Child Support

Child Support

Every parent has an obligation to provide support to their child. The Child Support Guidelines determine the amounts that a parent should pay.

There is little leeway to deviate from the Guidelines. So whether you litigate in court or come to an out of court solution, you will most likely pay the same amount in the end. Child support has room for debate when you are trying to ascertain one parent’s income for the purposes of child support. But once that income is determined, you will most likely be paying the table amount.

The calculation of support is different for each of: sole, shared, and split custody. In every arrangement, we apply the Child Support Guidelines and calculate child support for you based on the table amounts. The table amounts are found in the Child Support Guidelines and are pre-calculated based on the income of the parent and number of children.

Normally, income is determined based on line 150 of your income tax returns. Calculating income is more difficult when a corporation, self-employment, dividend income, and other factors are involved. In these circumstances, it may be appropriate to look to a pattern of income, or impute an income. Once income exceeds $150k, there are additional calculations which are applied to child support. Your family lawyer is best able to assist you in these circumstances.

“Special” and “extraordinary” expenses will impact the payments. This includes the cost of child care, health and dental, private school, extra-curricular, and post-secondary education.

Like spousal support, child support payments are enforceable through the family responsibility office. The family responsibility can oversee child support payments between one parent to the other. The Family Responsibility Office has additional measures to enforce child support payments. For example, they can garnish wages, garnish money which is due the payor from the government of Canada, suspend a driver’s licence or other licence, place a lien on property, and other things can be done to enforce payment.

For the benefit of both the payor and payee, the Family Responsibility Office can keep track of payments. Additionally, when making child support payments, it is advisable to obtain a record of the transaction to ensure that you are credited for making a payment.

Child support has priority over spousal support. When a payor spouse would have trouble making both spousal support and child support payments, spousal support payments may have to give.

Just as with spousal support, child support requires full financial disclosure and the court’s financial forms should be completed. The numbers from these forms should form the basis of the child support calculations and payments. Your family lawyer could best help you to obtain the proper financial disclosure and to fill in the required forms and complete the calculations.