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What is child support?

 

The law says that both parents are responsible for financially supporting theirdependent children. Dependent usually means until the child turns 18 and sometimes longer.

 

Generally, child support is money paid by the parent that spends the least amount of time with the child to the parent who takes care of the child most of the time. It is used to help cover the costs of caring for the child.

Even if your child spends an equal amount of time with each of you, the parent with the higher income may still have to pay some child support.

 

The parent who pays support is called the payor parent. A parent can be the birth or biological mother or father, a non-biological parent, an adoptive parent, and sometimes a step-parent.

You and your partner can try to reach an agreement about child support before going to court. You can use the Child Support Guidelines and the Government of Canada’s child support tables to see how much child support a judge might order.

 

The tables show the basic monthly amounts of child support to cover expenses like clothes, groceries, and school supplies. It is based on the gross annual income of the payor parent and the number of children entitled to support. There is aseparate table for each province and territory.

 

There are other factors that may affect the amount of child support a judge might order. For example:

 

  • special or extraordinary expenses, like daycare that are not covered in the table amount

  • the type of custody arrangement, such as shared custody or split custody

  • undue hardship or financial difficulties that make it very hard for the payor parent to pay child support

  • retroactive support with a start date before the date of the court order

 

Who pays child support?

 

The law says that both parents are responsible for financially supporting theirdependent children. Dependent usually means until the child turns 18 and sometimes longer. The parent who pays child support is called the payor parent. A parent can be the birth or biological mother or father, a non-biological parent, an adoptive parent, and sometimes a step-parent.

 

Parents must support their children even if they:

 

  • do not live with the children

  • do not see the children

  • are not married to the other parent

  • did not live with the other parent

  • did not have an ongoing relationship with the other parent

  • have other children from a new relationship

 

Child support is separate from access. The right to child support and access are two different things.  They are both rights of the child. A parent cannot be denied access to their child because they do not pay child support. And a parent who does not have access may still have to pay child support.

 

You can only refuse to allow access in limited situations, such as if you’re afraid for your child’s safety. You may have to call child protection services if you believe your child is being abused by your partner or someone in their home. If you’re in this situation, get help right away.

 

How much child support must be paid?

 

Usually child support is money paid by the parent that spends the least amount of time with the child to the parent who takes care of the child most of the time. It is used to help cover the costs of caring for the child.

 

Even if your child spends an equal amount of time with each of you, the parent with the higher income may still have to pay some child support.

 

The parent who pays child support is called the payor parent.

 

You and your partner can try to reach an agreement about child support before going to court. You can use the Child Support Guidelines and the Government of Canada’s child support tables to see how much child support a judge might order. The tables are based on the gross annual income of the payor parent and the number of children entitled to support. There is a separate table for each province and territory.

 

The tables show the basic monthly amounts of child support to cover expenses like clothes, groceries, and school supplies. It is the payor parent’s contribution to meet the child’s basic needs, just as if they were living with the child.

 

The table amount assumes that the parent who is caring for the child most of the time contributes to their financial support.

 

There are other factors that may affect the amount of child support a judge might order. For example:

 

  • special or extraordinary expenses, like daycare that are not covered in the table amount

  • the type of custody arrangement, such as shared custody or split custody

  • undue hardship or financial difficulties that make it very hard for the payor parent to pay child support

  • retroactive support with a start date before the date of the court order