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When Does Child Support End in Alberta

When Does Child Support End in Alberta?

It can be hard to understand the legal and emotional aspects of child support, especially when you want to stop paying it. In Alberta, both parents who pay and receive child support need to know when the payments stop. By default, the child’s duty ends when they turn 18, but a question arises in mind when does child support end in Alberta. 

This article aims to shed light on the factors that affect the end of child support in Alberta by clarifying the legal requirements, possible exceptions, and ways to ensure that province rules are followed.

What is Child Support?

Child support is the amount of money that a parent who doesn’t have custody of their children must pay each month to help pay for their education and well-being. In most cases, it is given to the parent or guardian who has main custody of the child. Child support ensures that kids can get what they need to live, like food, housing, clothes, education, and medical care. How much child support a kid gets depends on many things, like the parents’ income, what the child needs, and any special circumstances like medical or educational costs.

What Does Child Support Cover in Alberta?

Alberta’s child support system is meant to cover a wide range of costs that help the child’s health and education. These costs usually cover things like food, shelter, clothes, and other important things like medical care, school, and activities outside of school.

Fundamental Needs: Child support funds will pay for the child to have a safe and stable place to live, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and household items.

Food and Clothing: Child support helps pay for the costs of feeding and clothing the child, making sure they get enough food and clothes that are right for their age and interests.

Healthcare: This includes medical, dental, and eye care, as well as any prescription drugs or treatments that are needed. Child support may also include health insurance fees and medical bills you must pay out of pocket.

Education: Child support can help pay for school materials, tuition, and other important things for a child’s academic growth.

Extracurricular Activities: These include sports, music lessons, summer camps, or other programs that help the child grow physically, socially, and emotionally.

When does Child Support End in Alberta?

In Alberta, child support can be stopped for several reasons, mostly related to the child’s age, post-secondary schooling, disabilities, or unusual circumstances. Here is a full summary:

Age of Majority 

Child support obligations usually end when the child turns 18, which in Alberta is the age of majority. From this point on, the child is officially on their own, and the parent is no longer required to give them money. However, there are exceptions to this rule.


If a child goes to post-secondary school full-time after high school, child support may continue past the age of majority. In this case, the parent who is paying support payment may have to keep doing so until the child finishes their first degree, diploma, or certificate program or until they hit a certain age, which is usually 22 years old. This is done to ensure that the child can go to college without worrying about money.

Child Disability

If the child can’t become financially independent because of a disability or special need, child support may continue after they turn 18. In this case, the court may order ongoing help to pay for the extra costs of caring for and supporting the child. This could include medical care, therapy or specialized education programs.

Mutual Agreement or Court Order

Parents can also agree in writing or through a court order to keep paying child support after the child turns 18. This could happen if both parents agree that the child will need ongoing financial help or if special situations call for ongoing support.

Unusual Circumstances

If there are unusual circumstances, the court may order child support to continue past the age of adulthood. This could include situations where the child is having a lot of trouble in school or on the job, is having ongoing health problems, or has other needs that explain continuing to get money. 

How to Stop Child Support Payments When Child Turns 18?

Most child support payments in Alberta stop when the child turns 18, which is the age of majority. When your child turns 18, you can stop paying child support if you’re the parent who is paying it. Here are the steps you should take:

Review Separation Agreement

Pay close attention to the separation agreement that set up the child support plan. It should say how long the child support payments will last and the conditions for stopping them.

Communicate with the Other Parent

If you get along with the other parent, tell them in writing that you want to stop paying child support. Give them the necessary paperwork, like a copy of the child’s birth certificate or some other proof of age.

Ask for Legal Help

Talk to a family law expert if there are any questions or disagreements about ending child support. They can tell you what the law says about your rights and responsibilities in Alberta and help you through any formal steps needed to stop paying child support.

File a Court Application 

If the other parent doesn’t agree with your choice to stop paying child support or if the case is complicated legally, you may need to apply to the court to end child support. Make your case to the judge and show proof to back up your request.

Calculation of Child Support: How Much Is Child Support 

The basic way to figure it out is to find out how much the paying parent makes a year and then use a percentage of that income to determine how much help each child needs. For instance, if there is only one kid, the parent who is paying may have to give a set amount of their income (usually about 17%). If there are more than one child, the number increases slowly over time.

When parents share child custody, the math is trickier because it has to consider each parent’s income, the amount of time the child spends with each parent, and other important details. The standards also consider that some kids may have unique costs, like medical or school fees, which may mean the basic child support amount needs to be changed.

Final Words

In Alberta, figuring out when child support stops requires a careful look at both the law and each person’s unique situation. To get through the complicated process of ending child support, parents must pay close attention to provincial rules, talk to each other, and, if needed, get legal help. 

As their children become adults, parents can ensure they are safe and financially stable by learning about the rules that affect when child support stops and taking the right steps to follow them.


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