fbpx
 

Child Support FAQ’s & Calculator.

Home > Family Law > Child Support FAQ’s & Calculator.
Request Free Consultation
[]
1 Step 1
Nameyour full name
Phoneyour full name
Additional Informationmore details
0 /
keyboard_arrow_leftPrevious
Nextkeyboard_arrow_right

Associate Lawyers

You can trust our associate lawyers for all your simple to complex legal matters.

Glen Cook
Glen Cook
Linda Starova
Linda Starova
Amal Nayyar
Amal Nayyar

As per Canadian Law, dependent children need to be financially supported by their parents. Dependent children are defined as children aged 18 or younger, though few exceptions exist.

If parents of the child do not live together, the parent who cares for the child for maximum time receives child support payments from the other parent. It is possible that more than one parent pays child support.

When both parents spend almost the equal amount of time with their children, child support is paid by the parent who has higher income, and they are called payor. A stepparent or a person with a parent-like relationship with the child is known as a payor.

The Parents have an obligation to protect their children in all circumstances including when:

  • The Parent does not reside with the child;
  • The parent does not meet the child;
  • One parent is not legally married to the other;
  • One parent does not live with the other;
  • One parent has no regular contact with the other;
  • One parent has other children from a new or previous relationship

Child support and income assistance by way of Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program are received by a parent in certain circumstances.

Who pays Child Support?

As per Canadian Law, dependent children need to be financially supported by their parents. Dependent children are defined as children aged 18 or younger, though few exceptions exist.

If parents of the child do not live together, the parent who cares for the child for maximum time receives child support payments from the other parent who spends a comparatively less time with the child. It is possible that more than one parent pays child support.

When both parents spend almost equal amount of time with their children, child support is paid by the parent who has higher income and they are called payor. A step parent or a person with a parent-like relationship with the child is known as a payor.

Parents have an obligation to protect their children in all circumstances including when;

  • Parent does not reside with the child;
  • Parent does not meet the child;
  • One parent is not legally married to the other;
  • One parent does not reside with the other;
  • One parent has no regular relationship with the other;
  • One parent has other children from a new or previous relationship

Child support and income assistance by way of Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program is received by a parent in certain circumstances.

Who are defined as parents?

Parents include birth parents and non-birth parents. All parents have an obligation to support their dependent children financially. Parents with a parent-like relationship are treated in a separate manner as compared to birth parents.

As per Canadian Law, it is not essential for a parent to be a biological parent only. Straight or LGBTQ2+, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transsexual, transgendered, intersexual, questioning and heterosexual people can be parents.

Assisted reproduction has been identified as the second method of childbirth apart from sexual intercourse. In surrogacy, the person who gives a birth is not considered as a parent. It is advisable to take independent legal advice from a lawyer before proceeding on surrogacy agreements.

Any birth parents’ common law or married partner is considered a parent. In this circumstance, they don’t need a court declaration od formal adoption process to declare that they are a parent.

Few exceptions include where the spouse of the birth parent takes a DNA or blood test to prove that they are not a birth parent. Then they will not be considered a birth parent.

For any disagreements about who is a parent, the couple can go to court for resolution. The court then declares the parentage of the child.

How many parents can a child have?

Canadian Law recognizes that more than two parents can exist. Four people can agree to decide the parents of the child. A court order will not be needed in this case if the written agreement is made prior to the pregnancy.

Who are classified as adoptive parents?

Adoptive parents take on all the responsibility of the child upon adoption, including financial responsibility. Canadian Law treats adoptive parents at par with birth parents.

If adoptive parents separate, they are treated exactly the same as birth parents have separated. Adoptive parents are responsible for child support as well.

What is a parent-like relationship?

Many factors are considered by the court to confirm the parent-like relationship is present including:

  • Feelings of the child about the person
  • The child’s participation in the extended family similar to any other child
  • The person provides financially for the child, in the best way possible
  • If the person disciplines the child
  • The fact that the person consider themselves to be a responsible parent to the child in their discussions with the family and community
  • The relationship of the child with the parent who does not have custody

It is possible for more than one parent to pay child support. A step-parent may pay child support even if another parent is already a payor for child support.

The final amount of child support paid by the step-parent can be different from the Child Support Guidelines and the Government of Canada’s child support tables.

What are the Child Support Guidelines? How Do They Affect Me?

Federal and provincial child support guidelines are regulations that prescribe the quantum of child support based on the number of children and the payor’s income.

The child support guidelines were established to ensure that all children in similar circumstances are treated consistently. It also helps parents to become aware of the possible amounts that a judge would determine.

Child Support Guidelines are enclosed in the Divorce Act and territorial and provincial family support laws.

What are the Objectives of Child Support Guidelines?

The main objectives of the Child Support Guidelines include the following:

  • Ensuring that children benefit from their parents’ financial means by creating fair standards of support; (in the case of a divorce-the children should benefit from the financial means of both parents)
  • Making child support calculations more objective and to minimize any conflict and disagreements between parents;
  • Guiding courts, parents and spouses to determine the quantum of child support and to encourage mutual settlements and enhance the efficiency of the legal process; and
  • To ensure that parents, spouses and children in similar circumstances are treated in the same manner.

Can we work out our own arrangements for Child Support?

When a couple separates or divorces, they have an obligation to provide financial support to their children. They can set up their own child support agreement. It is advisable to make a written agreement and sign it to make it enforceable and reduce future conflicts.

The child support amount should be established in a fair manner. Having an experienced family law lawyer will help in understanding which child support guidelines are applicable and how the quantum of the support should be setup. Referring to the child support guidelines will help as that is the basis of a Judge’s decision, if they happen to decide on it.

Negotiation or mediation can be opted for by the parents to reach a mutual understanding on child support matters.

Negotiation involves interaction of spouses with each other to resolve the legal issues arising from separation or divorce. Negotiation is one of the out-of-court settlement options available before litigation is opted by the spouses.

Mediation is a method of helping spouses identify their issues and assist them to work towards their mutually agreed solutions. Whenever spouses are not able to resolve their issues on their own, a mediator may be able to help in establishing communication between them.

However, negotiation and mediation may not be suitable in every case, particularly in cases involving violence or abuse.

Once a written agreement is drafted, it is advisable that parents review it individually with their experienced family law lawyers before signing the document. Both the parties need to be clear about their responsibilities and should act in accordance with the Federal and Provincial Child Support Guidelines.

The child support guidelines are regulations that prescribe the quantum of child support based on the number of children and payor’s income.

In the case of an incomplete agreement where few child support issues have been left out, the Court may order the parents to set it aside. Having a skilled and knowledgeable Family Law Lawyer on your side will help to formulate Child Support agreement in the right way. The court may set aside an incomplete agreement.

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

Spousal and child support payments are designed for two different purposes and are calculated differently as well.

Calculation of child support is done first, and it is independent of the calculation for spousal support. In certain circumstances, spousal support payments may be based on child support payments if the payor parent is facing financial difficulties in making both child support and spousal support payments. In this circumstance, spousal support payments typically begin once child support payments end.

Child support payments are not deductible to the payor nor taxable to the recipient. All support amounts in the agreement or order not expressly mentioned for the recipient’s support is treated as child support.

Spousal support payments are made for recipient’s support and maintenance pursuant to a court order or written agreement. They are deductible by the payor and taxable for the recipient. The spousal support payments are made on a periodic basis and are also known as spousal support amount.

What is Interim Child Support?

A child support order that remains valid and binding on the parties until a final order is made with the consent or at a trial is known as an Interim Order. An interim order is named a consent order if it is made with the agreement of both parties.

While working on the final child support agreement, the parties may decide to make an interim child support order until the final agreement is prepared.

The litigation process is lengthy and time-consuming and it may take a long time for a trial to occur.

An interim court order can assist in help in resolving immediate issues including child support payments until a final child support amount is determined either by, but not limited to consent or Judge’s order.

How are Child Support Orders Enforced?

A child support order from a court can be enforced if the payor gas failed to make payments.

A Maintenance Enforcement Program exists in each province and territory which governs the enforcement of supporting agreements and orders. In Ontario, child support payments are enforced by the Family Responsibility Office (FRO).

All support orders, temporary or final made in Ontario are automatically registered for enforcement by the FRO, subject to the right of parties to withdraw on consent. A recipient may later choose to opt back into enforcement.

Separation agreement and court orders dealing with child support are filed with the FRO and the court. When the child support amount is calculated using the online child support calculator service, the Notice of Calculation is filed with the FRO by the Attorney General’s office.

FRO may collect outstanding support payments from the payor payment as follows:

  • Automatic deductions from their income, wages, employment insurance, sales commissions, pensions;
  • Lien or charge against their personal real estate or property;
  • Garnishing their individual bank accounts, or half of a joint account the payor holds with another person

Is Income Tax Payable on Child Support Payments?

Child Support Payments After April 30, 1997

Child support paid pursuant to orders and agreements after April 30, 1997 will not be deductible to the payor nor taxable to the recipient.

Legal fees paid by the payor spouse are not deductible. Legal fees relating to obtaining an order for support is deductible by the recipient of support in the year, the fees are paid.

It is essential that the court order or separation agreement clearly outlines the amount of spousal and child support per month. In the event that only one amount is stated, the Canada Revenue Agency typically treats the entire amount to be for child support as it is paid before spousal support.

It is advisable that all child support payments are made on a timely basis and no payments are missed as missing even one payment may potentially increase the amount of income tax payable.

Will Bankruptcy affect Child Support payments?

Spousal support payments are not impacted by bankruptcy.

Conversely, the occurrence of bankruptcy makes it easier to make support payments in the absence of other debts.

Filing bankruptcy does not discharge the payor parent from making any child or spousal support payments. All current and outstanding support payments need to be paid in full whether or not the payor parent declares a bankruptcy.

It is recommended to take independent legal advice from a trusted Family Law Lawyer and a bankruptcy trustee to know more.

How We Can Help

At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, our excellent Family Law lawyers help in making effective representation for matters involving child support and parent responsibilities, personalised to your situation. They understand your specific circumstances and provide tailored and customized solutions for each of them.

Our Mississauga Family Law Lawyers are available for a no-obligation free consultation. Come and experience our quality legal counsel and personalized care we give to each client. We ensure prompt communication and a caring approach to get the best outcomes for you and your family.

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.

Translate »