Ontario Child Support Lawyers
How Is Child Support Determined?
Normally, the parent who is granted primary physical residence of the child is the one who will probably be incurring the daily expenses associated with raising him or her. As a result, that parent may be compensated so to lessen the burden, the impact, and the effect that these expenses could have.
However, the child spends more than 40% or more of his or her time with each parent annually (referred to as “shared custody” or “shared parenting time”), under s. 9 of the Child Support Guidelines the court is to determine the amount of support by taking into account:
- The amounts set out in the applicable tables for each of the spouses;
- The increased costs of shared custody or parenting time arrangements; and
- The conditions, means, needs and other circumstances of each spouse and the child or children for whom support is sought.
You should also be aware that all dependent children have a legal right to be financially supported by their parents and the right to benefit from the financial means of their parents. Therefore, if you are a parent who is granted parenting time under the Children’s Law Reform Act or do not have primary parenting time or decision-making responsibility under the Divorce Act, (and there are no special circumstances that must be considered such as undue hardship) you will most likely be required to pay child support. This financial obligation towards your children continues even if your former spouse remarries or starts to live with someone else.
Much like parenting time/decision-making responsibility issues, there are two Acts that help to establish entitlement to child support and that determine the amount payable:
- The Divorce Act applies to situations where there is a legally married couple who has either divorced or is in the process of getting a divorce.
Family Law Act is used to settle disputes about child support between two individuals who are:
- Not married; or
- Are legally married and opting to separate as opposed to divorce.
How is Child Support Calculated?
The Federal Child Support Guidelines SOR 97-175 and the provincial Child Support Guidelines O. Reg. 391/97, which are regulations to both the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act, are used to determine the quantum (amount) that is to be paid.
The courts will consider the income of the paying parent together with the number of children and then look to the child support tables found in Schedule I which list the monthly amounts payable based on the information given. The income of the recipient is only required under certain circumstances.
You should note that there is a presumption in the guidelines that the table amounts will always be used, however if there is a reason to deviate from the table amounts then the courts will allow it and order a different amount. Remember that the child support guidelines are law and not simply advisory therefore they will always be considered and applied.
Your Child Support Rights & Responsibilities in Toronto and the Surrounding Areas
When the decision to separate or divorce has been made and you and your former spouse/partner have settled any issues regarding parenting time and decision-making responsibility, the next step is to establish the amount payable for child support. This is an important matter to resolve, and having a skilled Ontario child support lawyer on your side can help ensure the preservation of your rights.
Since 1994, Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. has represented families in Toronto Mississauga, Vaughan, Oakville, Markham and throughout Ontario in child support cases. We take pride in delivering quality legal representation in the most complex and challenging divorce and family law matters, including those that involve children. Whether you may be required to pay or entitled to receive child support, our lawyers can protect your interests.