign and notarize the new documents.

Is Child Support Used for University?

In cases when the child has enrolled in postsecondary education, the province of Alberta may allow the parent to stop paying child support. The child must prove that they are capable of self-support to stop paying child support. However, there are clear provisions that may include child support in the full or partial funding of the studies to consider as well.

Is Child Support Taxed at All?

Child support payments are technically exempt from taxes, regardless of whether a parent pays child support. This is because whatever portion is taxed can be is tax-deductible when paid instead. When paying for the support, the net income should be used in the calculation. Seek guidance from your professional divorce financial planner to get your taxes in order.


Some laws in different Canadian provinces are very specific regarding divorce and child support. If you are facing this difficult situation in Alberta, seek a qualified professional to help you with the process.

Looking for a divorce financial planner in Calgary? Alberta Divorce Finances helps you understand your finances while offering divorce finance services. Contact us today.