Albertans asked for a simple, low-cost way of having their child support orders changed when their income changes.
In a 2006 Client Survey conducted by the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP), 74 per cent of recipients and 65 per cent of payors agreed it would be good if MEP annually reviewed their support orders, while only seven per cent of recipients and 16 per cent of payors disagreed.
In 2006, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that both parties to child support orders are responsible for ensuring their children get the appropriate amount of support. In general, payors are legally obligated to increase their child support when their income increases. Recipients should also be regularly checking to make sure the child support their children receive matches the payor’s income. Annual recalculation helps parents fulfill these legal obligations.
Through RP, parties with eligible court orders do not have to hire lawyers and go to court to have their child support changed to reflect their new income. Either parent can instead choose to have RP do the recalculation for a modest service fee.
Alberta Justice held public consultations in 2008 to help model the new recalculation program. Input was received by members of the public, interest groups, MEP clients, government staff and officials, lawyers and judges. Additional consultations were done in 2013-2014 to look at ways of making RP more accessible and effective.