The presumptive income for each spouse is the income as it appears on line 150 of his or her Income Tax Return and this income may be adjusted pursuant to Schedule III of the Federal Child Support Guidelines.

The Courts have grappled with the issue regarding whether or not RRSP withdrawals should be included in a payor’s Guideline income. In a recent Supreme Court of BC decision, McKenzie v. Perestrelo [2014] B.C.J. No. 734, the trial judge excluded the payor’s one-time RRSP withdrawal from his presumptive income for child support and spousal support purposes. On appeal the appellate court upheld the trial judge’s decision to exclude the RRSP withdrawal because the money was non-recurring and the purpose of the withdrawal was to fund legal expenses. The appellate court stated that “this is not a case where income from an RRSP is a recurring part of income used by the person for ordinary living expenses. It is not a case where an RRSP is used, for example, to fund a party’s lifestyle.”

(Source: The Lawyers Weekly, July 25, 2014, Article: “Determining Presumptive Income”; Author: Michael Stangarone)