Common concerns before starting the child guardianship process

The entire child guardianship process can be very trying, and it’s important to step back before you begin and consider some of the more common concerns that individuals face in Canada. First and foremost, this may mean addressing your emotional feelings regarding your divorce. This puts extra stress on you and can cause you to make emotional decisions, when you really need to make prudent, logical decisions that address the best interests of the child.

Next, you have to consider your financial situation. You and your spouse may have had a combined income before, with both of you in the workforce, and your assets will now be cut in half. If only your spouse worked, you may find yourself without any means of income. The ability to support your child is a very real concern in a guardianship case.

On top of that, you need to look into the legal responsibilities that both you and your spouse have after the split. For example, both of you are expected to help support the child. You are not in this on your own. If the child lives with you, your spouse will typically have to pay support—this works the other way around if your child lives with your spouse. To determine how much financial support is needed, the court will examine how much the child needs overall and how to fairly divide that, taking into account the cost of having a child live in the home and how much you each make.

Though only one party may pay money, the support is split between both parties. If you receive payments, you expect to not only use those payments to raise the child, but to contribute on your end as well.

Source: Government of Canada, Department of Justice, “The Federal Child Support Guidelines: Step-by-Step,” accessed April 17, 2015

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