In Ontario, the federal and provincial governments share responsibility for family law. Some child support requirements are governed by federal legislation, while others are governed by provincial legislation.
Does the Federal or Provincial Legislation apply to your situation?
Divorced Spouses: The Federal Child Support Guideline
Unmarried Spouses or spouses who were married and separated: The Provincial Child Support Guideline
Difference between Federal and Provincial Child Support Guidelines
The Child Support Guidelines differ between the following two types of child support payments:
1. A basic amount of child support
2. A sum of child support paid to cover particular or unusual expenditures
Who Pays Child Support?
In Canada, every parent has an obligation and legal duty to support his or her child to the best of their abilities. A court can require a person to support his or her dependents and can also set the amount of support- taking multiple factors into consideration.
Calculating the Basic Monthly Amount:
The Basic Monthly Amount aims to be a consistent and equitable amount in the vast majority of circumstances. However, if there are special provisions in a signed agreement, or the payee is enduring hardship, and custody and right of access to the children are split or shared, the monthly child support payments may be subject to change.
When calculating the “Basic Monthly Amount,” 2 factors are taken into consideration: a spouse’s annual income, and the number of children.
For example, if an individual’s annual income is $50,000 and they have 2 children, the basic monthly amount will be approximately $755. Contact us at Pace Law Firm today to help you navigate through your situation and assist you along the way, acknowledging unique factors that apply to your situation.
Determining Level of Income:
Employment income, dividends, interest and investment income, partnership income, rental income, capital gains, company revenue, professional income, and commission income are all considered when determining a spouse’s level of income. The income is then modified by the Child Support Guidelines, which includes specific additions and deductions unique to each case.
Calculating Particular or Unusual Expenditures:
“Special or unusual expenses” are defined under the Federal Guidelines as expenses that are: essential because they are in the best interests of the child(ren), and they are reasonable given the parents’ and child’s financial resources, as well as the family’s spending patterns prior to the separation.
According to the Government of Canada website, special or extraordinary expenses are:
- You may be required to pay child-care fees as a result of a job, an illness, a disability, or educational requirements for work if your child spends the majority of his/her time with you
- The share of your medical and dental insurance rates dedicated to your child’s coverage
- If the cost of your child’s health-care needs exceeds $100 per year and is not covered by insurance (for example, orthodontics, counselling, medication, or eye care)
- Expenses for post-secondary education
- Unusual costs for your child’s elementary school, secondary education, or any other educational programs tailored to his or her specific demands
- Unusual expenses for your child’s extracurricular/leisure activities
In general, parents split the amount set aside for such costs in accordance with their respective salaries. However, both can agree to split the money in a different method.
If you need advice determining your Child Support responsibilities or seeking changes to current support obligations to which you may be entitled, please contact any member of our family law firm at Pace Family Law for the best legal counsel.