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Payment of Child Support in a "Primary" Care or "Sole" Custody Scenario

"Primary" care or "sole" custody and how such an arrangement impacts on the payment of child support

In this blog post, I will discuss the payment of "basic" child support in a "primary" care scenario. 

"Basic" child support refers the payment of child support excluding any amounts that are considered Section 7 Special or Extraordinary Expenses. I will discuss Section 7 Special or Extraordinary Expenses in a separate blog post. 

When one parent has "primary" care, that means that the parent has more than 60% of the available parenting time with the child(ren). In order to be considered the "primary" caregiver, such arrangement generally needs to be documented in a court order or properly executed (signed) agreement. 

In a "primary" care scenario, the income of the primary caregiver is irrelevant. 

The other parent is generally referred to as the "access" parent and is the "payor" of child support. In order to calculate the child support, one would calculate the payor's annual income. As an aside, the calculation of the payor's income can be complicated if the payor is self-employed or does not earn a consistent income. In a "standard" case, the income would be determined from the payor's previous tax return stated in Line 150.  Once this figure for annual income were obtained, then one would consult the Child Support Tables. 

The link to the tables is:

The table will provide the corresponding child support amount payable. This amount would be the quantum child support payable by the payor to the other parent. 


Assume that the parties have 2 children, and the payor is a resident of British Columbia. Assume that the payor is an employee and earns $50,000.00 per year, which is properly indicated in the payor's tax return in line 150. Assume that the payor is expected to earn this amount during the current year. 

Consult the British Columbia Child Support Table. The table indicates that for an annual income of $50,000.00 and for 2 children, the payor would be required to pay the amount of $781.00 per month.

It would likely then be in the recipient parent's interests to have such child support amount indicated in a court order or in an agreement. 

In many cases, the payor may delay the payment of child support or initially refuse to pay support. This issue may be discussed in a further blog post regarding "retroactive" child support. 

Written by
Mark J. Chiu
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