In order to protect your children’s interests and legal rights, you may need a child support lawyer.
Everyone want what’s best for their children. That is why one of the greatest concerns during a legal separation are the details of child support. Parents often have questions about who pays support, how much, and for how long.
Protect Your Children’s Interests and Legal Rights
All parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. An appropriate level of child support is a guaranteed legal right. The support typically goes to the primary caregiver that the children reside with in order to cover their economic wellbeing and maintain their pre-separation standard of living.
Child support is meant to go 100% towards the children’s costs and cannot be traded for a different level of spousal support or waived. Upholding child support obligations is a legal requirement, and there can be serious consequences for those who breach their child support agreements.
Ontario Child Support Guidelines
In Ontario, basic child support is determined by federal and provincial law under the Child Support Guidelines. The amount of support to be paid will generally be determined by the number of children and the payor’s income. For basic child support, the income of the recipient parent is irrelevant. Different residence schedules and different custody arrangements may also lead to different child support calculations and different support obligations. Support generally includes a Fixed Monthly Table Amount, along with Special or Extraordinary expenses.
A monthly fixed level of child support is called the table amount, and is meant to help the parent with clothing, food, and housing. The child support table amount is reviewed annually, after income tax returns are filed, and altered if there are any major changes to the household, including changes in the income of both parents.
As long as a child lives with a parent or legal guardian, they are entitled to child support. This can include children over the age of 18 if they are studying full time, financially dependent or suffer from a disability.
Special or Extraordinary Expenses
Special or Extraordinary expenses (also known as section 7 expenses) cover costs other than the fixed monthly table amount. These expenses can include child care (such as a daycare), extra-curricular activities (such as dance classes or team sports), or medical expenses not covered through OHIP, or private health insurance, or additional education (such as tutoring or post-secondary studies).
The level of support for special or extraordinary expenses is calculated based on the incomes of both parents, unlike the table amount.
Special and extraordinary expenses must be reasonable and terms can be negotiated by the parties in their separation agreement. External sources of funding such as tax benefits, grants, scholarships, and bursaries can also come into play when calculating special or extraordinary payments.
Ontario Child Support Calculator
Child support is typically calculated based on the income of the parent who is paying the support, along with the number of children they are supporting.
For more detailed information, you can visit our Child Support Calculator to find, approximately, what would be an appropriate level of child support based on annual gross income, number of children, and the province of the paying parent.
Termination of Child Support
Child support does not necessarily end once a child turns 18 years of age. The full level of support will continue if they are continuing with their education, have special needs, or are unable to become financially independent. If the child lives away from the parent’s home for a temporary time, such as for their education, job, or vacation, the level of support may also continue.
Child support may cease once a child becomes self-supporting, ends their education, marries, dies, or turns an age previously agreed upon by the parents.
If you need a Family Lawyer in Toronto who is experienced and knowledgeable about child support and the Ontario Family Law Act, contact Elinor Shinehoft and her legal team today.
We’ve helped numerous clients negotiate and finalize all aspects of their separation, including child support, child custody, and spousal support. Elinor is an experienced child support lawyer who will help guide you through all the legal complexities, helping you come to a fair and equitable level of support for everyone involved.