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Could new child benefit cause issues for divorced couples?

Many people believe that the Liberal government's new child benefit could lead to issues for divorced couples, such as increased time in court disputing how much one spouse owes the other in child support.

On July 1, this $23-billion-a-year benefit will step in to replace three programs that were used in the past.

Unlike with past benefits, there is no guidance in place in regards to how divorced parents should split tax deductions. Opposition finance critic Lisa Raitt is not on board with the idea, noting the following in a recent interview:

"Obviously they're going to have a point of view on whether or not they should be paying more or less child support and instead of clogging up the courts, this government owes (it to) them to give them some direction."

Furthermore, she believes that this problem could negatively impact more than one million Canadians in the near future.

The new child benefit is set to replace the former monthly universal child care benefit. Here are some details:

-- Benefit starts at $6,400 per year for a child age 5 and under

-- Benefit is $5,400 per year for children between the ages of 6 and 17.

-- Only families with an income of $30,000 of less can receive the full amount.

While there are critics, the government is confident that the new benefit will remove several hundred thousand children from poverty.

No matter what side of the fence you sit on, nothing changes the fact that this is a major adjustment for some families. It's important to understand how your situation could be impacted.

Source: CTV News, "New child benefit could pose pitfalls for divorced couples: Raitt," Jordan Press, The Canadian Press, May 29, 2016

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