What is child support
Child support is every child’s legal right. Whether married or unmarried parents separate or divorce, they have a legal duty to provide complete financial support to their dependent children.
After separation, the parents can decide as to which parent the child/children will reside with. If the parents are unable to decide regarding the children’s residential living arrangements, the Courts can be asked to intervene. The parent who primarily lives with the child/children usually bears most of the living expenses for them. The other parent has the legal responsibility to help with the children’s expenses by paying money to the parent primarily residing with the children. This money paid is called Child Support.
How is child support amount calculated?
The amount of child support to be paid is calculated based on the government’s Child Support Guidelines. As per the Child Support Guidelines, the child support is made up of two components:
- the table amount (a basic monthly child support amount that covers food, clothing and school supplies); and
- the amount for special and extraordinary expenses (usually called Section 7 expenses that covers child care expenses, health care expenses etc.).
What is Table amount?
Each province and territory in Canada have its Child Support Table. The Child Support Table shows the basic monthly amounts of child support payable based on the payor parent’s gross annual income of the payor parent and the number of children they have to support.
What is the purpose of the Child Support Guidelines?
The goals of the Child Support Guidelines include:
- Establishing a reasonable support standard to enable children to benefit from both parents’ incomes.
- Making child support amount objective to reduce conflict between the parents.
- Enabling similar treatment of parents and children in identical situations.
- Increasing efficiency of the child support process and creating more awareness amongst parents to encourage settlements.