Must-have information about Unemployment and Child Support in Alberta

After you’ve completed your divorce, you will settle into your new lifestyle where your children will usually live with you or the other parent most of the time. If they’re living with you, it’s likely the other parent will have to pay child support, which helps with the children’s daily living expenses.

Changes in employment for the parent who is paying support will also change how much is being paid.

Receiving Child Support When The Payor Goes On Unemployment And Receives Employment Insurance Benefits

If your children are living with you and the other parent who is paying child support becomes unemployed, they will likely receive Employment Insurance benefits. They are still obligated to support their children and will have to pay a specific amount, which is based on their reduced income. While this change in work status will significantly drop the amount of child support being paid, it can still be close to $2000 per month.

What Happens To Child Support Payments When The Payor Loses Their Job?

The amount for child support payments is determined by the payor’s income and the number of children they are responsible for. If they lose their job and the amount of income drops, they are still obligated to make payments, which are based on any new income they receive.

If payments are made through the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) it’s important for the payor (or a family lawyer working on their behalf) to contact MEP as soon as possible. This will help stop any license suspensions or garnishments. It is also important to address a child support order if one is in place and have it changed when needed. If the parent obligated to pay child support finds new employment, their payments will be resumed at a revised amount, which is based on the new income.

How To Calculate Child Support When You Are Unemployed

If you’re making child support payments and become unemployed, your new payment amount will be based on your “Guideline Income,” which is usually line 150, Total Income, on your yearly tax returns.

To calculate child support after losing employment:

  • Step 1: determine your current year to date income from your previous employer
  • Step 2: take that figure and add it to the amount you expect to earn for the rest of the year based on your Employment Insurance benefits

This provides your anticipated Guideline Income, which you can use to determine the amount of child support you’ll be paying for the rest of the year for both Section 3 and Section 7 child support.

Compare those amounts to what you’ve already paid to determine the amount your payments will be until the end of the year.

For More Information On Child Support In Alberta

There are usually many questions that need to be answered after a divorce or separation occurs involving children and the payment of child support. While the topics covered in this article will give you a good start, you may need to find more information on child support in Alberta.

Contact Capital City Law and ask for an experienced divorce lawyer who is used to handling situations where a parent who is paying child support receives a reduced income.  We’ll provide you with assistance on topics such as how to calculate child support or answer any other questions you may have.

Get started now by calling our office at (780) 462-4321 or submit an online inquiry.

photo of an unemployed man in a coffee shop, looking over his job application to secure a new job to continue paying child support for his children

Are You Unemployed and have Questions about Child Support?

For more information on Employment Insurance and Child Support, contact Capital City Law today, and speak with one of our divorce lawyers experienced in Child Support matters.

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