Child Support in Alberta


Child support by definition is ???Periodic money payments payable by a non-custodial parent, to the custodial parent, for the care of his or her child??? (DuHaime.Org.). The parent that does not have the child living with them is therefore still equally responsible for the care and well being of this child. If either of parents is or has spent time incarcerated why would they not be responsible for that child even when in prison The child does not stop needing, growing or eating. The parent that has spent time in jail or is incarcerated waiting for sentencing does not make any money and child support payments cease. The parent that does not have to pay restitution while incarcerated as this is their void in time from child support. There are also parents that choose to be incarcerated rather than pay child support and the justice system as a last resort incarcerates the parent for lack of payment. There are also parents that are released from jail and return to the same job as they had left prior to incarceration and show that they are making less money as before incarceration. Paying for your child(ren) is not an option to be turned on or off as the parent sees to pay child support randomly. The child(ren) needs are everyday, day in and day out, without prejudice whether the parent is incarcerated or not.
In Canada an inmate makes $6.90 per day (prison Weekly wage $34.50 and if calculated out yearly which can be the case for 365 days is $2518.50. The minimum yearly wage for a parent to pay child support is $8000.00 per year (Federal Child Support simplified Tables 2010) and shows the amount that the parent would be obligated to pay $1.00 per month to the parent that has majority of custody. The custodial parent will receive $1.00 a month. A child that only needs $1.00 is a crisis in itself. The custodian parent then has to still feed, clothe, and school the same child that received $1.00 a month from the non-custodial parent. The incarcerated parent that is in jail receives 3 meals a day and knows those meals will be there without any doubt. Depending on the length of time in jail they can take courses and do jobs in jail for a very small wage as well as time in ???the yard??? for fresh air. The child of this incarcerated parent may or may not know where the next meal is coming from, if living in a shelter the fresh air is available but not at the child??™s convenience. This custodial parent still must maintain the responsibility for making the best life they can for this child.
Being incarcerated unable to make child support arrears held off and current child support cease while in jail. He/she does not pay child support goes to jail and tries to play on the system. In the case of Haisman v. Haisman, where he had been incarcerated for short periods, incarceration had no bearing on his justification to have a reduction or elimination of child support arrears.???The Director takes the position that the Applicant should not be allowed to have his arrears varied or reduced based upon a lack of income when the reason for his lack of income was his incarceration??? (Bernard v. Bernard). The judgement for a payor to go to jail for child payment arrears is 30-90 days on the norm. Reason being is how can this rectify the situation of the payor is in jail and absolutely cannot find employment to clear some of child support debts.
When the parent is released from incarceration and returns to the previous job the pay cut that is shown in order to have child support payments decreased. In the case (Cranv.Huynh) Huynh returned to the same job working for his mother in retail in 2006 showed earnings at $32,400.00 and in 2007 earning showed $27,000.00 assessed by Revenue Canada. The decrease was unknown for the same job he had before incarceration. Lowering the pay the payor was trying to have his child support payments lowered. There is also the case where the parent that is the payor has remarried and is babysitting his three new children and would like to pay child support but cannot as I do not have an income. The same respondent also said that he would like to pay child support but has chosen to work for a company that pays $1.00 a year (M.M.W v.P.J.WYKSC). He went onto say that his friends and family had supported him in the past, the judge retaliated with asking why he did not ask his friends and family to help with the child support of ???C.???. When reading these cases I wonder do the parents stop to think about how this could affect the emotional state of these children if they were to listen to the lunacy that parents will go to, to not pay for the child they born.

Parents that have been incarcerated and unable to make child support payments or the arrears owing, from reading through several of cases the respondents are arguing that because they were in jail and made no money that they should not have to pay child support. The child support should start again when they can obtain work. These parents think it is like a fresh start, and all previous commitments should be wiped away. A parent that is released from incarceration still has an obligation to pay child support. A respondent was in jail for several months, despite this, he is still responsible for financial support to his child and would be ???a perverse result if a person could avoid his/her legal obligation to children by committing a crime and going to jail??? stated by Judge D. M. Cooper (Cranv.Huynh).

There is a realization that if a parent does have an income in prison, has no means to pay child support is a reality. The parent that spends time in and out of jail or has only spent one time incarcerated have a very difficult time augmenting money for themselves let alone someone else. There are some parents that are in for lifetime sentences and will not be able to maintain child support ever and rarely the other parent even goes to the court to commence payments. Most parents that are incarcerated short term sentencing do have jobs or are able to find jobs when released are able to make the minimum $ 8100.00 a year to comply with $1.00 a month payment.

Recognizing that an undue hardship can happen to a payor, this refers to the situation that occurs when child support payments cause serious financial difficulties to the payor (Childsupportlaws). The judge has two ways to consider how bad the hardship is for the payor. The payor will have to prove that he/she actually has a case and can show the difficulties paying and supporting the child. The other is comparing the two households??™ this can be complicated to the standard of living. Each household has to show incomes of every member of the households to determine if one household is more in hardship than the other. If the parent that has custody of the child and should enter into a new relationship why would this now be the burden of the new partner to cover the non-custodial parent??™s part, that the payor is responsible for Obviously, the new partner would know that the child is a part of the relationship if they have moved their relationship to the level that they are living together, but child support should be between the two parents that created the child. This is not the responsibility of the new partner to now have created a debt unless stated in the child support agreement as a stipulation if the parent that has custody parent situation changes. This should not be a way out for the payor to create a way to terminate his/her support payments.

All parents need to be accountable for their child/children. Child support charts of payment for the current year 2010 are straight across the board (Justice). There is no misconception on how much is needed to be paid to the parent that maintains the upbringing the child on full time basis. The dollar amount is irrelevant it is the principle that both parents must be accountable for the child. ???At the end of the day, it??™s about the well-being and quality of life of the child,??? (Minister).

Works Cited

Bernard v. Bernard, 2008 ABQB 190. “CanlII Database.” 25 August 2003. 9 April 2008 . 2003-2008. 2008 .
Cranv.Huynh. “Erin Cran v. Long Hai Huynh.” 18 April 2008. CanLII databases. 29 Septmeber 2008 .
DuHaime.Org. Legal Definition. .
Justice, Department of Canada. Federal Child Support Amounts: Simplified Tables. 7 December 2010. Government of Canada. .
M.M.W v.P.J.WYKSC, . “CAnLii Database.” 24 September 2002. 14 August 2009 .
Minister, Redford Alison Justice. “Deadbeat parents targeted by province.” Calgary Sun (2009): 1.
Prison Juristat, Statistics Canada. August 2007. 15 Decemember 2010 .