Child Support In Ontario

Child Support
Child Support

In Ontario, the Family Law Act, Divorce Act and Child Support Guidelines< are very clear when it comes to child support. In cases of divorce, child support is the amount of money that one parent receives from the other parent. Child support is usually outlined in the Separation Agreement or in a court order.

What Is Child Support in Ontario?

It is intended to assist in covering the costs of caring for the child. Usually, the parent who is obligated to pay child support either earns more money or spends less time with the child, or in many cases, both. All children have a right to be financially cared for by their parents, irrespective of the role the parent plays in their lives. 

Calculating Child Support In Ontario

The amount of child support in Ontario is calculated based on a specific set of guidelines and tables, often referred to as table child support.  It is based on parents’ incomes and a number of children.

Hummingbird Lawyers LLP has developed a free child support calculator to help give you an idea of what you may be either entitled to or obligated to pay. 

What Are Special or Extraordinary Expenses?

Child support payments are intended to cover the children’s basic costs in terms of food, clothing and housing. According to the Child Support Guidelines, there are additional shared expenses that fall outside of the table amount of child support payable. These are often referred to as special or extraordinary expenses, or Section 7 expenses. Some of these expenses include child care costs, post-secondary education expenses, uninsured healthcare expenses, and any other expenses that are agreed upon and included in a Separation Agreement. 

When Does Child Support End?

Child Support Guidelines

In family law, the general rule in Ontario is that child support payments must be made as long as there is a dependent child or children from the marriage.  While many people believe that 18 years of age is the “deadline”, this is often not the case. If for example, a child has special needs and is still deemed a “dependent”, then the paying parent’s child support obligations continue. Similarly, if a child is pursuing a post secondary education on a full-time basis, they are still considered to be a dependent child and child support obligations continue. The breakdown of how child support is calculated for above 18-year-old dependent children does not necessarily come down to the guidelines and is determined based on many factors, specific to each case. It’s always best to speak to a lawyer and seek advice when it comes to child support obligations and entitlements. 

How Do I Collect Child Support

Child support payments are often made on a pre-set schedule. For example, payments may be made on a monthly or semi-monthly basis. If you are having difficulty collecting child support payments, there is also the option to have the child support obligations administered through the Family Responsibility Office (referred to as FRO). 

The Family Responsibility Office is a government agency whose purpose is to enforce the payment of child support and/or spousal support and section 7 expenses. When administered through FRO the money is collected directly from the paying parent and the funds are disbursed to the recipient parent by the FRO.  

The Hummingbird Family Lawyers Can Help

Child Support in Ontario

If you are going through a divorce or separation, our family lawyers at Hummingbird Lawyers LLP is here to assist you with every step of this process. If you have any questions regarding child support or any other family law matter, contact us and set up an appointment with one of our professionals. 

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