The Importance of a Court Order
Structuring & Paying Child Support in Ontario
Many couples who separate are able to agree, either independently or through mediation, on the main issues involving the children, and they therefore do not go through the court system to obtain a child support order. However, a court order can be very important for both parties.
As the payor spouse, there is a risk that if you are paying support directly to your former spouse, but not through the Family Responsibility Office (FRO), you may later be unable to prove you made those support payments and your spouse may deny receiving them. There is also a risk that, if you and your spouse (perhaps unknowingly) agreed to an amount of child support that is less that the Guideline amount, and your spouse then goes to court to vary the agreement, the court may order retroactive support to cover the difference between what you were paying and what you would have paid during that period under the Guidelines. Obtaining a court order ensures that you are paying the correct amount of support.
As the parent receiving the support, a court order is in your best interests, because you have no way to enforce the support payments if you do not have a support order registered with FRO. As discussed in our article: Enforcing Child Support, child support orders will be monitored and enforced by FRO, but only if the support obligation is part of a court order or if a domestic contract, filed with the court, specifying that obligation is to be registered with FRO. It is therefore important that you either obtain a court order or register your contract with FRO.
A court order is also important because it provides both parties with a record and something to rely on. While parties may agree to deviate from the agreement informally if they choose to, the court order remains in place and can be enforced if one of the parties wishes to return to it. If circumstances change, one or both parties can apply to vary the court order.
Our Ontario family lawyers can give you more information about child support orders and what to do to ensure the full protection of your interests and rights. Call (905) 581-7222 today!
Meet Our Dedicated Team of LawyersOver a Century of Collective Experience
Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.
LawyerJeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.
LawyerLocation: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
LawyerLocation: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
LawyerAnna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
LawyerVeronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.
Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.
LawyerRachel joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C as a Summer Student in 2019 and returned as an Articling Student in 2020-2021. ...
Associate LawyerQuinn spent two years as a Summer Student and then completed her Articling term at a boutique Family Law firm in Orangeville, ...
Associate LawyerLauren joined Feldstein Family Law Group as a Summer Student in 2020 and returned as an Articling Student in 2021-2022. ...