How Are Child Support Payments Calculated In Ontario?

A child has a legal right to the support of both parents.  When the parents of a child are no longer living together, one or both of them may be required to make a monthly child support payment in order to continue financially supporting the child.  The amount of child support owed in that situation is calculated using tables set out in the Federal Child Support Guidelines and is dependent on:

  • the paying parent’s gross income;
  • the number of children; and
  • the province in which the paying parent lives.

The government implemented the Federal Child Support Guidelines in 1997 in order to ensure the consistency and transparency of child support orders made across the country.  While they have certainly made it easier to anticipate the amount of child support owed in a particular situation, calculating the amount of child support that is owed to you, or that you owe, can still be difficult. In a situation like this we recommend you consult with a divorce lawyer because there are many nuances to the laws surrounding child support.  If you have any questions, our Richmond Hill child support lawyers are available to help.

Some Nuances Surrounding Child Support Payment

The first place that often gives people trouble is the calculation of the paying parent’s gross income.  Many people can easily calculate their gross income by checking their most recent income tax return and notice of assessment.  However, parents who own a business, have multiple sources of income or whose income varies significantly from year to year may find it more difficult to settle on a fair value.

The Federal Child Support tables are based on the premise that a child lives with one parent and the other parent pays support for the child.  In reality, a child’s living situation is often more complicated than that.  When parents share parenting responsibility, then both parents become the paying parent and calculating a fair amount of child support becomes at least twice as complicated since the court has the ability to deviate from the Federal Child Support Guidelines in these circumstances.

In addition to the basic table amount of child support, you need to determine whether there are any special or extraordinary expenses that should be considered separately. A special or extraordinary expense is an expense that a parent is not expected to pay for out of the basic monthly child support that they receive.  Common examples include:

  • day care expenses;
  • “extraordinary” expenses for sports or other extracurricular activities;
  • post-secondary education expenses or private school fees; and
  • health care costs or health insurance coverage for the child.

Speak with our Richmond Hill Child Support Lawyers Today

Whether or not a particular expense qualifies as special or extraordinary will depend not only on the expense, but on the ability of the parents to pay that expense.  Our lawyers for child support in Ontario can help you determine whether the calculation and payment of special expenses is appropriate in your case.  You can contact our Richmond Hill Family Lawyers with any questions about the calculation of child support.  Call today to ensure that your child receives support that is fair for everyone.

Disclaimer: Please note the content in this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal advice as it pertains to your case please consult with a child support lawyer.