Child support is the ongoing periodic payment made by a parent, providing financial support to their child or children. During a separation or divorce negotiation, the terms of child support must be established before the partnership can be officially dissolved.
Child support is a bridge that helps children cross the divide between two households. It provides the resources they need to thrive and grow, despite the difficulties of divorce or separation.
In Ontario, parents are required to pay child support until their child turns 18 – the age of majority – and is no longer dependent on them. However, each child support case is unique, and factors vary according to the family’s situation. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice about your rights and obligations from an experienced family lawyer.
Child support remains payable if the child has surpassed the age of majority and is still dependent on their parents. There are two notable dependant exceptions that warrant child support even after the child reaches the age of majority, namely:
- If a child has an illness or a disability that makes them ineligible for employment and they must remain dependent on their parents
- If a child is pursuing full-time post-secondary education
Child Support Legislation
Child support is enforced by guidelines in the Ontario Family Law Act and The Federal Divorce Act. These guidelines aim to promote the child’s best interests, resolve child support disputes and provide tables for calculating amounts for child support payments.
Family Law Act
- 31 (1) under the Family Law Act states that every parent should provide support, to the extent that the parent is capable of doing so, for his or her unmarried child who is a minor, enrolled in a full-time program of education, or is unable because of illness, disability or other cause to withdraw from the charge of his or her parents.
- 15. 1 under the Divorce Act states that a family court of competent jurisdiction may, on application by either or both spouses, make a child support order requiring a spouse to pay for the support of any or all children of the marriage.
How Is Child Support Calculated?
Parents are under a legal obligation to support their children financially. The amount that must be paid to maintain a child is calculated using Federal Child Support Guidelines and Provincial or Territorial Guidelines. Factors such as the income of both parents, the number of children and the child’s needs are also considered. A family lawyer can review your case and determine which regulation suits your situation.
Uses for Child Support
Primarily, child support is used to care for and maintain the basic needs of all children involved. It covers the following expenditures:
- Shelter (rent, mortgage, utilities)
- Medical expenses
- Educational expenses
- Extracurricular activities
Consult with a Family Lawyer about Child Support
If you have questions about child support and need legal advice, contact Carpenter Family Law. As a skilled family lawyer, Geoff can provide expert guidance on child support and the legal aspects and help you navigate your family law case.
Call us at 905-842-0635 or complete our contact form to request a consultation.