Child support calculator

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Child Support Online Lookup

DISCLAIMER: The Child Support Online Lookup is provided for general information only. It is not a legal document. You may wish to consult a lawyer for advice with regard to your individual situation.

For situations involving additional factors such as special expenses and shared custody situations, please refer to Federal Child Support Guidelines: Step-by-Step.This booklet contains detailed information, instructions and worksheets that will assist you in determining child support amounts. If the paying parent lives outside of Canada, enter the country where the receiving parent lives.

*Please note that the information on this website is intended as a guide only. Each case is unique and context-specific. Legal advice should be sought in regards to your family issue. Provincial and territorial legislation on family law policy and legislation will differ from province to province. If you or anyone you know requires legal advice, an experienced family lawyer should be contacted. If you have any questions not covered on this website, send an email enquiry to info@nanda.ca and we’ll be sure to get back to you shortly.

Who pays Child Support?

Under the Divorce Act, either spouse may be ordered to pay child support to the other party who has primary custody of the child. The Divorce Act also stipulates that the spouse must be child support to the other party who maintains day to day care and control of the child. Child support payments are not dependent on sole custody or joint custody orders- payment is simply dependent on physical custody.

Under the Ontario Family Law Act, a party may be ordered to pay child support for a child being cared for by the other party. A party who has demonstrated a “settled intention to treat a child as a child of his or her family” can qualify as a guardian for the child.

What are Child Support Guidelines? How do they affect me?

In 1996, the Canadian Government instituted Child Support Guidelines to assist in child support issues. Many provinces in Canada have enacted legislation to ensure that provincial statutes adhere to these guidelines. It is always best to check with an experienced family law lawyer in your area to determine what practices your province follows, and how those practices affect you.

What is Interim Child Support?

Interim child support is an order for support that lasts until the court makes a final order. The purpose of interim child support is to assist the party who has current physical custody of a child until the final hearing takes place. Interim child support is discussed in the Divorce Act and the Family Law Act.

An interim support order is generally the foundation of a settlement. An interim support order can also be used in the event that parties cannot reach a consensus during litigation. In some cases, the interim may be the final order; in this sense, the interim order should not be taken lightly. Family law lawyers tend to regard the interim order stage as serious and so should you.

Can we work out our own arrangements for Child Support?

Yes. Parties can create their own arrangements for child support, as long as all the terms and conditions are clear. It is important that each party is aware of their roles and responsibilities. It is also advisable for a lawyer to look over any arrangements to ensure that all terms are clear. It should be noted that although you may have an agreement with the other party, the court has the final say as to whether the arrangements made are sufficient.

Before an agreement is finalized, it is recommended that you have an experienced family law lawyer look over your agreement, as there might be situations which neither party may have considered. Issues such as the appropriate cost of living clause, arrangements for the insurance of the payer (in case of death), extraneous expenses, post-secondary education costs for the child, car payments, and pet and housing expenses all need to be considered.

While there is a strong urge to carry out your arrangements without involving a lawyer, the money you save on fees might be lost if there is a legal dispute with the arrangement. You may end up paying even more than you bargained for, if you need to spend time in court re-negotiating the agreement.

Is income tax paid on Child Support payments?

In 1997, Child Support Guidelines were instituted. The Child Support Guidelines decreed that all child support payments made after May 1997 are tax free. Under this guide, child support payments are not deducted from a payer’s income. In addition, Child support payments are not included in the recipient’s income for tax purposes.

It should be noted that orders and agreements made before May 1997, will continue to be in force and effect unless the parties opt into the Child Support Guidelines. The other alternative is that a new order is made (if an agreement was made prior to May 1997).

Thus, income tax will be paid on child support payments if you entered into an agreement prior to May 1997. Income tax will not be paid on child support payments if you entered an agreement after this date.

How Are Child Support Orders enforced?

In Ontario, all orders for support (including child and spousal orders) are registered with the Family Responsibility Office. Payments are made to this office and the office then sends the payment to the recipient. If any of the payments are defaulted, the Family Responsibility Office enforces the payment. Each province/territory institutes its own enforcement provision.

In Ontario, the payer and the recipient can withdraw from the spousal order by agreeing to enforce a payment schedule between one another. In this type of arrangement, both the recipient and the payer are accountable for payments and missed payments. Whether to register with the Family Responsibility Office or handle the child support order is entirely up to the parties.

Will Bankruptcy affect Child Support payments?

No. Child support payments are not affected by bankruptcy. Child support payments remain in full force and effect regardless of financial circumstance. Bankruptcy will clear other debts, but not an obligation to pay child support.

What is the connection between Child Support payments and Spousal Support payments?

There is no connection between child support payments and spousal support payments. A spousal support payment is an entirely different calculation as compared to the child support payments, and as such, they mark two separate obligations.

The question of how much support a child should garner and how much support a spouse should obtain is a negotiation that is left for the two parties to decide. After May 1997, an agreement made after this date stipulated that child support payments are not tax deductible. However, spousal support payments are tax deductible regardless of this agreement.

Courts realize that stipulations under The Child Support Guidelines may mean that there is not enough money available to pay spousal support once child support is paid. In the event that this occurs, the former spouse will have to wait until child support payments have ended to determine if the issue of spousal support should be raised.

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