Child Support

Both parents have a responsibility to financially support their children. If you do not have custody, the Federal and Provincial Child Support Guidelines ("Guidelines") prescribe the amount of child support you are required to pay based on your income and the number of children. Whether you fall under the Federal or Provincial Guidelines depends upon the manner in which you are separating from the custodial parent. If you are divorcing or have divorced from the custodial parent, you will be required to pay child support under the Federal Guidelines, whereas if you are not divorcing or were never married, you would pay under the Provincial Guidelines.

Although they are called Guidelines, in fact they are legal requirements that every judge has to follow when making a child support order. These Guidelines have two parts. First, the Guidelines contain a table, which sets out the exact amount of support payable for all levels of annual income and based on the number of children. The second part of the Guidelines deal with extra-ordinary expenses, such as child care expenses, health and dental expenses not covered by insurance and post-secondary education, as well as unusual extra-curricular expenses. A parent paying child support under the Guidelines has an added obligation to pay a proportional share of reasonable extra-ordinary expenses, over and above the regular table amounts, based on the respective income of both parents. The Guidelines can be applied at anytime at the request of either the payor or recipient. They also provide a mechanism for review and variation of support if one does not already exist.

Support issues cover a wide range of areas including variation, arrears, retro-active and enforcement. Our family law lawyers are very well equipped to assist you in dealing with these issues.