Blog: Child Support

Guidelines vs Guidelines: Comparing Child and Spousal Support

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…

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

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…

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

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…

Voluntary Job Changes, Child Support, and the Imputation of Income

If I quit my job, do I still have to pay child support? What if I leave my boring office job to start my (lower-paying) dream business? Will my support payments go down? When it comes to determining what amount of support a parent or spouse should pay, courts will look not only at what that person’s income is on paper, but also what he or she is capable of earning. If a support payor is making less than what the court thinks he or she should be earning, the…

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