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Child Support in Ontario

Generally, the non-custodial parent – “the payor”, pays child support to the primary caregiver – the “recipient.” There are two types of child support – “table support” and “special and extraordinary expenses.”

Child Support Guidelines

child support law ontarioThe Canadian Federal and the Ontario Provincial Child Support Guidelines set out the rules and tables that govern how much support should be paid for the benefit of the child(ren).

The Canadian Federal Child Support Guidelines are regulations made under the Divorce Act and are applicable to couples who were legally married. The Provincial Child Support Guidelines are regulations made under the Family Law Act. The provincial Guidelines apply to couples who were not married.

Goal of the Guidelines

The goal of the Guidelines is to set a fair standard of support for children that ensure that they continue to benefit from the financial means of both parents after separation. The Guidelines have been shown to reduce conflict and tension between parents because they make child support calculations fair, objective, and predictable. They can also help parents come to an agreement about support by themselves so they do not have to go to court.

Child Support Tables

The Guidelines provide Child Support Tables that determine how much a parent will pay on a monthly basis for child support. The amount of support payable each month is determined by the province you live in, the number of children eligible for support, and the payor’s income. The amounts in the tables are based on economic studies of average spending on children in families at different income levels in Canada.

Adjustments to Child Support

Generally, the table amount of child support is adjusted on an annual basis. The adjustment to the table amount of support will vary depending on whether there have been changes to the payor’s income. The table amount of support may increase or decrease annually based on the changes in the payor’s income.

Section 7 – Special and Extraordinary Expenses

Section 7 of the Guidelines delineates the “special” or “extraordinary” expenses that are paid for the children. These expenses include items such as:
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  • Child care or daycare
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Health related expenses (i.e. orthodontics, professional counselling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, prescription drugs, hearing aids, glasses and contact lenses)
  • Extraordinary expenses for primary or secondary school education or for any other education programs that meet a child’s particular needs
  • Expenses for post-secondary education
  • Extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities

These expenses are shared by the spouses in proportion to their respective incomes after deducting from the expense, the contribution, if any, from the child.

Child Support and Taxes

Child support payments are not taxable in the hands of the receiving parent and are not deductible by the paying parent.

Request a consultation

Requesting a consultation is the first step in helping you to determine your rights with respect to child support. Contact us to schedule your consultation.