Child Support & Section 7 Expenses

In Ontario, there are specific circumstances in which one parent must pay child support to the other parent for children of their relationship or marriage. The Ontario and Federal Child Support Guidelines set out the table amount of child support to be paid based on (i) the number of dependent children for whom support is payable and (ii) the income of the payor. However, there are many questions that surround child support such as how does the law determine who the support payor is? How much is a payor obligated to pay in child support? If you share equal time with your children, does either parent pay child support to the other?

Typically, the payor of child support will be the parent who has access to the children for less than 40 per cent of the time. Conversely, the parent who has care of the children for more than 60 per cent of the time will be the recipient of child support. However, in circumstances where parents each have approximately equal parenting time with the children, each parent will be obligated to pay the table amount of child support to the other parent based on his or her gross annual income in accordance with the Child Support Guidelines.

Under the Child Support Guidelines, there are circumstances in which the table amount of child support may not be payable. This may be the case such as where the payor’s income is greater than $150,000.00 per year.

The table amount of child support is to provide for the basic costs of raising a child such as food, shelter, and clothing. However, there are many expenses incurred by parents that go over and above the cost of food, shelter, and clothing. These expenses may include braces, extracurricular activities, rep sports, and post-secondary education. These expenses typically qualify as Section 7 special and extraordinary expenses under the Child Support Guidelines. The law requires parents to split these expenses proportionate to their respective income.
Typically, both parents will be required to contribute to child related expenses if they are “special” expenses or “extraordinary” expenses under the Child Support Guidelines, though this is not always the case.

As with nearly all issues in family law, child support is an issue which can be negotiated between the parents. Once two parents come to an agreement, the terms of their agreement can be included into a comprehensive Separation Agreement. Generally speaking, negotiating the issues arising upon the separation of two parties is more timely and cost effective.

However, there may be circumstances where a Court proceeding is necessary to seek finality on the issue of child support. A Court proceeding may be advisable where a support payor refuses to pay child support. Another situation in which a Court proceeding may be advisable is where a support payor seeks to terminate his or he child support obligation and the recipient is not agreeable.

Our goal is to provide you with timely and cost effective legal advice in your family matter. We will provide you with compassionate guidance to assist you in finalizing issues of child support and Section 7 special and extraordinary expenses. In our initial consultation, all of your questions regarding your family law matter will be answered including any questions you may have regarding child support. We will assist you in putting a plan in place to move forward in your matter.

To discuss your matter, please call 905-720-0777.

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