Child Support - Initial Application

There are three statutes in Alberta that deal with issues relating to the support of children when parents do not live together. These are the Family Law Act, the Divorce Act and the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act. The forms that you use are different, depending on which statute you are using.

How do I know which statute I use?

If you were not married to the other parent, and both of you live in Alberta, then you use the Family Law Act.

If you were married, you may have a choice of either the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act. However, once a divorce action is started in Alberta, then all further applications must be made under the Divorce Act.

If the other parent lives outside Alberta, and there has not been a divorce action started (or you were never married), then you use the Interjurisdictional Support Order.

The questions below will help you choose the right process.

How much child support should I ask for?

The amount of child support is based upon the incomes of the parents and the needs of the children. For general information on the guidelines, go here

What do I need to do before I start?

You must gather up your income and special expense information.

The paperwork that the court will want to see is:

  • Your complete tax return and Notice of Assessment for the past 3 years;
  • Your pay stubs or other proof of your income for this year; and
  • If you are asking for special expenses, a list of the amounts you spend for those expenses, and, if possible, receipts showing the payments.

If you have a court file in Queen’s Bench file in Edmonton or Calgary, you should read about the Edmonton Child Support Resolution Project or the Calgary Dispute Resolution Project before you start any paperwork.

Have you taken the Parenting After Separation Seminar?

Before you go to court, consider mediation.

If you want a lawyer to help you, see Legal Advice and Assistance information.

To help decide which court to file in, see "Which Court?"

For this type of application, you must do the paperwork yourself. We can give you the forms and instructions.