Phase 2 of the Survey of Child Support Awards: Final Report

2004-FCY-7E

ENDNOTES

  • [1] Department of Justice Canada, (2002). Children Come First: A Report to Parliament Reviewing the Provisions and Operations of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Ottawa, ON: Department of Justice Canada.
  • [2] Divorce Act, R.S.C. 1985 (2nd Supp.), c.3.
  • [3] Department of Justice Canada, (2002). Children Come First: A Report to Parliament Reviewing the Provisions and Operation of the Federal Child Support Guidelines. Ottawa, ON: Department of Justice Canada.
  • [4] This committee has been replaced by the Coordinating Committee of Senior Officials—Family Law Research Subcommittee.
  • [5] Some sites have also collected data from cases proceeding under provincial legislation. For purposes of analysis, these cases have been omitted from this report.
  • [6] As Quebec's system of determining child support awards is different from the Federal Child Support Guidelines, a separate study was designed to collect and analyze data in Quebec. See: Linda Goupil, Rapport du Comité de suivi du modèle québécois de fixation des pensions alimentaires pour enfants, Québec: Ministre de la Justice, procurement générale, Ministre responsable de la condition féminine et de l'application des lois professionnelles, Mars 2000. (Report of the Follow-up Committee on the Quebec Model for the Determination of Child Support Payments, in press.)
  • [7] A total of 5,285 cases were excluded from the database for purposes of the analyses presented in this report. The majority of these cases (n=3,793) were excluded because the file indicated that they had proceeded solely under provincial legislation. A smaller number of cases (n=1,492) were excluded for one or more of the following reasons: cases in which the child support award amount was based on a previous order dated prior to the implementation of the Federal Child Support Guidelines on May 1, 1997; cases representing variations that resulted only in termination orders and dealt with no other issues; cases relying solely on affidavits for data capture and not including information on whether the case represented a divorce or a variation; duplicate cases as determined by examination of whether the case was a divorce or a variation, the court file number, the date of judicial decision and the date when the order was issued and entered; and test cases that were entered during beta testing of the data entry system.
  • [8] The majority of the cases silent on child support are from Ontario, because at some court sites, child support orders are not included in divorce orders.
  • [9] Cases with monthly child support award amounts in excess of $6,000 were examined manually in order to determine if these awards were accurate, given the other information available on the case. As a result, monthly award amounts in excess of $10,000 for 36 cases were excluded from these analyses as they were determined to be anomalies, outliers or inaccurate.
  • [10] This represents the total child support award amount, which includes any “add-ons” for special or extraordinary expenses.
  • [11] It should be noted that if special or extraordinary expenses are not specified in an order, then the expenses are not enforceable by the provincial/territorial Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) agencies. MEP can enforce based on receipt-based expenses, not specified in advance, provided the category or nature of that expense was identified in the order.
  • [12] Monthly special or extraordinary expenses amounts in excess of $1,000 were examined manually to determine whether these amounts were accurate according to other information in the case. On this basis, thirteen cases with monthly amounts greater than $1,500 were excluded from analysis of this variable. In addition, 36 cases with a monthly amount of $0 were also excluded.
  • [13] See Section 3.6 for a discussion of the limitations of this estimate.
  • [14] It should be noted that the data probably do not accurately reflect the number of cases in which undue hardship is raised. If a claim for undue hardship is raised in an original application and subsequently fails at a court hearing, there may be no record of the application in the court file that was available to the data capture clerks.
  • [15] It is possible that the child's name would be missing in some cases with only one child, since in these cases the child to whom the order relates would be clear.
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