Our Specialties > Child Support
According to MoneySense.ca, the average cost of raising one (1) child to age 18 in Ontario is $243,660 for the very bare essentials. This is of course before you send them off to college or university. It also does not consider situations where the child has specific needs like special education or medical needs. It does not consider extracurricular activities, travel and other expenses. But you and your co-parent both work hard to make sure that the needs of your child or children are met regardless of relationship status… right?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is sometimes: NOT REALLY! Ideally, each parent contributes as much as they can to the support of the child or children in question; financially and otherwise. Of course, when the parents of a child are together, it is easier to work together to manage the financial obligations of your children. However, in some cases, after a divorce or separation, one parent may find themselves bearing the brunt of providing for the family alone even though the other parent is working or able to work.
finding alternate solutions
This may seem unfair or unreasonable, especially if the needs of the child are not sufficiently met. After all, it is the responsibility of each parent to provide for their child. This is where a parent may seek a child support order requiring the co-parent to contribute financially to their child’s needs.
Perhaps you do pay child support but your financial situation has changed… you may have lost your job, become injured or incurred other essential expenses. Life doesn’t always stay the same and it is your right and responsibility to ensure that child support payments are fair to all involved, including you.
understanding child support in ontario
In Ontario, the amount that is paid to support your children is determined by the Child Support Guidelines. Sometimes this amount is referred to as Base Child Support. The parent who lives outside of the child’s home becomes a payor of child support contributing money into the household after separation. He or she becomes responsible for contributing child support to the other parent, usually on a monthly basis. Sometimes the payor is not the child’s biological parent but someone who has acted as a parent to that child.
Special Expenses or Section 7 expenses are Child Support contributions, required in addition to Base Child Support. These contributions are for educational, medical, recreational or other costs that are reasonable or necessary for the child. Reasonableness is determined in many ways including looking back at the typical expenses the family paid for the child before separation and the child’s needs after separation.
Changing the amount of child support you pay can get complicated quickly. If you are the Payor, the longer you’ve waited before seeking a decrease in the amount you pay for your children, the more calculations of your annual income and justifications for its decrease you will be required to make. On the other hand, if you are the Recipient and are aware of your entitlement to an increase for an extended time, but take no steps to obtain it, in time you may be found to have given up that entitlement.
Child Support issues are highly individualised. The lawyers at Sterling Law are experienced in Child Support issues and are ready to assist you with your child support concerns. Don’t allow time to pass to make sure that you are being treated fairly, whether you are the payor or the recipient.