Child support laws in Ontario are guided by the principle that children should benefit from the incomes and financial resources of both parents. In Ontario you can have your child table support arrangements determined in a family court; you can set up child support through the Province’s online child support service; or you can work out your own written child support agreement with your former partner following a separation.
If you cannot enter into arrangements outside of court, a judge will determine child table support payments based on the Federal Child Support Guidelines under the Divorce Act or the Provincial Child Support Guidelines under the Family Law Act. Common law couples must use the Provincial legislation.
Canadian Child Support Guidelines and Tables
The Child Support Guidelines are the law across Canada. The rules and tables applied under the guidelines help to create a more objective calculation of child support and they establish a standard of support for children. You should use the Guidelines when determining your child support arrangements out of court as they will dictate in most cases how much support a judge would order. The amount of support may change from province to province because each has its own tables to be applied. In this province, you would consult the Child Support Table for Ontario.
How to calculate child support amounts
To help you to calculate the child support you are entitled to or will pay, you may go to Canada’s Department of Justice which has a Child Support Tool as well as an 8-step guide that you may access by clicking here.
There are a number of situations in which you should seek the advice of a Family Law lawyer. For example, if you have a shared custody to split custody arrangement, or you are a business owner or your income fluctuates.
Factors which determine child support payments
To understand how child support payments are calculated, you must understand the factors they are based on including:
- the province where the support payer resides
- the support payor's annual income
- the number of children
Other considerations which may affect child support payment amounts
There are a number of other considerations that can affect the child support you will receive or pay:
- special or extraordinary expenses
- adult children
- shared custody
- split custody
- if a support payer is a step-parent
- if a support payer earns more than $150,000 annually
- if a support payer cannot afford the table payment or special expenses
What to do when you are working on your child support arrangements
If both parties agree on the support for their children, the proposed arrangements should be written up and reviewed by a Family Law lawyer. A lawyer can advise you on the terms and assist you in implementing the agreement. You must next decide if you want to file your child support arrangement with the Family Responsibility Office (FRO). The FRO is government enforcement office which collects, records and pays out support. If your child support arrangements are determined in court or through the provincial online service, they will automatically be filed and enforced through the FRO.
Legal advice from a St. Catharines Family Lawyer
For legal advice on your arrangements and child support payments, connect with one of Chown Cairns Niagara Family Law lawyers below.