Whether you’re the one who wants to file a child support application when the other parent has significant assets, or the one who is served with a child support application when you have significant assets, we’re here to help.
While many questions can be answered with the help of the guides, sample letters and forms in our legal toolkit, an independent jurist affiliated with PSP Legal will always be happy to help you by answering any questions you may have.
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner take charge of your situation and intervene directly and quickly on your behalf, you can also request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal represent you by clicking here.
What income should I consider?
When both parents live in Quebec and an application for child support is filed, both parents must complete the Child Support Determination Form to calculate the amount of support payable by one parent to the other for the benefit of their children. The parents must complete the form, listing their various sources of income. The notion of income is interpreted broadly, in keeping with the principle established in article 587.2 of the Civil Code of Quebec, which stipulates that children are entitled to support from their parents on the basis of all their sources of income.
Article 9 of the Regulation respecting the establishment of child support payments sets out a non-exhaustive list of incomes to be taken into consideration when establishing support payments. These incomes include the following:
- Gross salary;
- Alimony paid by a third party and received in a personal capacity (e.g. alimony for an ex-spouse);
- Employment and parental insurance benefits;
- Net rent;
- Pension benefits;
- Net business or self-employment income;
- Interest, dividends and other investment income.
In addition, the income entered on the child support form must be supported by documentary evidence. The documents requested vary according to your sources of income, and may include the following:
- Federal and provincial income tax returns;
- Notice of assessment;
- Last three pay statements;
- Income and expenses related to the property;
- Business or self-employed financial statements.
Taxable income declared to governments is not necessarily the same as that used to calculate child support payments, since certain deductions that are allowable for tax purposes are not deductible in the context of child support payments. For example, a deduction for RRSPs or PRPPs/RVERs that reduces taxable income will not be taken into account when calculating child support.
In addition, the court cannot use an average of previous years’ income to establish a predictable income.
A parent’s assets
The court has discretionary power to supplement a parent’s income, so it can decrease or increase it depending on the circumstances. In fact, under article 446 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the court has the power to take a parent’s assets into account when determining the amount of child support. Thus, in cases where the debtor parent holds significant assets, the court will establish the value of these assets and determine the amount of child support on the basis of an appropriate but unrealized potential income.
For example, in Droit de la famille – 3000 ( R.J.Q. 380), the Court of Appeal attributed an income of $25,000 to a debtor with assets of over $2,000,000. This honourable court specifies that the attribution of fictitious income must not constitute an excessive drain on assets.
In Droit de la Famille – 0982, (EYB 2009-153012 (C.A.)), the Court of Appeal confirmed the trial judge’s decision to attribute fictitious interest income of 6% annually on the $900,000 held by the father, who was not employed. This percentage therefore represents $54,000 annually in interest income.
Commissions and tips must also be included in the income amount. The court may modify these amounts at its discretion, if it deems that they are not representative of foreseeable earnings.
When a parent owns a business in which he or she is the sole shareholder, or is self-employed, the profit generated can be added to the parent’s income independently of the income he or she declares. Dividend income must also be added.
The obligation to disclose income
Parents are required to fill out the form correctly and attach supporting documents. They must provide accurate information in good faith and with transparency. It’s important to remember that the purpose of paying child support is to provide for our children!
How we can help
Our legal toolkit includes a variety of online resources and links to templates and guides to help you better understand your obligations.
However, should the Legal Toolkit prove insufficient in your situation, you can obtain additional assistance by speaking with one of PSP Legal’s affiliated jurists:
Of course, if you prefer to have an experienced practitioner handle your situation, you can always request that one of the independent jurists affiliated with PSP Legal intervene on your behalf by clicking here. He or she will then be able to intervene directly and rapidly on your behalf by:
- Preparing, negotiating and drafting applications, procedures or any other legal documents related to your situation;
- Assisting and advising you on your legal rights and obligations;
- Representing you before the courts when legal action is taken;
- Guiding you through the choices available to you, leading to a fair and satisfactory solution.
PSP Legal, because you deserve expert advice!
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