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What Were They Thinking........

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  • What Were They Thinking........

    Recently a post requested what exactly did CS cover. Below is an excerpt from a research report on The Child Support Guidelines of 1997.
    I do not know if this still holds true for the revised guidelines

    This is purely FYI.........

    Support and Standards of Living
    While the costs of children are an important factor in determining support, they are just one factor, since the goal of these guidelines is not to provide the non-custodial parent's share of the costs of raising children, as commonly thought. Rather, the guidelines aim to equalize the living standard of the households of the custodial and non-custodial parents after divorce, providing both spousal and child support, under the auspices of child support. In January 1995, the Department of Justice produced prototypes of child support guidelines pursuant to the principle of the equal standards of living for both former spouses. Three key assumptions underlay these prototypes: that the Statistics Canada
    40/30 scale represents the cost of children; that both spouses have the same income after divorce; and that the non-custodial parent has the same costs or needs as a single person.
    None of these assumptions are correct. First, as has been shown above, the Statistics
    Canada 40/30 scale almost certainly overestimates the cost of children. Secondly, spouses rarely have the same income after divorce.62 Both sexes, if not remarried, experience large declines in household income, with women faring considerably worse than men.63 However, remarried spouses of both sexes have increased household incomes after divorce.64 And thirdly, as previously discussed, non-custodial parents have costs or needs more closely approximating the custodial parent than a single person. Thus none of the assumptions of the guidelines were based on fact. Despite these problems with assumptions, the proposed guidelines estimated support amounts needed to equalize standards of living based on the following conceptual equation:65

    For example, using a gross income of $50,000 for the father, which by assumption is also the income of the mother, one child, custody to the mother, the Statistics Canada 40/30 scale as a measure of the needs of the mother and a single person as a measure of the needs of the father, we get the following:66

    If the taxes of both the father and mother can be calculated, this equation can be solved for the amount of child support using only the income of the non-custodial parent. The term "child support" here would be more properly called child and spousal support, or just plain support, since the money, according to the theory underlying the guidelines, is for equalizing the standard of living of the two households. Equalizing the standard of living involves both the spouse and the children. Indeed, the lion's share of the support payment would theoretically be for spousal support, since the needs of the adult exceed that of the child or children, except in large families.

    The Canadian child support guidelines were developed with the goal of increasing the amounts of support awards, because of social science evidence that much of women's and children's poverty was the result of low support awards upon divorce. This clearly defined problem had an unambiguous solution: increased amounts of child support. Unfortunately, the research findings supporting this paradigm were flawed and likely caused the overlooking of important research findings during the development of the guidelines. In particular, the developers of the child support guidelines disregarded the fact that the system in place prior to the guidelines, whereby judges awarded support, was on the whole satisfactory to the protagonists and produced reasonable economic outcomes for divorced families. The guidelines, as implemented, contain not only child support, but spousal support and overestimate expenditures on children. None of the key assumptions that underlie the new support formulas are based on fact. The Canadian Child Support Guidelines produce too many inequitable situations and do not provide a practical way for these inequities to be corrected. In addition, they unfairly target the poor and working classes, in an attempt to circumvent the progressive taxation system.

    The system does not respond easily to changes in circumstance, and issues like the desirability of a parental relation are ignored. While support awards may not be a major cause of women's and children's poverty, the problem of poverty remains a serious one. Too many Canadians and especially too many Canadian children are poor. However, the solution to this problem does not, in all probability, lie with child support. Future research should target tactics more likely to succeed.

    What Were They Thinking?
    The Development of Child Support Guidelines in Canada.
    Paul Millar
    University of Calgary
    Anne H. Gauthier
    University of Calgary
    Copyright © Paul Millar and Anne Gauthier 2000

  • #2

    The revised 2006 child support guidelines amounts were basically increased to factor in federal income tax bracket creep and further with some province's individuals personal provincial income tax decreased leaving more after tax dollars to to the NCP. There has always been a built in cost of living consideration with the tables as the more one makes, the more they pay.



    • #3
      Originally posted by logicalvelocity
      There has always been a built in cost of living consideration with the tables as the more one makes, the more they pay.


      Never would have expected that, (insert sarcasm here).
      So basically the flaws are stilll all there.

      No disrespect to you LV, I was just offering FYI to members about what was in the development of the CS guidelines as it seems to be a topic of question in a few cases. Wish I could find the report for the implimentation of the new tables as well. But I guess that too will not be available to the average person (the actual payors) for quite some time.


      • #4
        I have read that report. And yes, it makes my blood boil. There are several other reports showing as access increase, the paying parents SOL drops rapidly. The best situation for the recipient is to have 62% access... thus giving no break to the paying parent (if they win their court battle). Just notice how many access orders are around 30-35%. It is disgusting.

        Yes FL these findings still hold true to the revised (increased) table amounts. The amounts went up. Otherwise the guidelines didn;t chaneg (oh, they attempted to clarify section 7... but that benefits the payer... so it is not followed).


        • #5

          Yeah I think that article would still apply. The amounts in the tables increased to reflect lower payable personal taxes of the NCP.

          I believe the other thing that changed with the 2006 guidelines was more definition applied on extra curricular expenses.



          • #6
            How typical!
            Isn't that just the way you'd expect the government to work. Here you go Mr(s) NCP we'll drop your taxes, but we'll have to raise the payment amounts now because you have extra "freed up income" to transfer to the,.... ah,.... I mean (choke, cough)...."child"

            If I ever win a lottery, every penny will go to lobbying for Family Law reform.



            • #7

              The one benefit of lottery winnings is that it does show up on line 150 for income tax purposes.

              However, the court could always input an income to an individual.



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