Child Support Lawyer in Vaughan, ON

[Please be advised that the information provided is not to be constituted as legal advice]

My goal is to resolve family law dispute out of court, but when necessary, I have the experience to litigate at all levels of court.

Child support guidelines Federal and provincial Child Support Guidelines (Guidelines) are regulations that prescribe the quantum of child support based on the number of children and the payor’s income.

The stated objectives of the Guidelines are:

  • To set a fair standard of support so that children benefit from the parents’ financial means after separation.
  • To reduce conflict between parents by making the calculation of child support more objective.
  • To improve efficiency and encourage settlement by giving courts and parents guidance in establishing child support;
  • To ensure consistency in treatment of parents and children in similar circumstances
  • Primary residence If a child resides primarily in one parent’s home for at least 60 percent of the time, the other parent must pay Guidelines support based on the Child Support Table (Table).
  • Shared custody If a child divides his or her time between the parents’ homes to spend more than 40 percent of the time in one and less than 60 percent of the time in the other, the court has the discretion to depart from the Table amount, pursuant to s. 9 of the Guidelines.
  • Split custody If custody of the children is divided, with one or more residing primarily in each parent’s home, child support is calculated as the set-off between the amount each parent would pay for the child or children in the other parent’s care applying the Table.

The court has discretion to depart from the presumptive Table amount for eligible children over the age of majority if the court finds that amount inappropriate, having consideration to the financial means, needs, and condition of the child and the parents.
Relevant considerations are:

  • The child’s ability to earn income.
  • The availability of loans, scholarships, and bursaries if the child is enrolled at a post-secondary institution.
  • The child’s performance at school or in a postsecondary institution.
  • The child’s full-time attendance at school or the reason for part-time attendance; and
  • The child’s budget.

The Guidelines prescribe a method to determine a payor’s income. The starting point is the payor’s total income shown on his or her income tax return as adjusted.

The court may also impute income to a parent. in a number of situations including but not limited to

  • Intentional under-employment.
  • Exemption from payment of income tax.
  • Payment of tax at an effective rate lower than that in Canada.
  • Diversion of income.
  • The parent’s failure to reasonably utilize property to generate income;
  • The parent’s failure to make proper financial disclosure;
  • A situation in which a significant portion of income is paid from dividends or capital gains; or the parent’s unreasonable deduction of expenses from income, reasonableness not being solely governed by the standard applied in the Income Tax Act.

In addition to the Table amount, a court may order the payment of all or a portion of an itemized list of special and extraordinary expenses, including child care costs incurred as a result of the parent’s employment, illness, disability, or education or training for employment; extraordinary extra-curricular expenses; and extraordinary primary or secondary education costs.

The guiding principle is that the court will apportion the expenses between the parents on a pro rata basis after taking into account the contribution if any from the child and any related subsidies or tax deductions

Extraordinary expenses are defined in s. 7(1.1) of the Guidelines. These are expenses that exceed the amount the requesting spouse can reasonably cover, taking into account that spouse’s income and the monthly child support payable, or expenses that a court considers extraordinary in light of the amount of the expense related to the requesting spouse’s income, including the monthly child support payable, the nature and number of the educational or extracurricular program, any special needs and talents of the child, the overall costs, and any other similar factor the court considers relevant.

A court has the discretion to award an amount different from the Table amount if the court finds that a parent or child would otherwise suffer undue hardship.