Divorce Mate: Critically Important Factors

  • The SSAG was developed by two family law professors in a bid to help make spousal support more predictable and consistent.

  • While the SSAGs are not law, they are essentially a compendium of the law on spousal support.

  • There are several other problems that may be encountered in using DivorceMate

  • Using DivorceMate without proper knowledge of the SSAG can lead to problems.

  • Section 7 expenses must be taken into account.

DivorceMate support calculator

Unsophisticated Use Will Have You Headed to Court

  • Adjustment of “Custodial Payor” formula: There is an assumption in the SSAG that child support is being paid according to the CSG. But if child support is not being paid according to the CSG, a manual adjustment must be made in the software. One instance when this might be the case is where the “Custodial Payor” formula is used. In this case, rather than have both parties pay support to each other, the higher paying spouse may have custody of the children and choose to forego child support. To make the adjustment, click on “Options” in the CSG section and use the relevant dropdown list to override the “Child Support (Table)” or “Child Support (s.7 Payment)”.

  • Eligible Dependant Credit: Keep in mind that the “Eligible Dependant Credit” (EDC) is not the same as CCB. You can find EDC under the “Children” blue link in the software. Where necessary, you may need to change the default setting of “automatic”. This setting allocates the credit to the net recipient of child support – usually the lower income earner. But if this allocation is incorrect, the setting must be changed.

  • Section 7 expenses: When using the “with child support” formula under the SSAG, section 7 expenses must be taken into account. Failing to do this means the payor will pay much more spousal support than they should, especially where special expenses are significant. If there is no certainty about the precise amount of special expenses, then an estimate should be included, at least

  • Special expenses and associated tax items: Under the FCSG, the court is required to take into account any subsidies, benefits or income tax deductions relating to an expense. As such, if there are any subsidies, benefits or income tax deduction applicable to an expense, they should be included. The software provides some help here. If there is any associated credit or benefit attached to a special expense, a green link will appear under the item. Click it and it will take you where you can input the tax item.

  • Automatic calculation of CCB & GST/HST: Users do not need to input Canada Child Benefits (CCB) or GST/HST in DivorceMate. They are already automatically calculated under the software based on income of the parties and custodial arrangements. This will also be the case in a “shared eligibility situation”.

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