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Guidelines vs Guidelines: Comparing Child and Spousal Support

January 11, 2019

We normally think of “guidelines” as recommendations or informal rules that fall short of being mandatory. In this sense, the Child Support Guidelines are not really “guidelines” at all. They are regulations under both the federal Divorce Act and Ontario’s Family Law Act, and judges have to follow them, except in limited, specified circumstances. The Table set out in the Guidelines shows what amount of child support is payable based on a parent’s income and the number of children, and, in general, what the Table says goes. So, if, for…

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Kitchen Table Agreements and Mediation – Cost-Effective Resolution Options

December 31, 2018

In resolving a family law separation matter outside of Court, there are typically three stages: Financial Disclosure – spouses and lawyers exchange financial disclosure including income tax returns and notices of assessment, and proof of assets and debts on date of marriage and date of separation; Negotiation of Basic Terms – spouses and lawyers go back and forth on the various issues (e.g., custody, access, child support, spousal support, equalization/property division) trying to negotiate a final settlement of those issues; and Drafting the Agreement- lawyers draft the final comprehensive separation…

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Child Support – Overview of Special or Extraordinary Expenses (a.k.a. S. 7 expenses)

December 18, 2018

When people think of child support, they usually think about the regular monthly payment of child support based on the payor’s income and the number of children to which the support applies. In addition to this regular monthly payment, each parent is obligated to contribute to a child’s special or extraordinary expenses (also known as “add on expenses” or “s. 7 expenses”) under section 7 of the Child Support Guidelines. How much will each parent contribute? This is typically based on the income of each parent as a ratio of…

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Child Support Agreements – Basic Questions that the Parties Need to Answer

December 12, 2018

A Separation Agreement outlines the various obligations and rights that each party has in relation to all issues resulting from the breakdown of the relationship including child support. There are various issues that have to be worked out in a child support agreement which include the following: Determining the income to be used for each spouse. Who will pay monthly child support, a start date, and an amount?  When will child support stop? What age? After how many degrees/diplomas? How much will each parent pay towards a child’s special or…

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