When you share guardianship of your children with your ex-wife or ex-husband, one of the things you may have trouble with is child benefits. Unlike in a situation where both parents and children live together, in cases where a family is divorced, it can be harder to decide who receives what benefits.
Child benefits become an issue when the government has to decide which parent is paid what amount of money. The benefits can also be figured into how much a court orders one parent to pay the other for child support and extraordinary expenses. Taxes are also affected by the acceptance of this benefit.
While it’s possible for the court to determine who should claim the Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Revenue Agency is actually in charge of deciding based on the Income Tax Act. The Act states that parents who primarily care for their children and have a qualified dependent are able to claim the benefit. However, in a shared guardianship situation, both parents qualify. Both are taking on equal time and effort with their children, and both are working together to bring up their child.
One thing that can happen, if you can’t decide on who is going to claim this benefit, is to reach out to the CRA. It will be able to split the compensation between you and your ex, so you both receive 50 percent of the amount owed. If you’re both doing equal amounts or close to equal amounts of work, then this may be the fairest way to split up the Canada Child Benefit.