Once legislation passes, parents could obtain child support orders without going to court
The Saskatchewan government has introduced legislation to improve justice by creating better access to child support systems for parents, children, and caregivers. The first reading was held on November 28.
The Family Maintenance Amendment Act 2022 (Bill 111) seeks to allow parents to forego court and head straight to the Child Support Service to determine initial child support amounts. Currently, the service can only recalculate existing child support orders or agreements.
“This new option allows people to obtain child support orders without hiring a lawyer or going to court. These orders can then be filed with the court and enforced like a court order,” Minister of Justice and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said. “This increases efficiency and, above all, fair, timely and affordable access to justice.”
The service was created as the Child Support Recalculation Service in 2018. It helps families keep child support in line with parents’ income and reduce the time, expense, and stress they often face when they undergo court processes to change child support. Either parent can apply to the program.
Moreover, Bill 111 allows a caregiver or other person to apply for child support for a child over 18 and an adult child to apply for child support on their behalf. It also provides that administrative calculation can be used when there is no existing child support order or agreement, and the court will determine whether support is appropriate depending on circumstances.
Last month, the provincial government also tabled legislation to improve child welfare services for children, youth, and families across the province with Bill 101, which seeks to change several aspects of the Child and Family Services Act (CSFA).
The Ministry of Social Services confirmed that once Bill 101 receives royal assent, the province will continue to engage with the Advocate for Children and Youth, youth advisory teams, and Indigenous and child welfare sector partners to update relevant regulations and standards.