Determining the Amount of a Retroactive Child Support Award – Part II
In my post last week, I discussed the first element that the court must decide once it has determined that a retroactive support should be awarded.
The second element the court must decide is the amount of support that would adequately quantify the payor parent’s deficient obligations during the time in issue.
Quantum of the Retroactive award
The Guidelines must be followed in determining the quantum of support owed. However, courts ordering a retroactive award pursuant to the Divorce Act must still ensure that the quantum of the award fits the circumstances. Blind adherence to the amounts set out in the applicable tables is not recommended.
There are two ways in which courts can affect the quantum of retroactive awards. The first involves exercising the discretion that the Guidelines allow. For example, the presence of undue hardship can yield a lesser award. In addition to situations of hardship, courts may exercise their discretion with respect to quantum in a variety of other circumstances under the Guidelines, see s. 3(2), 4 and 9.
A second way in which courts may affect the quantum of retroactive awards is by altering the time period that the retroactive award captures.