Amended Federal Child Support Guidelines

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Justice Canada has amended the Federal Child Support Guidelines to update the child support tables. The Federal Child Support Guidelines are used when determining child support in relation to a Divorce Act matter.

Nova Scotia regulations provide that the federal child support tables are adopted as provincial child maintenance tables. This means that when the federal child support tables are updated, so are the tables in the Nova Scotia Child Maintenance Guidelines, which are used when applying provincial laws like the Maintenance and Custody Act.

The changes came into force on December 31st, 2011.

Why were the tables updated?

During the regular review of the child support tables by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, it was agreed that the tables needed to be updated to reflect parents= current ability to pay child support. The tables were last updated in 2006, and before that, in 1997. Because of differing tax rules, each province has its own tables.

How were the tables updated?

A mathematical formula was used to calculate parents= ability to pay child support, and therefore determine the tables. This formula takes into account parents' incomes, the number of children being supported, and basic federal, provincial and territorial taxes that parents must pay. It also takes into account the average amount that Canadians at various income levels spend to raise a child. Economic research on family spending shows that there is no single fixed cost of raising a child. In general, families of similar size and income spend the same proportion of their after-tax income on children. 

How does this affect me?

It's important to note that the updated tables will not automatically change child support amounts set out in an existing order or agreement.

You can find more information about the Simplified Child Support Tables here