Child & Spousal Support: The Necessary Documents You Need

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In the situation where you have custody of a child, either legal or physical, and the Non-Custodial Parent (NCP) is required to pay support, you need to know what documents will be necessary to determine child or spousal support. This will put your income under the spotlight.

This article discusses some of the income documents that are necessary to establish child or spousal support.


To determine the amount of child and spousal support to be paid, each parties’ income must be established first. Child support begins with basic child support under the Child Support Guidelines.

Determine the income of the parent who spends less than 40% of their time with the children. Then, consult the table to determine the amount of support payable. Keep in mind that this will depend on the number of children.

The starting point for income is the pre-tax income at line 150 of the T1 General Income Tax Return.

Special and Extraordinary Expenses

There may be an additional component to this to contribute to special and extraordinary expenses. These include daycare, medical, or dental expenses not covered by insurance, certain expenses for primary or secondary education, certain post-secondary school expenses, and certain activity expenses. They will be based on the incomes of both parents. In this case, both parents need to present their income tax returns.

In the Child Support Guidelines, the Special and Extraordinary expenses are defined with some additional guidance based on judges’ decisions in past cases. They are also referred to as “Section 7 expenses.”

The only time that both parents’ income tax returns will not be necessary is when the child spends more than 60% of their time with one parent, there are no special or extraordinary expenses, and no spousal support claims.

With this, only the parent who spends less than 40% of their time has to present an income tax return.

Income Tax Returns

Most of the time, there’s a need for both parents’ income tax returns. In some cases, if one party is living with someone else, that person’s income will also be required to get a full assessment of the amount of contribution to special and extraordinary expenses.

When you are asked to present your income tax returns, it needs to be three years’ worth of returns with all attachments, such as T4s, T5s, etc., and three years of Notices of Assessment from CRA.

You will also need to present the following:

  • Employees: Recent pay stub
  • Self-employed: Three years of financial statements

You also need to know that there will be times when the income tax return and attachments won’t be sufficient. This happens when there are other complicating factors surrounding their income. The pattern of spending will be looked into to come up with a reasonable estimate of the person’s ability to pay for child and spousal support.

When this happens, you may need to present your bank and credit card statements.

Seek the Help of an Expert

The legal system requires a lot of documents for both parents when it comes to child and spousal support. Having an expert help you through the process is ideal.

Dreyer Davidson Lawyers LLP is a reputable child support lawyer in the Fraser Valley of BC. We are committed to preserving the best interests of families through our extensive experience across family law. Contact us!






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