The BC Child Support Recalculation Service (CSRS) is a free program that reviews child support orders and written agreements. It recalculates (works out again) the amount of child support a paying parent (the parent who pays support) has to pay every year based on updated income information received or requested from them. The amount of support can be increased or reduced.
- you have a child support order or a child support agreement filed in Provincial Court,
- you and the other parent both live in BC,
- the child support amount was worked out using the Federal Child Support Guidelines tables, and
- you want the amount of support reviewed,
you might be able to use CSRS.
CSRS can also recalculate special expenses if your order or agreement includes the proportion each parent must pay for the expense based on their incomes.
Can everyone use CSRS?
No, not everyone can use CSRS. You can't use CSRS to recalculate support if the income of the paying parent or receiving parent (the parent who gets the support payment) used to calculate support was based on:
- imputed income (the court estimated the person's income),
- self-employment income or partnership income,
- pattern of income (if someone's income changes often, the courts will look at their last three years' income to work out an average),
- undue hardship (the court accepted one parent's inability to pay appropriate support),
- age of majority (the child was turning 19),
- shared parenting time (for example, the amount of parenting time lowered a table amount for one parent),
- income over $150,000 and the table amount wasn't applied, or
- the paying parent standing in the place of a parent (for example, a step-parent standing in place of a parent).
And you can't use CSRS to recalculate child support arrears (unpaid amounts). See Can you reduce or cancel child support arrears? to find out more about arrears.
How is child support recalculated?
CSRS sets a recalculation anniversary date every year. This is the date when the support payments change to the new amount. It's usually the anniversary of the date when the original child support order was made.
If you're the paying parent, you have to give your income tax information to CSRS for the most recent tax year before the recalculation anniversary date. CSRS uses that information to work out how much support you should be paying now. It then sends a Statement of Recalculation to you and the other parent and files a copy with the court.
The Statement of Recalculation sets out:
- the new child support amount if it changes by at least $5.00 each month,
- the information about the paying parent's income that was used to work out the new amount, and
- the date when the paying parent has to start paying the new amount.
If you don't give CSRS information about your income, it will apply a 10% to 30% increase to the most recent income information it has for you. The amount will depend on how long it's been since your child support payments were last reviewed.
What if one parent doesn't agree with the new amount?
If you or the other parent disagree with the new amount of child support, you can apply to change your support order in Provincial Court within 30 days of receiving the Statement of Recalculation. If you do this, the amount of child support won't change on the anniversary date and a judge will decide how much support should be paid.
See Change an order or set aside an agreement made in BC to find out how to change an order.
Does CSRS enforce orders or collect child support?
CSRS doesn't enforce support orders or agreements or collect payments.
If you want help getting your child support payments, you can also enroll with BC Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP). It's a free service. If the paying parent falls behind with their payments, FMEP can:
- help you get your money, and
- take certain actions against the payor.
If you're the paying parent, you can also enroll with FMEP and make your child support payments through them.
If you're enrolled in FMEP and CSRS has worked out a new amount of support, CSRS will send a copy of the Statement of Recalculation to FMEP. You don't need to contact FMEP to tell them about the change.
How do you enroll in the program?
You can enroll in CSRS even if the other parent doesn't want to. If one of you enrolls, the other parent is automatically enrolled.
Call 1-866-660-2684 (toll-free) or apply online.
If a judge makes an order for child support and says that it should be recalculated by CSRS, the court registry will contact CSRS. You won't need to apply to enroll. It will happen automatically.
Can you leave CSRS if you change your mind?
You can leave CSRS if:
- your order doesn't say you have to have your child support recalculated by the service,
- you send CSRS a written request to leave the service at least 60 days before your recalculation anniversary date, and
- the other parent agrees to leave the service.
Filing your taxes helps you manage your finances — and you might get a refund. If you pay child support, you need your filed tax returns to make sure you're paying the right amount of support.