Children Come First: A Report to Parliament Reviewing the Provisions and Operation of the Federal Child Support Guidelines - Volume 1


Federal-Provincial-Territorial Deputy Ministers of Justice give the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Family Law Committee (the Family Law Committee) a mandate to study the issue of child support.
The Family Law Committee releases a report, Child Support: Public Discussion Paper, whichprovides a basis for public consultation.
The Family Law Committee commissions studies of four expenditure frameworks, which could determine the costs of raising children in Canada.
The Family Law Committee releases its second report, The Financial Implications of Child Support Guidelines.
The federal Department of Justice completes The Construction and Implementation of Child Support Guidelines, which summarizes research results. This report is presented to the Family Law Committee.
The Family Law Committee rejects the four expenditure frameworks in favour of one of the equivalence scales used by Statistics Canada. The 40/30 scale is combined with the four apportioning approaches noted above to produce four formulas. Awards generated by the four formulas are compared to current levels of child support. The Revised Fixed Percentage formula emerges as the preferred child support formula.
The Thibaudeau decision is announced. The Family Law Committee asks researchers at the federal Department of Justice to examine an alternative child support formula where the non-custodial parent would not deduct child support payments from his or her income and the custodial parent would not include child support as income.
The Family Law Committee completes its final report on child support and forwards it to the deputy ministers of justice, the ministers of justice, and the solicitors general.
The federal Department of Justice releases its final report, An Overview of the Research Program to Develop a Canadian Child Support Formula, which summarizes the research done to develop child support guidelines.
The Family Law Committee releases its Report and Recommendations on Child Support, which summarizes its work on the Child Support Project.
In March, as part of the federal budget, the New Child Support Package is made public. The package changes the way child support is treated for tax purposes, introduces child support guidelines and new enforcement measures, and increases government spending on benefits for low-income families with children.
The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology studies Bill C-41 and recommends, among other things, that custody and access issues be studied further and that the Committee monitor how Bill C-41 and the Federal Child Support Guidelines are implemented and applied.
Bill C-41 is passed and the Federal Child Support Guidelines come into effect on May 1. Amendments to the Income Tax Act are passed. For tax purposes, parents paying child support will no longer deduct the child support amounts paid from their income and recipients will no longer include the amount of child support received in their income.
In June, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology releases an interim report on the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
As promised by the federal Minister of Justice, the Child Support Initiative Research Framework Discussion Paper is widely distributed for comment. The paper was prepared in close consultation with federal, provincial and territorial officials responsible for implementing the Child Support Initiative.
The final Child Support Initiative: Research Framework is published and made available on the Internet.
In October, the federal Department of Justice consults on technical issues related to child support, releasing Federal Child Support Guidelines: A Review of Technical Issues and Proposed Solutions.
The Government of Canada announces in February that it is prepared to provide the provinces and territories up to $29 million over the next two years to expand court-based programs and to support community services. This expansion focuses on integrating child support, support enforcement, and custody and access services.
In January, in the Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada states that it will work with its provincial and territorial partners to modernize the laws for child support, custody, and access.
The Family Law Committee launches public consultations on custody, access, and child support. The consultations begin in April with the release of a written consultation document distributed across Canada. In-person consultations in every province and territory are held from April to June.
Custody, Access and Child Support in Canada:  Report on Federal-Provincial-Territorial Consultations is released.
The federal Department of Justice tables  Children Come First:  a Report to Parliament Reviewing the Provisions and Operation of the Federal Child Support Guidelines.
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