March 30, 2010

By Brad Smith

Child support, for married or unmarried spouses, is determined according to the Child Support Guidelines. Child support is the amount set out in published Tables according to the number of children, the income of the support payor plus “special or extraordinary expenses”.

For example, according to the Tables, in Ontario, if the support payor earned $30,000 per year, that parent would be required to pay $270 per month for one child, $444 for two children and $598 for three children. If the parent earned $50,000 per year, that parent would be required to pay $462 per month for one child, $753 for two children and $986 for three children.

The support payor may also have to contribute “special or extraordinary expenses” in addition to the Table amount. This includes childcare expenses, medical/dental premiums, health-related expenses, extraordinary expenses for school, post-secondary education and extraordinary expenses for extracurricular activities.

Either parent may request child support that departs from the Table amount in certain limited circumstances such as shared custody, undue hardship or the child is the age of majority. Undue hardship includes responsibility for an unusually high level of debts, unusually high access expenses or a legal duty to support any other person.

An order or agreement for child support may be varied if there has been a change in circumstances within the meaning of the Child Support Guidelines. This includes a change in circumstances that would result in a different order for support, a change in the condition, means, needs or other circumstances of either parent or the coming into force of the Child Support Guidelines.