Child support Ontario is NON-negotiable and paid by both parents. After Divorce, your income will dictate how much will be paid.Under Ontario family law, a child has the right to financial support from both parents, regardless of the nature of the parents’ relationship. If you are no longer in a relationship with your child’s mother or father, you may still have an obligation to pay child support.
FEDERAL CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
The amount of child support to be paid is calculated based on the government’s Child Support guidelines. The goals of the Child Support Guidelines is to establishing a reasonable support standard, making child support amount objective to reduce conflict between the parents, enabling similar treatment of parents and children in identical situations and increasing efficiency of the child support process and creating more awareness amongst parents to encourage settlements.
As per Child Support Guidelines, the child support is made up of two components:
- The table amount (a basic monthly child support amount that covers food, clothing and school supplies); and
- Special and extraordinary expenses (usually called Section 7 expenses that covers child care expenses, health care expenses etc.).
Each province and territory in Canada has its Child Support Table. The base amount to be paid is determined by the paying parent’s income as well as the number of children to be supported. This amount is intended to help pay for the child’s basic day-to-day necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter. The Guidelines take into account that the person with whom the child primarily resides will have to incur daily living expenses. Therefore, the parent who does not have the child living with him or her most of the time will generally be the parent paying child support to help defray these costs.
What if both parents have the child for an equal amount of time? In these situations, the Guideline amount of support is calculated for each parent, and the parent who earns more money would pay the difference in these two amounts to the other parent. The rationale behind this is to maintain a somewhat equal standard of living for the child in both homes.
Expenses for which child support can be payable over and above the basic Table amount may be considered special and extraordinary expense (section 7 expenses) if these are necessary for the Child’s development and growth. These include things like extra-curricular activities, braces, medical expenses, daycare, tutoring, and post-secondary education. The general rule is that these expenses are shared between the parents in proportion to their incomes. However, parents may decide on any arrangement that they consider equitable.
Parents can negotiate and settle the child support amount themselves based on the Child Support Guidelines. It is advisable that the parents mutually agree on decisions of child support keeping in mind their child’s best interests. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, Courts can be asked to intervene.
The child support agreement can be drafted addressing foreseeable changes in the children’s needs and circumstances in the future. The agreement can be made into a court order by applying to the court. The Child Support Orders are not final and can be varied.
How Our Family Lawyers can HELP you?
If you need assistance determining whether you should be receiving child support for your child or collecting your support from the other parent, or if you believe that you should no longer be paying child support, Law Wise family lawyers are here to help. Our goal is always to resolve your Child Support issue in a cooperative and informal manner. However, where informal negotiations do not work, our lawyers will employ their litigation experience to advance your interests through the court process.