As the only law firm that dedicates itself to protecting father’s rights, DAD LAW acts to the benefit of men and their families during an emotionally challenging time. If you need a child support lawyer in Ontario, we are here to lend a guiding hand. Our team will keep your best interests in mind at all times.
Every parent has a legal obligation to assist financially in the raising of the child(ren). Child support is a right of the child, and it will not easily be displaced. Child support is intended to provide financial assistance to the parent with whom the children primarily reside and who has the day-to-day care of the children. Child support does not necessarily end when the child reaches 18 years of age but may continue if the child is in full-time attendance in school. The type of custody and access arrangement may affect the amount of child support payable.
There are two types of child support: basic child support and special/extraordinary expenses.
Basic child support is intended to cover the day-to-day living expenses of the child, such as lodging, food and clothes.
Special or extraordinary expenses are over and above the day-to-day living expenses such as child care expenses, ballet and hockey activities and education costs. These expenses must be at least $100.00 per year to qualify.
In Ontario, the Child Support Guidelines establish Tables relating to basic child support that the access parent must pay to the primary-care parent. The Guideline Tables are based on the access parent's gross taxable income and the number of children residing with the primary-care parent.
There are limited circumstances in which the Guideline Tables will not apply. The most common is where the access parent has the children in his or her care at least 40% of the time over the course of the year. The Court may vary the amount payable to take into account the increased costs of such shared custody arrangements. Also, in very limited circumstances, the access parent may obtain a reduction of the Guideline Table amount based on undue hardship. There is a high threshold in establishing undue hardship, which may be based on factors such as having unusually high debts incurred to support the family or to earn a living, having unusually high access costs or having a legal duty to support another child, spouse or other person.
In addition to the basic child support, there may be additional expenses with respect to the children, which are incurred by the primary caregiver or custodial parent. The most significant expenses for younger children are child care expenses necessitated by the custodial parent's employment. The custodial parent may also have to incur extra expenses for education for the children or extra-curricular activities. Post-secondary expenses can also be significant. An amount to compensate for these special or extraordinary expenses is added to the Guideline Table amount.
Unlike basic child support, which is generally the same for all paying parents with the same income and number of children, special or extraordinary expenses vary from family to family, based on history, the reasonableness of the expenses and the ability of the paying parent to pay.
Typically the parties share the special or extraordinary expenses for the children in an amount proportionate to their respective incomes. For example, if the Father earns $80,000.00 per year and the Mother earns $40,000.00 per year, then the Father who earns two-thirds of the combined income of the parties would pay two-thirds of the special or extraordinary expenses for the children.
Special or extraordinary expenses must, however, be reasonable in light of the parties' incomes and the necessity of the expenses for the children. Most separation agreements typically require parties to consult with each other and to provide their reasonable written consent prior to the incurring of special or extraordinary expenses for the children.