CHILD SUPPORT

Father and Daughter Having Breakfast

Children are expensive, and all parents have a financial responsibility to contribute to these expenses according to their income if the children do not live with them at least half the time.

The Federal Child Support Guidelines provides a table that determines the appropriate amount of basic child support to be paid by one parent to the parent who provides more of the day-to-day care. When both parents share the responsibility of the children equally, the child support tables are only one of the considerations as to what payment should be made by one parent to the other.

Children's extraordinary expenses, for such costs as dentistry and medical fees, not paid by insurance, and sports, cultural, or educational programs, fall under the Child Support Guidelines, Section 7, and are outside the basic child support payable. These expenses are dependent upon the family's circumstances.

The Child Support Guideline Tables use a parent's annual income to calculate the payment due. The process is simple for those parents who are employees that receive one or more T4s at the end of each tax year. The Income Tax Form at line 150 contains their income. 

The line 150 may not correctly reflect the true amount of the income of self-employed individuals, as their business may pay for some or many of their expenses. Similar considerations apply to parents who earn tax-free income or have income that does not show on their tax return. In such circumstances, Income may be imputed to the person, as income, prior to determining what amount they should contribute to their children's support.

Child support is payable until the child is no longer financially dependent on their parent. Child support may end when the child is nineteen years old [the age of "majority"]; however, a child may continue to be dependent, and qualify for support after the age of 19. This most frequently occurs while the child is enrolled in full-time post-secondary training, or has special needs and unable to support themselves. For children older then 19, the Child Support Guidelines may not apply, and other calculations may be considered appropriate.

To determine if the amount you are paying or receiving is fair, call for a free consultation.