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Child Support

Effective July 1, 2020, the Child Support Service will have the authority to make an initial child support calculation decision based on income information obtained from one or both parents, depending on the type of child support requested. The service can also recalculate an existing child support order, family arbitration award, or agreement by adjusting child support based on updated financial information. Decisions will be enforceable by the Maintenance Enforcement Program.

What is child support?

Child support is money paid from one parent to the other parent when the parents do not live together. It is paid to help with the support of a child living with the other parent

Both parents have an equal duty to provide financial support for their children, whether or not there is a court order to do so. This responsibility exists even where a court order or agreement gives a parent no right to see or even contact the child. A parent who remarries or enters into a new common-law relationship and starts a new family is still responsible for supporting the children of a previous marriage or relationship.

A parent is responsible for the financial support of their own children, by birth or adoption. A person must also support their spouse’s or partner’s children, if that person acted as a parent to the partner’s children before the separation. Anyone who stands in the place of a parent (in loco parentis) to a child is obliged to support the child. However, that obligation is secondary to the obligations of the biological parents.

How do I apply for child support?

For an initial administrative calculation of child support, you need to complete an Application for Calculation and then submit it to the Child Support Service. There is no fee to file the application but you may incur some out of pocket expenses once the application is accepted by the service.

For more information, visit the Child Support Applications section of this website.

How long does the application process take?

From the date you submit your application to the Child Support Service, it can take between 45 – 90 days to receive a decision.

How much is child support?

The Child Support Service is required to follow the tables set out in Child Support Guidelines to determine how much child support should be paid. The tables are used to calculate the monthly payment (the basic table amount) that one parent will pay to the other based on:

  • the income (before taxes) of the parent paying support; and
  • the number of children that require child support

In some circumstances, additional amounts may be added to the basic table amount of support for certain special or extraordinary expenses. These expenses include:

  • childcare
  • health
  • education; and
  • extracurricular activities

Both parents’ incomes are considered as the parents share the special expenses proportionately between them based on their respective annual incomes above a certain minimum level.

For more information, visit the Child Support Guidelines section of this website.

What financial information will I need to provide?

The Child Support Service will request:

  • copies of the last three years of filed income tax returns with the Notice of Assessment that were issued by the Canada Revenue Agency
  • current pay or benefits statements; and
  • the completion of a Financial Statement.

Where there was a termination of employment, lay-off or work related injury then a record of employment will be required along with confirmation of benefits such as Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Workers Compensation (WC) or Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) benefits.

The Canada Revenue Agency or Service Canada online service portals can be used to apply for copies of documents. For section 7(1) special or extraordinary expenses, copies of receipts, invoices and cancelled cheques will be requested to verify the expense amounts.

For more information, visit the Child Support Applications section of this website.

How do I change the amount of child support?

The Child Support Service can perform an administrative recalculation of a child support order made by the court, a written agreement for child support that specifies that the amount of child support may be recalculated, a family arbitration award, or a calculation or recalculation decision made by the service, including a previously recalculated child support order. You will need to complete an Application for Recalculation then submit it to the Child Support Service. There is no fee to file the application but you may incur some out of pocket expenses once the application is accepted by the service.

You were automatically enrolled with the Child Support Service if you completed a Recalculation and Enforcement Authorization request form at the time a child support order was made by the court or a court order contains a recalculation authorization clause in it.

For more information, visit the Child Support Applications and Changing Child Support section of this website.

How long do parents pay child support?

In Manitoba, parents must support a child until the child is 18. In many cases, support may be required past the age of 18 if the child is still dependent because of illness or disability, or if the child is still in school or completing his or her education at a university or other post-secondary institution on a full-time basis.

Child support does not automatically end when a child turns 18 or is no longer dependent, unless the support order, agreement or family arbitration award specifically says that it does. If a child support order does not specify when child support ends, an application may need to be made to court to change (vary) the order. However, in some cases, the Manitoba Maintenance Enforcement Program will be able to stop enforcement of support for children over the age of 18.

For more information, visit the Child Support Guidelines section of this website.

What happens if a parent disagrees?

Child support decisions made by the Child Support Service are registered with the Court and then sent to both parents and the Maintenance Enforcement Program. Each parent has the right to oppose the decision by applying to the court and then providing a copy of the application to the Child Support Service with 30 days. The court can be asked to set aside the decision of the service and/or make its own child support order. An application filed with the court does not suspend the child support decision of the Child Support Service, unless the court orders otherwise.

What are the consequences if a parent does not cooperate?

The Child Support Service may serve requests for information on an employer or other third parties to obtain payroll and other financial documents required to determine income of a parent. If the Child Support Service is unable to obtain any information about the parent’s income from the parent, the recipient parent of child support or other sources, the Child Support Service has several options where child support is paid under The Family Maintenance Act, which include:

  • They may determine the annual income to be the amount that a parent would earn by working 40 hours per week for 52 weeks earning the minimum wage determined under The Employment Standards Act; or
  • The Child Support Service may deem additional income to a parent by taking the annual income for the parent determined in the last court order of child support, initial child support decision or a Recalculated Child Support Decision of the CSS, and then adding additional income under a formula based on an increase of between 10% - 30%, depending on the amount of time that has elapsed since the parent's annual income was last determined by the court or by the Child Support Service; and
  • Where the parent requests a special or extraordinary expense payment but does not provide sufficient financial information, the Officer may deem the annual expense to be zero.

What if a parent cannot pay the child support right now?

Contact the Maintenance Enforcement Program and apply for an administrative suspension of child support. For more information, visit the Enforcing Support section of this website.